Puppet is a pioneering configuration automation and deployment orchestration solution for distributed apps and infrastructure. The product was originally developed by Luke Kanies to automate tasks for sysadmins who would spend ages configuring, provisioning, troubleshooting and maintaining server operations.
This open source configuration management solution is built with Ruby and offers custom Domain Specific Language (DSL) and Embedded Ruby (ERB) templates to create custom Puppet language files, and offers a declarative paradigm programming approach. Puppet uses an agent/master architecture—Agents manage nodes and request relevant info from masters that control configuration info. The agent polls status reports and queries regarding its associated server machine from the master Puppet server, which then communicates its response and required commands using the XML-RPC protocol over HTTPS.
The Puppet Enterprise product offers the following capabilities:
- Automated provisioning
- Configuration automation
- Visualization and reporting
- Code management
- Node management
- Role-based access control
- Strong compliance automation and reporting tools.
- Active community support around development tools and cookbooks.
- Intuitive web UI to take care of many tasks, including reporting and real-time node management.
- Robust, native capability to work with shell-level constructs.
- Initial setup is smooth and supports a variety of OSs.
- Particularly useful, stable and mature solution for large enterprises with adequate DevOps skill resources to manage a heterogeneous infrastructure.
- Can be difficult for new users who must learn Puppet DSL or Ruby, as advanced tasks usually require input from CLI.
- Installation process lacks adequate error reporting capabilities.
- Not the best solution available to scale deployments. The DSL code can grow large and complicated at higher scale.
- Using multiple masters complicates the management process. Remote execution can become challenging.
- Support is more focused toward Puppet DSL over pure Ruby versions.
- Lacks push system, so no immediate action on changes. The pull process follows a specified schedule for tasks.