Puppet Labs is entering a new phase of life today, changing its name to just Puppet (matching the name of the product) and adding its first-ever president and chief operating officer, Sanjay Mirchandani.
Founder Luke Kanies is remaining CEO. Mirchandani is being brought in for operational help, but Kanies remains at the helm because his plans for the 11-year-old company are “still taking shape,” says Tim Zonca, director of product marketing.
Mirchandani was most recently a VMware senior vice president in charge of the company’s Asia-Pacific and Japan region. He also spent seven years at EMC and 11 at Microsoft.
Part of the DevOps and automation movement, Puppet is a tool for managing data center infrastructure in an intent-driven way — that is, you determine what you want applications and infrastructure to do, and Puppet makes it happen. Part of its appeal is that it provides a visual graph mapping the interdependencies in the code structure, which can help with troubleshooting, especially in cases where teams are sharing code.
The tool itself is getting an update today as well, with the release of Puppet Enterprise 2016.1. Among the new features: Its orchestration mechanism now provides feedback that’s closer to real-time. A developer that wants to propagate code to thousands of machines can watch the changes take place on, say, the first 100 or so and hit the abort button if something’s going wrong.
The company is also introducing a program called Blueshift, to make sure the tool can support container technologies and whatever comes after them. It’s about “ensuring that Puppet is the bridge between today’s reality for companies and whatever their tomorrow is,” Zonca says.
So far, Puppet has managed to stay on the curve of what’s hot. For example, the software happened to catch on with OpenStack, which was launched nearly six years ago, and now more than half of all OpenStack deployments are managed with Puppet, Zonca claims. Blueshift is about making sure a similar adoption curve happens with other technologies, partly by keeping Puppet in contact with the relevant open source communities.
Technologies included in Blueshift so far are Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere DCOS, the Consul service-discovery tool from Hashicorp, and a variety of projects out of CoreOS. Puppet already works with all of them (or with components of them, in the case of DCOS). Blueshift just puts a name onto this community engagement.