All three are highlights of the 3.8 release of Puppet Enterprise, being launched today. (UPDATE: General availability is slated for late April, except for the AWS module, which is available on the Puppet Forge.) They represent new modules of Puppet Node Manager, an application launched last year for grouping servers together based on key characteristics.
The idea, of course, is to widen the popularity of Puppet’s open source tools for IT automation, which compete against Ansible, Chef, and SaltStack. Puppet has been adopted at nearly 23,000 companies including one-third of the Fortune 500, the company claims. In 10 years, the now 350-employee company has raised roughly $86 million, including $40 million last year in a Series E round that most likely is its last.
Puppet has no definite IPO plans but admits that going public is a possibility. “Absolutely we think the public market will be welcoming to us,” says Tim Zonca, director of product management.
The new Puppet Node Manager modules extend the company’s reach in some obvious directions.
One is Docker. A module for launching Docker containers inside any Puppet-managed infrastructure has been available for some time; with Puppet Enterprise 3.8, it’s also now supported by Puppet Labs.
The AWS module allows for using Puppet to configure and manage AWS-based resources, which could be useful to the IT operators who have grown accustomed to Puppet’s tools. Support for other clouds is “still taking shape,” Zonca says, although he notes that some capabilities for Microsoft Azure already exist.
Finally, a bare-metal-provisioning tool called Razor is being made generally available today, having previously been released as a technology preview. It automatically discovers bare-metal hardware and, based on IT-defined policies, gives it the proper operating system and configuration. Before Razor, Puppet wasn’t able to deal with blank-slate bare metal; it needed the operating system to be in place before it could work with a device.
In addition to all that, Puppet is introducing the Puppet Code Manager — and yes, it rhymes with Node Manager, which is kind of unfortunate, Zonca admits. Code Manager is another Puppet application, one that lets operators define infrastructure in code form. Code Manager then moves that code through the different phases of development, taking it through reviewing, testing, and eventually production.
Code Manager represents Puppet extending its reach in a different way — going beyond straight configuration, Zonca says.