What is Puppet?
You want to automate as many processes as you can in DevOps. With large infrastructures, manually configuring environments takes weeks. By the time everything is configured, you are putting out fires rather than introducing fresh, practical solutions like Rancher servers.
Puppet assists in automating manual processes to swiftly deploy apps and provision systems. At its core, Puppet is a dynamic infrastructure management system. This article covers Puppet, the issues it addresses, and how a DevOps team may successfully use Puppet to automate manual tasks.
An IaC (Infrastructure as Code) tool for controlling numerous servers is called Puppet. Puppet was mostly written in Ruby and works on a variety of Unix-like platforms as well as Windows. The software was first released in 2005, making it very advanced. Puppet is offered as free, open-source software and in a proprietary form for intricate systems.
What is Puppet used for?
Server configuration management and deployment are automated via Puppet. The method reduces manual setup and management of servers individually and the program makes it possible to pull strings and manage states on several systems at once.
Instead of explaining how to get there, Puppet defines the desired state for the system. The configuration preserves the infrastructure’s state across a range of platforms and devices. Overall, system administrators are less required to put out fires, which enable the DevOps team to adopt fresh and improved server solutions.
Puppet Configuration Management
Automating repetitious operations like installing and configuring servers is made easier by automation scripts. However, automation scripts don’t scale when used with a large infrastructure. A solution for complex infrastructure settings is provided by configuration management. In a well-established DevOps pipeline, the practices—which are regarded as the foundation of DevOps—allow for more frequent and dependable software releases?
The infrastructure-as-code methodology enables server configuration management. The server administration code in the case of Puppet is written in Ruby-like Puppet code. The language is declarative and describes a configuration that is model-based.
How does Puppet work?
Puppet is a client-server system made composed of the following components:
- The Puppet Master is a server running the Puppet Master daemon, which uses manifests to manage critical system data for all nodes.
- The Puppet Agent daemon is running on the Puppet-installed nodes known as Puppet Agents.
The sections that follow provide definitions for the key terms and Puppet components to assist illustrate how Puppet functions.
Puppet Topology and Architecture
The Puppet Master and Puppet Agents make up the client/server architecture used by Puppet. Pull mode is used by Puppet Agents to query the master and retrieve node- and site-specific configuration data.
The topology experiences the following phases:
- A node that is running a Puppet Agent daemon compiles all of its facts, which the agent then communicates to the Puppet Master.
- The data is used by the Puppet Master to build a configuration catalogue for the node, which is then sent back to the Puppet Agent.
- According to the catalogue, the Puppet Agent configures itself and updates the Puppet Master.
On a dedicated server, a daemon called the Puppet Master runs. As a server node, the Puppet Master serves as the configuration and information authority. All agent nodes get commands from the master, which also manages system configuration.
The following duties fall under the purview of the puppet master:
- Developing a catalogue that the agents can use
- Agents receive file transfers from a file server.
- Allowing agents to submit SSL certificates
- Manifests for configuration storage
Puppet employs identity access control via a specific user and group to provide security and only make necessary data available to agents. However, not all operations demand privileged access.
A Puppet daemon running on a system or node is the puppet agent. Agents can apply configuration catalogues retrieved from the Puppet Master thanks to the capabilities they have on the node.
During initial contact with the master, an agent asks for an SSL certificate in order to obtain communication permissions. Every time the agent queries the master for configuration updates, the certificate is examined before delivering the data. To guarantee accurate configuration information, a master also authenticates to the agents. Puppet agents change the configuration of the system and need root rights to operate.
Puppet Encryption and Communication Security
For security and communication, Puppet makes use of OpenSSL. Puppet employs industry-standard SSL/TLS encryption and SSL certificates for agent/master authentication and verification, which are based on SSL and TLS protocols. Additionally, Puppet uses SSL/TLS with SHA-256 as the default hash to encrypt traffic flowing between agents and servers.
The following is guaranteed by Puppet’s encryption techniques:
- Authentication and verification of master/agent
- Protecting master and agent data from breaches
The master produces its own server certificate, CA certificate, private key, CRL, and certificate revocation list. Agents receive the server certificate to enable SSL and TLS connection.
Advantages of Puppet
One of the oldest and most well-known configuration management automation solutions is puppet. The following list of five benefits provides compelling justifications for utilizing Puppet.
Due to Puppet’s open source nature, the technology is scalable. According to your use case, customized libraries and modules augment specific projects.
The existence of a vibrant community is another advantage of open source software. There are many forums, discussions, and specialists available to assist and respond to inquiries.
The repeated nature of configuration operations means that platform-specific processes are frequently needed on servers running several operating systems. The effort of remembering every directive is impossible.
Facter aids Puppet in reaching abstraction and understanding the details. Thanks to Facter, Puppet is already conversant with system-specific information and OS specifics.
When working with several servers, redundant configurations are a complicated problem, and Puppet strives to apply only those changes that have an impact on the system. Puppet doesn’t execute the commands if the infrastructure has reached the required condition. Idempotency, a Puppet feature that lessens redundancy and boosts efficiency, is known.
Due to Puppet’s broad support for platforms, there are more servers involved in the configuration automation process. The program is compatible with Windows, OS X, Fedora, Gentoo, RHEL, Solaris, and Debian-based systems.
For various cases, the Puppet language provides a method to override directives and create exceptions. Puppet also helps with the periodic scheduling of specialized maintenance tasks.
Puppet is an effective tool for managing server setups and duties, making it a great option for reliable servers that don’t undergo frequent or dynamic changes.
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