Puppet Use Case: Infrastructure Management

Table of Contents

Introduction

Puppet is an open source software configuration management tool. There are many ways in which Puppet can simplify and improve your system administration workflow. This use case explores the topic of using Puppet for managing your infrastructure needs.

Requirements

  • A 1&1 Cloud Server account

Use Case: Infrastructure Management

In these scenarios we will examine how Puppet can be used to standardize and manage infrastructure creation and deployment. The user is in charge of creating, standardizing, and maintaining a mix of servers across several different platforms, and wants to use Puppet to make their job easier.

Scenario 1: Standardization

One of the main reasons why administrators choose a tool like Puppet is to standardize their systems. Puppet allows you to create a standardized manifest file, and then use that file to build servers and deploy applications while keeping everything consistent.

This system allows a team of people to collaborate on what the manifest should contain, in order to ensure that the results will meet every department's needs. The manifest can then be shared with other teams, which ensures that everyone is working from the identical initial specifications.

For example, your team may decide that every new server needs to be built as follows:

  1. Install all available operating system updates.
  2. Install Apache.
  3. Enable mod_rewrite.
  4. Restart Apache.

The Puppet manifest file can ensure that all of these steps are taken in identical fashion, in identical order, for every server which is built using the manifest file.

Using Puppet can also help you document changes to your workflow, by archiving previous versions of the manifest files. This makes it easy to go back and see the range of fixes and changes that have been made to your process, and document exactly when the workflow was changed.

Scenario 2: Saving Time

After creating the Puppet manifest file, an administrator only needs to run a single Puppet command to perform all of the tasks listed in the manifest. Although setting up the manifest can be somewhat time-consuming at first, it can save many hours of work in the future.

To see an in-depth walkthrough for the example given above, see our article Managing Servers with Puppet.

Scenario 3: Server Creation

1&1 offers a Puppet Cloud Server module, which allows you to use a Puppet manifest file to build a Cloud Server through the API. This can streamline the process of creating a Cloud Server, so that every task can be managed programmatically.

For more information on how to use Puppet with the Cloud Server API, see our article Use the 1&1 Puppet Cloud Server Module.