Puppet Tasks Released
October 12, 2017

Puppet announced Puppet Task, a family of offerings which encompasses a new open source, agentless product as well as a set of capabilities in Puppet Enterprise that make it easy for organizations to get started with automation, and expand its use across their infrastructure.

Puppet Tasks complements Puppet’s model-driven approach to automation by adding the ability to simply execute these types of tasks across infrastructure and applications. Sometimes IT operators need to complete tasks that don’t fit neatly into a model-driven approach. For example, sometimes teams need a simple way to execute one-off changes, such as when troubleshooting or deploying point-in-time changes to systems and devices, stopping and restarting services in a particular order as part of an application deployment, or completing tasks sequentially. Puppet Tasks builds on Puppet’s heritage of helping organizations take control of their software by providing additional ways for IT teams to take action across their infrastructure and applications when needed.

“At Puppet, we’re providing the tools to help our customers start simple, prove success and build from there to get more work done,” said Omri Gazitt, CPO, Puppet. “Organizations that are just starting their automation journey can use Puppet Bolt to easily automate ad hoc, manual work, and then over time, bring it all under control. And our customers that are already using Puppet Enterprise can take advantage of the enterprise task management capability in our latest release to get added scale, governance and flexibility as they automate tasks across their estate of infrastructure and applications.”

Puppet Tasks can be implemented in two ways: Puppet Bolt, an open source, agentless task runner, and Enterprise Task Management capabilities embedded within Puppet Enterprise.

Puppet Bolt is an open source task runner designed to execute imperative, ad-hoc tasks across smaller infrastructures. The task runner is driven through a command line interface (CLI) and executes commands via SSH (Linux) and WinRM (Windows). The new open source task execution tool is simple, agentless and extensible. Users can quickly automate manual, repetitive tasks across their infrastructure and applications, whether they need to troubleshoot systems or devices, execute sequenced, ordered actions as part of an application deployment workflow, or just make rapid changes to individual systems.

Users are also empowered to quickly get started automating basic tasks without needing to install any agents—simply connect to a server or device remotely via SSH or WinRM and users can write scripts in any framework, and execute them on any supported platform. Tasks work with both Puppet Bolt and Puppet Enterprise Task Management so users can start small with Bolt and scale up to Puppet Enterprise as their automation footprint expands.

For customers with a large infrastructure spanning multiple teams, Puppet Enterprise Task Management empowers them with a powerful set of new capabilities for executing tasks. Available in Puppet Enterprise 2017.3, Task Management provides the benefits of ad hoc task execution with governance, scale, flexibility and team-oriented workflows. This empowers customers to scale their automation footprint faster by easily initiating a task across a large number of systems and executing it on as many systems as needed.

With Task Management, Puppet Enterprise customers can instantly execute tasks across tens of thousands of nodes to scale their automation footprint faster, control who can run which tasks with role-based access control, view audit histories of every action taken on every connected device to enable visibility and compliance, and orchestrate tasks from their tools of choice, whether with the click of a button in the Puppet Enterprise UI or via APIs or a command line.

In addition, Puppet Enterprise customers are able to leverage modules of pre-written tasks available on the Puppet Forge for automating the most common ad hoc work, enabling them to get started quickly and begin immediately solving basic automation problems.

Both Puppet Bolt and Puppet Enterprise Task Management are available to new and existing customers today. Task Management is included as part of today’s release of Puppet Enterprise 2017.3, which also adds expanded Japanese language support and significant enhancements to package inspection capabilities, enabling better visibility into what’s running across infrastructure to make it easier for DevOps teams supporting security and compliance to keep infrastructure secure at all times.

Puppet recently announced an ongoing partnership with Google Cloud to develop modules to automate the provisioning, configuration and management of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services. Puppet Tasks are now included in several Google Cloud modules, including:

- Google Compute module - allows users to restart instances without logging into them, snapshot instance disks to facilitate backups and application rollbacks, and bring instances online quickly for development.

- Google SQL module - allows users to manage the passwords of existing database users and clone databases.

- Google Container Engine module - allows users to resize containers.

Puppet and Google Cloud will continue to collaborate to increase coverage of GCP services and add more Puppet Tasks to GCP modules.

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