In advance of next week’s PuppetConf, Puppet Labs is announcing a major new addition to their lineup, Puppet Application Orchestration. The orchestration functionality will allow users to automate configuration, deployment and management of your entire infrastructure stack, wherever it resides. This is a significant uplift from managing just one instance or server at a time.
I had a chance to speak with Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs ahead of today’s announcement. Kanies has led Puppet through its 10+ year existence and has seen it grow from an open source project to over 400 employees, raise $87m in venture with over 1000 customers and more than $75m in revenue.
I asked Luke what orchestration meant to him, as I think it is a term that is thrown around a lot in technology but not everyone agrees on exactly what it means. He gave me one of the best definitions I have heard, “orchestration is doing related things in a related way”. In Kanies view the new functionality from Puppet Labs allows organizations of all sizes to “orchestrate their complete software stack allowing for the automation of the software supply chain.”
This orchestration functionality is another step along the way of the eventual goal of a world where software is written primarily by software. This Matrix-like future Kanies believes is inevitable. It may happen in 20 years or maybe 50 years, but it will happen.
The real key to this new orchestration tool is that it is more than just being able to automate multiple servers or instances. It actually orchestrates (there is that word again) how these disparate parts of your infrastructure run. It takes into accounts dependencies and events from other parts of the infrastructure in determining how and when to run other parts of it. Puppet says it best in their press release, “ensures that the right things happen in the right order on the right machines as the application is deployed, updated or destroyed.” This awareness is what makes this really special.
Of course another big part of the equation is that this really does run across your entire stack. Whether it be in a public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, bare metal, on prem or even containers, Puppet’s application orchestration can manage them all from one central app. That is pretty impressive.
To enable this functionality Puppet Lab’s team had to develop some new extensions and additions to its scripting language or DSL. This shouldn’t present much of a hurdle to the thousands of people who already use Puppet Labs products.
Puppet’s new orchestration tool is another indication that the IT industry is becoming more and more app-centric. Applications are driving business and IT with it. Where they live and how they are built is complex and IT teams are looking for tools that make it simpler to deploy and manage these far flung, multi-homed applications that are popping up at ever increasing rates.
Kanies himself will be demonstrating the orchestration module at PuppetConf next week during his keynote on Thursday, October 8, at 9 a.m. PT. If you are not attending PuppetConf you can follow along on the Livestream.
It will be interesting to see how this new Puppet tool changes the market. It could set off another wave of integration and third party functionality that leverages this full stack management. Who knows maybe somewhere right now there is some software writing some software that will take advantage of Puppet Application Orchestration.