Organizations that embrace DevOps often find themselves moving from having a paucity of IT automation tools to an embarrassment of riches in short order. As a result, many of the teams involved in those DevOps processes wind up making different IT automation choices. Before too long, the organization finds itself trying to bridge too many islands of automation.
Puppet is working to bridge the automation gap between developers and IT operations teams with the release of a Puppet Development Kit that makes it easier for anyone to generate code that can be executed using the Puppet IT automation framework.
Michael Olson, senior product marketing manager for Puppet, says all too often developers automate various tasks using their own favorite tool. When it comes time for IT operations teams that have standardized on Puppet to deploy that code, they have to rewrite various routines. Puppet Development Kit makes it possible for developers to now write code that can be shared seamlessly with IT operations teams that have adopted the Puppet IT automation framework.
In some environments, DevOps has literally become too much of a good thing. Olson says the Puppet Development Kit represents an opportunity to truly unify fragmented processes in a way that developers can easily consume. The Puppet Development Kit includes unit test modules from Windows, OS X and Linux workstations to ensure that Puppet code is creating and managing configuration resources as intended.
The existence of the Puppet Development Kit should also make it easier for organizations that have not embraced DevOps to get started. A recent survey conducted by Puppet finds that organizations that have embraced DevOps are delivering new applications and updates at rates that far exceed other organizations. The longer it takes for organizations to embrace DevOps the wider that gap grows. By making it easier to include developers in more structured approach to DevOps, many companies that are getting started late with DevOps now have an opportunity to close that gap.
Developers don’t always have a lot of respect for IT operations. Many of them have been throwing code over the proverbial data center wall because deploying code in a production environment was always someone else’s problem. Tools such as the Puppet Development Kit essentially steal a page from the same playbook Tom Sawyer used in the book by Mark Twain to get the kids in the neighborhood to help him paint a picket fence.
At the other end of the spectrum, however, are developers who are firmly convinced they can program the IT operations team out of existence now that “infrastructure is code.” In reality, most of those developers quickly discover that the ongoing care and feeding of hundreds of applications deployed in a production environment still requires a fair amount of human intervention. In fact, without some form of IT automation framework in place, deploying applications at that level of scale would not be possible. The challenge is striking the right balance between what can be automated and higher-level tasks that still require human expertise.