A thriving community of more than 7,000 IT professionals gathered online and in-person for Puppet Labs’ annual PuppetConf 2015 event recently to learn how leading global enterprises such as Uber, Walmart and Wells Fargo develop strong organizational cultures and leverage DevOps, automation and other modern IT tools and practices to solve problems and build high-performance data centers serve millions of customers and “change lives.”
The art of life-changing problem solving through automation isn’t lost on Puppet Labs’ customer Walmart. Senior Technical Expert Martin Jackson quoted a colleague who foresaw the benefits Puppet Labs would deliver when it first started using the company’s IT automation software, “‘We’re going to change lives with this,’” a prophecy he said has been fulfilled.
In tangible terms, the life-changing results he spoke about to the capacity audience were measurable. With Puppet Labs automation software, Walmart went from having relatively few nodes managed through automation to a whopping 48,000 in a short period.
Walmart Senior Technical Expert Martin Jackson presenting at PuppetConf 2015
With this level of automation, Jackson said his organization has been better able to support Walmart in achieving its goal to serve millions of customers at the lowest possible price.
Most consumers, or even business end users for that matter, don’t think much about what goes into processing something as a simple as a banking transaction from a mobile device or computer. But PuppetConf attendees know there is a complex spider web of tech behind making an app as common as one used for online banking work.
Wells Fargo, the world’s largest bank by market capitalization, is a Puppet Labs customer leveraging automation technology for application orchestration, automation of node configuration and application deployment.
Using “Back to the Future” as his metaphor, Wells Fargo DevOps Manager Nate Loomis talked about the need to be on the cutting edge of IT, while also keeping services to customers reliable and dependable. When Wells Fargo IT shifted from a node-centric view to an application-centric one, its provisioning started moving much faster — from months to the time it takes to get a cup of coffee.
With Puppet Labs, Wells Fargo manages 120,000 nodes and 55,000 network devices to process more than 1 billion transactions daily, hosts more than 2,300 applications in production with more than 40 percent of its operations fully automated.
Wells Fargo DevOps Manager Nate Loomis presenting at PuppetConf 2015
DevOps is more than just tools. While addressing the crowd at the Portland Convention Center, Uber’s Head of Business Intelligence Komal Mangtani emphasized that its IT culture pushes engineers to experiment in the name of progress and to constantly be on the lookout for new ways to solve problems.
Uber Head of Business Intelligence Komal Mangtan presenting during PuppetConf 2015
With a picture of The Martian leading man Matt Damon on the jumbo screen, Mangtani borrowed a line from the film when she told attendees, “If you solve enough of the right problems, you get to go home,” a humorous reference to wide-spread use of Uber by patrons to get rides home that wasn’t lost on the crowd. She emphasized that while most people think of Uber as an app, ride and car, there is much more to it than just that — pointing out that that within its IT culture is a dedicated team of “fierce yet humble” engineers that are helping the company to deliver more than 1 million rides, daily.
Summing Things Up
Although he opened the conference, Puppet Labs founder and CEO Luke Kanies summed up the whole point of IT automation and DevOps during his keynote which included a live demo of Puppet Application Orchestration. While addressing the conference, he told the crowd, “We at Puppet Labs are here to help you get there. As a company, we are all about reducing the timeline from the moment you get new technology to the moment it’s in the hands of your users delivering real value. You are going to see us as a company evolve over time to get better and better at aligning the tools we provide and the work we do enable with helping you more directly, more consistently and more repeatedly delivering customer value.”
For a more in depth look at PuppetConf 2015, visit the blog: https://puppetlabs.com/blog/puppetconf-2015-day-1-back-to-the-future-with-application-orchestration
Watch the keynote: https://puppetlabs.com/presentations/puppetconf-2015-lukes-keynote-address