Admin Admin Podcast #092 Show Notes – Cloud Native Master of Puppets

We’re without Al again this episode, but we carry on regardless!

Stu talks about Puppet which is a configuration management system, comparable to Ansible, Salt Stack or Chef.

Like Chef and Salt, Puppet is predominently agent based, where the agent is installed on the endpoint, and it calls out to a central server, every X period of time (Jerry mentions 30 minutes at one point in the show, while Stu says 15 minutes) to get the state the device should be in, and it then tries to remediate all those items which are not compliant with the state.

Puppet is more like Chef than Ansible or Salt in that it uses a Ruby “Domain Specific Language” (or DSL) to define the configuration of the node, rather than YAML.

We then get into a more general conversation about configuration management software, including talking about how Salt Stack allows you to create entire tasks and variables using jinja2 templates, and Jon mentions he did something like this with Ansible variables. Jon mentions seeing a video from an early PuppetConf where a member of the board (he thinks the CTO) decided to learn Puppet by wiping and reinstalling his machine every day using Puppet. Sadly, he can’t find this video now, and would appreciate listeners pointing him to that video, if they can find it!

Jon talks about Architecture Decision Records (or “All” Decision Records) writing bash scripts, and using BATS to perform unit testing of bash files. He also mentions that it’s possible to “mock” specific commands in BATS.

Lastly, Stu proposes we talk at about using Cloud Native services in AWS, Azure, etc. versus using Infrastructure as a Service. A series of specific services on AWS and Azure are mentioned. We talk about how vendor-lock-in can occur and some of the things you can do to help prevent that. Jon mentions the books “The Phoenix Project” and “The Unicorn Project” by Gene Kim which discuss the idea of “Core” services (which make money for the company or project) and “Context” services (which don’t, and can be outsourced.) We also talk about the issues involved in not transforming your services when you “Lift and Shift” services into a cloud service.

We’re a member of the Other Side Podcast Network. The lovely Dave Lee does our Audio Production.

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