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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Gareth Rushgrove Talks Puppet, Project Blueshift, and Photon OS

Interview Puppet 

Photon OS is optimized to run on VMware platforms, and now you can run Puppet with it as well.  With a recent update and the availability of Puppet images on Docker Hub, Puppet now extends its management into Photon OS based machines.  This continues on VMware's goal of running containers on vSphere.

The update is part of Project Blueshift, Puppet's continued engagement with the technology community and its continued commitment to bridging the future for enterprise IT.

To better understand all of this, I spoke with Gareth Rushgrove, Senior Software Engineer at Puppet and project owner/head of Blueshift.

VMblog:  First of all, can you explain to readers a bit more about Photon OS?

Gareth Rushgrove:  Photon OS is a minimal Linux container host, optimized to run on VMware platforms. It's part of the wider VMware effort around vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC), which aims to make containers a first-class citizen on vSphere. We wrote a blog post on Photon OS if you'd like to learn more.

VMblog:  Why did Puppet extend management to Photon OS?

Rushgrove:  Part of the value of Puppet to our users is being able to manage everything in their infrastructure, so extending management to Photon OS makes lots of sense for us and for our customers. If you want to try out Photon OS in your environment it's much easier to do if you can just reuse your existing Puppet installation to manage it.

VMblog:  What is Project Blueshift and how does Photon OS fit into its roadmap?

Rushgrove:  Blueshift is the banner under which we are working on a number of initiatives around containers, new-style operating systems like Photon OS and cluster managers like Kubernetes or DC/OS. So we're not just working on better support for Photon OS, but also tooling to manage Docker containers and images for example which can be used on top of Photon OS.

VMblog:  Why is it so important for VMware, and Puppet, to make running containers a first class citizen on vSphere?

Rushgrove:  Containers are an increasingly popular unit of software for lots of people, and a big part of the value in vSphere and Puppet is helping you to manage all of your infrastructure in one place and with one tool that's easy to use and well supported. For vSphere that's about understanding all the machines running atop the hypervisor. For Puppet it's about the configuration of the individual hosts and how they relate to each other.

VMblog:  How can Puppet help with managing Photon OS hosts?

Rushgrove:  Puppet helps you manage Photon OS by letting you model the host configuration; everything from configuration files, packages you want installed or services you want running. This model can then be used to provision new machines quickly and keep existing machines correctly configured. This practice, configuration management, helps with preventing configuration drift, where different machines are configured differently, leading to downtime for the applications you're running on the hosts. It's also a great help for complying with internal IT policy or external compliance related standards.

VMblog:  What else can you do with Puppet and Photon OS (or other VMware products like vRealize Automation or vSphere)?

Rushgrove:  We have quite a lot of integration between Puppet and VMware products, especially with Puppet Enterprise. The supported vSphere module lets you launch VMs directly from Puppet, describing the characteristics of the VMs like memory, CPU, and annotations in the Puppet domain specific language. We also have integrations with vRO for automating the installation of the Puppet agent onto a node, including certificate signing and node classification, and with vRA for rapid self-service delivery of fully configured VMs. From the VRA GUI a user can simply pick what they want and get it immediately. With Puppet, you can ensure that the new VM meets standards before delivery and then retains visibility into state throughout its lifecycle.

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Once again, thanks to Gareth Rushgrove, Senior Software Engineer at Puppet and project owner/head of Blueshift, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.com.

Published Tuesday, September 06, 2016 6:57 AM by David Marshall
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