July 24, 2017

One of the things that makes IT organizations uncomfortable with containers is their lack of visibility into them. Most legacy tools IT organizations have in place today were deployed long before developers started discovering the power of containers and microservices. Now, Puppet Labs is moving to provide visibility into containers using a Lumogon tool that discovers what’s in a container by querying the metadata in each container.

In addition, Puppet Labs is making available a technology preview of Puppet Cloud Discovery, a cloud service through which IT organizations can discover what public cloud infrastructure resources it has in use or available.

Puppet Labs CTO Deepak Giridharagopal says Lumogon gathers all the information about both the operating system and software installed within a container or an image without having to install any additional software in the container itself.

Giridharagopal says IT operations teams today not only want to be able to treat infrastructure as code, they also want to be able to share information about that infrastructure as code as well. As more containers wind up running on that infrastructure Giridharagopal says IT operations teams want to be able to inspect those containers in a way that is consistent with how they manage the rest of the enterprise. With more than 37,000 customers, Puppet Labs has emerged as a de facto standard for automating the management of those environments, he says.

In general, Puppet Labs is trying to drive DevOps practices into traditional enterprise IT organizations as an extension of IT automation. By making it simpler for IT organizations to manage IT environments at scale, IT organizations become more agile, Giridharagopal says.

The need for greater agility is one of the primary reasons more IT organizations are overcoming their initial reluctance to embrace IT automation, he notes. Puppet Labs has added 350 customers in the last year. By embracing tools and frameworks from Puppet Labs, those IT operations teams are making it easier to automate DevOps processes across both private and public cloud computing environments. In addition, Puppet is extending the reach of its IT automation framework via a new software-defined networking (SDN) alliance with Cisco Systems and partnerships with variety of IT security vendors including F5, Splunk, Cumulus Networks, CloudPassage, Conjur, CyberArk, Onyx Point, Intelliment and Sensu.

It may take a while for resistance to IT automation to be eradicated completely from the enterprise. Many IT administrators either fear their jobs will be eliminated or that a script they wrote no longer will be required. Once that happens, they worry their value to the organization will become diminished. However, resistance to IT automation frameworks that provide a higher level of abstraction for managing IT infrastructure is futile. Developers are voting with their feet to use platforms they perceive to be more capable to responding to their needs faster. Right now, that shift is driving more application workloads into public cloud computing environments. That may not be a bad thing in and of itself, but having the public cloud as the default option may not be in the best interest of IT operations teams.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.