Puppet Betas Project Nebula to Automate Cloud-Native App Delivery

At its Puppetize PDX user conference, Puppet announced today it is making a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application for managing continuous deployment of cloud-native computing applications running in Kubernetes environments available as a public beta.

Dubbed Project Nebula, the SaaS application leverages an open source Tekton workflow engine for managing continuous delivery that was developed by Google. Tekton has since been contributed to the Continuous Delivery Foundation, an arm of the Linux Foundation.

Matthew Young, senior director of product management for Puppet, says Project Nebula has been designed from the ground up to be integrated with more than 20 cloud-native deployment tools, including Terraform, CloudFormation, Helm, Kubectl and Kustomize, to make it easier for DevOps teams to embrace a cloud service that automates deployment of cloud-native applications at scale. The goal is to enable organizations to more easily organize and orchestrate all the YAML files they currently rely on to deploy applications. To achieve that goal, Puppet will provide DevOps teams with the choice of continuing to use a YAML framework or employing Puppet programming tools, he says.

DevOps teams will be able to invoke Project Nebula via either application programming interfaces or a graphical user interface that walks IT teams through a deployment process, Young says. Those workflows can be checked into a source control repository to eliminate the need to write ad-hoc scripts as well.

Project Nebula also provides built-in examples of workflows and tools for visualizing the entire deployment workflow, Young adds.

Despite the rise of continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) platforms, Young says that when it comes to cloud-native applications, it is clear DevOps teams are struggling with how to debug and govern cloud-native applications as well as how to collaborate with one another across multiple workflow processes. That issue is creating a new greenfield opportunity for Puppet, he notes.

In addition to making available Project Nebula as a public beta, Puppet today also previewed an update to Puppet Enterprise due out next month. Puppet Enterprise 2019.2 will add support for self-service workflows, Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPs), IPv6 networks, Cisco IOS network devices and accessibility standards.

At the same time, Puppet rolled out updates to Puppet Remediate for addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities; support for multi-cloud provisioning using Terraform and Bolt frameworks; integrations between Bolt Tasks and the Splunk IT operations platform; an updated Puppet Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator version 3.2 from VMware; and improved infrastructure automation using Powershell and Bolt.

As a pioneer in the movement to manage infrastructure as code, Puppet has developed a significant base of customers who have employed its tools and frameworks to automate IT processes within the context of a set of DevOps processes. While there is now more competition than ever in terms of IT automation frameworks, Puppet is clearly betting the shift to cloud-native applications will only serve to increase overall demand for IT automation frameworks. The challenge now is finding ways to make Puppet tools and frameworks as accessible as possible, regardless of where an IT organization happens to be on its DevOps journey.

Mike Vizard

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.

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