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Virtualized Development Infrastructure Management with Puppet: Beyond Cloning. - Teyo Tyree


Teyo Tyree has 10 years of experience as a Unix Systems Administrator at startups, medium sized businesses, and large corporations where he spent most of his time focusing on methods to make the computers do the work so he could spend more time with his bicycles. He joined Reductive Labs in July of 2008 and is currently working on sharable systems automation tools so everyone can spend more quality time with their bikes.


Linux virtualization tools have enabled rapid deployment of development environments, but using these tools to build development infrastructures still poses a significant challenge in terms of management and delivery over a development life cycle. In an ideal world, an infrastructure developer would be provided a comprehensive and static list of requirements and would deliver an ideal image that could be used throughout a development, testing, and deployment cycle. In reality development projects have changing requirements over time that demand corresponding refactoring of the development infrastructure.

Simply cloning instances is an inefficient way to manage changes to development environments over the lifecycle of a project. New images must be created, distributed, and refreshed anytime infrastructure requirements change. The process of updating images is not granular and does not provide a method of tracking changes over time. Old images are often stored as a way to revert back to a previous state. This foil ball approach becomes even more challenging once integration testing across multiple distributions or operating systems is introduced.

We will discuss using Puppet as a tool to enable infrastructure developers to granularly manage changes to development infrastructures over the life of a project. Additionally we will explain how Puppet enables infrastructure developers to define cross distribution configurations reducing the overhead of managing development and testing environments on multiple distributions. Ultimately, we hope to demonstrate how Puppet can be leveraged to create manageable, distributable, and version controlled infrastructures for development, testing, and deployment.

Topics that will be covered:

  • managing development environments using Puppet and virtualization
  • using Ralsh to document and capture development environment requirements and as a system interface for developers
  • puppet as a tool for managing cross distribution development
  • deployment, life cycle management, and version controlled infrastructures