Book Review: Puppet Reporting and Monitoring

I just finished reading “Puppet Reporting and Monitoring” and I gained quite a bit from reading this book and will change the way that I work with Puppet to use techniques that I’ve learned here. I have traditionally used Puppet and other configuration management tools as a simple configuration tool and haven’t expected much back from them beyond failure/sucess email. Michael Duffy reveals his fantastic knowledge of Puppet and this topic throughout as he explains how to setup and obtain useful information from Puppet using built in and freely available tools.

The first few chapters cover basic report setup, existing dashboard options, and report processors. This is good information and prepares the beginning to intermediate Puppet administrator with the required back ground to really take advantage of what comes over the rest of the book with custom report processing, PuppetDB and the associated API, as well as custom reports and dashboards.

Michael gives quite a few examples, clearly explaining how to write basic reports in ruby, using readily available gems and frameworks which can be immediately useful to the reader in retrieving and displaying data about the managed environment. While there is significant emphasis on using PuppetDB and the associated API which might not benefit those with heavy investments in other ENCs; Michael makes a great case for use of PuppetDB through his examples and reports that might convince the otherwise protesting reader to use it.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. There is insufficient emphasis placed on reporting and monitoring in the configuration management space and I applaud the efforts of Michael Duffy in getting this book out and taking the time to share his expertise.

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