Puppet Pipelines

I just watched the presentation that Brian McGehee gave at the Puppet Conf 2017 on Puppet Pipelines and it was interesting. The idea behind it is that you can use this SaaS to build your entire CI/CD pipeline with a great looking UI and lots of visual feedback along the way. Enter your source repository, branch details, and [potentially lots of] instructions, as needed, along the way.

This product could go far fast. I see this as a tool that would have significant appeal to management and above for two main reasons: 1. it eliminates the challenge of paying down technical debt, as part of maintaining the infrastructure around the build pipeline(s), and 2. it’s very quick to get from source control to production with very fast feedback. Both of these points are incredibly important from a DevOps standpoint, and two of the major points made in “The DevOps Handbook”.

Important points that I took from the presentation:

  • Agent driven application, puppet module available.
  • Easy rollback
  • Easily add approvals for promoting builds to environments.
  • Easy to provision infrastructure, environments, etc..
  • Environment defined as one or more servers where one or more applications are deployed to.
  • Quick pipeline creation / visualization / implementation
  • Technical debt not incurred*
  • Very easy sell to management due to ease of use and visual, quick feedback.
  • Possible issues would be around support if features failed or held up a release or rollback, no longer would have the visibility into the CI/CD pipeline infrastructure that one might have with
    Jenkins and/or open tools.
  • Auto deploy to new servers entering an environment.
  • Integrated with PE (puppet enterprise)

*From “The DevOps Handbook”, technical debt is incurred when you don’t apply patches, updates, and maintenance to infrastructure systems – this is where most shops fall behind because articulating the benefit of reducing or eliminating technical debt is hard and difficult to quantify in the short term.

Brian also indicated very strong support for integration with existing (or new) Jenkins deployments, which could make it easy to integrate or migrate.

Anybody out there using it with feedback? I’m interested.

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