FAQ
Backgrond: I'm one of two unix admins, we 'own' 150 unix hosts. Most
Solaris, but we're starting to transition from that to Oracle Linux.

I've got my puppet 2.7 running 'ok' on my test hosts, have spent a
fair bit of my time since September getting up to speed on Puppet.

Starting January I'll be ready to start rolling them out to my
development, then production, hosts. Our deployment will be gradual,
and slowly moving services and hosts from managed by bash script to
managed by puppet as time permits.

I'm taking advantage of the holidays to check my assumptions on 'how'
I'm building Puppet.

My goals are

- Enable my partner to understand 'what' I'm up to i.e. make it as
self-documenting as possible
- Ditto the three other guys on my team who assist us in Unix chores
part-time, and are our backups.
- Prevent the whole mess from turning into a snarled yarn-ball.

Questions:

Would it be better pause for a few weeks and upgrade to Puppet 2.7 > 3 now?
Is there consensus on the best way to avoid a yarn-ball of messy code?




--
Brian Dunbar

"Display some adaptability"

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  • Jakov Sosic at Dec 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    On 12/27/2012 12:47 AM, Brian Dunbar wrote:

    Questions:

    Would it be better pause for a few weeks and upgrade to Puppet 2.7 > 3 now?
    If you can afford it - then absolutely.

    Is there consensus on the best way to avoid a yarn-ball of messy code?
    Use at least puppet parser validate + puppet-lint in pre-commit hook,
    keep your code in modules and not in site.pp, and try to separate data
    from the code via hiera, and you'll be pretty much OK.



    --
    Jakov Sosic
    www.srce.unizg.hr

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  • Hans van der Made at Jan 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

    On Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:47:51 AM UTC+1, Brian Dunbar wrote:

    - Enable my partner to understand 'what' I'm up to i.e. make it as
    self-documenting as possible
    - Ditto the three other guys on my team who assist us in Unix chores
    part-time, and are our backups.
    - Prevent the whole mess from turning into a snarled yarn-ball.

    Questions:

    Would it be better pause for a few weeks and upgrade to Puppet 2.7 > 3
    now?
    Is there consensus on the best way to avoid a yarn-ball of messy code?
    I'm new here, but from my experience:
    * Make sure you understand the concept of encapsulation and watch out for
    inproper use of modules, variables, etc. Avoid the "quick fix" that cuts
    corners.

    * Don't automate too much at once. I'd suggest to start bottom-up, with
    simple stuff like configuring syslog or sshd, or maybe create sysadmin
    users on all boxes. Things that are the same on all systems. But: put all
    aspects of a particular service in. Make sure you know what is puppetized
    and what isn't.

    * When you've finished writing puppet code for a project, destroy the
    (virtual) server and deploy from scratch again. Make sure your work can be
    reproduced.

    * Actively tend to your code like you would a garden. Check for things to
    remove, clarify and improve. Keep it clean, clear and relevant. Your ideas
    and code will change over time, so start simple and get back to it every
    once in a while.

    * Write down what you've learned and actively coach your partner. It's a
    learning process that you both need to go through. Never be the only one to
    know how things work or say goodbye to holidays :-)

    * Keep a consistent style in names, module structure, comments. Discuss
    with your partners and make sure you're on the same page. Get a grip on
    change management (commits, testing, deployment, rollback). Keep in mind
    that you're working on 150 boxes at once.

    * Use monitoring, use dashboard or at least centralized syslog of puppet
    agents. Make sure you know when boxes don't have their puppet agent running.

    To the others: feel free to complain if I'm missing the boat here. First
    post...

    Best,

    Hans van der Made
    Utrecht University
    NL

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postedDec 26, '12 at 11:47p
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