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Puppet signs up for network management

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Kathy Gibson reports from Huawei Network Congress in Beijing – Huawei today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Puppet Labs to pre-install Puppet’s automation software on its networking devices. The aims to set the standard for software-defined networking (SDN) by making Puppet Enterprise agents available on Huawei’s CloudEngine switches.
Puppet modules will be developed on the NetDev standard so customers can bring their Huawei switches under Puppet Enterprise management, which can then be extended throughout the data centre.
Wu Li, GM: data centre network: switch and enterprise communications product line at Huawei Technologies, says the system fits into Huawei’s ecosytems chain in the data centre.
“We have partners in different layers of the data centre solution,” he says. “For instance we have our own cloud operating system, FusionSphere, but we also work with partners VMware, Microsoft and OpenStack.
Puppet Labs is already a partner on the controller/management layer of the data centre stack, along with various other solution providers.
The unified management automation agreement with Puppet will let IT managers provide a high-efficiency and consistent IT operations and management environment.
With Puppet Enterprise on the switches, service deployment can be reduced from weeks or months to minutes or seconds,
In addition, automatic network configuration reduces configuration errors by times compared to manual configuration.
Unified configuration of the network, computing and storage enables a single operations and management experience.
Puppet Labs has been around and, says founder and CEO Luke Kanies, has helped move automaton from concept to reality.
The company’s software manages more than 10-million nodes and has more than 850 enterprise customers. It is backed by VMware, KPCB, Cisco, TrueVentures, Radar Partners and Google Ventures.
“Organisations use Puppet to manage systems as small as 10 or 12 servers to those with hundreds of servers, like CERN,” Kanies says.
“It is relationships with vendors like Huawei that allow us to manage all the devices in the data centre, and this is critical to the success of the system.”
The premise of IT automation, he says, is to make rapid, repeatable changes and enforce the consistency of systems and devices – this lets you achieve better quality of service and faster time to realise the value of applications, Kanies explains.
“The ability to shrink the time to market from months and weeks to minutes and seconds is critical.”
At its core, Puppet is a simple language that lets IT managers decide how they want their network to look. “The great thing is that anyone can read and understand it; you can look at it and have pretty good idea of what it will do, and what impact it will have on the switch.
“It is simple enough that almost anyone can use it, but powerful enough to tackle almost any network problem.”
Puppet is currently used to manage almost all of all OpenStack clouds. “It does scale from a small solution to a complex infrastructure,” Kanies adds.
The relationship with Huawei is a critical part of our vision to have a single IP stack to manage all the devices in your data centre.