Review - Puppet 3 Beginner's Guide

I got Puppet 3 Beginner's Guide as I wanted to learn some of the open source configuration management tools. I do not really like Ruby, so i thought a beginners guide could be more suitable for me. In summary i think the book is pretty good and i think it is a good read for puppet noobs like myself :)

The thing i really liked about the book was the no-nonsense approach. I liked the examples and i think explanations were quite detailed and right to the point. Book is really focused and there is no waffling of any sort.

I actually went through some of the examples in the book and implemented them to see how it all works and if it works. I did not hit any road blockers so i assume book does not contain errors and manages to explain things pretty well.

The only issue i had with the book is that it does not cover remote server management. I am not sure if using git to periodically pull configuration changes and apply them on "random" schedule is the best idea. I was hoping to learn about puppet master and more detailed control over the servers. If i was to redeploy my servers i dont want the deployment process to impact my customers in any way so i would prefer a synchronized deployment model where you take servers out of rotation (from load balancer or virtual ip) and upgrade them in batches or one after another.

Something that i might have missed is how does puppet actually apply changes and how does it treat failures. Book does not explain that and i would feel better knowing if changes are rolled back in case of errors or how can you make the puppet apply process more robust and failure tolerant.

Finally i wish book covered some best practices on how to structure your deployments to guard yourself from common mistakes. I am sure there are many pitfalls as configuration management and software dependencies are pretty tough problems.

In general, I liked the book and I am happy to recommend it to anyone who wants to learn basics of puppet. I have not seen puppet before checking out the book and I got off the ground in a matter of one weekend. I think that is a good result.

Final score 8/10


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Artur Ejsmont

Hi, my name is Artur Ejsmont,
welcome to my blog. I am a passionate software engineer living in Sydney and working for Yahoo!

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