My very first limited exposure to Puppet was surprisingly at an Apple Event about mobile device management. The very last presentation of the event was from a Technology Director of school in Ohio. The technology director was actually leaving the school district to move out to Portland and work for Puppet Labs. While I was sitting there listening to his presentation, at the time I had no idea what Puppet was, I was thinking to myself how does this tie into device management.
Then he flashed the goods.
He installed java on 1,000 Mac’s
My mind was blown. The fact that there was actually a good software utility to manage software for Mac is great.
Running a Windows network you can push most software installs through Group Policy. At work that’s how we push(ed) out software. Often though we have to force a group policy update and the client machines normally take about 2 or 3 restarts before it finally installs the software. Even after that we still get issues with the software not installing correctly. So the department line was “Do a couple more restarts and if it still doesn’t install put in another ticket and we will manually install it”. For the most part I was ok with that response.
So I did a lot more research on Puppet and how it can help my department better manage our devices/desktops across the district. The results of that research will be posted in a three part series. I’ll go over installing the Puppet Master (server) and installing the Puppet agent on Windows XP clients. Some of the common mistakes when running Puppet with Windows. I’ll also demonstrate how to push out software to Windows machines and some other great stuff that can be done with Puppet.
More to come….