[csw-users] Puppet in an OpenCSW environment

Romeo Theriault romeotheriault at opencsw.org
Mon Feb 25 21:12:18 CET 2013

On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 9:05 AM, Jonathan Craig <jcraig at opencsw.org> wrote:

> I'm interested in using puppet to begin managing our server
> infrastructure and looking to the community for insight.  We currently
> have 450 servers (250 Solaris 10/11, 50 SUSE, 150 RedHat) to manage.

I currently manage about 140 Solaris (mostly 10) boxes and 250 RHEL boxes
with Puppet.

> The questions I'm grappling with are:
> 1) Puppet 2.7 vs 3.0

I'm currently on 2.7 but if you're starting fresh I'd go with 3.x. You'll
have to upgrade to it anyway at some point. While the number is a big jump
there's not actually that much of a big difference between the two. (i.e.
It's not like you'll be running a bunch of experimental features)

> 2) Free vs Commercial

We use the free version with Foreman (http://theforeman.org/) as the
frontend web ui. Been working very well.

3) OpenCSW vs GEM install

I installed the puppet deps with opencsw packages but decided to manage the
puppet and facter packages via 'gem' packages. This way I don't have to
deal with opencsw package upgrade dependencies as much.

> 4) Should I run the master on Solaris or use RedHat with the
> expectation that it will be better supported within the Puppet
> community

I'd go with RHEL. You'll get better community support and I'm sure it's
been more widely tested.

> So, is anyone using the puppet/puppet3 CSW module; in production?

Not sure what you mean by puppet CSW module. Do you mean pkgutil puppet
package? Or the pkgutil puppet package provider? I don't use the opencsw
puppet package but I'm sure it works fine. We do maintain our own local
pkgutil repo and also use the pkgutil package provider. Works well.

> How do you layout your directories
>   ? - Use CSW standards (/etc/opt/CSW, /var/opt/CSW, ...)
>   ? - Use standard puppet directories (/etc, /var, ...)

We use CSW standard dirs. /opt/csw  and make some symlinks for puppet,
facter, etc... into /usr/sbin, /usr/bin.

> Are you managing Solaris 11 Boxes?

Nope, moving off of solaris onto RHEL.

>   ? - What package providers do you use?
>     ? - pkgutil
>     ? - pkg
>     ? - sun
>     ?? - blastwave
>     ?? - sunfreeware
>   ? - any gotchas you know of
>   How do you handle your internal packages (Business apps, admin
> scripts/tools)?
>     ? - package them with platform specific packaging and manage with
> standard providers
>     ? - use some other packaging and/or provider

We use a combination of packaging them into pkg packages or just pushing
the scripts out.

If you're starting from scratch in the configuration management area and
don't have windows boxes to manage I'd recommend you take a look at Ansible
(http://ansible.cc/) which is much simpler than puppet and which we're
slowly moving towards (from puppet). It has good solaris support (still a
few things missing for solaris) and very good RHEL support. Also worth a
consideration before you choose is saltstack (
https://github.com/saltstack/salt). (I maintain the opencsw packages of
it.... which I need to update to the latest version soon.)

Anyway, good luck. Email directly if you want to talk more about any of

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