This is a personal message of gratitude to all operations experts who toil day and night to ensure that applications, servers, hardware, networks and databases are up and working every single hour. In your silence hidden behind the canvas, know that you are impacting lives by making it all amazing for us. Keep doing what you do even though we have no idea where you are and how you do it to keep it all running smoothly. As users continue tapping on tabs, visiting websites, using applications to make their payments or chat with friends, you work behind the façade to ensure everything remains private, fast and stable. Salute to you all and it is my prayer that more people will get to appreciate the work you do with diligence, sacrifice and prowess.
In this celebratory article, we are going to ransack the toolbox of these experts and share two or three resources that aspiring professionals can use to make their future work easier, cleaner and less prone to errors. Two tools that we will be looking for specifically in this episode include Puppet and Chef. We shall begin by getting to know what they are, what they are used for, their importance and why you should consider getting to learn and leverage them in your day to day activities.
Chef: From Chef Website, Chef configuration management software eliminates manual efforts and ensures infrastructure remains consistent and compliant over its lifetime — even in the most complex, heterogenous, and large-scale environments. Users define configurations once and then can apply them across mixed fleets of Linux, Mac and Windows systems, regardless of OS version and architecture.
Puppet: Borrowed from Puppet Documentation Puppet is a tool that helps you manage and automate the configuration of servers. You write Puppet code and then let it do the rest. Puppet code, is declarative, which means that you describe the desired state of your systems, not the steps needed to get there. Puppet then automates the process of getting these systems into that state and keeping them there.
Chef and Puppet are at their core, tools designed to make the work of system administrators as easy as possible. Once every systems professional has had a fair share of the manual process of installing, updating and configuring systems, automation tools come in to take away the repeatable pain that computers can handle without complaining. This is exactly what Chef and Puppet were built to do. They were built to help System Admins configure, update, install and manipulate a cluster of servers from one source of truth. No more need to install applications one by one in each server. You let Puppet or Chef handle it all for you. That, I find amazing.
Well, we should be ready to dip our feet into the waters now and swim all the way to the end of the pool. The following are some of the books you can read and get good grasp of Chef or Puppet.
1. Puppet 5 Beginner’s Guide – Third Edition: Go from newbie to pro with Puppet 5
John Arundel, the author of this book, is a DevOps consultant. He helps people build world-class web operations teams and infrastructure and has great fun doing it. He was formerly a senior operations engineer at global telco Verizon, designing resilient, high-performance infrastructures for major corporations such as Ford, McDonald’s, and Bank of America.
Spread over twelve chapters, Puppet 5 Beginner’s Guide, Third Edition gets you up and running with the very latest features of Puppet 5, including Docker containers, Hiera data, and Amazon AWS cloud orchestration. Go from beginner to confident Puppet user with a series of clear, practical examples to help you manage every aspect of your server setup.
Whether you are a developer, a system administrator, or you are simply curious about Puppet, you will learn Puppet skills that you can put into practice right away. With practical steps giving you the key concepts you need, this book teaches you how to install packages and config files, create users, set up scheduled jobs, provision cloud instances, build containers, and so much more.
What You Will Learn
- Understand the latest Puppet 5 features
- Install and set up Puppet and discover the latest and most advanced features
- Configure, build, and run containers in production using Puppet’s industry-leading Docker support
- Deploy configuration files and templates at super-fast speeds and manage user accounts and access control
- Automate your IT infrastructure
- Use the latest features in Puppet 5 onward and its official modules
- Manage clouds, containers, and orchestration
- Get to know the best practices to make Puppet more reliable and increase its performance
Author John designed this resource for those who are new to Puppet, including system administrators and developers who are looking to manage computer server systems for configuration management. No prior programming or system administration experience is assumed which makes this resource a common go to book to get your knowledge served with simplicity and elegance. Click on the link below to get a fresh copy delivered in your doorstep. Let us get learning.
Puppet 5 Beginner's Guide - Third Edition: Go from newbie to pro with Puppet 5
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2. Infrastructure as Code: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Infrastructure as Code
If you are planning to introduce automation in your environment and you have no idea where to begin or what to do, Austin Young is here with great pride to set your stone rolling in the right direction. Author Austin Young attempts to explore all you need to know regarding Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC). He gives his best to assist you in making informed decisions, if you have plans to implement IaC.
As part of the DevOps practices, IaC offers the ability to manage, configure, and create complex infrastructures by means of executable code. When adopting IaC, the infrastructure is managed by defining the preferred state of the infrastructure in source files, and using a tool to help facilitate that. The source files consist of templates, policy definitions, configuration, code, and other related assets.
A better infrastructure delivery can help improve the important aspects of software delivery performance that drive business outcomes. These include time to restore service, change failure rate, lead time for changes, and deployment frequency.
What You will Learn:
- Understand how IaC works.
- Explore tools and services for updating running servers, building server templates, and provisioning servers.
- Learn about immutable infrastructure and the tools needed to implement it.
- Comprehend how to make an object reproducible.
- Discover the best practices for managing a dynamic infrastructure.
- And lots more…
For every beginner out there, this resource is a quick read, and hits the bulls eye straight away. It is much more preferred than large books, that just ramble on and on forever. Click below to get a feel of its taste especially if you are just beginning in this awesome landscape of DevOps.
Infrastructure as Code: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Infrastructure as Code
3. DevOps: Puppet, Docker, and Kubernetes: Practical recipes to make the most of DevOps with powerful tools
The four authors of this book (Thomas Uphill, John Arundel, Neependra Khare and Ke-Jou Carol Hsu) have filled this resource with this so much to get your mind busy with every facet you would wish to know about DevOps. From containerization, to Kubernetes and Puppet in the mix, it is one stop shop for all your DevOps requirements because you will get a lot of content, knowledge and skills that span different areas of modern expertise.
This Learning Path covers three broad areas: Puppet, Docker, and Kubernetes. This Learning Path is a large resource of recipes to ease your daily DevOps tasks. We begin with recipes that help you develop a complete and expert understanding of Puppet’s latest and most advanced features. Then we provide recipes that help you efficiently work with the Docker environment. Finally, we show you how to better manage containers in different scenarios in production using Kubernetes.
What You Will Learn
- Discover how to build high availability Kubernetes clusters
- Deal with inherent issues with container virtualization and container concepts
- Create services with Docker to enable the swift development and deployment of applications
- Make optimum use of Docker in a testing environment
- Create efficient manifests to streamline your deployments
- Automate Puppet master deployment using Git hooks, r10k, and PuppetDB
This Learning Path is for developers, system administrators, and DevOps engineers who want to use Puppet, Docker, and Kubernetes in their development, QA, or production environments. It assumes experience with Linux administration and requires some experience with command-line usage and basic text file editing. If you are good with the requirements of you are adventurous and would like to peep into this brilliant world, this is the text waiting for your perusal and readership. Click on the link below that leads you to Amazon where you will be able to look for more information as well as order your copy for personal collection.
DevOps: Puppet, Docker, and Kubernetes: Puppet, Docker, and Kubernetes: Practical recipes to make the most of DevOps with powerful tools
4. Mastering Puppet 5 Optimize enterprise-grade environment performance with Puppet
Covering content spread over twelve topics, the co-authors address a lot of stuff in this resourceful gold. We will give just a few highlights because there are more inside than will be stated here.
The core topics this book addresses are Puppet’s latest features and mastering Puppet Enterprise. You will begin by writing a new Puppet module, gaining an understanding of the guidelines and style of the Puppet community. Following on from this, you will take advantage of the roles and profiles pattern, and you will learn how to structure your code.
Next, you will learn how to extend Puppet and write custom facts, functions, types, and providers in Ruby, and also use the new features of Hiera 5. You will also learn how to configure the new Code Manager component, and how to ensure code is automatically deployed to (multiple) Puppet servers.
What you will learn
- Solve problems using modules and the roles and profiles pattern
- Extend Puppet with custom facts, functions, types, and providers
- Use Hiera 5 and Code Manager/r10k to separate code from data
- Continuously integrate your code using Jenkins, Git and automated testing
- Use exported resources and the new Puppet Orchestration features
- Explore Puppet Discovery features and their use
- Troubleshoot various parts of the Puppet Enterprise infrastructure
- Scale up and scale out Puppet infrastructure using various techniques
Ryan Russell-Yates, and Jason Southgate in this book provide a fantastic dive in automation using Puppet. Their understanding of the components, including best practices and real world application, is not only refreshing but provides a good ground to learn and master what you need about Puppet. Their repertoire of skills is laid out as clearly as they could and they provide it all in Amazon. You can find it in the link below where you can order and find out more information about it.
Mastering Puppet 5: Optimize enterprise-grade environment performance with Puppet
5. Puppet 5 Essentials
Before we delve into the main business about this book, let us get acquainted with the authors who put their heads together to come up with this content that beginners as well as experienced Administrators will relish.
Martin Alfke is the co-founder and CEO of example42 GmbH. He has been a Puppet and automation enthusiast since 2007 and has delivered the official Puppet training in Germany since 2011.
Felix Frank on the other hand has used and programmed computers for most of his life. He has spent 6 years of his 11-year career as a Puppet power user. In parallel, he spent about two years intensifying his studies through ongoing source code contributions and active participation in several conferences.
The authors made this book in such a manner that you get you started quickly with Puppet and its tools in the right way. It highlights improvements in Puppet and provides solutions for upgrading. It starts with a quick introduction to Puppet in order to quickly get your IT automation platform in place. Then you learn about the Puppet Agent and its installation and configuration along with Puppet Server and its scaling options. The book adopts an innovative structure and approach, and Puppet is explained with flexible use cases that empower you to manage complex infrastructures easily.
What you will learn
- Understand declarative configuration management
- Make use of GIT-based deployment workflows
- Extend Factor with secure elements
- Create modular and reusable Puppet code
- Extend your code base with publicly available Puppet modules
- Separate logic from data by using Hiera
- Understand and develop Puppet Roles and Profiles
This third edition by Martin and Felix provided the essentials of Puppet and automation without wasting much time with irrelevant information. You will jump to the details as soon as possible so that you can start implementing this awesome automation tool in your environment. Get the whole picture after ordering this resource from Amazon on the link provided below.
Puppet 5 Essentials - Third Edition: A fast-paced guide to automating your infrastructure
6. Learning Chef: A Guide to Configuration Management and Automation
Most readers of this book by Mischa Taylor, and Seth Vargo will find it a little bit outdated but they will still get a good grasp of this great Ruby-based automation tool.
The authors promise that you will get a hands-on introduction to Chef, the configuration management tool for solving operations issues in enterprises both large and small. Ideal for developers and sysadmins new to configuration management, this guide shows you to automate the packaging and delivery of applications in your infrastructure. You will be able to build (or rebuild) your infrastructure’s application stack in minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.
After teaching you how to write Ruby-based Chef code, this book walks you through different Chef tools and configuration management concepts in each chapter, using detailed examples throughout. All you need to get started is command-line experience and familiarity with basic system administration.
What you will learn
- Configure your Chef development environment and start writing recipes
- Create Chef cookbooks with recipes for each part of your infrastructure
- Use Test Kitchen to manage sandbox testing environments
- Manage single nodes with Chef client, and multiple nodes with Chef Server
- Use data bags for storing shared global data between nodes
- Simulate production Chef Server environments with Chef Zero
- Classify different types of services in your infrastructure with roles
- Model life stages of your application, including development, testing, staging, and production
Though a little bit outdated as far as Chef the application is concerned, the concepts shared therein are valid and full of information that can be easily transferred to the latest edition of Chef. Get this guide about configuration management to catch a glimpse of automation concepts and better management of your infrastructure. To have this view, click on the link below which will take you to Amazon and you can find out more as well as order a copy for yourself.
Learning Chef: A Guide to Configuration Management and Automation
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7. Customizing Chef: Getting the Most Out of Your Infrastructure Automation
Once you have had a little bit of experience with Chef or even more, time will come when you would like to customize it to fit your personal needs or the unique needs of your organization. It is at this juncture that you will need a book like this that specializes in disseminating such information, ideas and skills.
With this practical guide, you will examine the internal structure of this configuration management technology and learn where, how, and why to add custom code.
What you will take home
- Explore Chef’s typical setups and why you would want to customize them
- Learn the Ruby concepts needed to write customizations
- Customize the Chef run process and explore Chef’s internal classes
- Gain more insight into your Chef runs through handlers and Chef’s event stream
- Level up your Chef recipes by writing your own resources and providers
- Create and extend plugins for Knife—Chef’s command-line tool
- Interact with the Chef API to write scripts and reports
- Learn how to contribute customizations to the Chef community
Author Jon Cowie not only provides code snippets and practical advice for customizing Chef, but also helps you determine case by case whether it is in your best interests to customize at all. If you have intermediate-to-advanced Chef experience, this book is indispensable. Click below to get your game upgraded by having your own copy from Amazon.
Customizing Chef: Getting the Most Out of Your Infrastructure Automation
8. Chef Cookbook
Hailing from Germany, author Matthias Marschall, is a lean and agile engineering lead, he is passionate about continuous delivery, infrastructure automation, and all things DevOps.
He pours his experience, skills and advice for everyone who would wish to learn about the real fleshy details of Chef in this guide. As you can see from the list below, Matthias shares a broad range of skills and areas of expertise for the interested readers. All the way from testing your cookbooks to load balancing your applications
What you will learn
- Test your cookbooks with Test Kitchen
- Manage cookbook dependencies with Berkshelf
- Use reporting to keep track of what happens during the execution of chef-client runs across all of the machines
- Create custom Ohai and Knife plugins
- Build a high-availability service using Heartbeat
- Use a HAProxy to load-balance multiple web servers
Chef cookbook can be described as those one of those books that provide a wholistic view into a given subject. Matthias will take you through a fantastic journey whose destination is a multi-disciplinary skillset and a wide range of topics for your to explore and get get acquainted in. Click below to order a copy for yourself from Amazon.
9. Mastering Chef Provisioning
Briefly, author Earl Waud is a virtualization development professional with more than 10 years of focused industry experience, creating innovative solutions for hypervisor provisioning, management, and automation.
The author does not assume that the reader has any depth of knowledge with in Chef. He covers all of the basics right away so that you can get up and running quickly.
With the help of this book you can expand your knowledge of Chef and implement robust and scalable automation solutions. You can automate and document every aspect of your network, from the hardware to software, middleware, and all your containers. You will become familiar with the Chef’s Chef Provisioning tool. You will be able to make a perfect model system where everything is represented as code beneath your fingertips.
Make the best possible use of your resources, and deliver infrastructure as code, making it as version able, testable and repeatable as application software
What you will learn
- Use best practices to describe your entire infrastructure as code
- Automate and document every aspect of your network, from the hardware of individual nodes to software, middleware, and all containers and clouds
- Create a perfect model system
- Make the best possible use of your resources and avoid redundancy
- Deliver on the promise of Infrastructure as Code
- Scale with ease by properly provisioning their infrastructure
- Use the best Test Driven Development methodologies
Earl provides this book as a great resource to begin using Chef immediately. It will give you enough information that such that you can quickly create and apply what you have learned to a new solution. Many reviewers agree that this is an excellent book for anyone who wants a roadmap to deploy Chef, at scale, to support production applications in an enterprise environment. For more information, a link has been provided below for you. Whilst there, you can also order a copy for yourself and it will be delivered custom to Amazon.
A career in System Administration, Systems Engineering, Infrastructure Engineering and many more are always flavoured with the ingredients of automation. It is the only thing that will make the work of such professionals beautiful, enjoyable, scalable, sustainable and less prone to errors. Puppet and Chef are some of the tools that every beginner and advanced professional can embrace to get their work dance in rhythm and harmony. We hope the resources shared above are useful and will make you venture into automation with high levels of success.
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