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Puppet adds new tools, partners for easier IT automation

The IT automation platform is making Puppet Discovery generally available to help companies figure out what to automate first.

Puppet on Wednesday is announcing new tools and partners designed to make IT automation easier to implement, as well as more pervasive.

That starts with helping customers figure out exactly what applications and processes they can automate.

"Most of our customers don't know what they have across their entire IT estate," Omri Gazitt, Puppet's chief product officer, said to ZDNet. "Their worlds are typically hybrid and messy... It makes it hard to figure out where to even start their automation journey."

With that in mind, Puppet Discovery, which was shipped in preview mode late last year, will be generally available in mid-May. The subscription-based product scans traditional, cloud, and container-based infrastructure and applications to find out what can be automated. Customers can use a dashboard to track what Puppet Discovery finds and what it recommends automating.

The ongoing scanning is useful, Gazitt explained, because "VMs come and go all the time on your cloud."

"That's almost the purpose of the cloud, to give you that agility to start IT on demand," he continued. "The problem is you can quickly lose track of everything you have."

In addition, Puppet on Wednesday is announcing updates in the latest version of Puppet Enterprise that help customers automate infrastructure faster. For instance, it includes an update to Puppet Tasks, the feature that lets users execute ad hoc actions -- so a customer could not only use Puppet to install a database but to also back it up or restore it as needed. Now, Puppet Tasks offers role-based access control, giving fine-grained control over who can run tasks across nodes groups. It also now includes Puppet Bolt Task Plans, which enable customers to run a set of tasks in an orchestrated fashion, against hundreds of thousands of Puppet Enterprise nodes.

Meanwhile, in June, Puppet will roll out Continuous Delivery for Puppet Enterprise, unifying the tools and interface that ops teams and dev teams use to build, test and promot Puppet code.

Puppet on Wednesday is also announcing new partnerships with Barracuda, Cisco, Microsoft and Nutanix. Its collaboration with Microsoft includes the introduction of Puppet's new auto-generated Azure ARM (Azure Resource Manager) module, which helps customers adopt and manage new Azure services as soon as they're available. As new Azure services and resources are added to ARM, the module will automatically be updated to include them.

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