Today at OpenStack Summit, Puppet Labs announced a set of modules for deploying and maintaining the open source private cloud system OpenStack. The free modules will work with both the free version of Puppet and with Puppet Enterprise. Puppet already supports Amazon Web Services and VMware, so an open source alternative is a welcome addition.
As to whether there’s actually a demand from customers for OpenStack support, Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies told me “We’ve been involved in OpenStack since the beginning, but only in recent months have customers come to us asking about production environments.”
The OpenStack modules were built by Puppet Labs along with other OpenStack partners Cisco, Red Hat, Morphlabs, and eNovance.
Another option for deploying OpenStack is Crowbar, a tool open sourced by Dell that includes an implementation of Chef, Puppet’s main competitor. Crowbar is designed to make it easy to deploy OpenStack on a rack of servers that don’t even have operating systems installed yet. “We’re pretty complementary to Crowbar,” Kanies told me. “We’re less about the bare metal. Once you have the OS, how do you build, install and manage? We’re about the life of the install.” Kanies says Rackspace uses Puppet to manage Rackspace Cloud, which he believes is pretty good validation of Puppet in an OpenStack environment.