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Puppet Labs Teams With Networking & Storage Vendors

Puppet Labs, a supplier of IT automation software, launched its Puppet Supported Program on Tuesday. Through the certification program, the company is partnering with Cisco, EMC, Arista Networks, Brocade, Cumulus Networks, F5, Huawei, and NetApp to integrate its software with networking and storage devices.

The idea is to extend Puppet Labs' software beyond servers to enable automation of networking and storage devices. Puppet Labs, a key player in the DevOps movement, sells a commercial version of the open-source Puppet software called Puppet Enterprise.

Companies using Puppet and deploying applications in virtualized and cloud environments can run into bottlenecks with networking and storage resources, Puppet Labs CIO Nigel Kersten told us. "It's not just the fact there isn't as much automation in the network and storage space, but it requires communication across organizational boundaries." DevOps provides a common language for communication across organizational silos.

Puppet Labs already provides integrated functionality through partners such as Cisco, but it wanted to implement a rigorous development process, so it created the certification program, Kersten said.

The integration is helping out networking teams by streamlining laborious tasks, particularly VLAN interface management, he said. Puppet is accessible and doesn't require someone be a programmer to use it.

"What does require some change is moving to a more declarative and automation mindset. It's less about picking up technical skills and more about learning to work in a world where you're more collaborative with other groups that connect to you and being focused much more on automation than manual processes," he said. "We think that's an inexorable march. The same thing happened in the system administration space."

Puppet Labs recently released its 2014 State of DevOps report (registration required), which surveyed more than 9,200 IT pros from 110 countries. The study found that, for the second year in a row, organizations are rapidly adopting DevOps, and that DevOps practices such as version control and continuous delivery improve IT performance. In turn, strong IT performance provides companies with a competitive advantage.

The survey also found that an organizational culture of cross-functional collaboration and shared responsibilities correlates with high organizational performance. Moreover, DevOps practices increase employee satisfaction, which is the top predictor of organizational performance, according to the study.