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The shortest path to better software.
The shortest path to better software.

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Glenn Sarti writes: The Puppet PowerShell module is one of the most popular modules for Windows administrators on the Puppet Forge. How popular, you ask?

* 2014 - 7,762 downloads
* 2015 - 79,241 downloads
* 2016 - 10,476,787 downloads!!

One reason for the large increase in downloads is the speed improvements we made to the module. (Of course, it was also the first new version for a while, and much anticipated.) In this blog post, I'll walk through the improvements we made to the PowerShell module, and how we increased its speed.



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+Verne Lindner writes: One of Puppet’s core features is its ability to maintain your infrastructure in exactly the state you define for it. Describe the configurations you want in a Puppet manifest just one time, and Puppet will apply and maintain those settings for as long as you wish.

This ability to automate configuration management offers you significant advantages when it comes to security, because automated configuration management lets you broadly enforce system rules, plus get an automatically generated audit trail so you can report on compliance.

This only works, however, for resources you manage with Puppet. What happens if you need to make sure that none of your nodes are running a vulnerable package, and you manage that particular package on only a portion of the affected nodes? For all its power, Puppet cannot maintain enforcement of a configuration on any package that you haven't explicitly told Puppet to manage.

Puppet can, however, report on these packages, as long as a Puppet agent is installed on the node hosting the package. In this blog post, I’ll show you how Puppet Enterprise’s reporting tools can help you track and manage package vulnerabilities, even on nodes where you aren’t managing the vulnerable package with Puppet. 

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Sanjay Mirchandani writes: Can a successful CIO become a CEO? This is a thing CIOs talk about, and as a former CIO who is now in the CEO role at a growing automation software company, people have been asking me about the path I took to get here.

I have always felt that, to be effective as a CIO, you must focus on the business in much the same way a CEO does. Especially today, when every company needs to behave like a successful software company, the CIO is uniquely positioned to develop, grow and mature the qualities and skills that make for successful leadership of any enterprise. In fact, any IT leader who wants to take on a business role should take advantage of the opportunities they have in their role — and in this moment — to uplevel their skills, responsibilities and experience.

Let's look at what it takes to be a successful business leader. To succeed as CEO, you must:

* Enhance stakeholder value. Stakeholders are your shareholders, your employees, your technical and business partners, your customers. You have to make their relationship with your company a profitable, mutually beneficial one, manage their expectations, and deliver on these expectations.
* Set the strategy and direction for the company. You have to set the goals, and have a clear vision for how the company will get there. You need to have a full understanding of the risks and pitfalls along the way, and a good idea of how to avoid them.
* Communicate. You must be able to convey your vision and the company's strategy to all your stakeholders, and to the wider public. You must be persuasive, and convince people the company is on the right path. You must also exemplify open, clear and effective communication, inspiring others in the company to communicate skillfully, too.
* Operate with excellence. A company that doesn't practice operational excellence can't compete effectively, can't grow well, and ultimately can't survive. Conversely, operational excellence, coupled with a sound strategy, is a quiet, unglamorous but powerful driver of success.
* Attract, hire, retain and motivate your people. It can't be said too often: If you're a knowledge-based company — and what company isn't today? — your most valuable assets go home every night. A successful CEO has to create the conditions for recruiting and retaining the best people. And not just the best in your particular field or industry, but the best people sales, finance, human resources, legal affairs, IT operations, customer service, marketing, distribution...every functional area you need to run a successful company.



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+Omri Gazitt writes: As organizations move to the cloud, they are revisiting their core assumptions about how they deliver software. Cloud platforms offer APIs for provisioning and management of resources, making it far easier to automate the application delivery process.

Organizations that are moving to the cloud without taking advantage of this automation opportunity are missing the essential point: The cloud represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to increase agility, increase safety, squeeze out manual costs, and shift as much of the operational burden as possible to the vendor. These are all core parts of the DevOps philosophy, and are all made easier because cloud platforms are built for automation. 

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Puppet training is absolutely vital for any team that wants to use IT as a competitive advantage. For individual people, gaining Puppet skills is a great way to make yourself more hireable and promotable.


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For simple use cases, putting data into Hiera isn't necessary. But once you reach a certain level of complexity, Hiera becomes extremely useful. Gary Larizza defines those "certain levels of complexity" explicitly in this blog post, along with the pros and the cons for each method of expressing data within your profiles.


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The term "digital transformation" is everywhere these days, from boardrooms to standup meetings, not to mention technology and business publications. And for achieving whatever digital transformation your particular business needs to provide a better customer experience, DevOps is now widely understood to howy you get there.

While there's plenty of advice for how to create DevOps processes within an organization, executives really shouldn't be poking around in the weeds of processes like continuous integration and continuous delivery. There's so much more a leader can do to move digital transformation forward — but it's not always obvious what that "more" is.

That's why we've published our new report, 2017 State of DevOps: What Every CIO Should Know. Drawing from our most recent DevOps survey, we've found that leaders play a critical role in the success of any DevOps initiative, and that organizations with the most transformational leaders also have high-performing IT teams. These teams have:

- 46 times more frequent code deployments.
- 440 times faster lead time from commit to deploy.
- 96 times faster mean time to recover from downtime.
- 5 times lower change failure rate (changes are 1/5 as likely to fail).
- Significantly more of their work automated, and much less of it is done manually.

All that adds up to much faster delivery of higher-quality software that business depends on.


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+Eric Sorenson writes: The just-released Puppet 5 Platform offers awesome performance and scalability boosts, unified versioning, and cool new features. Puppet 5 standardizes version numbering for all the major Puppet components (Puppet Agent, PuppetDB, Puppet Server) to 5, as a first step towards delivering these components as a unified platform. It also includes Hiera 5 with eyaml as a built-in capability; provides clean UTF-8 support; and moves network communications to fast, interoperable JSON. 

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We've distilled the new DevOps report findings that matter most to CIOs and IT leaders in our new report, 2017 State of DevOps: What Every CIO Should Know. Find out:

How (and why) the success of any DevOps or digital transformation initiative depends on transformational leadership.

The impact DevOps practices have on recruiting and employee retention.
Which practices enable high-performing teams to spend more of their valuable time developing new features and services.

How DevOps practices drive better throughput and stability.

Which questions every CIO should be able to answer about how your teams are working, how things can be improved — and how you can help.

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If you're managing Windows systems, you'll love the updated, performance-enhanced and more convenient new module for IIS. But wait, there's more: we had 34 new module releases on the Puppet Forge in May & June.

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