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Puppet Enterprise OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Puppet Enterprise is the #9 ranked solution in our list of top Configuration Management tools. It is most often compared to Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager: Puppet Enterprise vs Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager

What is Puppet Enterprise?

Puppet Data Center Automation helps sysadmins automate configuration and management of machines and the software running on them. With our software, businesses can make rapid, repeatable changes and automatically enforce the consistency of systems and devices, across physical and virtual machines, on prem or in the cloud.

Puppet Enterprise is also known as Puppet.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Configuration Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Puppet Enterprise Customers

Los Alamos National Laboratory, GitHub, IP Commerce, Cedexis, Spiceworks, Server Density, Swisstopo, Chockstone, Constant Contact, NICS, Citrix

Puppet Enterprise Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Puppet Enterprise pricing:
  • "The main thing that we noticed when we switched from the enterprise version to the community version was the difference in cost — the infrastructure is pretty expensive."
  • "Depending on the size of the organization there is a point when the price of Puppet Enterprise should be lower. However, they provide really good functionality, features, and capabilities."

Puppet Enterprise Reviews

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BurhanShakil
Systems Engineer at Harvard University
Real User
Top 5
A set-it-and-forget-it management solution

Pros and Cons

  • "Anything that we manage through Puppet always runs perfectly."
  • "It's a bit of a pain point to make sure that everything works once we've upgraded it because Puppet has been evolving pretty fast."

What is our primary use case?

Until last year, we were using the enterprise version — Puppet 4 —; however, we recently switched to the open-source version — the community edition. We are using a product called Foreman as a front end for Puppet open source.

We used Puppet solely for Linux. At first, we had around 200 plus Linux servers that were managed by Puppet. It was like infrastructure as a code. If we had to build a new server or update a server, then we just had to commission a new server, apply Puppet control, and it would configure everything for us. That was one of our main use cases.

We also used it for compliance. We had some security products and policies that we needed to implement. This solution made sure that they're always there, that nobody was messing with them. Regarding security compliance, take CrowdStrike for example, it's supposed to be installed on every server — running and reporting properly. Puppet checks that a service is running every 15 minutes. If it's not, it starts it and if it's missing, it installs it. 

Although we started with Linux, we are moving towards adding Windows servers as well. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have a central code. If anyone makes any changes to the infrastructure, we'll get notified. We have around 10 people all managing the same infrastructure so there's always the chance of overstepping each other's work. When it's all centralized as a code, a single repository, it's easier to manage because everybody gets notified of what changes are being made.

What is most valuable?

Puppet has a big code repository hosted at puppet forge. Most of common tools and applications can be managed out of the box or by downloading the respective module from PuppetForge.

There are a couple of factory features included that I like. Anything that we manage through Puppet always runs perfectly. The ability to have infrastructure as a code is nice. Every two or three years we upgrade to the most recent version of Linux and build new machines. Afterward, it's just a matter of assigning roles; then we can forget about it and let it do its thing. 

What needs improvement?

The main thing that we noticed when we switched from the enterprise version to the community version was the difference in cost — the infrastructure is pretty expensive. We work in the education sector so we get really good discounts from vendors. Other universities, including Harvard, use a competing product called Ansible. The only reason they use Ansible is that they got it for a really good price. We tried to get an educator's discount with Puppet, but unfortunately, we couldn't reach an arrangement. That's why we had to switch to the community version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as stability is concerned, this solution is rock solid. We have a single server — it's called the  Puppet Server. We never have to think about having a cluster or backup server for it because it's so stable. That's one of the reasons why we kept using it instead of moving to Ansible. Moving to a different platform would require a massive learning process. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Puppet is pretty scalable — so far. Currently, we have 400 servers that are communicating with Puppet, pulling policies every 15 minutes. It gets sluggish sometimes, but a single server has been able to manage all of this. I think if we get to more than 500 VMs, we might have to add more servers. Currently, I think we have a very small setup. I think it's more than good for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support has been really good. We have used Puppet technical support as well as third-party support companies. We worked with a company called Bitlancer; they helped us with some of the code. Puppet can provide us with backend support for any service issues, but code is something that we have to work out with the community. The community is very strong as well. If we have any trouble with code, we can ask them in the forums — they're always helpful. I think the support is very good overall.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before we began using Puppet, everything was manual. Once we moved to Puppet, it opened up a completely new world of automated management, which was amazing. We could never go back. Now, on the Windows side, we use something similar called SCCM. Before that, we used group policies to manage our servers. It's not the same as Puppet because you can only manage things that are built into the OS. Installing software manager roles and configuring servers is difficult. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial deployment is very easy; it's actually one of the best. Even before Puppet, we used to have one script that we used to run. The server was commissioned and then we'd run the script. Now we don't even have to do that because it's part of our image. 

For this reason, any new servers that we build already have Puppet installed. As it's part of our template, all we have to do is push the template and the new server automatically starts communicating. It pulls everything that it needs from the Puppet server directly.

Deployment takes around 10 minutes per server. Our servers get the base policies first and then we can assign the role — the policies are based on their role. It takes roughly two to three runs through Puppet to get all of the policies in place. It sounds like a lot, but it's pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We have our own people that handle deployment. We have a team of 10 people who manage the infrastructure. They're called the infrastructure group. The IT team is called EIG — Enterprise Infrastructure Group. All of us pretty much continuously building servers and working on different use cases. 

Some maintenance is required. We have to update the infrastructure. It's a bit of a pain point to make sure that everything works once we've upgraded it because Puppet has been evolving pretty fast. From one version to another, a lot of things can break when we upgrade them.  Although it comes with tools that can be used to verify that the code is supported, even after verification, it still breaks sometimes. 

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen a return on our investment with this solution. Switching to Puppet Enterprise was a game-changer for us. It was totally worth it, but there is a reoccurring cost associated with it because you have to pay a yearly licensing fee. We got a lot out of it in that time period. When we began exploring in Windows side, we didn't know if we would see a return. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Puppet was a good product; we used it when we had 200 VMs. When we tried to add Windows servers to it, that's when we realized the price nearly doubled for us because we also have around 200 Windows servers. Puppet doesn't offer discounts for the education or non-profit sectors as pretty much every other product in the IT industry does. We get pro services from Microsoft at a very discounted price; and great offers, too — easily 60% off retail prices. Our managers tried to negotiate with Puppet asking if it was possible to add two hundred servers without doubling the price. Sadly we couldn't come to an agreement. 

That was unfortunate because Puppet Enterprise has some of the features that we are now missing. Now, some of the code that was provided by Puppet is no longer usable on the Puppet community edition. I think that's the only downside of moving to the community version.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Ansible — it's also good. The way Ansible works is a bit different than the way Puppet work. That's where we struggled with Ansible. Ansible is the kind of solution that only requires a one-time configuration. If we want to build a new server, we can easily build it with Ansible and Ansible will do all the work for us, but it's the compliance part that was missing from Ansible — it wasn't a built-in functionality. With Puppet, if you have built a server and someone changes something, within 15 minutes, Puppet will run and revert the changes. So, it's the compliance part that we like about Puppet. 

What other advice do I have?

Puppet is one of the best products available — even when it comes to the cloud. It's very popular. There are only two main cloud competitors when it comes to configuration management: Puppet and Chef. I think both are strong products. Puppet has been the king of the market. To anyone interested in using Puppet, I always recommend that you start with the community edition first. If you don't require enterprise features or management, then you can get it for free. If you need those features, then you can always upgrade.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give Puppet a rating of nine. I don't think that similar products have any strengths that Puppet doesn't have.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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DheerajMathur
Associate Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Versatile and stable with a simple configuration management profile

Pros and Cons

  • "The versatility is great."
  • "There's a lot of scope for enhancement on the DevSecOps side. They should definitely include features for compliance, for both the Linux and Windows side of the devices, as well as for network devices. Compliance is something they need to work on."

What is our primary use case?

Our use case is provisioning and then configuration management for on-prem servers primarily. We use it for applications as well. We were using Puppet for database configuration management. Basically,  we mainly use it for configuration management for on-prem servers of infrastructure and then use it a bit on the application side as well.

What is most valuable?

I like the way it keeps the configuration management profile simple. The programming in it is based on the stage-based coding in BYML, which is very comfortable for us to use. 

The organization of the overall product in terms of usage is very good. 

The number of modules available and the compatibility with a large number of devices makes it simple to use. It was very helpful in managing the server infrastructure on both Linux and Windows platforms, as well as on the network side on the Cisco switches. 

The versatility is great.

What needs improvement?

Puppet may be already working on this, however, it would be helpful if they made the product agent-less or making an option for agent-less. They may offer that in Puppet Bolt. I haven't explored that much. 

The compliance side needs work. Puppet doesn't have much in terms of dealing with compliance. Chef has inSpec. On Red Hat, we are getting Insight so that we can run some standard templates for compliance, like CIS or DSR, PCI, or something of that nature. We can use those templates to harden the environments and perform a security checklist within those environments.

There's a lot of scope for enhancement on the DevSecOps side. They should definitely include features for compliance, for both the Linux and Windows side of the devices, as well as for network devices. Compliance is something they need to work on.

It would be great if there was integration with some InfoSec tools like Lenovo.

The pricing of the solution is a bit high.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since about 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's quite a quite stable product. I actually never had to reach out to Puppet for support, as the product itself is quite stable and it never reached a situation where we were unaware of what was happening and needed the help of technical support. For the last two or three years, it's been perfectly fine. It's pretty much customizable and very stable. It's very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, we tried going with the two nodes for high availability purposes. In terms of clients, as far as the endpoint, you can add as many as you want. The versatility is also good. You can have different types of endpoints from the app ranging from application to the network devices, to Linux servers, to Windows servers. Everything can be added on. It's good. The scalability is fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've never had any issues with the product, therefore we've never had to reach out to technical support. I can't speak to their level of responsiveness or knowledge, however, I can say, for us, the solution works fine without any issues that require support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not too complex. You need to have a good vision about how you want to implement it across the organization and the use cases. If you have that in place, then you can implement it with relative ease. The installation of it is straightforward, so you just need to follow the documentation and the steps.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't use an integrator or consultant. We handled the implementation ourselves.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is a bit on the higher side. It can be done more at a more reasonable rate. However,  that depends on the size of the environment we are dealing with and the best deal we can get after negotiation. The pricing is something they can work on to reduce a bit.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers. We don't have a business relationship with Puppet.

I would recommend it to others who have large-scale environments. It's a very good product for that type of organization. For example, if you have 5,000 or 3,000 plus servers, it's definitely a go-to.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I'd rate the solution at an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Puppet, Microsoft, BMC and others in Configuration Management. Updated: September 2021.
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ITCS user
IT Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Overall robust,Out-of-the-box Scalability, Device Configuration State, Secure autonomous enrolment and helpful community support

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are the agent, high load balancing, and overall robustness and features."
  • "The solution has really complex code, you have to understand the Ruby language. However, once you know the code then you can move ahead without any problems."

What is our primary use case?

I use Puppet Enterprise in many projects that require a full control on the Device and make it compliant with the Security regulations of the Company. Puppet Enterprise provides an  autonomous Delivery solution and  agent-server Architecture that was really helpful on our case for Internet base Device Management.

How has it helped my organization?

Puppet has help us to make the Linux Clients compliant with the Security requirements, independently where are located and the Operative Linux System release.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features vs others:  Out-of-the-box Scalability, Role Based Access Control, Device State Control, Full Internet Based Solution, Secure and Autonomous Enrolment and a Robust Product with great community Support.

What needs improvement?

The solution has really complex code, you have to understand the Ruby language and customized Domain Scripting Language (DSL). However, once you know the code then you can move ahead without any problems. To improve the Development learning curve, new Puppet Development Kit should maybe include a Development interface with preloaded DSL Dictionary.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Puppet Enterprise for approximately nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable and provides high availability. You can adjust different ratios of coverage to reduce the time out between servers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is highly scalable out-of-the-box. It is able to be scaled vertically and horizontally, even use specific Federated Architecture to be able to have Regional coverage.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not used to technical because the online community has been very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were previously using the community version of Puppet and we switched to the Enterprise version. As well we have reviewed other leader solutions on the market, but were not able to be fully compliant as Puppet Enterprise is.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was really simple and straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Depending on the size of the organization there is a point when the price of Puppet Enterprise should be lower. However, they provide really good functionality, features, and capabilities.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we compared vs Ansible, Salstack and Chef

What other advice do I have?

My advice to those wanting to use this solution is to make sure they have the skills for it, the learning curve is slower than with others, but could provide a great solution and coverage.

I rate Puppet Enterprise an eight 9 of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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