The advent of cloud computing has made it very easy for IT and DevOps to quickly spin up any variety of environment needed. From small individual boxes that a developer may need, to large and complex production datacenters. However, the ability to quickly and easily spin up environments, also opens up the risk of spinning out of control. Imagine spinning up one box after another, then going back and making changes to some of them…you very quickly lose sight of what you have. And so Infrastructure as Code was born.
The concept of first defining the environment you want to spin up as lines of code brought sound software practices to configuration management, and this idea has, by now, been widely adopted by most enterprise IT organizations. So it’s time to take Infrastructure as Code to the next level…
Infrastructure as Binaries
This is what the latest release of JFrog Artifactory 5.1 (and the complementary release of JFrog Mission Control 1.9) has done with the addition of support for Chef Cookbook repositories and Puppet repositories. DevOps organizations working hard on configuration management with Chef or Puppet now have many more capabilities at their fingertips:
Distribute and share configuration: Local Chef cookbook repositories (i.e. local “supermarkets”) and local Puppet repositories provide a central location to deploy and share Chef cookbooks and Puppet modules.
Security and Access Control: The multiple layers of security that Artifactory offers gives you fine-grained control over who can access different configuration packages.
Smart search: Extensive search capabilities, including AQL (Artifactory Query Language), make it quick and easy to find any specific cookbook or module you need.
Reliable and consistent access to packages: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel if someone has already uploaded a configuration you need to Chef Supermarket or Puppet Forge. You can proxy these public repositories in Artifactory with remote repositories and cache Chef cookbooks or Puppet modules that you download locally. This way your configuration can be deployed from your local network with no latency, and you’re not susceptible to network outages or any issue with the public repositories.
Checksum-based storage: Artifactory’s unique architecture that uses checksum-based storage means it is a single source of truth for your Chef cookbooks and Puppet modules. Not only does it prevent duplication of packages, it makes operations like copy, move and delete as instantaneous as simple database transactions.
Automation through REST API: With the extensive REST API offered by Artifactory, spinning up an environment can be a fully automated process triggered by different events.
Infrastructure as Code brought software best practices to configuration management. Artifactory 5.1 has now brought an additional layer of order and stability with sound repository management for Chef Cookbooks and Puppet Modules.