Windows admin added to Puppet Enterprise

DSC, WSUS modules give the Win admin *nix-like automation, apparently

Puppet Labs has noticed the deep, dark secret of enterprise IT: that there's still lots of Microsoft Windows out there that could do with a bit of automation.

The company has announced a couple of new members of its "Puppet Supported" module collection, one to draw DSC (Desired State Configuration) into the orbit of Puppet Enterprise, and the other for Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

Speaking to The Register, the company's senior product marketing manager Alanna Brown said Windows "is further behind in terms of automation," because where the various *nixes are text-scriptable, Windows relies on APIs.

That makes PowerShell a pretty demanding environment to use, she said, because the admin needs to know all about the target system – and in an enterprise, there's going to be a lot of different systems to know about.

Working with Microsoft's Jeffrey Snover (creator of PowerShell), Puppet's DSC module solves the problem by letting the admin "define and declare the infrastructure" in the module.

The admin can set tests like "I need to ensure that this file is present and this package is installed on all systems," and let Puppet Enterprise automate that check through the DSC module.

The module generates PowerShell types based on DSC's managed object format schema files, and can handle all of the base resources in PowerShell 5, as well as all of the DSC resources in Microsoft's PowerShell DSC resource kit.

Puppet's senior software engineer Ethan Brown told El Reg that means there are 16 resources "out of the box," with another 200 in the DSC resource kit.

The other module now shipping, WSUS, lets admins set their update policies through Puppet. The module covers client node configuration to direct them to the right update server; update scheduling and frequency; and update policy management. ®

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