Managing Brownfield Environments with Puppet



How to go from unmanaged to managed with Puppet, with devops practices and existing tools where possible and with open source hackery and spackle everywhere else.


Everyone basically agrees now that server automation is a great idea, and automating greenfield environments is where people usually start, but rare is the organization that can afford to start again on their infrastructure. Even greenfield environments don’t stay greenfield for long, and your tools need to manage them from them on. Bringing these brownfield environments under control is especially critical as you move to a cloud or virtualized infrastructure.

Puppet has a lot of tools already available to help you bring the brownfield environment under control, but its extensibility and open source guts give you the ability to move beyond what ships with the project. This talk will walk you through what’s already present in Puppet, what you can do with the internals and API, and what practices to follow to iteratively bring your environment under control.

Speaking experience


  • Luke kanies portrait

    Luke Kanies

    Reductive Labs


    Luke has been publishing and speaking on his work in Unix administration since 1997. He has focused on tool development since 2001, developing and publishing multiple simple sysadmin tools and contributing to established products like Cfengine. He founded Reductive Labs in 2005 as a response to the stagnation in sysadmin tools, to be a vehicle for changing the way we interact with and manage our computers. He founded and is the project lead for Puppet, an open-source automation framework written in Ruby, and he is always researching and developing new ways to make it easier to talk to computers on your terms. He has presented on Puppet and other tools around the world, including at OSCON, LISA,, and