Puppet provides fantastic tools for managing your nodes. In a stable, well-tuned environment, Puppet is omnipresent but completely invisible. Nodes build themselves. Applications configure themselves. Everything “just works.”
Unfortunately, most of us never get all the way to that perfectly stable state. There’s always a new deployment going on, a refactoring of an older project. There’s always something that happened you want to find details for.
And let’s be honest. Everyone likes big green lights and flashing red alarms. You just can’t get away from them. So let’s cover some ways to provide a dashboard for your Puppet nodes. We’ll start by one created by Puppet Labs themselves.
Puppet Dashboard provides a web interface to browse the results of Puppet runs on your client nodes. It stores node reports in a database and provides a web UI to review those changes.
In addition, the dashboard can be used as an ENC. It provides a web interface to group nodes and associate them with classes and parameters. This can be a user-friendly interface for node classification.
Puppet Dashboard was originally a Puppet Labs product, but it has since become a community-maintained project. Within Puppet Labs the dashboard evolved to become the commercial Puppet Enterprise Console, discussed in the next section.
Some people question why anyone would use Puppet Dashboard now that PuppetDB is available. I agree that PuppetDB ...