PuppetConf 2015 Recap


October 27, 2015 | DevOps | Wes Davis


During the first week of October I had the pleasure of attending my first PuppetConf in lovely Portland, Oregon.  Armed with plenty of swag, a smile, and a can’t-miss raffle prize (6 month memberships to the Bacon of the Month Club as well as the Craft Beer of the Month Club), I was ready for action.

An enthusiastic attendee asked, “Is this what you guys do? Beer & Bacon?!” After a back-and-forth about Conjur’s security orchestration platform for dynamic infrastructure, he wanted two things: “First, get me that info on Conjur’s Puppet, Jenkins, and Docker solutions. And then, make sure I win that beer & bacon.”

(Top 10 ‘why I should win the beer & bacon’ notes at the end.)

One more thing pulled new and veteran Puppeteers to the booth, the eye candy that is the revamped Conjur UI:


As one visitor put it, “My security folks are just gonna love that magenta.”

Once the UI-gazers & beer/bacon lovers learned that Conjur VP Josh Bregman was giving a talk on Using Puppet with a Secrets Server, the questions poured out:

  • “So, what exactly does Conjur do?”

– Conjur orchestrates privileged user and machine identity at scale.

  • “Do you integrate with other tools in addition to Puppet?”

– Yes

  • “What if we have LDAP and AD?”

– That’s fine. Conjur offers both LDAP & AD sync.

  • “Is Conjur open-source?”

– Conjur is an enterprise-grade platform.  We do have an open-source secrets project called Summon.

  • “How do I get to see it in action?”

– Request a live demo, and I’ll get in touch with you.

All our conversations confirmed something important: even for organizations sending people to PuppetConf, maturity varies widely. Puppet is both brand new and second nature; containers are in test almost everywhere, and even in production some places; better continuous integration and delivery are across-the-board goals. Throughout all of it, though, shone an eagerness for anything that helps manage credentials and keys more securely, and scales across HA environments better than boot-strapped, home-grown, or open-source tools. This strikes a particular note for us here at Conjur.

Increasingly gone seem the days when security, audit, and compliance were ‘someone’s problem.’ Agile development has really begun putting a face to that ‘someone,’ and everyone involved is beginning to realize that that face looks a lot like the one they see in the mirror.

The one I see needs to get back to pre-PuppetConf amounts of bacon – turns out, talking about that and beer repeatedly for three days apparently has one or two longer-lasting consequences. I’m sure that our winner will be able to show more restraint as he enjoys those 6 months of craft beer and bacon with the perfect shirt to wear while he does:


A great thanks to all those who came and talked Conjur, as well as to our fellow vendors, the conference team and, of course, Puppet Labs. Looking forward to sunny San Diego next year!

Now, for the Top 10 reasons people gave for why they should win the beer & bacon (even though they knew it wouldn’t help them do so):

10. “Thank You!” – presumptive close, nice

9. “Pik M3” – time-saver spelling

8. “I like hops” – hoppy bacon?

7. “Because you love me!!!” – even more presumptive close, nicer?

6. “Beets, Bears, and Battlestar Galactica.” – awesome alliteration

5. “BACONNNNNNN” – 7 N’s spell enthusiasm

4. “Beardo!” – missing verse from Ole McDonald

3. “I want t-shirt” – caveman-esque brevity

2. “Eh, anything you want to put in there!” – word for word what I said when he asked what to write.

1. “I’d really like to win because I am bacon and beer’s best fan on the planet, and since the recent discovery of water on mars, quite possibly the solar system.” – we’ll just have to ask Matt Damon.





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