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Automated infrastructure management expert and darling of the DevOps movement Puppet Labs has announced a partnership with Arista Networks, a developer of software-defined network switches.

The deal will see popular open source Puppet tool integrated into Arista’s Extensible Operating System (EOS). At the same time, an Arista EOS module will appear on Puppet Forge - a repository of modules written by the community for both free and enterprise versions of Puppet.

Puppet Labs says the partnership helps extend its influence beyond servers and into the surrounding data center. It also enables additional Software-Defined Networking (SDN) capabilities on Arista’s hardware.

Open up, network!

Puppet can handle common server management tasks automatically, freeing data center staff to focus on strategic goals. Now, the same level of automation can be extended to networking equipment, further reducing the time necessary to provision new applications and services. According to Gartner, using SDN can reducing typical application turnaround times by as much as 80 percent.

The new Arista module is built on Puppet Labs’ NetDev standard for networking hardware, which enables the software to manage different types of kit with little to no modification.

Under the terms of the partnership, Puppet Labs will provide full support for the Puppet agent to its paying customers, while Arista will support the Puppet module.

“Extending our leadership in IT automation to networking devices like Arista switches allows traditionally separate teams to work more closely, enabling DevOps practices like cross-functional collaboration,” said Nigel Kersten, CIO of Puppet Labs.

“Now multiple teams can define all the necessary changes that need to be made across multiple servers and network topologies in Puppet, fully automating the deployment when ready. This further reduces human error, increases deployment speed and confidence, and gives far greater visibility into deployments.”

The deal could help Puppet Labs better compete against its rival Chef – which recently announced a partnership with Microsoft and its Azure cloud service.