(This is part 1 of a multi part series of posts about cool things you can do with Hiera v5 on modern Puppet versions)
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about a new feature added in Hiera v5, which is yaml file globbing.
Hiera is the data access layer for Puppet, and it is organized into hierarchies. When Puppet calls lookup(), it looks through each layer in the hierarchy, in order, and attempts to retrieve the value for a key from the layer. When it can’t find a key in the current layer, it continues on to the next one down, one at a time, until it finds a match.
Here is an example of a common hierarchy setup. We have a layer for per-node data, we have a layer for hostgroups, a layer for osfamily (eg ‘Windows’ vs ‘RedHat’), and a common layer.
Each file is explicitly specified in the hierarchy. But this leads to a problem with organization. What if we want to keep all of the GitLab settings in common.yaml together? or the Nginx settings? We could separate them in the yaml files with headers and whitespace. We could also try to use separate files, but because each file in each layer is specified in the file, we have to explicitly add a new layer for each file.
A Better Way
This is where globbing comes in.
If we replace paths with globs, we can use * and ? as wildcards to the filename. Puppet will automatically expand that into a real file when lookup runs. Now we can have a set of Hiera data files like this:
And all of our GitLab settings, Nginx settings, and NTP settings are neatly organized into their own files. We can do this on any hierarchy layer we want, so we can even change the per-node data to match this scheme. In this way data can be stored in nodes/mom.test/gitlab.yaml or nodes/mom.test/nginx.yaml instead of all sharing nodes/mom.test.yaml
Dylan is a software engineer at Onyx Point, and brings over
10 years of software engineering experience, across a wide
variety of industries and spaces. He currently leads the
commercial SIMP team, and is responsible for the day to day
development of SIMP Enterprise Edition and SIMP Lite Edition,
and conceptualized and spearheaded the SIMP Console.
At Onyx Point, our engineers focus on Security, System
Administration, Automation, Dataflow, and DevOps consulting for
government and commercial clients. We offer professional
services for Puppet, RedHat, SIMP, NiFi, GitLab, and the other
solutions in place that keep your systems running securely and
efficiently. We offer Open Source Software support and
Engineering and Consulting services through GSA IT Schedule 70.
As Open Source contributors and advocates, we encourage the use
of FOSS products in Government as part of an overarching IT
Efficiencies plan to reduce ongoing IT expenditures attributed
to software licensing. Our support and contributions to Open
Source, are just one of our many guiding principles
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