So the Packt book (Puppet Reporting and Monitoring) focuses down on a couple of aspects of the Puppet Toolset, as a result this is a relatively short book with only a couple hundred pages. As an enterprise architect I am no expert Puppet practitioner, my knowledge of Ruby is high level (part of the reason I reviewed this book is I wanted to better understand the art of the possible in these areas). But despite this the book does an exceptionally good job defining a context and then explaining and showing what could be done, down to code examples. In doing so, the author Michael Duffy introduces a number of open source libraries that can be leveraged to provide dashboard views, presentation of report content whilst maximising the leveraging of the Puppet ecosystem such as the Puppet DB (an abstracted database with a REST + JSON API). The book goes beyond just implementation of monitoring and reporting but also engages with considerations such as deployment. without ‘boiling the ocean’ the book provides a very good illustrations of the art of the possible and provides plenty of references to source information so working how you want to implement you own solutions.
My only criticism of the book, and it is a minor one at that is a few more diagrams to help illustrate ideas (particularly in the first chapter when discussing deployment considerations) would help get ideas across easily.
On the strength of this book, I hope that Michael considers taking on other authoring projects as this has been one of the best written technical books I’ve read in sometime.