I recently switched from puppet daemon to mcollective commander : it kicks the “stuck in outer space puppet daemon” feature out of the way and brings me nice features (as load control). To do so I deployed the puppetd agent over my boxes.
As most of the sysadmins say : “if it’s not monitored, it doesn’t exist” I had placed a script in cron based on the puppetlast script to report by mail once a day which hosts had not checked in during the last 30 minutes. This method had 2 serious flaws : it runs only once a day (I hate being flooded by mails) and test machines keep nagging you until you remove the yaml files on the puppetmaster. Talking with Volcane on #mcollective I discovered that the agent was able to report when the client last run, so I decided to use this to check my puppet runs freshness with a nagios plugin.
Good bye cron job, say hello nagios.