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As DevOps is increasingly being perceived as a cultural transformation, the need of the hour is a DevOps solution that addresses the contemporary IT challenges of not only handling high velocity organizations, but also facilitating sustained collaboration between groups. “DevOps makes one think of only ‘development’ and ‘operations.’ But it is really a movement focused on how we build and operate high-velocity organizations,” begins Barry Crist, CEO, Chef. Blending the hallmarks of innovation, speed, collaboration, and safety into a single DevOps platform, the Seattle, WA-based Chef offers an automation platform that transforms infrastructure into code. The company enables users to automate how they build, deploy, and manage their infrastructure, using Chef Server, a highly scalable foundation of the Chef automation platform.
By treating infrastructure as a code, Chef’s machine setup is described in a Chef recipe and collections of the same are stored in a cookbook. Though a cookbook should relate to a single task, it can also include a myriad of server configurations. A Chef Server stores each of the cookbooks, and as a new Chef client node checks in with the server, recipes are sent to assist the node on configuration. The customers then check to ensure that no changes have occurred and no alterations need to be made.
Chef uses martial arts as a metaphor for DevOps. Like in Kung Fu, DevOps is born from the experience of its practitioners. It centers on a practical philosophy, with a broader experience that is unique to each individual and applied to day to day situations. Practicing Chef style DevOps Kung Fu assists in building features iteratively, collecting metrics, managing risks, solving theory arguments with execution, placing applications and infrastructure through the same workflow.
Being at the center of DevOps universe, the sky is the limit and we want to go all the way
The DevOps workflow allows users to quickly and safely deploy alterations to applications and infrastructure. However, it is a tedious and time consuming process to implement the actual pipeline that moves the code from development to production. The pipeline must not only support technical challenges, but also stimulate the practices that support a DevOps workflow. Embracing the novel approach of automating DevOps practices, the firm’s recent addition to the platform—Chef Delivery—is designed based on the years of experience working with its enterprise customers. Chef Delivery can be used for both infrastructure and application code—proffering operations and development teams a common platform for developing, testing, and deploying applications.
With over 750 clients, Chef’s first wave of customers comprised of early tech innovators like Facebook, Yahoo, and Disney Online. In an example, it was noted that for many years, Facebook managed its systems with CFngine 2. With several individual clusters of over 10,000 nodes and a slew of constantly changing system configurations, the system was showing its age and the complexity was rising. After an extensive evaluation of the tools, Facebook built a system based on Chef. “Chef provided an automation solution flexible enough to bend our scale dynamics without requiring us to change our workflow. Chef offered top-flight support, earlier access to upcoming changes, and additional features,” explains Phil Dibowitz, Production Engineer, Facebook.
Focused on offering cutting edge solutions, Chef plans to expand globally in the coming years and helping companies around the world automate their DevOps workflow. “DevOps is the most exciting place in the entire IT market. Being at the center of DevOps universe, the sky is the limit and we want to go all the way,” concludes Crist.