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Chef Automation Platform

Chef uses the abstract terms from a restaurant or kitchen to describe its configuration automation capabilities. Using phrases like cookbooks and recipes to identify the processes used in the DevOps lifecycle, Chef delivers a powerful platform that turns infrastructure into code. It supports all deployment types, including cloud, on-site, or hybrid environments.

As a Configuration Management Tool, Chef creates recipes that contain the infrastructure definitions required to provision resources on servers that host the applications and utilities a company uses. Cookbooks group recipes together for easier management and they contain all the required states, services, packages and files to be written for each node in the network.

Chef Company

Adam Jacob developed Chef (initially named Marionette) in order to automate end-to-end server deployment tasks. Companies like Facebook, Amazon Web Services, and HP Public Cloud (among many others) now use Chef to maintain large groups of servers.

Chef has also announced in 2019 that all the products are open source under the Apache 2.0 license. You can use previously modified packages of the different technology stacks from The Chef Supermarket, as well as customize the tools for your company in-house using the Ruby language.

Chef’s Suite of Products

Although Chef is available bundled as an Enterprise Automation Stack, four main products are offered to accomplish the different DevOps Lifecycle tasks. The products deliver automation capabilities for security, infrastructure provisioning, observability, and application dependencies.

Chef Automate

In order to facilitate continuous automation, Chef Automate provides a DevOps dashboard that gives a single source of operational truth. Using the power of Chef Habitat, Chef InSpec, and Chef Infra, you can manage all the tasks and activities for operations, development, and security compliance in a single place at the speed of business.

Chef Automate’s features include:

  • Easy collaboration for the entire DevOps teams
  • Built-In compliance profiles that make continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) possible
  • Auditing features that don’t use virtual agents
  • Real-time information from all datacenters, cloud providers, or other environments
  • Advanced access and permission controls
  • Analytics that provide actionable insights

The suite includes the core engines for Chef Infra, Chef InSpec, and Chef Habitat, which are also available as individual products.

Chef Infra

To automate configurations for deployment, Chef Infra defines infrastructure as code. This makes the policies flexible, testable and versionable while remaining human-readable. Chef Infra automatically checks all servers and applications under its control and prevents drifts in the configuration by automatically applying the correct states universally.

To achieve this, Chef Infra provides:

  • Automated configuration management
  • Continuous configuration monitoring and updates
  • Patch validation automation

Code configurations and states can be tested using Chef Infra, improving confidence in every build, test and release cycle. Additionally, using the automated testing features, Chef Infra enforces configurations across the entire landscape architecture. Chef Infra is also customizable using simple declarative definitions for administration tasks.

Chef Habitat

For the CI/CD Application Lifecycle (ALC), Chef Habitat codifies how you build and deploy applications onto your infrastructure. Chef Habitat supports service discovery, application supervision and monitoring, and associated configuration profiles.

It also performs health checks, applies rolling updates, sets deployment topologies, and enforces strict dependency management. Using Chef Habitat, you can repackage legacy applications in order to deploy them in cloud-native environments. This makes Chef Habitat the perfect solution to improve the speed of application delivery while retaining the legacy code independent of historical dependencies.

Chef Habitat’s primary features are:

  • Intelligent ALC management
  • Advanced deployment configuration automations
  • Traditional and modern support architecture deployments

Chef Habitat supports every aspect of the ALC to improve automations for planning, building, deploying, and managing your Apps.

Chef Inspec

For security and compliance automation, Chef Inspec enforces your policies in any environment. The rules are applied in automated tests, which can be run on traditional servers, modern containers and via cloud APIs.

Chef Inspec improves compliance by continuously monitoring each deployment on every node for the consistent application of the policies. This enables you to build quicker, deploy safer, detect, and remediate issues at any scale, and secure your whole landscape infrastructure.

ReleaseTEAM as a Chef Partner

ReleaseTEAM specializes in CI/CD software implementations and has the experts you’ll need to migrate to Chef. With consultants that have been in the agile software development trenches, ReleaseTEAM can provide staff mentoring or augmentation, sales, support or software lifecycle management.

Contact us on (866) 887-0489 or info@releaseteam.com today to speak to an expert about your next DevOps project.

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