Chef is an automation platform that transforms infrastructure into code. Stop thinking in terms of physical and virtual servers. With Chef, your real asset is the code that brings those servers and the services they provide to life. An automated infrastructure can accelerate your time to market, help you manage scale and complexity, and safeguard your systems.
Whether your network is in the cloud, on-site, or a hybrid, Chef can automate how you configure, deploy and scale your servers and applications, whether you manage 5 servers, 5,000 servers or 500,000 servers. It's no wonder that Chef has been chosen by companies like Facebook and Amazon for mission-critical challenges.
Use Chef to quickly deliver products and services and adapt to shifts in the market. Automation means that you can set up your infrastructure and be ready to deploy new features in minutes rather than days.
"We were able to definitively accelerate our time-to-value and time-to-market, which results in operational efficiency and cost savings. Chef's biggest advantage is the amount of time we save in setting up virtual servers and other tasks." Leandro Reox, Senior Infrastructure Engineer and Cloud Architect
Let Chef handle repetitive manual tasks so you can focus on innovation. Increase agility and efficiency. Get new developers ready to go in just a few minutes.
"Four months ago we spent more time on maintenance. Now we are doing a lot more innovation. Opscode is exceeding our expectations and we are looking forward to leveraging Chef for future projects." Ian Meyer, Technical Operations Manager
Use Chef to manage complexity and rapidly scale to meet customer demand. Transforming your infrastructure into code means that you can build, rebuild, configure and scale in real time.
"Chef gives us agility. If we want to start developing a new system tomorrow, by Noon we can put every infrastructure piece in place and be ready to go." Gabor Veszi, Infrastructure Lead, Prezi
Use Chef to maintain a model of your infrastructure that is always consistent with its true state. A code-based blueprint gives you the flexibility to manage and understand your dynamic network, no matter how fast it changes, no matter its size.
"There are three dimensions of scale we generally look at for infrastructure - the number of servers, the volume of different configurations across those systems, and the number of people required to maintain those configurations. Chef provided an automation solution flexible enough to bend to our scale dynamics without requiring us to change our workflow." Phil Dibowitz, Production Engineer, Facebook
Code can make your infrastructure easier to maintain, reduce downtime, and give you increased visibility into operations. Use Chef to monitor for exceptions and unplanned events. If disaster strikes, use Chef to reconstruct your entire network. Chef can help transform your infrastructure into an auditable, automated and secure system.
“Opscode helped lower the stress of this job. Our team still carries the pager 24x7, but it does not ring as often. We have dramatically increased the level of automation and auditability when we deploy new capacity and that gives us peace of mind.” Paul Paradise, Operations Engineer
Opscode Chef is available in three flavors, Open Source Chef, Hosted Chef and Private Chef. Each offers a powerful solution to managing and automating large-scale infrastructure. Open Source Chef is a freely available, open source Chef server. It is the basis for both Hosted Chef and Private Chef. Hosted Chef is a Chef server fully managed and scaled by Opscode as a service. Hosted Chef is available for a monthly subscription fee, with standard or premium support. Private Chef is an on-premise Chef server available through subscription pricing or perpetual license plans. No matter which version of Chef you start with, your code will be compatible with all three flavors of Chef.
|Features||Open Source Chef||Hosted Chef||Private Chef|
|Flexible and Scalable Automation Platform||✔||✔||✔|
|Access to 800+ Reusable Cookbooks||✔||✔||✔|
|Integration with Leading Cloud Providers||✔||✔||✔|
|Enterprise Platform Support including Windows and Solaris||✔||✔||✔|
|Create, Bootstrap and Manage OpenStack Clouds||✔||✔||✔|
|Easy Installation with 'one-click' Omnibus Installer||✔||✔||✔|
|Automatic System Discovery with Ohai||✔||✔||✔|
|Text-Based Search Capabilities||✔||✔||✔|
|Multiple Environment Support||✔||✔||✔|
|"Knife" Command Line Interface||✔||✔||✔|
|"Dry Run" Mode for Testing Potential Changes||✔||✔||✔|
|Scale up to 10,000 Nodes on a Single Chef Server||✔||—||✔|
|Hosted, Maintained, and Scaled by Opscode||—||✔||—|
|Basic Community-Supported Web Interface||✔||—||—|
|Enhanced Management Console GUI from Opscode Beta||—||✔||✔|
|Centralized Activity and Resource Reporting Beta||—||✔||✔|
|"Push" Command and Control Client Runs Beta||—||—||✔|
|Role-Based Access Control [RBAC]||—||✔||✔|
|High Availability Installation Support and Verification||—||✔||✔|
|Centralized Authentication Using LDAP or Active Directory||—||—||✔|
|Standard Support from Opscode||Available||✔||✔|
|Premium 24/7 from Opscode||Available||Available||Available|
|Access to Opscode Professional Services||Available||Priority||Priority|
The following plans are available for both Hosted Chef and Private Chef.
|Price per Month||Free||$120||$300||$600|
Chef is based on a key insight: You can model your evolving IT infrastructure and applications as code. Chef makes no assumptions about your environment and the approach you use to configure and manage it. Instead, Chef gives you a way to describe and automate your infrastructure and processes. Your infrastructure becomes testable, versioned and repeatable. It becomes part of your Agile process.
Chef relies on reusable definitions known as cookbooks and recipes that are written using the the Ruby programming language. Cookbooks and recipes automate common infrastructure tasks. Their definitions describe what your infrastructure consists of and how each part of your infrastructure should be deployed, configured and managed. Chef applies those definitions to servers to produce an automated infrastructure.
Cookbooks and recipes are made from building blocks called resources. Many resources are included in Chef, but you can also create your own, in particular to deal with legacy systems. Also, you can interact with the community of Chef users, numbering in the tens of thousands, who are constantly sharing cookbooks, recipes and advice. There's a good chance you'll find someone who's worked on situations similar to yours. The community will support your success, and Opscode's professional services are there to help you as well.
The Chef server stores your network's configuration data and recipes. The data describes all the “ingredients” that make up your infrastructure. Recipes are step-by-step instructions for assembling those ingredients together into a complete, running system. The Chef client is a program that runs the recipes on nodes of the network, which may be physical or virtual servers either on-premise or in the cloud. You use a workstation to update the state of the Chef server from time to time, as your infrastructure evolves. All changes are captured using revision control.
Want to learn more? The best way is to start playing.
If you want a little help getting up to speed with Chef, try our Chef Fundamentals training.