Automate web-scale IT with Chef
With the advance of software and internet technologies customers’ expectation grow higher and they get used to all goods and services being accessed or viewed online anytime, anywhere and from any type of device. Many big companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook satisfy customers’ demand in availability by developing extraordinarily resilient and scalable infrastructures. Thus, the term web-scale IT comes into play.
Web-scale IT is a set of practices for enabling flexible infrastructures that can support the kind of speed, complexity, scale and consistency that business demands nowadays. Moreover, this has to be done with an automation tools that provide stability and decrease risks.
Chef is a leader in web-scale IT automation. This platform was written in Ruby and Erlang, it covers configuration management, automation and continuous deployment and promotes cooperation across development and operations teams. Chef is a really excellent and self-sufficient software stack that will allow you to automate the building, deployment and management of your infrastructure regardless its size and complexity. It makes an infrastructure “as versionable, testable, and repeatable as application code”.
How Chef works
So how does Chef ensure automation of infrastructure tasks? Firstly, it uses reusable definitions, also known as recipes. They contain data on infrastructure components, their deployment, configuration and management details. Recipes rely on resources as building blocks that contain instructions on installation of any infrastructure piece.
Recipes and other configuration data are stored on the Chef server. The Chef client is installed on each node in the network, be it a physical server, a virtual server or a container instance. A single Chef server can be used as a central location for developing policy, while Chef clients and other Chef servers can periodically poll the main one for the latest recipes and any changes in policy. This approach ensures consistency across the enterprise network, irrespective of the number of data centers or cloud availability zones.
Main Chef advantages
- Test-driven infrastructure contributes to maximum IT security, consistency, and automated testing.
- High Availability feature supports uninterrupted work of the Chef service within either data center or AWS region, even in case of a Chef server failure.
- A single worldview across multiple locations. Chef servers periodically sync latest roles, cookbooks, environments, and databags as consistency measure.
- Web-based management console allows to access objects, like nodes and cookbooks, edit and delete nodes, reset private key, and more via Role Based Access Control.
- Analytics platform enables full report on the Chef server activity and assists audit and compliance functionality.
- Event log and Command-line tool.
- Continuous delivery speeds up the release of software and digital services with minimum manual intervention.
- End-to-End container workflow automation. The Chef Client integrates with all Linux containers, including Docker, and forms Chef container for seamless management of container resources.
Chef is a robust software stack that will change your attitude to the previously tedious tasks of cloud server provisioning, service configuration and application deployment. This tool helps to build an infrastructure on demand that scales effortlessly, supports rapid deployments, is resilient and quickly reacts to changes in business requirements. To get more information on this IT automation platform visit chef.io website.