Cloud Management

Chef gives you the flexibility you need to manage a dynamic, cloud-based infrastructure, no matter which cloud provider you use now-or in the future.

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Flexibility You Need to Make the Most of Your Cloud Strategy

Chef is integrated with all major cloud providers including Amazon EC2, VMWare, IBM Smartcloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, Windows Azure, HP Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud and others.

With Chef, reusable code brings your infrastructure and services to life on whatever platform you choose. Chef has dozens of plugins to help you with platform-specific cloud APIs, allowing you to use any cloud provider you choose and easily switch between providers.

How Chef Works in the Cloud

Chef was built from the ground up with the cloud infrastructure in mind. Chef allows you to dynamically provision and de-provision your infrastructure on demand to keep up with peaks in usage and traffic. It enables new services and features to be deployed and updated more frequently, with little risk of downtime. With Chef, you can take advantage of all the flexibility and cost savings the cloud offers.

Chef can handle any infrastructure, no matter the size. One reason for this is that it uses a massively scalable architecture where most of the processing is done on the individual nodes of the network instead of being concentrated into a few management servers. It only takes a small number of Chef server instances to manage even the largest infrastructures.

For provisioning, there are dozens of plugins available, so you're free to pick whatever cloud hosting service you want. An administrative workstation uses the plugin to invoke web service calls for acquiring cloud resources. Here's a diagram that shows how this works.

Cloud Managment Chef in the Cloud

From an administrator's workstation, you configure the provisioning of the cloud resources. In the diagram, the administrator has requested a new web instance in Amazon EC2. When the new instance starts to run, it makes contact with the Chef server and downloads the chef client. At this point, a secure handshake takes place and the Chef server generates a security certificate that will authenticate the new instance's future requests. The new instance runs the configuration recipes that the Chef server sends to it, depending on its role in the overall application. As a side effect, the state of the Chef server changes. For example, its list of web servers is updated with the name of the new instance. This allows all other nodes to adjust to the presence of the new server. For example, load balancers would be updated with the IP address of the new server.

Chef and the Cloud

Here's a brief summary of how Chef can help you scale out your app in the cloud.

Implement High-Performance Operations Functionality
  • Short convergence intervals enable near real-time policy enforcement
  • Scale in/out or up/down to handle fluctuations in demand
  • Enable rapid deployment of new applications
Build Repeatable Infrastructure
  • Rebuild or move your entire production infrastructure from bare metal, source control repository, and data backup in minutes
  • Take advantage of new infrastructure providers offering better latency and cost structures without expensive rewrites
  • Easily add disaster recovery and business continuity attributes to your application service model
  • Access a large library of pre-built community-based cookbooks and recipes
Increase Infrastructure Management Operational Efficiency
  • Run the equivalent of thousands of totally isolated independent environments at once from a single Chef instance
  • Achieve simpler and more economical management and maintenance of your infrastructure
  • Integration with major cloud providers such as Amazon EC2, VMWare, IBM Smartcloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, Windows Azure, HP Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud and others.
Take Advantage of Scalable Infrastructure Management as a Service
  • Enterprise Chef maintains an industry-leading service level agreement (SLA)
  • Pay for what you use through a SaaS model
  • Accelerate time to market by getting up and running quickly

Chef Can Help

Whether you're moving an on-premises or hybrid solution to the cloud, or if you're starting from scratch, Chef can help you create an effective plan.

#ChefTalks: Cloud Management

Jeremy LaTrasse, CEO of Message Bus, talks about how his cloud-based message service uses Chef to manage infrastructure spread across multiple public clouds, using each provider for what it’s best at and reducing risk of failure.

Define Once, Run Anywhere

Chef lets you manage your cloud resources. Automate everything from basic configuration to continuous integration of application updates. Build and rebuild across nearly every public and private cloud platform in minutes or hours, rather than weeks or months. Streamline workflows.

“Chef gave us a model for reuse that not only makes configuring resources, environments and application testing much less time-consuming, but it also creates a complete documented history of our infrastructure that's critical to our clients' data security.”
Glen de Vries
President, Medidata Solutions

Gain Visibility Across Your Cloud-Based Resources

See comprehensive resource information and search across your entire cloud-based infrastructure. Provide alerts when systems are out of policy and identify threats before they impact operations.

“Chef gave us the foundation to build Sensu, which we simply set and let run automatically every half hour to check system health. If something's wrong, we'll know immediately and can easily use Chef's code repository to automate a fix in near real-time. It definitely helps us sleep better at night.”
Pete Zimmerman
VP of Services and Operations, Sonian

Manage Complex Infrastructure at Any Scale

Consistently build and rebuild cloud infrastructure on demand as needed. Scale up or down by rapidly provisioning and de-provisioning servers. Take advantage of high-availability clustering.

“To deliver such a multi-faceted service, our infrastructure needs to be able to adapt at a moment's notice. Amazon EC2 gives us the resources we need, but to ensure consistency and maximum flexibility, we had to automate with Chef.”
Ashley Streb
Vice President of Technology at Brightcove