Chef Hits 1 Million Downloads, Adds New Features

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The open source infrastructure management tool Chef has now been downloaded more than 1 million times, Chef’s parent company Opscode said today. Opscode will release a number of new features today at its first ChefCon user conference, including plugins to provide easier installation on a broad selection of major public clouds.

The Chef community now includes 26,000 active users, 120 corporate contributors and more than 450 “cookbooks” – repeatable code to automate the configuration and management processes, enabling users to quickly deploy servers.

“The rapid adoption of Chef underscores a major transition to scale-out computing in the enterprise,” said Mitch Hill, CEO of Opscode. “This shift is creating a major skills gap in IT, with access to compute resources far outpacing the number of professionals capable of managing these complex environments. Opscode Chef is a force multiplier that solves for this skill gap, providing a model for re-use which enables businesses to automate IT infrastructure and maximize the potential of cloud computing.”

Chef’s enriched functionality includes a number of new features. These include:

  • Improved Scalability: Private Chef now leverages the scalability and fault-tolerance of the Erlang programming language, and proven relational database management system principles. Opscode says Private Chef’s 3X increase in scalability over will enable enterprise businesses to create multi-tenant environments and automate much larger infrastructures with the same hardware footprint.
  • Easier Installation: The release of Chef’s new ‘one-click’ installer enables easy and rapid deployment of Chef regardless of IT environment. Opscode today also announced publicly available plugins to the knife command-line tool for a broad spectrum of public cloud platforms, providing simple, one-command deployment of cloud infrastructure automation for Amazon EC2, HP Cloud Services, Rackspace, OpenStack and many more.
  • Change Modeling: The new versions of Opscode’s open source and commercial Chef solutions feature ‘Dry-Run’ mode, enabling development and operations teams to model changes to any resource or environment before the changes are made. With this enhanced functionality, Chef now provides users with significantly increased visibility and control, ensuring changes don’t negatively impact their infrastructure.
  • Windows Integration: Enterprises can now leverage their existing Active Directory user identities to manage access control in Chef, eliminating the need for separate log-ins and improving security throughout the change management process. In addition, Chef now supports rich native Windows file access controls, enabling enterprises to securely manipulate files in Windows environments.
  • Native Support for Solaris: Chef now features native support for Solaris, one of the most common legacy Unix implementations, in addition to popular Linux and Windows platforms, enabling businesses to easily deploy Chef across all mainstream enterprise compute infrastructures.

Opscode said the new installation plugins were a particularly important feature.

“Working collaboratively with the Chef community, we’ve developed plugins for a number of leading public cloud services, ensuring easy integration and consistent model of interaction,” said Christopher Brown, CTO, Opscode. “By using Chef to automate infrastructure in public cloud environments, businesses can speed the delivery of applications, while using fewer resources to do so, helping them get the most from their investment in the cloud.”

“Ensuring that our global IT customers can proactively automate the configurations of applications and the orchestration of elastic infrastructure resources through Eucalyptus is critical to their successful adoption of cloud,” said David Butler, senior vice preside of marketing at Eucalyptus. “With Opscode Chef, users can easily configure and deliver applications and servers to our infrastructure as a service cloud, enabling them to get the most from our services, while we take care of the rest.”

ChefConf features three days of technical sessions, workshops, training and keynotes designed to help businesses maximize the value of their IT investment and accelerate the speed of business. From in-depth discussions on the latest trends in IT infrastructure management, DevOps and cloud configuration, to engaging panel discussions on real-world use cases, #ChefConf is shaping the future of infrastructure automation.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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