Enterprise Chef Reflects Expanding Vision for Opscode

Infrastructure management specialist Opscode has realigned its offerings to reflect the company’s growing focus on enterprise customers. The Seattle company today announced Enterprise Chef, a single brand that includes both the hosted and on-premises version of Chef software. The rebranding marks a continuing expansion of focus for Opscode, which gained early traction in hyperscale computing, but now sees a big opportunity to help enterprises overhaul their IT operations.

The reason is simple: software-driven automation offers clear benefits that are being adopted by a broader cross-section of companies.

“Enterprise organizations are in the midst of a major business transformation, driven by the radically new way in which customers are purchasing and consuming goods and services today,” said Adam Jacob, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Opscode. “As a result, technology is serving as the key touch point to users and the role of IT has shifted from the back office to the front office. Today we’re delivering an automation platform that accelerates this transformation by delivering on-demand IT services to achieve the speed necessary for meeting the new expectations of customers.”

Automating All the Things

Chef is an open source framework using repeatable code – organized as “recipes” and “cookbooks” – to automate the configuration and management process for virtual servers. It enables users to deploy infrastructure as code across any operating system from Windows to Unix and Linux, across physical, virtual or cloud infrastructures.

Enterprise Chef combines two separate products – Private Chef and Hosted Chef – which have now been realigned under a single brand, available as on-premise software or as a hosted service.

The shift isn’t only aspirational. Opscode says that Fortune 1000 companies now represent 60 percent of its sales, with the Fortune 1000 customer base having grown 150 percent in the past year.

New Features for Networking, Storage

To continue that momentum, Opscode also announced new collaborations to extend Chef’s capabilities in networking and storage. That includes partnerships with Arista Networks, Cisco Systems, Cumulus Networks, Juniper Networks and Plexxi to integrate Enterprise Chef into next-generation networking technologies.

“The enterprise shift to scale-out computing has created a massive management challenge for the networking layer, with IT operations teams often employing only one networking person for thousands of ports,” said Doug Gourlay, vice president Systems Engineering and Technology Marketing at Arista Networks. “Eliminating manual port configuration is the first, and most critical, step in solving the networking dilemma in today’s data centers. Combining Chef and Arista EOS provides a flexible solution for abstracting management into simple code commands that ensure bandwidth availability and consistency at any scale.”

Opscode also announced a storage initiatives, teaming with Netherlands-based IT outsourcing leader Schuberg Philis and software-defined storage leader Nexenta to deliver a Chef Cookbook for automating NexentaStor ZFS-based storage resources.

Windows Friendly

For enterprises using Windows, Opscode continues to work with Microsoft. Today the companies said Chef can now take advantage of the new Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration feature of the Windows Management Framework (WMF).

“As enterprises look to IT as a catalyst in the race to market, these organizations must automate tasks in compute infrastructure that includes Windows-based environments,” said Christopher Brown, CTO, Opscode. “Opscode Chef is the only open source automation platform with native Windows functionality, which can help customers drive faster, less risky product and application development cycles. Our continuing collaboration with Microsoft ensures Windows Server administrators can leverage the entire scope of Chef’s open source automation capabilities for more rapidly delivering goods and services.”

And that, Jacob says, is the goal for enterprises ready to embrace agile software development, and seeking the tools and talent to do so.

“Software and culture go together,” says Jacob. “The external market -the world at large – is pushing this trend. People want to ship software whenever they need to without drama. It’s a question of how long it takes, and one of the key drivers is whether you have the right software to build your company.”

“Chef works best when you’re automating big business problems,” Jacob added. “That’s where Chef really shines.”

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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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