Chef Wants Enterprise DevOps to Do Workflows Like Web-Scale Giants Do

Chef Delivery delivers webscale company workflows to enterprises looking to shift to DevOps style of IT

Jason Verge

April 1, 2015

3 Min Read
Chef Wants Enterprise DevOps to Do Workflows Like Web-Scale Giants Do
Image: Chef

The great enterprise migration to DevOps is underway, and Chef wants to help you perform workflows the way Facebook and Google do. The company announced Chef Delivery, an enterprise DevOps workflow product which enforces good DevOps practices and ports innovation of the web-scale companies to fit enterprise needs.

The product is for continuous and unified delivery of infrastructure and applications and is now available on an invite-only basis. The company also announced a consulting practice to help companies on their DevOps journeys. Both announcements are about helping enterprise DevOps teams adopt the best practices of innovating web-scale companies.

“It’s a way for enterprises that want to do DevOps but don’t necessarily know all the tools,” said Alex Ethier, vice president of product, Chef. “It enforces the right behavior.”

Chef Delivery automates change and makes sure there are no issues. Code review is built in for smooth change implementation. Delivery users manage changes to infrastructure with a common workflow used across all products and teams. Chef Delivery is the result of partnering with many of the biggest companies that have standardized on Chef to figure out the right workflows for DevOps.

“We’ve been engaged with many high-profile customers: Yahoo, Facebook,” said Ethier. “We were building continuous delivery for many of our customers for many years. We were able to see the patterns of what it looks like when you’re doing it well.”

Chef Delivery provides governance of change, augmenting, and visualization. It also deals with complex dependencies with micro-services, touching on another trend: micro-services architecture making its way into enterprise.

“What we’re seeing more and more is customers moving away from traditional monolithic apps to small, well-encapsulated services that do one thing only, then chaining these services together,” said Ethier. “It breaks down in small usable components, and allows them to distribute the work in specialized areas. We’re seeing more and more customers ask about micro-services, and ask how to deal with dependencies. People are having problems managing dependencies.”

Chef Delivery is not exclusive to Chef users. If you are a Puppet user, you can use Delivery on your infrastructure, according to the company.

“If you look from our perspective, where innovation in IT has come from over the last decades, you have to look at companies like Google, Facebook,” said Jay Wampold, Chef's vice president of marketing. “Those companies that have leveraged large-scale computing to deliver innovation to users. As a result of success, they’ve fundamentally transformed consumer behavior and expectations. It is those expectations now hitting the enterprise. They’ve created a world where every company needs to be a high-velocity company.”

Ethier used Apple's iPhone as an analogy: the user has a delightful, easy experience with not much thought into what’s going on in the background. It’s an elegant product that vertically integrates with software and services, but behind that, there’s a continuous ecosystem of change.”

Chef adoption started predominantly with online companies. The path into enterprise was during the “shadow IT years,” then it moved to back-office functions to internal, and now it’s a foundation.

“Facebook and Yahoo are on the far right of innovation spectrum, shipping a hundred times a day,” said Ethier. “In the enterprise, where you’re heavily regulated, you won’t ship 100 times. But you have the ability to. If you need to do a quick security update, you can do so in a few hours. That’s huge; that confidence.”

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