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Automatization Now

published in: Configuration Management
Theresa Wallas, Marketing Manager

About the author

Theresa Wallas is Marketing Manager for Infralovers and for Commandemy. She is an expert when it comes to Social Media and Event-Management. She is also an avid Mountain-Biker and loves all kinds of extreme sports. LinkedIn

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Due to our years of experience in consulting and training our customers, we know a thing or two about IT infrastructure.

The Developer Magazine shares this opinion and published the article: “Configuration Management with Chef” by our CEO Edmund Haselwanter in its April issue: “Automation Now”. As an introduction, Edmund explains the term IT infrastructure and points out why it is becoming more and more important to define infrastructure as code. “Typically, you start with one server that has all required resources installed on it.”. As your requirements grow, operating only one single server is not an option anymore. Adding specialised servers and redundant load balancers show that manual scaling is complex and error-prone.

With Chef you can solve this problem. All elements of your infrastructure can be configured with Chef. This leads to the following advantages:

  • A consistent description of the infrastructure
  • Executable documentation
  • Infrastructure as part of the software development process

These resources (elements of the infrastructure) are described as code. This is based on the description of their destination state, in the declarative description of the resources. In fact, this is just one important element to consider when using Chef. You also have to take the different levels of abstraction in account: “In principle, an infrastructure description in Chef consists of a more or less long - or very, very long - string of resources. That the sequence of resources is not lost in complexity or opacity, Chef offers different levels of abstraction.” Edmund names and explains then the levels of abstraction:

  • Organizations
  • Environments
  • Roles
  • Nodes
  • Recipes
  • Cookbooks
  • Search

Chef not only offers feature-rich and already built-in functionality, but also the possibility to adapt or extend the functionality to your own application. The most significant enhancements are libraries that can be used to add help functions, custom resources and Ohai plug-ins in which information about nodes are collected.

Besides the Chef Client, Edmund names the Chef Server (or Chef Zero) and Cookbooks as prerequisites for the usage of Chef.

“Over the years, developing cookbooks has become more and more in line with the approach of classic software development. Cookbooks are versioned with Git, built in CI pipelines and can be tested.” Edmund names Linting, Unit Testing, Integration Testing but also Test Kitchen as possibilities for testing and supplies the necessary code for it.

If you want to know more about Chef do not hesitate to contact us at any time or book one of our training.

We look forward to meeting you so that we can master your IT challenges together.