Opscode Intros Enterprise Chef, Enhances Windows, Networking Support

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-08-19

Opscode Intros Enterprise Chef, Enhances Windows, Networking Support

Opscode, creator of the Chef open-source configuration management tool, announced a name change for its core products as well as new functionality to help extend its technology further into the enterprise, as enterprise adoption is on the rise.

Opscode announced that Private Chef and Hosted Chef are now renamed to Enterprise Chef and offered both as on-premises software and as a hosted service.

Enterprise Chef automates the provisioning and management of compute, networking and storage resources in the data center, private cloud and public cloud—all from a single platform.

In a blog post on the news, Luca Welch, a spokesman for Opscode, said enterprise adoption of Chef has soared of late. "In the past year, our Fortune 1000 customer base has grown 150 percent and to date, Fortune 1000 businesses represent the majority of Opscode's total sales," he said. "In other words, enterprises are purchasing large amounts of Chef, so renaming our commercial products to more clearly and simply align with the companies buying them makes good business sense."

Mary Johnston Turner, research vice president at IDC, told eWEEK that the Opscode product name change is basically validation of what Opscode has been doing for a while—helping increasing numbers of enterprise IT organizations automate a wide range of infrastructure and cloud configuration workflows and providing both on-premises and hosted options for doing so. She said many third-party cloud infrastructure, automation and infrastructure provisioning vendors are supporting open-source Chef and Puppet technology to simplify and standardize core infrastructure automation functionality.

"As enterprise IT environments become more complex, heterogeneous and dynamic, IDC sees increasing numbers of IT organizations adopting the configuration automation capabilities enabled by the Chef open-source community and the Opscode Enterprise Chef solutions," she said.

Opscode Enterprise Chef features new automation capabilities for Windows, as well as integration with leading providers in networking and storage. Opscode Enterprise Chef empowers IT operations and development teams with an enterprise-grade platform for automating configuration management, cloud management and the continuous delivery of applications and dependent infrastructure, the company said.

"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 at Opscode, in a statement. "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."

Overall, Fortune 1000 companies represent 60 percent of Opscode's total sales. To capitalize on enterprise demand and better meet the needs of large-scale organizations, Opscode is collaborating with leading providers in compute, networking and storage to deliver full stack automation for data center, private and public cloud infrastructure.

Opscode is collaborating with leading networking vendors, including Arista Networks, Cisco Systems, Cumulus Networks, Juniper Networks and Plexxi, to integrate Enterprise Chef into next-generation networking technologies. By enabling IT teams to manage compute and networking resources from a single automation platform, Enterprise Chef speeds up bandwidth provisioning to accelerate IT operations and improves system availability.

Opscode has integrated Enterprise Chef with Arista Extensible Operating System (EOS), automating the configuration of physical and virtual networking ports using code. By coordinating change management between compute and networking infrastructure, Opscode and Arista help enterprise IT teams ensure alignment between these core data center resources.

Opscode Intros Enterprise Chef, Enhances Windows, Networking Support

"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 of Systems Engineering and Technology Marketing at Arista Networks, in a statement. "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."

Cisco and Opscode are collaborating to integrate Enterprise Chef and Cisco's One Platform Kit (onePK), enabling Cisco customers to automate networking port configuration using Chef Cookbooks. Cisco is also integrating Chef into its Software Maintenance Upgrades (SMU) Manager, which will enable the SMU Manager to communicate with Chef via an API and provide users with the ability to automate package updates to networking resources at any scale.

Cumulus and Opscode are collaborating to integrate Enterprise Chef and Cumulus Linux, a Linux operating system for data center networking. By presenting a standard Linux interface, Cumulus Linux allows Opscode Chef to manage switches in the same manner Chef already manages standard Linux servers, delivering the benefits of automation for configuring networking resources.

Juniper Networks is working with Opscode to integrate Enterprise Chef capabilities into Junos OS, enabling IT organizations to coordinate change management more simply and seamlessly between compute and networking resources. By combining Enterprise Chef and Junos OS, customers will be able to perform common network configurations directly rather than through a series of manual processes, thereby saving time and mitigating risk of human error.

And Plexxi is working with Opscode to integrate Enterprise Chef and Affinity networking, which offers an open model for describing application workload requirements. Combining Enterprise Chef and Affinity will give users a flexible solution for automating network behavior and capacity guarantees alongside the compute infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Opscode today also announced a collaboration with Microsoft to enable both the Opscode Chef open-source automation platform and Opscode Enterprise Chef to take advantage of the new Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration feature of the Windows Management Framework (WMF). This new collaboration builds on continued efforts between Opscode, Microsoft and Microsoft Open Technologies to enhance Opscode Chef and Enterprise Chef's Windows configuration automation capabilities and help customers avoid configuration drift in enterprise IT environments.

Opscode Chef and Enterprise Chef currently provide native, open-source Windows functionality for a number of operations, including server provisioning and configuration management, and are adding new options to help users easily automate Windows resources in the data center and public and private cloud.

"Windows PowerShell's new Desired State Configuration feature is a platform component," Jeffrey Snover, a Microsoft distinguished engineer, said in a statement. "This means that partners can use Desired State Configuration once to instrument their products, and then their customers can use the configuration management product they prefer. Working with Opscode and integrating Chef demonstrates that we have the right design and simplifies the experience for Chef users who manage Windows."

In addition, continuing Opscode's collaboration with IBM to provide open-source cloud automation for the enterprise, IBM recently delivered the SmartCloud Orchestrator Content Pack for both Opscode Chef and Enterprise Chef, enabling SmartCloud users to automate core infrastructure operations by deploying Chef Cookbooks through the IBM Business Process Manager.

Moreover, Opscode has joined with Netherlands-based IT outsourcing firm Schuberg Philis and software-defined storage company Nexenta to deliver a Chef Cookbook for automating NexentaStor ZFS-based storage resources. Using Enterprise Chef, Schuberg Philis can manage storage configurations and compute resources in its CloudStack-based hybrid cloud via a single automation platform. In addition, Enterprise Chef's multitenancy gives Schuberg Philis the flexibility to manage compute, storage and network resources from its hybrid cloud to specific customers, providing dedicated configuration management and infrastructure.

Opscode Enterprise Chef is now available. Users can download and use it to manage up to five nodes, free of charge. Pricing starts at $6 per node for both the hosted and on-premises versions.


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