Opscode, IBM Team to Bring Open-Source Automation to SmartCloud

Opscode announced an agreement with IBM for Big Blue to support Opscode Chef on IBM SmartCloud.

Opscode, the maker of Chef, an open-source automation platform, has announced it is collaborating with IBM to bring the power of Opscode Chef and the Open Source Chef Community to enterprise businesses.

IBM will support Chef Server in IBM SmartCloud. IBM SmartCloud is built on an open architecture for flexibility and interoperability, leveraging open-source communities, including OpenStack. Working with Opscode, IBM will leverage the Chef ecosystem, along with more than 900 available Chef Community Cookbooks. A cookbook is the fundamental unit of configuration and policy distribution in Chef. Each cookbook defines a scenario, such as everything needed to install and configure MySQL, and then it contains all of the components that are required to support that scenario.

This integration with Chef further enables IBM SmartCloud customers to automate everything from configuration management of cloud resources to continuous delivery of cloud applications.

“IBM’s vision around the role of code is the same as ours,” Jay Wampold, vice president of marketing at Opscode, told eWEEK. “Our recipes and cookbooks are infrastructure as code.”

Moreover, broadening server platform support in the cloud, Opscode also announced that Chef will support IBM Power Systems and the AIX operating system. This support enables enterprise customers to automate the configuration of their mission critical AIX-based cloud infrastructure with Chef. Opscode Chef will provide IBM customers with an easy, step-by-step, highly repeatable, and consistent process for building, managing and deploying cloud resources and applications in large-scale AIX compute environments.

The companies are also collaborating on creating cookbooks for the IBM Software portfolio, beginning with the WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile. This cookbook will provide reusable content to allow the rapid provisioning and full application lifecycle management of WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile applications.

“Our collaboration with IBM is addressing a major transformation facing enterprises as they code their businesses to thrive in the digital economy,” said Mitch Hill, CEO of Opscode, in a statement. “Leveraging the innovation and extensibility of open source, including OpenStack and Chef, Opscode and IBM are enabling businesses to maximize the potential of the cloud in rapidly delivering goods and services to market.”

"Best-of-breed open-source technologies are an important part of our strategy for providing the most comprehensive and flexible cloud solutions to our customers," said Moe Abdula, vice president of SmartCloud Foundation at IBM, in a statement. "By collaborating on product integration and Chef Community content, we'll be able to offer enterprise businesses comprehensive solutions for gaining the most value out of cloud, with minimal risk."

Opscode and IBM's collaboration also helps deliver on the promise of DevOps, leveraging Chef and SmartCloud as a common language and platform to enable more efficient communication and collaboration between development and IT operations teams.

Opscode made its announcement at its ChefConf 2013 user conference on April 25 in San Francisco.

In a Gartner report from May 2011, analyst Cameron Haight, said, “The overall DevOps message is compelling, because many enterprise IT organizations want to achieve the scale-out and economies of scale of the world-class cloud providers. Its concentration on the issues of culture and technology should resonate not only within new-age Web 2.0 environments, but also with many traditional enterprise application environments." Opscode is enabling this.

In another Gartner report from just last month, the research firm wrote: “One specific focus of DevOps for some IT organizations is the shift toward configuration as code. In this context, DevOps borrows from the fact that as developers code applications with business logic, the infrastructure can be coded via configuration logic or directives."

Meanwhile, IBM recently announced the acquisition of UrbanCode. UrbanCode's software is a natural extension of IBM's DevOps strategy, designed to simplify and speed the entire software development and delivery process for businesses. The UrbanCode capabilities enhance the IBM SmartCloud initiative by making it easier and faster for clients to deliver software through a cloud-computing model. As part of the transition, IBM intends to update UrbanCode technologies to leverage Chef Community cookbooks as part of software release automation processes, Big Blue officials said.

Opscode said the open-source Chef community features tens of thousands of active users, more than 1,300 individual contributors, 200 corporate contributors and 900 cookbooks, providing a rich ecosystem of support for IBM customers.