Chef Unveils New Unified DevOps Flagship, Chef Automate

New platform provides a shared workflow pipeline for continuous application deployment, combining Chef Delivery and Chef Compliance.

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New Unified DevOps Flagship

Seattle-based DevOps automation software provider Chef, once upon a time known as Opscode, on July 12 introduced a new platform, Chef Automate, that unifies Chef's entire product portfolio into a single package.

The announcement was made at ChefConf 2016 in Austin, Texas.

Chef, a DevOps pioneer that is prominent among the trend's leading vendors, said that Automate integrates a shared workflow pipeline for continuous application deployment, combining Chef Delivery and Chef Compliance to enable users to satisfy enterprise security and regulatory requirements.

In addition, the open source-based Automate includes a new Visibility feature that for the first time provides business analytics into all resources managed by Chef in a single interface. Automate enables any enterprise to safely deploy infrastructure and applications at high velocity and scale, Vice-President of Business Development Ken Cheney told eWEEK.

Open-Source Projects Now at New Levels

Automate also takes to a new level the company's widely adopted open-source projects: Chef for infrastructure and cloud automation, InSpec for encoding compliance policy, and the newly released Habitat for application automation.

Enterprise IT is now all about automation, and DevOps has become a trendy way for companies to move there. With new-generation code and apps bringing users into the age of converged infrastructures and cloud computing, enterprises with legacy systems have to face keeping up with the complexities that come with these new environments. As a result, DevOps (a mashup of the terms "development" and "operations") has come to the fore as a business process aimed at overcoming complexities that IT, systems admins and developers face on a daily basis.

Key features of Chef Automate include:

--Visibility: Provides system-wide insight across all applications and their supporting environments, such as development, quality assurance and production. For the first time, Chef is giving users the power to monitor and manage all their IT processes and environments, from deploying physical machines in a data center or public cloud instances, to developing applications, all through a single interface. This helps companies improve efficiency, quickly find problems and reduce risk.

--A single dashboard with access to analytics, trending data, and health status about all Chef-managed resources, including Automate, as well as open source Chef, InSpec and Habitat.

--Sophisticated search and filter capabilities to see the status of single resources or groups of resources.

--Visualization of successful changes, failures and entire deployments to gain actionable insight into system trends.

--Unified workflow: Automate includes a shared pipeline (previously called Chef Delivery) that provides a fixed, efficient and reusable workflow delivering both speed and safety when changing infrastructure or applications. The new enterprise-grade workflow management console provides a single interface for monitoring progress and promoting changes as they move from development to production.

--Proactive compliance: Automate lets companies proactively know whether they are operating according to their organization's security policies. Automate enables managers to identify and remediate any compliance issues early in the development process, well before deployment to production. This makes determining compliance a fast, automated process that occurs as the software moves through the pipeline.

Automate also includes prewritten compliance profiles based on Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks. Because it is an integrated platform, Chef Automate visualizes the status of nodes in terms of their adherence to policy.

More Than 900 Customers

Eight-year-old Chef now has more than 900 commercial customers and has tens of millions of machines under management on any given day, Cheney said. To date, the Chef client has been downloaded more than 37 million times, with an average of more than 1.5 million downloads per month in 2016.

Chef customers and partners including Amazon Web Services, Adobe Systems, Arista Networks, Booz Allen Hamilton, Facebook, GE Digital, Hearst Business Media, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, National Football League, Nordstrom, and many others.

Automate is available now through an annual subscription, Cheney said, which includes commercial support for Chef, InSpec and Habitat. These three open source projects are all available under the Apache 2.0 license and available for free download.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...