Opscode ChefConf 2013 Brings Chef Open-Source Automation to Light

Opscode demonstrates significant momentum for its Chef open-source automation platform at its annual ChefConf event, including deals with IBM and Microsoft.

Opscode, provider of the Chef open-source automation platform, is wrapping up its second annual user conference, ChefConf, marking increased momentum for the company and platform, including partnerships with the likes of IBM and Microsoft.

ChefConf 2013 ran April 24 through 26 in San Francisco, where a sell-out crowd of 700 attendees gathered for technical sessions, leadership sessions, workshops and presentations from innovators at Disney, Facebook, Forrester Research, General Electric, Nordstrom and many more about using Opscode Chef as the automation platform for what Opscode refers to as the coded business.

Jay Wampold, Opscode's vice president of marketing said as IT has become the touchpoint for businesses to interact with consumers, then code is central to that interaction. And any business that takes this approach is considered a coded business, he said. "It started with companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Yahoo, but it's moving into other companies and enterprises; we're seeing all these businesses based on code," Wampold told eWEEK.

Opscode announced it is collaborating with both IBM and Microsoft in creating open-source automation solutions for leveraging both the public and private cloud as a catalyst in accelerating time-to-market and reducing business risk.

Working with Opscode, IBM will leverage the Chef ecosystem, along with more than 900 available Chef Community Cookbooks for IBM SmartCloud. This integration further enables IBM SmartCloud customers to automate everything from configuration management of cloud resources to continuous delivery of cloud applications.

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 a simple, 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.

Meanwhile, Opscode is collaborating with Microsoft Open Technologies to deliver a series of Chef Cookbooks providing cloud infrastructure automation capabilities for Microsoft Azure. The companies released new Cookbooks for automating Drupal and WordPress deployments on Windows Azure. Opscode also announced that Chef provides integration with the new, generally available version of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. By combining Opscode Chef with Windows Azure, users can automate everything from server provisioning and configuration management to continuous delivery of infrastructure and applications.

"To thrive in today's global marketplace, organizations of all sizes must transform IT from being simply a back-office support function to a front-office imperative in rapidly delivering goods and services," said Mitch Hill, CEO of Opscode, in a statement. "However, the scale and complexity required to do so can be overwhelming. Opscode Chef solves this challenge, automating IT infrastructure to create a coded business with the agility and adaptability to win the race to market."

In the past 12 months, Opscode has experienced significant growth in both its commercial customer base and open-source Chef Community. Since last year's ChefConf, Opscode's commercial customer base has doubled in size, and half of the company's Private Chef customers are Fortune 500 businesses, spanning industries such as transportation, financial services, retail, media, manufacturing and Internet Service Providers. In addition, the open-source Chef Community has more than doubled in the past 12 months, including more than 25,000 registered users, 1,300 individual contributors, 200 corporate contributors and 900 Cookbooks.

At ChefConf, Opscode demonstrated the latest version of Private Chef, featuring a management console, centralized activity reporting, and "push" client runs, all in a cross-platform cloud environment. Private Chef is based on the Chef 11 code base and delivers a scalable infrastructure automation solution for large-scale compute environments in the data center, private cloud or public cloud. Private Chef also comes with role-based access control and multi-tenancy, enabling enterprises to easily scale to meet demand, eliminate downtime, manage IT complexity and accelerate time to market.