Automation through Chef Opscode: A Hands-on Approach to Chef SpringerLink

In my experience, there is a plethora of information on the Internet about properly implementing and scaling Chef. However, it has also been my experience, information is often Linux-centric. That is one reason I really appreciated Ewart’s book, concentrating almost exclusively on Windows-based implementations of Chef.

  • Chef is a configuration management tool for dealing with machine setup on physical servers, virtual machines and in the cloud.
  • How about Chef Analytics – the ability to visualise everything going on in real time.
  • Berkshelf integrates tightly with Vagrant via the vagrant-berkshelf plugin.
  • Chef is an agent-based tool wherein chef-client pulls the configuration information for the managed node from Chef Server.

This means that there is less downtime, more reliable services and less stressed people on both the dev and ops sides. Chef is an open source systems management https://remotemode.net/become-a-devops-engineer/chef/ and cloud infrastructure automation platform. Opscode created the Chef configuration management tool, and the company later changed its name to Chef.

Compliance Auditing with Chef InSpec on Windows and Linux

If running your own Chef server seems like overkill and you’re not comfortable with using the hosted Chef, you can use local mode to execute cookbooks. Additionally, to register a client, a node object is created on the Chef server. The node object is the main data structure, which you can use to query node data inside your recipes. Make sure you have a cookbook named my_cookbook and the run_list of your node includes my_cookbook, as described in the Creating and using cookbooks recipe. It’s a pain to manually ensure that you have installed all the cookbooks that another cookbook depends on. You must download each and every one of them manually only to find out that, with each downloaded cookbook, you inherit another set of dependent cookbooks.

What is Chef vs Puppet?

The chef has you working with cookbooks and recipes, while Puppet works with manifests and modules. Recipes and manifests, as a rule, describe single concepts, while cookbooks and recipes describe more general concepts.

This book will help you solve everyday problems with your IT infrastructure with Chef. It will start with recipes that show you how to effectively manage your infrastructure and solve problems with users, applications, and automation. You will then come across a new testing framework, InSpec, to test any node in your infrastructure. Make sure you bump the version number of modified cookbooks in their metadata.rb file and commit them to your version control system before uploading to the Chef Server. The built-in commands deal with the basic elements of Chef-like cookbooks, roles, data bags, and so on. However, it would be nice to use knife for more than just the basic stuff.

Discover services from Conflux

Additionally, Appendix B, ‘Testing a SPA’, had more information on testing complex JavaScript applications than many other books I have read. Testing software is often ignored in books and training materials. However, software testing is an integral part of the ‘real-world’ software development life-cycle. Chef is an agent-based tool wherein chef-client pulls the configuration information for the managed node from Chef Server. The chef-client installs on every node to execute the actual configuration, and it uses the Ruby programming language.

What is Chef cookbook in DevOps?

Cookbooks are fundamental working units of Chef, which consists of all the details related to working units, having the capability to modify configuration and the state of any system configured as a node on Chef infrastructure.

Instead of polluting your Chef repository, it stores all the cookbooks in a central location. You just commit your Berkshelf dependency file (called Berksfile) to your repository, and every colleague or build server can download and install all those dependent cookbooks based on it. Quite often, you might want to use features of other cookbooks in your own https://remotemode.net/become-a-devops-engineer/chef/ cookbooks. For example, if you want to make sure that all packages required for compiling software written in C are installed, you might want to include the build-essential cookbook, which does just that. The Chef server needs to know about such dependencies in your cookbooks. Overall, I enjoyed the book and felt it was well worth the time to explore.

How Chef works

Vagrant is a command-line tool that provides you with a configurable, reproducible, and portable development environment using VMs. It lets you define and use preconfigured disk images to create new VMs from. Also, you can configure Vagrant to use provisioners such as Shell scripts, Puppet, or Chef to bring your VM into the desired state. I registered as the user webops with an organization short name of awo. An organization is the top-level entity for role-based access control in the Chef server. Let’s assume you’re working on the same chef-repo repository, together with your co-workers.

The client will then check in every now and again to make sure that no changes have occurred, and nothing needs to change. Patches and updates can be rolled out over your entire infrastructure by changing the recipe. When you have five or ten servers, it is still possible to do this manually, but it may take all day. However, when your infrastructure scales up into the thousands we need a better way of doing things. For example, Puppet includes a domain-specific language and reports on nodes in its dashboard. Chef also relies on a domain-specific language, which the company states is accessible and understandable.

Using roles

Using version control is a fundamental part of any infrastructure automation. There are multiple solutions to manage source version control, including Git, SVN, Mercurial, and Perforce. Due to its popularity among the Chef community, we will be using Git. However, you could easily use any other version control system with Chef. Chapter 3 explores areas where .NET developer can start leveraging PowerShell for daily administrative tasks. In particular, I found the sections on PowerShell Remoting and administering IIS and SQL Server particularly useful.

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