Posted by Kerry Godes
Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

As enterprises have adopted virtualization and cloud computing over the past several years, we’ve seen rapid growth in the complexity of IT management. Opscode Chef addresses this dilemma through cloud infrastructure automation, an innovative way to easily deploy servers and scale applications throughout an entire infrastructure.

  

"With Windows Azure and Opscode Chef, organizations can easily spin up and manage Windows Azure instances directly from the command line, delivering flexibility and efficiency in bringing ideas to market and adapting to business change, for Microsoft- and Linux-based environments alike" said Christopher Brown, CTO, Opscode.

Rooted in DevOps best practices, Chef is an open source systems integration framework built specifically for automating tasks in the cloud. Chef's flexible and re-usable templates (called "cookbooks") enable you to easily provision, manage, and scale your servers. The Chef community has published more than 700 cookbooks, supporting technologies ranging from broadly adopted IIS and SQL Server to popular new technologies like MongoDB. You choose the "recipes" that describe how you want servers to be configured and voila! – Chef gives you a flexible, easily repeatable mechanism for making sure your servers are always running exactly the way you want them to.

Chef supports every major Linux and Windows operating system and the same Chef templates can be used across all servers and cloud providers. “A server running Windows Server in the cloud can be configured by using the same approach as for a server running Ubuntu in your datacenter,” said Bryan Hale, Director of Business Development at Opscode. “With all the scale and heterogeneity of today’s IT environments, Chef is something that empowers both systems engineers and developers to move their automation projects forward."

Chef is used today by thousands of organizations, from small startups to Fortune 100 enterprises. Organizations can choose from Hosted Chef, Private Chef, or Open Source Chef. The open source Chef community features tens of thousands of users, 1,000 individual contributors, 160 corporate contributors and the more than 700 cookbooks, providing another rich ecosystem for Windows Azure customers looking to add value to their cloud investments.

For a master’s class in cloud infrastructure automation taught by Opscode's Bryan Hale and George Moberly, check out this week’s Channel 9 Cloud Cover Show with Microsoft's Nick Harris. Let us know in the comments how cloud automation could benefit your IT operations.