Videos of Customer Success with Chef

Chef is everywhere, or at least we try to be. From DevOpsDays to reInvent, meetups to ChefConf, to the constant stream of field engagements, success engineering projects, trainings, and much more, our team is out there and engaging with every aspect of the Chef community and the broader IT industry on a daily basis.

Quite often we’re asked for real world examples of Chef success – who’s done it, what they achieved, and, most importantly, how did they get there? To take a phrase from our friend Rob Cummings at Nordstrom, what’s success look like on “the DevOps Roller Coaster”?

Until now, we’ve often pointed folks to our Customers page for a variety of case studies and videos that detail the what and how of success with Chef (and DevOps). However, over the course of the past few ChefConfs, we’ve collected a diverse and compelling collection of customer stories about much more than just “using Chef”, but about why to automate at all, how to spread the DevOps vision across an organization, why “speed” isn’t enough, and many more topics critical to achieving success in today’s tumultuous world of IT.

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Posted in awesome chefs, culture, customers, devops

An Awesome Chef’s Thoughts on the Community Summit

By now, hopefully all of you know we have Chef Community Summits in Seattle (Oct. 14-15) and London (Nov. 3-4) this Fall. Always some of the most engaging events of the year for the Chef Community, the Summits are organized as facilitated Open Space events. This helps ensure everyone has a chance to participate, the topics discussed are the right topics, and the outcomes are best for everyone.

But you don’t need to take our word for it. Official Awesome Chef Matt Wrock was kind enough to share his experience at last year’s Summit in Seattle – his first – and what made the biggest impressions on him after two days in the heart of our Community. Here’s what Matt had to say:

“Last year was my first Community Summit and also my first open space event. I was a little apprehensive at first. I’m not a naturally outgoing person and I was envisioning awkward silence as people stared at me wondering why I was not gregariously blabbing or perplexed at my incoherent ramblings.

Turned out these fantasies were unfounded and this ended up being one of the most enjoyable and productive social events I have attended in years.

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Posted in awesome chefs, community, culture, events

Chef Analytics + Slack = Awesome

Recently at Chef we moved to Slack for our internal messaging and collaboration tool. While this was awesome for us, our analytics product, Chef Analytics, had integrations written specifically for our old tool, Hipchat. If you’re not familiar with Chef Analytics, it provides a real time event stream on events that occur on the Chef Server and on Chef Clients. Analytics allows you to write rules to notify different end points when an event takes place. Often you might want to send a notification to your messaging tool if for instance there is a failure in a Chef Audit Mode run.Integrating with Slack was super easy using a Slack Webhook and the Chef Analytics Webhook Notification.
  1. First, go create a new Slack Webhook. You’ll need to choose the channel where you want messages sent, then Slack will give you a URL to post messages to. Copy that URL, you’ll need it.Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.57.24 PM
  2. Log into your Chef Analytics webui and Navigate to notifications. Click the + to add a new Webhook notification. Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.58.47 PM
  3. Name the notification (I named mine ‘slack’) and paste the URL you got from Slack in step 1. Your notification is ready to use. Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 5.01.32 PM
Now that the notification is created, you need to create rules that use it. You’ll also want to study the  Slack Webhook message format. A very simple rule to test your integration is to just send a message on any action event that comes into Analytics.
rules 'org notifier'
  rule on action
   when
     true
   then
     notify('slack', '
{
"text": "test from the blog post"
}
')
  end
end
Slack expects a JSON document to be sent in the Webhook, and Chef Analytics 1.1.4 supports multi-line notifications to be written. The minimum payload you’ll need to send is the “text” property. Save this rule, and you should start seeing messages in your Slack channel as things change on the Chef Server. That’s cool, but the message could be formatted better. Slack lets you modify the message a few different ways. You can add the “username” property to set the username in the Slack channel, and you can specify an icon by setting the “icon_emoji” property. Say for instance we want to write a rule to notify Slack when an Chef Audit Mode rule fails.
rules 'failed-audit'
 rule on run_control_group
 when
   status != 'success'
 then
   notify('slack', '
{
"username": "Audit Alarm",
"icon_emoji": ":rotating_light:",
"text": "{{message.name}} (cookbook {{message.cookbook_name}}) had `{{message.number_failed}}` failed audit test(s) on node `{{message.run.node_name}}` in organization `{{message.organization_name}}`"
}
')
 end
end
This will result in a message in Slack that looks like the below. Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 5.15.26 PM You can enhance this message a bit more by using the message attachments feature. Say for instance you want audit rules to stand out a bit more in a channel, you can set the message attachment color to “warning”, to make channel members see it better.
rules 'failed-audit'
 rule on run_control_group
 when
   status != 'success'
 then
   alert:warn('{{message.cookbook_name}} {{message.recipe_name}} audit failed')
   notify('slack', '
{
"username": "Audit Alarm",
"icon_emoji": ":rotating_light:",
"attachments": [ {
"text": "{{message.name}} (cookbook {{message.cookbook_name}}) had `{{message.number_failed}}` failed audit test(s) on node `{{message.run.node_name}}` in organization `{{message.organization_name}}`",
"color": "danger"
}]
}
')
 end
end

This rule will give you a message like the one below.

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 3.53.07 PM

You can leverage all of Slack’s formatting rules as well to make you messages stand out even more. Hopefully this post will help you get started with Analytics and Slack. The two tools combined give you a powerful combination to enhance your chatops experience and effectiveness.

 

Posted in analytics

Chef Management Console 1.18.0 Release

Manage 1.18.0 is now available from the Chef download site.

With this release Manage will now respect the strict_search_result_acls setting if it is set on the Chef server. When this setting is enabled the Chef server search functionality does ACL permission checking before returning results. This means Manage no longer has to do this checking itself, resulting in a speedup in Manage.

A full description of this setting and how to enable it can be found on the Chef docs site here. Ensure you read the description before enabling this setting, as it has potential implications beyond Manage.

This release also includes a number of minor bug fixes. The most notable of these is bumping the version of the internal Chef client used by Manage during reconfigures, which solves an encoding issue that was encountered on some systems. As always, you can see the full change log on hosted Chef at https://manage.chef.io/changelog.

Thank you for using Chef.

Posted in release Tagged with:

Chef Analytics 1.1.5 Release

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Chef Analytics 1.1.5. This is a bugfix release for 1.1.4, which prevented some customers from cleanly upgrading from previous versions of Analytics.

This version also includes a scheduled task (cron job) that will purge Analytics data older than three months by default on an ongoing basis. You may customize the behavior by using the data_retention['month_interval_to_keep_activities'] and data_retention['keep_all_data'] parameters; see the documentation for more detail.

In Q3, we will be working on features that will allow customers the ability to better manage the growth of their Analytics data in a more elegant fashion.

Analytics 1.1.5 will be the last shipping version that supports Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. This version of Ubuntu became end-of-life on April 30, 2015.

As always, you can download new releases of Analytics from downloads.chef.io.

Posted in analytics

Chef Server 12.1.2 Released

Chef Server 12.1.2 is now released.

This is a bug fix release which fixes installing remote add-on packages via the chef-server-ctl install command on apt systems.

You can get the updated package here.

Upgrade instructions are located here.

Posted in community

Notes from the Lab: What Matters in Knowledge Sharing?

Hello again! I mentioned in my intro blog that, before coming to Chef, I was an academic, and I am actively researching the ways tech professionals choose and use technology. A large part of that effort is writing and publishing peer-review research. Occasionally, when something I’ve written is published that’s cool and relevant to our community, I’d like to share it with you. This is one of those times!

A paper I coauthored with Xuequn (Alex) Wang and Paul Clay was recently published in the Journal of Knowledge Management. It is titled “Encouraging knowledge contribution in IT support: social context and the differential effects of motivation type.” It takes a look at one piece of knowledge management (KM) – knowledge contribution – among sysadmins.

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Posted in community, culture

5 Ways to Deal With the install.sh Curl Pipe Bash problem

What is the Curl Pipe Bash Problem?

You have probably seen documentation on commands to use to install chef-client that look something like:

curl -L https://www.chef.io/chef/install.sh | bash -s -- -v 12

Or just:

curl -L https://chef.sh | bash

Or for ChefDK:

curl -L https://www.chef.io/chef/install.sh | bash -s -- -v 12 -P chefdk

What these commands do is talk to a service we have called omnitruck and that downloads a shortish 600-line shell script which does the logic of figuring out what kind of distribution you are running and then downloads the correct s3 package artifacts for you (with some handling of version numbers, and nightlies and command line options to install chefdk, etc).

These commands all follow the pattern of downloading an installer script off the internet and then running it locally on the box through a bash shell. This practice has come under fire for numerous reasons.

I’ll start by laying out what I think is the level of actual concern that you should have over this practice and the real risk, and then will describe some alternatives, because absolutely nobody is telling that you that YOU MUST be using curl pipe bash to install Chef. At the same time there are good reasons that we have for having this install method and we will likely continue to put this install method first in front of new users.

So, here are five different things you can do about curl pipe bash.

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Posted in community

Chef Server 12.1.1 Released

Chef Server 12.1.1 was released today.

This is a bug fix release which fixes bugs related to upgrades from Open Source 11, Enterprise Chef 11, and Chef Server 12.

This release also ships OpenSSL 1.0.1p; however, Chef Server was not vulnerable to CVE-2015-1793 since no version of Chef Server shipped the affected versions.

Posted in community

Get the Most From Chef: Analytics, Provisioning, and More

Earlier today, Chef Automation Engineer, Galen Emery, presented a webinar on how to “Get the Most From Chef” with some of our newest features.

Chef Analytics: Do you have compliance or audit requirements? Get real-time visibility into what’s happening on the Chef server.

Chef Provisioning: Spend less time on the tedious stuff. Describe, version, deploy, and manage clusters of any size and complexity with a single tool set.

Chef Delivery: Get a sneak peek of our new continuous delivery tool currently available by invitation only.

Watch the recording of the webinar to see demos and learn how to get and be successful with these features. Q&A from the live webinar is available below.

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Posted in analytics, chefdk, Delivery, webinar