Announcing the Chef Infra Server 13 Deprecation

Today we are announcing the deprecation of Chef Infra Server 13, with the eventual end of life (EOL) date of June 30th, 2021. On the EOL date, all development will terminate and no new versions will be released.

Why Deprecate Chef Infra Server 13

On October 5th, 2020 we released Chef Infra Server 14, which contains significant architectural updates to the search indexing functionality in Chef Infra Server by moving search to use Elasticsearch. These updates allowed us to remove many end of life 3rd party components within the server package, and resolve a large number of CVEs within those components. Chef Infra Server 13 contains legacy versions of components such as Oracle Java, Apache Solr, and RabbitMQ. As these components are no longer supported by their vendors and community, we would need to update to new major releases in order to provide security updates to Chef Infra Server 13. We believe the upgrade to Chef Infra Server 14 is a lower risk update for customers than the changes necessary to continue to support security updates to Chef Infra Server 13.

Chef Infra Server 14 Improvements

Chef Infra Server 14 provides a significant improvement in the operation and reliability of the Chef Infra Server. By moving our search indexing capabilities to use the industry standard Elasticsearch we greatly reduce the number of moving parts in the Chef Infra Server installation. We’ve removed Apache Solr, RabbitMQ, and our Opscode Expander processes. This reduces the number of potential failures in the overall system, eases troubleshooting, and simplifies monitoring. Using Elasticsearch also makes it simpler to integrate Chef Infra Server with your Chef Automate installation or an external Elasticsearch installation such as cloud hosted Elasticsearch.

What’s Involved in the Upgrade

Major version releases can be scary at first glance, but we believe this is a relatively simple upgrade for most users. We released this change as Chef Infra Server 14 out of an abundance of caution and so we could properly communicate the changes to our users. Chef Infra Server 14 removes compatibility with EOL Chef components such as Automate 1.x, Chef Analytics, and Chef Reporting. It may also require updates to operational processes for some organizations such as monitoring or backups as the underlying server technologies have changed (for the better). For those not using an external Elasticsearch service with Chef Infra Server 13, the upgrade process will require a full reindex of search data during the upgrade. This step is automatic and will take approximately 2 minutes for every 1000 nodes, but times may vary depending on the size of node data to index.

What’s Next?

All users of Chef Infra Server 13 should start planning their upgrades. Please review the complete Chef Infra Server 14 Release Notes as well as the Chef Infra Server 14 Upgrade Documentation. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Chef support or your account manager.

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Tim Smithh

Tim was the Product Manager for Chef Infra.