Today kicks off the 97th season of the National Football League (NFL). In that spirit, we’d like to give a shout out to our friend Sean Walberg who works on the infrastructure team there. At this year’s ChefConf, Sean told the story of breaking technology silos at the NFL with Chef. In the recording below, you’ll hear Sean talk about how they were able transform their siloed infrastructure and practices into something more agile, automated, and reliable.
Sean and his team take care of everything internet facing from mobile apps, to websites, and video streaming. Prior to using Chef, they had many technology silos as well as people silos. Each group had their own infrastructure team and developers separated by walls and floors. Among other things, this caused issues with employee retention because it was difficult to switch groups. Sean’s team was brought into assess the problems and realized that they were mostly cultural ones, not technical. They came to the conclusion that the only way the NFL was going to be successful as an IT organization would be to change the culture of how they deliver software.
In Sean’s own words:
Chef is an amazing tool but to really unlock its potential you need to look at how it integrates with the rest of your technology. This presentation will talk about how we integrated it with our virtualization infrastructure, load balancers, storage, and application performance monitoring. We’ll talk about some things that Chef taught us about infrastructure as code that we were able to apply to other areas, and things we learned to make our cookbooks easier to manage across groups.
This presentation covers the last two years of Chef at the NFL.
DevOps is at the center of transforming into a software-led company. Chef, combined with DevOps best practices, provides more automated and collaborative workflows. This makes it possible to build and operate a high velocity organization that continuously delivers infrastructure and applications. Check out our skills library article, Foundation of DevOps.