Chef Helps MSN Accelerate Application Deployment by 50 Percent

Leader in Online Media Automates Services Management and Deployment Across Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform, Achieving Greater Development Velocity

SEATTLE – July 6, 2016 – Chef, the leader in automation for DevOps, today announced MSN is using the Chef IT automation platform to configure and deploy applications throughout its large-scale Microsoft Azure infrastructure. By combining the elasticity of Azure with Chef’s ability to easily automate complex infrastructure and application workflows, Chef has helped MSN accelerate application deployment times by 50 percent for the majority of MSN websites.

Chef, which is available for purchase directly on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, helps enterprises quickly and easily migrate workloads to Azure, create hybrid clouds, and manage large-scale Windows and Linux workloads. MSN has deployed Chef across thousands of Azure-based Windows Server virtual machines to create an automated application development and deployment workflow.

News Highlights:

Chef provided MSN with a scalable automation platform and a well-established user community that enables weekly, even continuous, deployments of the complicated applications powering MSN web properties:

  • Faster Deployments: By using Chef to automate the application deployment process, MSN has reduced application deployment times by 50 percent.
  • Unlimited Scale: The Azure cloud offers a highly-reliable and inexpensive infrastructure that, when combined with Chef’s flexibility, can be easily scaled up and down to meet all of MSN’s elastic compute needs. A single Chef Server allows MSN to manage applications across thousands of nodes.
  • Reliability and Repeatability: Chef has created a transparent and shared repository of code for MSN’s application development and management workflow, ensuring configurations and delivery procedures can be easily repeated without additional coding. Chef’s interoperation with Azure and Powershell Desired State Configuration (DSC) makes configuration definitions more reliable and applications less susceptible to failure.
  • Logical Topologies: Chef enables MSN to build logical topologies – combining cloud environments from different geographic or organizational areas into logically integrated, fluid compute systems. MSN can automate dependency management within its infrastructure to more easily allocate resources for maximum efficiency.

MSN wrote a reusable Chef bootstrapper for the Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS), which utilizes the existing fabric capabilities and provisions of Azure for the Chef Client on the underlying Windows Server virtual machines. MSN open sourced this code, available as a NuGet package so any organization can easily take similar steps to provision Chef onto Azure PaaS to automate management.

Supporting Quote:

Eugene Chigirinskiy, Group Engineering Manager, MSN:

“We operate a massive, complex collection of web properties that must be up and running no matter the traffic demands. Chef gives us powerful automation capabilities for turbocharging our application deployment workflow to meet user demand, while helping us maximize the many benefits of Microsoft Azure.”

Additional Resources

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee