Chef Releases Chef 12 to Power DevOps Practices in the Enterprise

Company Converges to Single Source Code Base and Introduces Tiered Subscription Model to Deliver Web-Scale IT in the Enterprise

IT Automation Platform Delivers Comprehensive Integration with Windows PowerShell DSC, VMware vCloud Air, and Amazon Web Services

SEATTLE – September 8, 2014 – Chef, the leader in web-scale IT automation, today released Chef 12, the next generation of its market-leading IT automation platform. Chef 12 delivers a single, open-source code base augmented by premium features, enabling maximum open-source innovation and delivering that value for commercial customers. Chef 12 includes new high availability, replication, and analytics capabilities.

Chef 12 also provides comprehensive integration with Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC), VMware’s vSphere and vCloud Air, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). These integrations strengthen Chef’s position as the foremost platform for automating IT infrastructure and application delivery across Windows, Linux, and Unix, in the data center or on any combination of cloud platforms.

The cloud has become a central priority for enterprises, and organizations are adopting web-scale practices, including DevOps, to accelerate their IT operations and delivery. As enterprises embrace these new web-scale practices, their environments require larger deployments of Chef. Today, Chef introduced new subscription tiers to serve its broad customer base, from web startups to the largest enterprises. The new Chef Enterprise subscription includes enterprise-focused software features and an unprecedented level of proactive engagement and support. This new offering accelerates and de-risks the enterprise adoption of DevOps and the journey to web speed and scale.

By streamlining its product offerings, introducing advanced enterprise functionality, and setting a new bar for proactive engagement, Chef further solidifies its position as the market leading IT automation platform for companies on the forefront of DevOps and web-scale IT.

News Highlights

Today Chef is releasing Chef 12 with the following new features:

–        Single Code Base: Chef 12 converges its open-source and premium features using a unified code base. This approach both supports open-source innovation and delivers that value to commercial customers. The open source community remains engaged and benefits from timely bug fixes and improvements. Commercial customers get features designed for enterprise use cases and also benefit from commercial support for emerging open-source tools. Open source users can easily upgrade to premium features without reinstallation. Similarly, commercial customers can disable premium features if their needs change.

–        New Subscription Model: Chef now offers three usage tiers all based on a single code base to address the entire range of customer needs: Chef Enterprise subscription, Chef subscription, and Chef Essentials.

o      Chef Enterprise subscription is an annual enterprise license agreement. It includes a high level of proactive engagement with DevOps experts at Chef. It also includes commercial support for the entire tool chain, including open source tools for test-driven infrastructure. Other Chef Enterprise subscription advantages are Chef cookbook build assistance and 24×7 support.

o      Chef subscription offers a per-node annual pricing model backed by standard support.

o      Chef Essentials is the free usage tier. Premium features can easily be turned on and are included for free up to 25 nodes of on-premises Chef Essentials and up to five nodes for the hosted version.

–        High Availability: Chef 12 delivers maximum system availability and uptime. Users can implement a high availability (HA) strategy in any environment. A block storage device – physical, virtual or cloud-based – acts as a backup for the Chef server. HA ensures that Chef runs without interruption, even if the Chef server’s primary node fails. The new HA feature for Chef 12 uses AWS’s block storage service as its backing store. Connections to additional cloud and physical storage area network (SAN) devices will be added.

–        Replication: Chef 12 enables customers to manage globally distributed infrastructure from a single view. Users can asynchronously replicate policies between Chef servers located in different data centers or cloud environments. The single view means that infrastructure management is consistent across all locations.

–        Chef Analytics Platform: Chef 12 includes a new analytics platform.It provides an action log that gives visibility into all activity on the Chef server and lays the foundation for Chef’s investments in features for audit and compliance.

–        Commercial Support for Test-Driven Infrastructure: TheChef Enterprise subscription provides commercial support for tools that enable test-driven infrastructure (TDI). TDI ensures infrastructure reliability and consistency through automated testing of the entire stack.

–        Windows PowerShell DSC Integration: Chef 12 allows users to write recipes that treat any DSC resource as a Chef resource. Integration with DSC makes it easy to manage Windows components with Chef and implement a cross-platform IT automation strategy. See separate press release.

–        VMware vSphere and vCloud Air Interoperability: Chef 12 seamlessly integrates with VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud Air, enabling developers to easily automate infrastructure and applications across virtual data center and hybrid cloud environments. More info here.

–        Container Workflow Automation: Chef providesend-to-end management of container workflows. A new version of the Chef client integrates with containers, enabling seamless management of container resources. Chef also offers a Knife Plugin for Docker integration, enabling users to launch, configure, and manage Docker containers.

For more information about web-scale IT, read Chef’s whitepaper, “Automation and Web-Scale IT.” This paper defines how businesses can use IT automation to develop and release code at hyper speed and delight their customers.

Supporting Quotes

“Chef 12 is the best of both worlds. We’re giving all users – both open source and commercial – freedom of choice in what they find valuable. Our commitment to open source spurs greater innovation, which, in turn, benefits commercial users. Meanwhile, our premium features and success enablement offering deliver maximum value on top of our open-source base. We believe we’re onto something truly disruptive.”

– Adam Jacob, chief technology officer, Chef

Webinar Series on Chef 12:

Chef is hosting a series of webinars about the new features of Chef 12. Sign up to learn more:

–        Register today for a September 10 webinar demonstrating how Chef’s new suite of container tools and content fully automate the creation, management, monitoring, and testing of containers, making them versionable, testable, and repeatable within a production workflow.

–        Register today for a September 17 webinar demonstrating how the Chef analytics platform provides real-time visibility into what is happening on your Chef server.

–        Register today for a September 24 webinar about how high availability and replication can help you scale your Chef installation on premises or in the cloud.

Additional Resources:

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee