ChefConf 2015 – Automate All Your Puns

This is a guest post from Robert Haynes, Marketing Solutions Architect at F5. It originally appeared on F5’s DevCentral site on March 30, 2015.

Go here to read more about F5 and Chef’s work together.

Chef turns infrastructure into code. It also gives the casual blog writer a terrible temptation to descend into pun-filled drivel. Which would be a shame as the ability to automate and operationalize our infrastructure has never been more relevant. That’s why I’m excited to be attending Chefconf 2015 in Santa Clara. We will have a booth and there will be a number of F5’ers eager to talk about how to integrate Chef and F5 platforms. More importantly we’re here to listen to how you’d like to do it.

I’m hoping we can come away from the show having learnt as much from the attendees as they have from us. I’m looking forward to hearing about scenarios where customers have been able to deploy and build whole architectures and have a BIG-IP or LineRate instance programmatically configured to supply layer 4-7 services to the application. Just as you write recipes for server and software deployments, you probably want to add in things like security, load balancing or SSL decryption.

In preparation for the event, I’ve been reviewing and testing out what’s available for Chef and F5 today. There are a few cookbooks out there – most notably from Target – who are also giving a talk at the conference and from Sean Walberg – and a while back we even published a basic F5 develop recipe on Devcentral. These are all great, but they are written to use the SOAP/XML iControl API. I think that there might be an opportunity to do something with the new(er) REST API – iControl REST. iControl REST offers a simpler but still powerful API that uses JSON for sending key:value pairs to the BIG-IP – something Chef users will be familiar with. It’s really well documented and there are some great examples in the code share and a functional Ruby script. The LineRate platform, too has been REST API enabled from day one and is ready to automate.

So if you‘d like to bring your Chef skills to our booth, we’ll be happy to run though the API and how to create, configure and delete objects and settings on our platforms using iControl.

The REST is up to you (I’m sorry I held out as long as I could).

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee