Energy Research Lab Deploys Chef

NREL to Automate and Secure Cloud Infrastructure, Empowering Faster and More Reliable Research

Chef today announced the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has deployed Enterprise Chef™ to power vital energy research by harnessing the potential of cloud computing. As a federal research lab, NREL requires a secure infrastructure to support its more than one Petabyte of data and 300 security controls. NREL used Chef to securely automate its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure and provide its research team with scalable compute for accelerating time-to-results.

Today’s forward-thinking organizations are moving resources to the cloud to scale operations and work more efficiently, challenging IT operations teams with maintaining security, while expanding cloud practices across the workforce. NREL uses Chef to set common security protocols across its complex application stack, which includes everything from Hadoop and Exchange to proprietary data science tools. With Enterprise Chef, NREL can leverage the scalability of AWS with complete control, enabling researchers to move faster without risk.

News Highlights:

Through the deployment of Enterprise Chef, NREL is able to:

–        Manage AWS via a common language: Chef provides a common authorized code base to work from, giving NREL a shared set of configuration settings and security controls for managing AWS deployments that can be used by both IT operations and research teams.

–        Scale effectively: With Chef, NREL is able to successfully and securely manage its more than one Petabye of data and 300 security controls. With automatic provisioning and orchestration, IT can continue to scale without risk.

–        Realize creative opportunities for IT: With tools and policies in place to manage cost, configuration, and security, the burden is reduced on NREL’s IT department, allowing the team to innovate across the organization while still delivering compliant services.

Supporting Quotes:

“Our lab is full of technically-savvy, talented researchers who knew automation was the only way to keep up with demands on our infrastructure.  Infrastructure as code is a great example of shadow IT improving overall IT operations and aligning with what our research side was already doing.

–        Ryan Kelley, systems engineer, NREL

“NREL faced the same challenge so many organizations are dealing with – how to make use of the cloud without compromising security? The simple answer is automation. Code can create a common language shared across teams to ensure control and compliance. NREL’s success using Chef to make the most of AWS within government protocols is an awesome example of how Chef makes the cloud work.”

–        Adam Jacob, chief technology officer, Chef

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee