Opscode Chef™ Delivers Robust Open Source Automation Platform for Windows Environments

Opscode Announces New Collaboration with Microsoft to Enable Opscode Chef Cookbooks to Take Advantage of Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Capabilities

New Version of Opscode Chef Adds to Native Open Source Functionality for Automating Wide Range of Windows Infrastructure Operations 

SEATTLE – August 19, 2013 – Opscode®, the foundation of the coded business, today announced a collaboration with Microsoft Corp. to enable the Opscode Chef™ open source automation platform to take advantage of the new Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration feature of the Windows Management Framework (WMF). This new collaboration builds on continued efforts between Opscode, Microsoft, and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech), to enhance Opscode Chef’s comprehensive Windows configuration automation capabilities and help customers avoid configuration drift in enterprise IT environments. Opscode Chef currently provides native, open source functionality for Windows with a number of critical operations, including server provisioning and configuration management, and is adding new options to help users easily automate Windows resources in the data center and public and private cloud. By delivering infrastructure as code, Opscode Chef gives development and operations teams new tools to deploy Windows compute resources, accelerating development cycles and reducing operational risk.

Opscode also announced today that on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, at 10 am PT, the company will host a live demo of Opscode Chef’s automation capabilities for Windows, including Windows stack automation of a .NET application and details on the entire range of Chef resources currently available for Windows environments. To register for this webinar, please go here.

“Windows PowerShell’s new Desired State Configuration feature is a platform component,” said Jeffrey Snover, Distinguished Engineer, Cloud & Enterprise, Microsoft. “This means that partners can use Desired State Configuration once to instrument their products, and then their customers can use the configuration management product they prefer. Working with Opscode and integrating Chef demonstrates that we have the right design and simplifies the experience for Chef users who manage Windows.”

“As enterprises look to IT as a catalyst in the race to market, these organizations must automate tasks in compute infrastructure that includes Windows-based environments,” said Christopher Brown, CTO, Opscode. “Opscode Chef is the only open source automation platform with native Windows functionality, which can help customers drive faster, less risky product and application development cycles. Our continuing collaboration with Microsoft ensures Windows Server administrators can leverage the entire scope of Chef’s open source automation capabilities for more rapidly delivering goods and services.”

Opscode, Microsoft, and MS Open Tech continue to collaborate on enabling enterprise organizations to take full advantage of Opscode Chef’s open source automation capabilities for Windows environments. The integration of Opscode Chef and PowerShell empowers Windows Server administrators to automate the management of Opscode Chef Desired State Configuration Cookbooks in PowerShell, helping avoid configuration drift to maintain system consistency. An early demo of Opscode Chef and Microsoft PowerShell DSC was shown at TechEd 2013 and can be viewed here, offering users an exploration of Microsoft Powershell DSC’s capabilities, recommended use cases, and guidance for using Opscode Chef with Powershell DSC.

The latest version of Opscode Chef provides a new suite of native Open Source automation capabilities for Windows environments, including:

  • PowerShell and Batch Support: Opscode Chef provides Windows users with the ability to automate configuration and provisioning tasks in the most common Windows scripting languages directly from the command line, simplifying IT management in Windows environments.
  • Windows Registry Configuration: Using Opscode Chef, Windows users have full control of the operating modes for Windows resources in heterogeneous environments, ensuring job commands are executed for the appropriate operating setting and reducing errors in systems configuration.
  • Service Functionality: Opscode Chef runs as a service in Windows, aligning the Chef client with the most common system administration protocol for Windows environments.

In addition to these new features, Opscode Chef already offered native support for the following Windows operations, including

  • Cloud Management: Opscode Chef enables users to quickly and easily bootstrap Windows nodes in the cloud. Leveraging Knife API plugins for the full spectrum of public and private cloud providers, users can automate the creation, provisioning, management, and scaling of Windows servers in any public or private cloud directly from the command line. In addition, Opscode Chef provides integration with Windows Azure, including Chef Cookbooks for automating Drupal and WordPress deployments on Windows Azure.
  • Automated Testing: Opscode Chef features the Pedant Testing Suite, delivering robust testing capabilities that can be executed with a single command, automating more than 2,000 end-to-end tests that ensure the Chef server is installed and working properly. The Pedant Testing Suite features interoperability with seven different versions of Windows and Windows Server, improving functionality and integration within Windows environments.

Opscode Chef also offers reusable code for automating a variety of tasks ranging from rebuilding Windows environments to performing identity management in Active Directory. In addition, the open source Chef Community features tens of thousands of active users, more than 1,300 individual contributors, 200 corporate contributors, and 1,000 Cookbooks, providing a rich ecosystem of support for Microsoft customers. For more information on Opscode Chef’s capabilities for Windows, please go here.


Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee