Parse Uses Chef to Automate Awesome Mobile App Platform

Parse Delivers Complete Mobile App Platform with Chef™

Deploys Enterprise Chef™ to Automate Amazon Web Services Infrastructure, Creating Nimble, Easily Scalable Cloud Service That Gets Developers Up and Running in No Time

SEATTLE – January 28, 2014 – Chef™, IT automation for speed and awesomeness,today announced that Parse has automated hundreds of Amazon Web Services servers with Enterprise Chef™. Parse uses the hosted version of Enterprise Chef and AWS Auto Scaling to manage massive and unpredictable demand for its cloud-based application development services, enabling the company to manage 30-40 different services with only a three-person infrastructure team.

Parse, acquired by Facebook last year, delivers a scalable and powerful compute backend that enables businesses to launch fully featured apps in very little time without worrying about server management. The company leverages hundreds of AWS servers to deliver its cloud app platform, including dozens of services ranging from data storage to push notifications. With a small team and a rapidly growing customer base, Parse needed to automate configuration management across its infrastructure to ensure maximum adaptability and system reliability.

“Our business is pretty ‘bursty’ with lots of unpredictable spikes, so we have to be able to add capacity on the fly with minimal time and effort,” says Ben Hartshorne, Production Engineer, Parse. “This would be impossible without Chef. We can scale up or down in minutes, thanks to a bunch of Chef Cookbooks that helped us automate every part of our compute stack.”

Parse has automated the configuration of everything from MySQL to Zookeeper with Enterprise Chef, improving business agility and accelerating the customer feedback loop. Achievements include:

  • Fast Configuration: Zookeeper is an open source application for maintaining configuration information, naming, providing distributed synchronization, and providing group services within IT infrastructure. Traditionally a very complex application, Parse installed Zookeeper on hundreds of AWS servers in less than a day using Enterprise Chef.
  • Response Speed: When unforeseen demand spikes exceed Parse’s infrastructure capacity, its IT team spins up batches of new AWS servers with Auto Scaling and lets Chef automate configuration and deployment, bringing fully configured compute capacity online in minutes.
  • Reusable Code: The Chef Community features over 1,000 Cookbooks – collections of tested, reusable code – providing the Parse team with repeatable code that saves lots of man-hours.

“Parse sees the world much like we do, meaning they know that application development must move at the speed of customer demand,” comments Adam Jacob, Chief Dev Officer, Chef. “With Chef as the automation engine, Parse’s cloud platform gives devs what they need to rock out awesome apps as fast as they can code.”

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee