Reflecting on re:Invent 2014

As I flew back to Seattle from AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, I couldn’t help but think about how automation and the cloud have really become the new normal in IT.  And when I say “cloud,” I mean cloud as a proxy for spending fewer calories managing infrastructure and redirecting that energy towards driving innovation.

This insight explains why Chef and AWS are such close partners. Our cooperation ranges from joint integration, to the training Chef provides AWS field teams, to go-to-market activities centered on DevOps patterns and practices, to having Chef be the exclusive automation partner in the AWS Pop-Up Loft.

Chef and AWS have a diverse group of joint customers, including enterprises like Scholastic, Adobe,, and more, all using Chef to move production environments to AWS, while maintaining a heterogeneous IT portfolio. Our shared customers also include web innovators, like Prezi, Bonobos and hundreds of others, who began in AWS and who use Chef and AWS to move at web speed.

Our friends at AWS tell us that close to 70% of AWS customers use Chef. Our customers tell us that when they use Chef, they migrate to AWS faster and consume more of it. We definitely heard this at re:Invent, where customers shared stories that validated the Chef + AWS value proposition.

If you weren’t there, I really recommend watching the 1:1 discussion between Chef co-founder and CTO Adam Jacob and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. This is a great exchange between two innovators and gives solid insight into how AWS and Chef are reshaping IT in the digital age.

Chef also made some news at re:Invent.  We rolled out Chef provisioning, which advances the promise of infrastructure as code. Our own Michael Ducy and John Keiser took to the stage in front of nearly 600 people (Watch it here) to showcase Chef provisioning.

(For more on Chef provisioning, check out this post to get all the technical details directly from the lead developer on this new capability.)

Cycle Computing and Chef also announced that HGST, a Western Digital company and one of the Fortune 500, used Cycle and Chef to create the world’s largest F500 cloud cluster with 70,000 cores. This is pretty cool stuff.

Looking beyond re:Invent

You can expect even more collaboration between AWS and Chef going forward, beginning with a range of Chef training and “Ask an Architect” sessions at the AWS Loft in San Francisco. Check out our Loft sessions here.

Web speed and scale are absolutely necessary to delight customers and succeed in today’s economy. Getting there takes a cloud strategy powered by automation. Winning enterprises are embracing this paradigm. Those that don’t will be left behind. Automation and the cloud are the new normal in IT.

Jay Wampold

Former Chef Employee