Your Time At ChefConf 2019: Chef Habitat

This year at ChefConf 2019, we have Habitat talks to help you level up your Chef Habitat usage, or get acquainted with Chef Habitat’s features. Whether you’re already running Chef Habitat in your environment, experimenting with it in your lab, or just not sure where it fits yet, ChefConf 2019 is the place to learn more.


All things ChefConf kick off on Monday, May 20 with our workshops. We have two great Chef Habitat starter offerings this year, based on your choice of platform:

Workshop: Application modernization with Chef Habitat for Linux or Workshop: Application modernization with Chef Habitat for Windows:

Learn to effectively move your legacy applications into the world of modern development lifecycles. In this session, you will use Habitat and learn a fundamentally different approach for effectively migrating your applications and seeing real business value.

If you’re looking for something a little more general to get you started with Chef Habitat, check out Workshop: Chef Habitat In Production:

Are you ready to learn about the latest awesome technology from Chef? Chef Habitat is an open-source project that moves the automation of an application’s configuration, management, and behavior to the application itself, not the infrastructure that the application runs on. You will learn about this new concept along with how to access and manage Habitat packages and their lifecycles with Jenkins.

After you fill your brain for the day, come hang out on the 7th floor in the exhibit hall for some drinks and chat with your new ChefFriends!


Don’t stay up too late though, because keynotes kick off Tuesday at 9am! The Chef team will present what we’ve been working on and some cool new stuff in the main hall on the third floor.

After lunch, it’s breakout time! There are lots to choose from for Chef Habitat content.

Starting at 1pm, two sessions will feature Chef Habitat. In-room Elwha B on the 5th floor, join Chef’s Trevor Hess and Microsoft’s Eugene Chuvyrov for their talk  Windows 2008 End of Life: A Habitat Accelerators Deep Dive:

Join Trevor Hess of Chef and Eugene Chuvyrov of Microsoft for a deep dive on the end-to-end Chef Solution for Microsoft Windows 2008 end of support and migration into Azure.

If that doesn’t suit your needs, ChefFriend Leo Fillmore from Cort will be next door in Elwha A talking about  Automating Deployments From DEV to PROD using Chef Habitat On-Prem Builder:

At Cort, we use Chef to deploy and set up the basic requirements on our systems. This includes Chef Habitat. We choose to use Chef Habitat because of its ease of use, and it gives us the ability to export to Docker images without having to build the images ourselves. We currently have Chef Habitat Supervisors and Docker Enterprise setup.

Our developers want to push code and have it appear where it needs to be, so deployments are a common and a regular occurrence. With a single push of a button, we promote from DEV, QA, and PROD. Come see how we do it.

Both good choices! Now for another choice. At 2pm in Quinault on the 5th floor, Jeff Moody will talk about using Chef Habitat at Wal-Mart’s IRL. Chef and Habitat in IRL:

The Intelligent Retail Lab is Walmart’s in-store AI lab. Leveraging both hardware and software, we’re testing a broad range of concepts, including Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Sensor Fusion, inside an existing and fully-operating grocery store in Levittown, NY. Every day, we’re processing a substantial amount of data, and we’re using Habitat to help.

But wait! Chris Alfano will be in room 401 talking about using Chef Habitat at Code for America in his talk  A Habitat for Democracy:

Traditional devops tools and approaches have been designed and optimized primarily to serve Silicon Valley’s narrow-but-dominant model of scale and success. It’s a world where many people work together to build cathedrals with global ambitions. Areas of great importance to realizing the future society we all may want to see go utterly neglected by the most powerful forces of transformation today. Not because they’re not worth doing, but because they don’t fit that model. In this talk, we’ll look at how Chef Habitat can change the equation in public education and civic hacking.

Oh man. You’re just going to have to bite the bullet and watch one of those on the recordings later. Don’t forget!

Up next for the last session of the day, you have a choice among three different talks covering different use cases for Chef Habitat.

In room Elwha B on the 5th floor, Chef’s David Echols looks at a brand-new use for Chef Habitat,  Effortless Config 101 – Build and Run the Chef-Client and Your Cookbooks as Single Package:

Effortless Config is a new, strong way to build and run your cookbooks and the chef-client as a single, deployable package. This talk details the use cases and components that comprise Effortless Config, including Chef Habitat, Policyfiles, and Chef Infra Solo. Additionally, this talk demonstrates the benefits of Effortless Config over other more traditional methods of managing Chef Infra. Finally, this talk will show you how you can migrate your organization’s existing cookbooks to this new, exciting pattern, and the benefits you will gain by doing so.

In room 502, Indellient’s Skyler Layne takes a look at Chef Habitat Depot,  Bringing the Habitat Depot On-Premise in the Enterprise:

Bringing a Habitat Depot on-premise in the Enterprise and managing it can pose some unique challenges.  During this session, we’ll cover the challenges you may come across, how to overcome them and bring in real-life examples of how companies have implemented it in the Enterprise. This will include taking a look at the use of a proxy-Habitat Depot, scaling out individual parts of the Habitat Depot for high-availability and using CI to enforce role-based access control.  

And if you’re looking for something a solution for your older, more classic applications, Joshua Timberman will be in room 402 to talk about how we do it at Chef in this talk Running Legacy Applications on Kubernetes:

Adopting Kubernetes doesn’t mean you stop using Chef. In this talk, I’ll describe how we migrated applications to Kubernetes, the tools we use, and how Chef and Chef’s products play a big role in streamlining the development to deployment feedback loop.

Tuesday night finishes up with some fun games in Elwha A on the 5th floor. Fire up your Magic cards and unwind with our Chef Community.  Get ready to do it all again on Wednesday!


Wednesday morning kicks off again at 9am on the third floor for keynotes featuring Chef customers and community members sharing their stories with all of us. Don’t be late, or you won’t get a good seat!

After lunch we have 5, yes 5 sessions for you! Get ready!

At 1pm, Graham Weldon will be in Elwha B for Real-world Habitat Plans. Graham’s been using Chef Habitat for years and has a lot of good tips to share on working with the plan files:

Habitat’s core plans are a first-stop for any beginner, but as users start requiring more complex configuration and plans, they need guidance around how to use core plans while shipping their own configuration. This definitively shows successful approaches to shipping configuration plans w/ Habitat.

We all encountered Habitat’s core plans as beginners, but when we start using and shipping more complex configuration, we may need guidance on how to use their more advanced capabilities.

Graham will demonstrate the best ways to quickly deploy the software you want with the customizations that you need, without having to recompile software that’s already available in the Habitat core-plans.

At 2pm, head down the hall to Quinault for Chef’s Joshua Hudson and Andrew Dufour and their talk  Lessons from the Field: Habitat at Enterprise Scale:

What does a sane Habitat ring look like? How big can a Habitat ring be? What does a provisioning process that includes Habitat, secrets management, etc look like?

Come join me to talk about the saga of deploying Habitat across thousands of servers. We’ll discuss the patterns that succeeded, those that failed, and many in between. We’ll dive into how big a Habitat ring can be, why it’s limited, and the ring architectures that will work at any scale.

We’ll dive into local development, on-boarding new teams onto Habitat and getting them to work on automating their applications. I’ll walk you through deploying many services with Habitat, and how you can manage that heterogeneous environment.

Grab a snack and a drink to keep your strength up, then at 3pm, choose between these two Chef Habitat talks:

In Elwha B on the 5th floor, Sensu CTO Sean Porter shares with us his experiences checking out Chef Habitat in  Understanding Habitat & Kube – A Home Lab Experiment:

In this talk, I will share my experience in building a production-ready Kubernetes home lab and the lessons I learned along the way. I talk about the hardware and software choices I made, the installation process, building and deploying a containerized application with Habitat, using Jaeger and Sensu for distributed tracing and service monitoring, and more! As the Kubernetes home lab is portable, I will use it for demonstrations and make it available for you to check it out after the talk.

But maybe k8s isn’t your thing? How about Eddie Webb from CirceCI, Habitat Enable Your CI/CD Pipelines down the hall in 502:

Habitat allows you to automate your application behavior when you create, bundle, deploy and run applications. Habitat’s automation enables teams to easily build, deploy and manage applications.

In this talk, Eddie will explore integrating Habitat with CI/CD pipelines. He’ll discuss some of the benefits of Habitat enabled pipelines and demonstrate how to integrate Habitat into CI/CD.

Phew. Ok. Couple more. At 4pm, head to room 501 for A Guided Tour of Habitat Builder and Depot from Chef’s Salim Alam:

Salim Alam is a Principal engineer on the Habitat team, and will be your tour guide of the Habitat Builder and Depot services. Topics covered will include design and architecture, On-Premise Builder deployment, new functionality available in the Builder service, tips on making the best use of the Habitat workflow with Builder, and future roadmap. We will also have time for Q&A so bring your Builder questions!

How are we going to top that? With Erik Rygg from HashiCorp at 5pm in Elwha B. Is there a better way to end a day of Chef Habitat?? Erik’s talk Networking Habitat Apps with Consul will be sure to draw a crowd:

HashiCorp Consul is a distributed networking tool to connect, secure, and configure heterogeneous applications. In this talk, we’ll explore and demonstrate Consul’s relationship with Habitat, and how they can be used together to connect and secure distributed applications.

This talk will dive into how the Consul service mesh can be integrated into Habitat applications and how they can securely connect to other disparate applications using one of Consul’s newer features, Consul Connect. Connect allows disparate applications to utilize TLS to talk securely amongst each other, as well as provide specific policies on which applications can talk to each other.

Now that your brain is full, it’s time to fill your ears. This year the ChefConf Community Party will be at Seattle’s historic Paramount Theatre, featuring Mudhoney and Deep Sea Diver!

Deep Sea Diver
Deep Sea Diver


If you stay out all night, come find us in Elwha A in the morning for some ChefConf Hacking. Put what you’ve learned over the past three days to use with some of our Chef Community members and all your new ChefFriends. We’ll be around until 2pm working on whatever strikes our fancy. We hope to see you there!

Mandi Walls

Mandi is Technical Community Manager for Chef. She can be found online @LNXCHK.