"We couldn't do it without Chef. It would be impossible for any human to manage the complexity that Chef takes on." Chris Williams, BookRenter Co-Founder and DevOps Manager
BookRenter invented the textbook rental category in 2006 with a mission to make education more affordable and accessible for students of higher education and K-12 institutions. The company allows students to rent textbooks for up to 80 percent off the retail price by providing them with the best price, highest quality books, and most flexible rental experience through its campus store or online at www.bookrenter.com. As one of the fastest growing startups in Silicon Valley, and facing stiff competition in the marketplace, BookRenter needed to not only ramp up its server capacity to serve its customers (going from fewer than 10 servers to more than 100 in 2011), it also needed to rapidly deploy a second backup datacenter in a different location.
With automation in its DNA, BookRenter deployed Chef to rapidly spin up additional servers and handle application updates and editing without manual interference. It also built the capability to launch a mirror site in a separate datacenter in a matter of minutes, a preemptive move in the event of any kind of outage at its primary datacenter.