Chef Helps Optimize Your Use of Azure
- High scalability. Manage 10,000+ VMs with a single Chef server, or use Chef’s SaaS option.
- Advanced workflow. Use Chef to implement best practices such as A/B testing and test-driven infrastructure.
- Flexible, policy-based configuration. Easily define recipes for complex cloud use cases and for enterprise application delivery. The Chef server stores and indexes the attributes of each node in your network for dynamic configuration.
- Reusable recipes. Reuse recipes with custom data for specific situations. Chef lets you separate configuration policy from configuration state.
- Service-oriented interface for customization. All of Chef’s functionality is exposed through consistent REST APIs. This gives you tremendous flexibility when designing custom workflows.
Simplify and Speed Up Configuration Tasks
You can use Chef to manage every aspect of your Microsoft Azure cloud environment. For example, how often do you need to create storage containers whenever you configure a new VM? With Chef, you can write code that makes this common task a versionable, repeatable process.
azure_storage_container container_name do
This code creates a storage container named container_name, if it doesn’t already exist. It’s a part of the Azure cookbook, There’s also a Chef plug-in, made specifically for Microsoft Azure, called knife-azure. With this plug-in you can, for example, set affinity groups, set the name of a storage account, and set the host name of the VM. Download the plug–in, add your security credentials, and you”re ready to go.
Chef and Desired State Configuration (DSC)
DSC is a PowerShell-based configuration system for Windows. When combined with Chef you have a powerful solution for managing your infrastructure, both in your data center and on Microsoft Azure. Chef and DSC share common concepts, such as the notion of policy–based convergence. Properties in DSC are similar to attributes in Chef. Resources in DSC are similar to Chef resources. Using Chef’s forthcoming DSC support, any resource that exists in DSC will be available in the Chef DSL.
Although Chef’s still developing our DSC support, the videos below provide an idea of where we’re heading.