Application Automation

Build, deploy, and manage your apps anywhere—bare metal, VMs, containers and PaaS.



Application automation is focused on creating the quickest and safest way to build, manage, and deploy both modern and legacy applications in any runtime environment. Achieving this requires the following capabilities:

Application management should be the same for new and legacy applications, no matter what the runtime environment (bare-metal, VM, IaaS, PaaS/grid, container…)

Each application is fully responsible for all its dependencies, isolated from others.

Application components should be aware of each other across a network, without a central supervisor or orchestrator.

The OS should be as small as possible. Its role is to serve the application.

There should be a clear way to do deployment with real-life semantics, without the need for a central orchestrator or traditional ARA.

Automate any app, anywhere with Habitat

Habitat is Chef’s solution to Application Automation. With Habitat, everything the application needs, from build dependencies, run-time dependencies, configuration, dynamic topologies, deployment strategies, secrets management, security auditing, and so on belongs with the application, because we’re doing it for the application.

Runtime and infrastructure layers exist to support the application, but the efficient building, deployment, and management of the application are decoupled from those layers.

Learn more about Habitat

By making it easy to build applications that run anywhere, the value of hybrid cloud platforms, containers, and their management can be fully realized. Habitat is an important step forward in enabling enterprise IT to fully benefit from the portability and efficiency of cloud computing.

Jonathan Donaldson – Vice President of Software-Defined Infrastructure, Data Center Group

[W]e have to pay particular attention to technologies that continuously deliver desired end-states, and across diverse production environments, otherwise we’re just speeding up over-the-wall procedures.

Mark Burgess 
-Author, Creator of CFEngine, Emeritus Professor of Network and System Administration, Oslo University College

Open source projects like Habitat embrace the ability to help DevOps teams run their applications in containers everywhere. The community can take advantage of Habitat’s application-centric automation on CoreOS Linux and Tectonic across all their environments…

Wei Dang – Head of Product

We are primarily an on-premise, bare-metal infrastructure. Habitat doesn’t care if we’re deploying our application containers on bare metal or cloud or PaaS. It’s non-specific to what you’re doing under the hood.

Jon Cowie – Staff Operations Engineer

How Habitat Enables Application Automation


  • Describes how to build the application
  • Makes dependencies explicit
  • Includes what is configurable about the application


  • Built in service discovery
  • Self-organizes into topologies
  • Handles inter-service discovery through binding
  • Has no single point of failure


  • Encrypted, authenticated run-time configuration
  • Automatic, safe, atomic software updates
  • Dynamic topology updates


Whether you’re automating a legacy on-premises application, trying to manage containers in production, or if you’re starting from scratch, we can help you create and execute an effective plan.

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