Ken Cheney
Ken Cheney, Chef CMO, at last year's ChefConf.

Seattle-based Chef, which provides support for business infrastructure and applications, began its customer conference today by releasing updates to its signature year-old continuous automation platform, Chef Automate.

Chef officials said they want to help enterprises transition to cloud-native and container-first environments.

ChefConf 2017 started Monday and ends Wednesday at the JW Marriott in Austin. Officials expect 1,500 attendees at its sixth annual conference.

"Organizations are having a struggle with not only managing their current environments but how to bring in new technologies like cloud, microservices and containers," Ken Cheney, Chief Marketing Officer for Chef, told CMSWire in an interview before the conference. "At the same time they want to move at great velocity with great agility while remaining compliant. It's a real struggle and a demand on applications that requires complexity."

A Single View Into Compliance and Infrastructure

Chef's capabilities feature the integration of its compliance- and application-based open-source projects into the Chef Automate platform. Cheney called this "exciting" because it will allow organizations to know the state of their infrastructure along with compliance coverage all from one interface.

"You can identify where you are from a technology perspective and see what's been remediated and how it's managed all from one place," Cheney told CMSWire. "That's a big thing for many organizations — to have that one-stop shopping."

The integrations include:

  • Chef Automate-InSpec (open-source compliance automation framework). Includes workflows and practices for validating security requirements and compliance controls. InSpec also released InSpec-AWS, InSpec-Azure and InSpec-vSphere as incubation projects
  • Chef Automate-Habitat (open-source application supervisor project). Extends application supervisor capabilities required for deploying and managing any application from legacy to container-based, cloud-native and microservices. Includes Builder service for packaging, managing and running apps 
  • Habitat scaffolding. Packaging of apps built in with languages and frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and Node.js. Packaged apps can be exported to any target runtime such as Docker and ACI for use in container environments such as Kubernetes, OpenShift and Mesosphere DC/OS
  • Habitat plans. Packaging applications for big data (Cassandra, Spark, Storm, Kafka, Zookeeper, CrateDB), monitoring (Prometheus, Grafana), middleware (WebSphere, Mulesoft, Varnish, RabbitMQ, Consul), databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL, Redis, Shield backup) and developer and content tools (Jenkins, Drupal, Wordpress)

Image of the Chef Habitat architecture (including new Build Service)
Chef's Habitat architecture, including new Build Service.

AWS, Microsoft, VMware Partnerships

Cheney also touted recent partnership advancements.

Chef Automate, which allows customers to natively launch from the AWS console, is also now available in the AWS Marketplace.

Chef Automate is also in the Azure Marketplace and comes to hybrid environments through Azure Stack Marketplace syndication. Earlier this year, at Build 2017, Chef launched a new set of Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services integrations.

Chef has expanded the integrations for VMware. Integrations between Chef and VMware vRealize 7 now sit on both Windows and Linux platforms.