Chef Automate 2.0 accelerates enterprise ability to offer effortless infrastructure, enable high-velocity post-digital transformation

Chef, provider of continuous automation offerings, announced on Wednesday the next-generation automation platform, Chef Automate 2.0, that unifies infrastructure and applications work and enables enterprise organizations to rapidly and securely build, deploy and manage any application, legacy or modern, in any environment.

Chef also announced availability of the new Chef Workstation, along with significant enhancements to Chef Application Automation (Habitat) and Chef Compliance Automation (InSpec).

Chef Automate has been rebuilt from the ground up to provide performance, scale and advanced analytics required by enterprises using DevOps at scale to meet the demands of post-digital transformation. Chef Automate now provides a single control plane for infrastructure and compliance automation to enable a closed-loop ‘detect, correct, automate’ process to make infrastructure effortless.

Its features include new tools and visualizations, including a streaming event feed, trend graphs and a rich query language, help users analyze infrastructure and compliance automation data from a unified dashboard.

Chef Automate 2.0 integrates with cloud compliance capabilities of InSpec 2 enhances scanning, which can now be used to evaluate cloud configurations (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) via APIs for compliance on either an ad-hoc or ongoing basis. Chef Automate 2 also supports scanning of Cisco IOS equipment as a significant start on extending modern compliance capabilities to network devices.

The solution also offers a go-based microservices architecture, with a modern, performant web UI atop a REST API, enables Automate 2 to support tens of thousands of nodes from a single installation. In-place upgrades with automatic data migration from Chef Automate 1 ensure that customers retain all historical information.

“The race to modernize IT by deploying and managing new and legacy applications in multiple environments is greatly hindered by the complexity of current toolsets, including containers,” said Stephen Elliot, Program Vice President, Management Software and DevOps at IDC. “Solutions that span the application lifecycle and unify the teams currently tasked with owning and optimizing small pieces of the puzzle will enable enterprises to move their modernization initiatives forward, and achieve their business goals, more rapidly.”

A recent survey conducted by Chef of more than 365 DevOps, applications and infrastructure leaders revealed that while most (72 percent) see “time from code to production” and “time from commit to deploy” as the most critical measures of application deployment success, a majority (60 percent) also take days, weeks or months to complete application builds and (56 percent) need the same amount of time to deploy apps into production. The innovations introduced by Chef today are designed to accelerate those processes by enabling IT to deliver immediate, effortless and scalable infrastructure to achieve compliance at velocity and to build, deploy and manage any application in any environment.

“Enterprise software development and delivery is so often gated by the operational concerns of infrastructure – from desktops to servers, storage and networks – applications end up as a second-class citizen,” said Corey Scobie, SVP of Product and Engineering at Chef. “This is insufficient to thrive in a world where the primary interface to customers, and therefore revenue, is the application. The targeted solutions we introduced today enable executives and their organizations to make that critical shift quickly and easily.”

Chef Workstation enables DevOps teams and practitioners to complete ad-hoc DevOps tasks using all of the familiar Chef capabilities, without agents. This provides a simple and effective way to use Chef to complete tasks and then seamlessly scale those tasks through Chef Automate.

Capabilities include new standard desktop/laptop experience for Chef that includes a new ‘target mode’ for executing Chef recipes or entire cookbooks remotely and Introduces ‘chef’ command as the single point of entry. It also bundles the tooling previously included in the ChefDK provides an improved user experience and cohesion between tools to deliver a seamless experience for any infrastructure automation task.

Habitat supports an array of supported application release scenarios, enabling teams to ‘build, deploy and manage’ any app, anywhere. It is ideal to ‘Lift, Shift and Modernize’ initiatives as enterprises seek to find a unified way to ship all of their apps – from monoliths to microservices, bare metal to containers and datacenter to cloud.

A fast-growing number of enterprises, including top US ticket sales site Ticketmaster and Alaska Airlines, recently named the top airline in the US, are finding great benefits in using Habitat to deploy applications in any environment.

“We’re very interested in what Habitat can help us with,” said Stephen Nelson-Smith, principal infrastructure developer, Ticketmaster. “From the work we’ve done so far, it allows the iterative migration of mission-critical applications to the cloud by enabling us to build a single, intelligent artifact that moves, unchanged, from development to production whilst wrapping a consistent cloud-native interface around legacy applications. This is giving us a clear path to implement our strategy to containerize and cluster our services.”

“In today’s world, supporting containers and microservices is a necessity,” said Steven Mullinax, director of infrastructure engineering, Alaska Airlines. “Habitat can help get us there with applications that run anywhere.”

Customers can now take advantage of Habitat’s build once, run anywhere capabilities behind the firewall. This is critical for financial services, government and other highly-regulated environments. An updated Kubernetes Operator for Habitat, export to Azure Container Service (AKS), Helm chart exporter, Open Service Broker integration and integration with Splunk for operational analytics validate Habitat’s cloud-native, “runs anywhere” approach to modern application delivery.


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