Chef Review

It is easy to manage on our production systems because there is an agent running on all the servers


What is our primary use case?

  • For software management
  • Competitive deployment
  • Upgrade

How has it helped my organization?

It is easy to manage on our production systems because there is an agent running on all the servers. When we want to make a change, we just make or publish our changes on the Chef server. So, it is easy to make changes to hundreds of servers in one shot. Instead of doing manually configuration, everything is automated.

What is most valuable?

Automation is everything. Having so many servers in production, many of our processes won't work nor scale. So, we look for tools to help us automate the process, and Chef is one of them.

What needs improvement?

Right now, we are moving towards a container department with Docker and Kubernetes, so I'm not sure if Chef has features to support containers. I haven't really researched it yet, but if they can improve their software to support Docker containers, it would be for the best.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great.

How is customer service and technical support?

Because we're using the open software, we never get a chance to call their support. We just use the community support. 

If you have a question, just upload your questions on the community forum, and ask for answers from there.

How was the initial setup?

The integration and configuration were pretty straight forward. We have automated most of our department processes with Chef. Therefore, whenever there is a new software release ready, we can automatically use Chef to publish it to production. It is very easy to use.

We need to upgrade Chef and Ansible.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are using the free, open source version of the software, which we are happy with at this time.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have also used Ansible and Puppet. We have been using Ansible ever since it deployed a Docker containers with Kubernetes. We are also using Kubernetes to help manage our product assistance. 

We have our product integrated with Chef and Ansible. They are not integrated on the same system because we use two different systems. We are not using Puppet anymore.

What other advice do I have?

Chef is a great tool to use. Try to automate your whole department process with Chef, if possible. Also, try to use the same tool across different platforms, so it will be easier to manage.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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