Chef Review

We have had less production issues since using it to automate our provisioning


What is our primary use case?

We use it for provisioning Adobe Experience Manager web application environments.

How has it helped my organization?

It has given us more resiliency in all the stuff we now manage with Chef, which was previously sort of manually maintained. Now, we are able to drive all of that through version control and automation, which is a lot faster.

What is most valuable?

It has been very easy to tie it into our build and deploy automation for production release work, etc. All the Chef pieces more or less run themselves.

What needs improvement?

There is a slight barrier to entry if you are used to using Ansible, since it is Ruby-based. However, it is just a different product and requires you to acclimate yourself, just like any other product would.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability works. We haven't scaled it too high. We have a few different servers in different places. 

We have been looking into the high availability offering, but we haven't actually stood it up yet. We are hopeful about it though.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have had to open a few Amazon support tickets. However, they have typically not been Chef-related, they have been Amazon service-related.

The technical support has been great. Our tickets have all been closed out quickly.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Our environments used to be on-premise, then we were moving them into the cloud. Since they were big and complicated, we decided we needed a manageable provisioning system instead of doing it by hand every time.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. It has decreased a lot of man-hours that we were previously spending doing stuff which we now manage with Chef. It has decreased when we have a production issue, since we are able to fix it faster. We also have had less production issues since using Chef to automate our provisioning.

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

I wasn't involved in the purchasing, but I am pretty sure that we are happy with the current pricing and licensing since it never comes up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and homegrown solutions. We had a couple people who used to use Ansible and some people who had previously used Chef. I think we just settled on Chef after trying it because we liked that it was Ruby-based, and there were a lot of community cookbooks already. This lined up parallel with what we wanted to be doing.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Chef. It is very user-friendly. There are a lot of community resources which make it easy to onboard. It also plays nicely with existing automation tools and other things which you are probably already using.

Chef works with Adobe Experience Manager, Terraform, and AWS CLI tools. We have been pleased with the integration.

We have only used the AWS offering.

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