Chef Pros and Cons

Chef Pros

Wil Whitlark
Lead DevOps Engineer at General Assembly
One thing that we've been able to do is a tiered permission model, allowing developers and their managers to perform their own operations in lower environments. This means a manager can go in and make changes to a whole environment, whereas a developer with less access may only be able to change individual components or be able to upgrade the version for software that they have control over.
If you're handy enough with DSL and you can present your own front-facing interface to your developers, then you can actually have a lot more granular control with Chef in operations over what developers can perform and what they can't.
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Mike Silva
Senior Operations Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
You set it and forget it. You don't have to worry about the reliability or the deviations from any of the other configurations.
It streamlined our deployments and system configurations across the board rather than have us use multiple configurations or tools, basically a one stop shop.
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reviewer552594
Head of Tools and Automation for Infrastructure at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
I wanted to monitor a hybrid cloud environment, one using AWS and Azure. If I have to provision/orchestrate between multiple cloud platforms, I can use Chef as a one-stop solution, to broker between those cloud platforms and orchestrate around them, rather than going directly into each of the cloud-vendors' consoles.
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Find out what your peers are saying about Chef, Microsoft, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management. Updated: October 2019.
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Ijaz Hussain
Manager at ZS Associates
This solution has improved my organization in the way that deployment has become very quick and orchestration is easy. If we have thousands of servers we can easily deploy in a small amount of time. We can deploy the applications or any kind of announcements in much less time.
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Timothy Rogers
Engineer II at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
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.
We have had less production issues since using Chef to automate our provisioning.
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Amit Chaudhary
Primary Architect at Autodesk, Inc.
The most important thing is it can handle a 100,000 servers at the same time easily with no time constraints.
Deployment has become quick and orchestration is now easy.
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Stefan Nava
Director at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
It is a well thought out product which integrates well with what developers and customers are looking for.
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DevOpsDiff8c
DevOps Director at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
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.
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Sharath Annabathina
Senior Software Engineer at BMS
Chef recipes are easy to write and move across different servers and environments.
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it_user82485
Senior DevOps Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Manual deployments came to a halt completely. Server provisioning became lightning fast. Chef-docker enabled us to have fewer sets of source code for different purposes. Configuration management was a breeze and all the servers were as good as immutable servers.
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Chef Cons

Wil Whitlark
Lead DevOps Engineer at General Assembly
There appears to be no effort to fix the command line utility functionality, which is definitely broken, provides a false positive for a result when you perform the operation, and doesn't work.
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Mike Silva
Senior Operations Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
I would like them to add database specific items, configuration items, and migration tools. Not necessarily on the builder side or the actual setup of the system, but more of a migration package for your different database sets, such as MongoDB, your extenders, etc. I want to see how that would function with a transition out to AWS for Aurora services and any of the RDBMS packages.
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reviewer552594
Head of Tools and Automation for Infrastructure at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The time that it takes in terms of integration. Cloud integration is comparatively easy, but when it comes to two-link based integrations - like trying to integrate it with any monitoring tools, or maybe some other ticketing tools - it takes longer. That is because most of the out-of-the-box integration of the APIs needs some revisiting.
I would also like to see more analytics and reporting features. Currently, the analytics and reporting features are limited. I'll have to start building my own custom solution with Power BI or Tableau or something like that. If it came with built-in analytics and reporting features that would be great.
Vertical scalability is still good but the horizontal, adding more technologies, platforms, tools, integrations, Chef should take a look into that.
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Find out what your peers are saying about Chef, Microsoft, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management. Updated: October 2019.
377,556 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Ijaz Hussain
Manager at ZS Associates
I would rate this solution a nine because our use case and whatever we need is there. Ten out of ten is perfect. We have to go to IOD and stuff so they should consider things like this to make it a ten.
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Timothy Rogers
Engineer II at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
There is a slight barrier to entry if you are used to using Ansible, since it is Ruby-based.
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Amit Chaudhary
Primary Architect at Autodesk, Inc.
Since we are heading to IoT, this product should consider anything related to this.
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Stefan Nava
Director at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Third-party innovations need improvement, and I would like to see more integration with other platforms.
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DevOpsDiff8c
DevOps Director at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
If they can improve their software to support Docker containers, it would be for the best.
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Sharath Annabathina
Senior Software Engineer at BMS
They could provide more features, so the recipes could be developed in a simpler and faster way. There is still a lot of room for improvement, providing better functionalities when creating recipes.
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it_user82485
Senior DevOps Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
If only Chef were easier to use and code, it would be used much more widely by the community.
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Find out what your peers are saying about Chef, Microsoft, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management. Updated: October 2019.
377,556 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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