What do you like most about Chef?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community!
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.
The most valuable feature is the language that it uses: Ruby.
It is a well thought out product which integrates well with what developers and customers are looking for.
You set it and forget it. You don't have to worry about the reliability or the deviations from any of the other configurations.
The scalability of the product is quite nice.
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.
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.
The most valuable feature is automation.
The most important thing is it can handle a 100,000 servers at the same time easily with no time constraints.
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.
Chef recipes are easy to write and move across different servers and environments.
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.
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.