News & Insights for the AI Journey|Sunday, December 15, 2019
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Chef Unifies DevOps Automation 

The automation of DevOps continues to expand as does the integration of current capabilities such as security and governance along with new features like data analytics as enterprise users seek to accelerate and scale application deployment.

DevOps specialist Chef Software Inc. has moved to consolidate many of these functions onto a single platform that is billed as providing a single workflow for continuous application deployment. The Chef Automate platform combines its previously separate application delivery and security and regulatory compliance tools while adding a new "visibility" analytics feature. The analytics capability provides a view of resources managed by the Chef DevOps platform in a single interface.

The platform was unveiled during a company event in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday (July 12).

The unified workflow platform incorporates Chef's application delivery scheme that can reused when changing to a new infrastructure or distributed applications.

Along with combining and automating DevOps functions across the technology stack, the company touted the new platform as offering the ability to monitor and manage IT processes through a single dashboard. The interface provides access to analytics as well as the "health status" of the DevOps platform and other resources managed by Chef's tools.

The new analytics capability includes a visualization tool used to track changes, failures along with the testing and release of new software and software updates.

DevOps workflows are steadily incorporating security and governance capabilities. Hence, the Chef automation platform seeks to spot and fix compliance issues as early in the development process as possible, and before workloads are deployed to production. The automated approach means the process of determining compliance with enterprise security policies, for example, "occurs as the software moves through the pipeline," the company said.

The Seattle-based automation specialist insists that the automation of DevOps and other IT functions is the best way to deliver the "velocity" most enterprises are seeking. "Many organizations are still forced to choose between speed and security," Ken Cheney, the company's vice president of Business development and product marketing, asserted in a statement. "We think that’s absurd."

Chef said it DevOps automation platform is available now on an annual subscription basis. The subscription includes commercial support for Chef along with its InSpec and Habitat tools. The three open source projects are all under the Apache 2.0 license and available for free download.

Also this week, the company announced a new partner certification program that builds on an existing program to expand training and best practices for Chef deployments. Along with basic fluency in the Chef open source configuration management tool, the program aims to qualify more developers on its new DeveOps automation platform.

These efforts reflect the growing shift from traditional datacenter infrastructure development to the enterprise. Chef and another IT automation specialist, Puppet, have been targeting the exploding enterprise DevOps market. Puppet has released a series of updates to Puppet Enterprise since July 2015 – most recently, Puppet Enterprise 2016.2, which was announced in June.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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