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Getting Started with Chef

Joshua Timberman (Opscode, Inc.), Aaron Peterson (Opscode)
Cloud Computing
Location: D137/138
Average rating: **...
(2.62, 13 ratings)

Attendee prerequisites for this tutorial are listed below.

Infrastructure is code. The separation between how you manage infrastructure and applications is disappearing.

System administrators love Chef because it gives them flexibility to integrate all aspects of their infrastructure such as monitoring and trending tools with applications. Software developers love Chef because it helps them take care of the muck so they can focus on writing great applications.

This tutorial will cover:

  • How system integration goes beyond just configuration management.
  • Chef’s architecture and design including tools and capabilities
  • Anatomy of a Chef run.
  • Chef concepts, such as Roles, Recipes, Clients, Nodes.
  • How to download, customize and use existing cookbooks.
  • How to write data driven cookbooks that use the Chef Server search indexes and data storage.
  • Interacting with the server API through the command-line tool, Knife.
  • How Chef integrates with cloud computing providers and simplifies managing cloud-based systems, public or private

PREREQUISITES

This tutorial has certain workstation requirements and pre-requisites, including software installations required prior to attending. Click HERE for more information.

QUESTIONS for the speaker?: Use the “Leave a Comment or Question” section at the bottom to address them.

Photo of Joshua Timberman

Joshua Timberman

Opscode, Inc.

Joshua Timberman has over 10 years experience in Linux and Unix system administration. His background includes deploying highly available enterprise application environments and providing internal infrastructure services and team-based training. Joshua currently works for Opscode as a technical program manager, where he is responsible for Opscode’s open source Chef cookbooks and Chef Fundamentals training course materials.

Photo of Aaron Peterson

Aaron Peterson

Opscode

Aaron Peterson is a seasoned systems and networking engineer and tech evangelist for Opscode, the makers of Chef. He has wielded
real-time command-line kung fu to tens of thousands of servers at once
and automated global production infrastructure at Amazon.com. He is
excited about information design and visualization, scale, and analysis.

Comments on this page are now closed.

Comments

Picture of Michael Downey
Michael Downey
07/27/2011 11:25pm PDT

My other tutorials sent e-mails with prerequisites so I was able to prepare for them ahead of time. By chance, at lunch I checked to see a massive list of things I was supposed to have done before the session—but never knew about. I didn’t bother attending as I assumed I had no chance to download everything over the conference wifi by the start of the session.

Scott Markwell
07/26/2011 10:04am PDT

It would’ve been very helpful if the e-mails with the requirements went out ahead of time. It probably would’ve been much better not as an interactive session, but instead as a demonstration.

Jeremy Brinkley
07/25/2011 10:30pm PDT

The fact that most people did not know in advance about the setup required was unfortunate but not insurmountable. However, while I appreciate the presenters’ time and effort, I was disappointed in the session because I don’t feel it adequately addressed some of the advertised points:

  • How system integration goes beyond just configuration management.

If covered, this was a hard message to extract from the presentation or apply to chef.

  • Chef’s architecture and design including tools and capabilities

We covered a few example knife commands but did not really talk about architecture except as prompted by questions. No chef server architecture was discussed. No alternatives to knife were discussed (not even the server management interface).

  • How to download, customize and use existing cookbooks.

A very little was covered here. We did not cover common customization use cases except for brief discussion (account cancellation) prompted by attendee questions.

  • How to write data driven cookbooks that use the Chef Server search indexes and data storage.

If we had discussed or covered the example sysadmins recipe at all, this might have addressed this point. I asked a question about integration with external data sources for data bags and got an interesting but orthogonal answer about how I could query something other than data bags to drive a recipe.

  • Interacting with the server API through the command-line tool, Knife.

This was adequately addressed but I would have preferred to see this discussion in the form of example workflow.

  • How Chef integrates with cloud computing providers and simplifies managing cloud-based systems, public or private

There was no information about this, except that it can be done.

Picture of Joshua Timberman
Joshua Timberman
07/25/2011 9:00pm PDT

Slides from the tutorial are posted:

www.slideshare.net/jtimberm...

GitHub repository with instructions for installation:

github.com/opscode/oscon201...

(also linked in the slides in context)