Chef Automate 2.0 Introduced
May 23, 2018

Chef announced Chef Automate 2.0, an automation platform that unifies infrastructure and applications work and enables enterprise organizations to rapidly and securely build, deploy and manage any application, legacy or modern, in any environment.

Chef also announced availability of the new Chef Workstation, along with significant enhancements to Chef Application Automation (Habitat) and Chef Compliance Automation (InSpec).

A recent survey conducted by Chef of more than 365 DevOps, applications and infrastructure leaders revealed that while most (72 percent) see “time from code to production” and “time from commit to deploy” as the most critical measures of application deployment success, a majority (60 percent) also take days, weeks or months to complete application builds and (56 percent) need the same amount of time to deploy apps into production. The innovations introduced by Chef are designed to accelerate those processes by enabling IT to deliver immediate, effortless and scalable infrastructure to achieve compliance at velocity and to build, deploy and manage any application in any environment.

“Enterprise software development and delivery is so often gated by the operational concerns of infrastructure – from desktops to servers, storage and networks – applications end up as a second-class citizen,” said Corey Scobie, SVP of Product and Engineering at Chef. “This is insufficient to thrive in a world where the primary interface to customers, and therefore revenue, is the application. The targeted solutions we introduced today enable executives and their organizations to make that critical shift quickly and easily.”

Chef Automate 2.0: Chef Automate has been rebuilt from the ground up to provide performance, scale and advanced analytics required by enterprises using DevOps at scale to meet the demands of post-digital transformation. Chef Automate now provides a single control plane for infrastructure and compliance automation to enable a closed-loop ‘detect, correct, automate’ process to make infrastructure effortless.

New features include:

- Enhanced operational visibility and debugging – New tools and visualizations, including a streaming event feed, trend graphs and a rich query language, help users analyze infrastructure and compliance automation data from a unified dashboard.

- Compliance scanning and reporting in any environment – Integration with cloud compliance capabilities of InSpec 2 enhances scanning, which can now be used to evaluate cloud configurations (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) via APIs for compliance on either an ad-hoc or ongoing basis. Chef Automate 2 also supports scanning of Cisco IOS equipment as a significant start on extending modern compliance capabilities to network devices.

- Re-architected for speed and flexibility – A Go-based microservices architecture, with a modern, performant web UI atop a REST API, enables Automate 2 to support tens of thousands of nodes from a single installation. In-place upgrades with automatic data migration from Chef Automate 1 ensure that customers retain all historical information.

Chef Workstation: Enables DevOps teams and practitioners to complete ad-hoc DevOps tasks using all of the familiar Chef capabilities, without agents. This provides a simple and effective way to use Chef to complete tasks and then seamlessly scale those tasks through Chef Automate.

Capabilities include:

- New standard desktop/laptop experience for Chef – Includes a new ‘target mode’ for executing Chef recipes or entire cookbooks remotely and Introduces ‘chef’ command as the single point of entry.

- Foundation for a better workstation experience – Bundling all the tooling previously included in the ChefDK provides an improved user experience and cohesion between tools to deliver a seamless experience for any infrastructure automation task.

Habitat: Supports an ever-widening array of supported application release scenarios, enabling teams to ‘build, deploy and manage’ any app, anywhere. It is ideally suited to "Lift, Shift and Modernize" initiatives as enterprises seek to find a unified way to ship all of their apps – from monoliths to microservices, bare metal to containers and datacenter to cloud.

New capabilities include:

- Habitat Builder on-premises – Customers can now take advantage of Habitat's build once, run anywhere capabilities behind the firewall. This is critical for financial services, government and other highly-regulated environments.

- Expanded ecosystem integrations – An updated Kubernetes Operator for Habitat, export to Azure Container Service (AKS), Helm chart exporter, Open Service Broker integration and integration with Splunk for operational analytics validate Habitat's cloud-native, "runs anywhere" approach to modern application delivery.

InSpec: Compliance at Velocity to Accelerate DevSecOps. InSpec is the first step in Chef’s "Detect, Correct, Automate" approach to cloud migration and continuous automation. It helps organizations maintain an up-to-date view of compliance status in production, detect security issues long before they reach production and reduce risk while delivering applications faster.

New capabilities include:

- Cloud configuration compliance – Verify AWS and Microsoft Azure policies, with Google Cloud Platform support in beta. More than 10 new AWS resources bring it to CIS Level 1 benchmark completeness.

- Improved out-of-the-box experience – More than 30 new resources, including support for Cisco IOS network devices as agentless targets, are built in.

- Drastically improved performance – Users now see up to 90 percent performance gains on Windows and 30 percent on Linux/Unix.

“Enterprise IT leaders face a variety of challenges regarding the need to modernize applications and infrastructure to maintain competitive advantage and increase user satisfaction as they accelerate post-digital transformation,” said Barry Crist, CEO of Chef. “Chef allows them to build, deploy and manage all applications – legacy or new – much more easily and consistently, in any environment. Our technology is a level-setter, allowing them to match or even exceed the application deployment velocity achieved by even the most innovative and well-resourced hyperscalers in the market today.”

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