Chef in a Nutshell
The Chef software family allows users to configure their IT systems and monitor them constantly.
In classical environments, configuration is done manually or with long shell scripts – making it non-reproducible or only applicable once. When using Chef, you state your desired state and your expectations of the configured system in an OS-independent way.
This configuration is portable across platforms and violations of your expectations will be automatically detected, reported and corrected.
Chef InSpec – Verify your IT systems‘ compliance and security posture, using CIS-certified benchmarks.
Chef Infra Client – Discover the „Test & Repair Principle“: Keep your infrastructure current and revert all manual changes within seconds.
Chef Habitat – Roll out software across different systems, platforms and runtime engines like Kubernetes or Docker.
Chef Automate – Implement a company-wide dashboard for managed servers, desktop clients, applications and their compliance status.
„DevOps“ is not a buzz word but a radical change of mentality and tools, which requires a long-term effort.
One of its main ideas is to spend more time on tasks that add value than on repetition or hand-overs between departments.
Starting with DevOps is not a sprint, but a marathon involving training, communication, exercise and mutual understanding.
As part of our Chef consulting, we guide you through all these related changes which are crucial to introducing tools like Chef – because DevOps is more about interactions than tools.
Professional Services + Development
If you just set up a web server in the cloud, things tend to be straightforward. But most projects, especially in an enterprise context, are mainly one thing: really complex.
Our consultants have been working with Chef for years and know when to deviate from the usual patterns. Starting with hands-on training and guiding you along the full implementation cycle, we can help you avoid the obstacles you would run into if you were purely self-studying. Our goal is to enable you and your employees to be self-sustaining within the Chef ecosystem, while offering you specialized consulting later on.
As every big project has its special requirements, we also develop technology just for you: Custom resources for Chef and InSpec, helper libraries and inventory plugins – even specialized drivers to enable you to test on your own infrastructure.
We love open source and publish our contributions to the ecosystem whenever possible.
Software licenses are complex and confusing. We offer to be your partner in this area, by checking your actual requirements and finding the best solution together with the vendor themselves.
tecRacer has been selling Chef licenses for years, from small customers to international enterprises. Contact us and talk to people who actually know the software that you want to buy – not somebody who just offers everything.
As every journey should start with thorough preparation, we are offering you the official Chef curriculum. And as reality rarely follows your textbooks, we are adding our practical project knowledge on top.
While there are many books and video courses on Chef, much of it is either dated or created out of pure theory. Instead of buying this book from 2013, you should get some first-hand knowledge of how things evolved over time.
tecRacer as CHEF Principal Partner
tecRacer has been awarded Principal Partner status in 2020, the highest partner level of Chef.
With this status, Progress Chef only distinguishes those partners who have the highest level of expertise, have a major influence on the market and can master both small and large customer projects with confidence.
Parallel to this, the cooperation at conferences and user groups has continued to grow: tecRacer has created the Chef Usergroup Germany. The Usergroup will not only invite speakers from tecRacer and other companies, but also Chef employees from different countries have expressed interest in reporting on news and their experiences.
Chef and tecRacer complement each other since 2017 in the area of Progress Chef Professional Services, Consulting, Reselling and Training. The segment for the DACH area has been experiencing continuous growth for years.
- Airgapped Testing - VMware Editionam 22. November 2021
Recently, I got a bug report for the kitchen-vcenter driver, which allows lifecycle management of testing VMs on VMware vCenter environments. Apparently, a customer tried to create a VM without any network interface. The problem was that this crashed in a very unintuitive way. But it made me wonder: Would it be possible to use non-networked machines for tests? It turns out: That’s absolutely possible!
- Update your Style in Test Kitchen (Part 2)am 25. Oktober 2021
It is time for a follow-up to my blog post from last year - especially as Test Kitchen 3.0 changed some defaults. Let’s check some cargo-culted settings out in this blog post.
- Third Party Platform Support for Chefam 14. Oktober 2021
Currently, users of Chef are limited to working with the platforms supported by the Chef core. But with the advancements of Target Mode, the story could change quickly. Learn about the idea of a “Platform Support Pack” and what it could mean for the future.
- Testing Terraform with InSpec (Part 1)am 1. Oktober 2021
While Infrastructure-as-Code slowly becomes omnipresent, many of the communicated advantages of the approach stay mostly unrealized. Sure, code style checks (linting) and even automated documentation get more common every month. But one of the cornerstones often gets ignore: testing. Let’s see which types of code testing are available and how to do it without writing too much code. The promise of the Infrastructure-as-Code (short: IaC) movement is to handle infrastructure just as if it was a program.
- Chef Technology Partner of the Yearam 8. September 2021
To our pleasant surprise, Chef awarded tecRacer the “2021 Technology Partner of the Year” title at the opening keynote of ChefConf 2021.
- CDK Infrastructure Testing - Part 2a - Implement Unit, Integration and Application Test for CDK Infrastructure and an EC2 Web Server Applicationam 20. Juni 2021
With CDK you create Infrastructure as Code - IaC. You can automate the test for the IaC code. The three test tastes -Unit, Integration and Application- should work closely together. Here I show you how. It is like the three steps of coffee tasting: 1 smell, 2 Taste, 3 Feel.
- CIT - Build CDK Infrastructure Testing - Part 1 - Terratest and the Integrated Integrationam 23. Mai 2021
TL;DR You don`t need a DSL to do easy integration testing. With CDK available in go, infrastructure test can be programmed with GO packages easily.
- Air-Gapped Compliance Scans with InSpecam 30. Oktober 2020
Chef InSpec offers the possibility to scan any type of device using community-authored compliance profiles. As InSpec needs to connect to the machines, networking and firewall rules make this task tricky in bigger environments. With the newly released train-awsssm plugin, this situation changes drastically. Read on, if you want to know how.
- Deploying Custom Ohai Pluginsam 26. Oktober 2020
With the deprecation of the ohai cookbook, there is some confusion on how to deploy custom Ohai plugins. This short summary shows, how easy deployments have become.
- Mocking data in Test Kitchen (Part 2)am 14. August 2020
Going beyond the easier use case of mocking attributes and databags, we sometimes want to fake some data about the system itself.