The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"   A perspective:

Claude Shannon formulated "Information Theory" over half a century ago, and it's still regarded as a transformational form of thinking, still an emerging piece of our zeitgeist.

It's biggest effect may be in your hand now - the mobile phone made it's biggest jump when signals shifted from TDMA to CDMA. Cliff Notes on that shift: with TDMA your conversation uses the entire channel for a chunk of time. With CDMA your conversation is just a part of the stream on that channel, making the capacity of the channel dramatically greater.

Chef and Information Theory?

The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"   Example:

Obnosis: Paradigm Shift

Please don't blame us for the fancy "Paradigm Shift" terminology, it's a side effect of work by others. 

  • Continuous Development - the trend
  • DevOps - the trend

Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame suggests to "ask yourself what won't change" is the key to markets, and what people could never do up to now is get past the quagmire that is deployment in the enterprise. That just wouldn't change. Read more »

The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"   Example:

Take A Couple Days...

We're all familiar with the drill, we've all done it dozens of times. New guy shows up, or you're the new guy, or you take someone else's workload, or else you hand off some chunk of key development work to a customer...

"Here it is. Take a couple days to get your dev environment set up, then we can go over how the codebase works and deploys." Read more »

The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"  Example:

Beating an Internal Budget

You know the drill - start out with an optimistic time budget, increase as necessary. Except this time it went the other direction. This was the case last year when we budgeted some time to experiment with Docker on some VM work. We had the containers up after a couple easy hours of research, it all worked, then we spent the rest of the budget on other critical wins.

This is when you know you have a powerful platform doing your heavy lifting for you. You want to experiment with some critical new tech, and it's just a few painless keystrokes away.

It was a compelling story: One VM on Rackspace, a number of experimental containers - small bill, strong capabilities, clean separation of concerns, important piece of lab work done. Read more »

The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"
An additional perspective:

Challenges - the Background

I challenged Chef not even a year ago to acknowledge and solve these problems. Read more »

The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"
Some additional perspectives:

In this article I will outline what many of us have observed as an existential threat to Chef: Dockerfile, and what I would propose as a remedy. Read more »

The Chef Win Series is a response to: "How has Chef changed our operations for the better, in the past 2 years since our shop adopted it?"
An additional perspective:

There are still top down challenges in the community of Chef users, but they are surmountable. I note them here, just to partially balance out the Chef gushing that I do in the rest of this series. Read more »

Intelligence is now running rampant and uncontrolled in every direction of IT:

  • Build talent internally with long term focus on full time employees!
  • Build from services, don’t build everything internally!
  • Open source is super great. Supported too? All the better!
  • Deployment & development : same thing!
  • Externally managed cloud resources? One excellent option.
 
All of these shifts are happening now. It is very real, and it isn’t a blip, it’s a permanent shift. Weird.
 
We couldn’t be happier. But it is a little scary.
 

Darn, There Goes Our Business Model

BEFORE:
“Wow our team is really making some moves! Look, [Herbert] automated some of his tasks with an ant script! We’re even putting it into production”.

In our shop, we deliberately chose to write our own cookbooks - most of the time. Even though NIH - Not Invented Here - is at the top of what software engineers try to stay away from. If we can help others with what we have learned about NIH vs ReInventing Chef recipes - here goes:

Read more »

"If you are an Ops engineer, we are all Devs now. Because, Ops is becoming all code driven."

This was the general agreement among the participants at last week's 'State of the Cloudy Union' meetup. 

At First, It Was a Wise Crack

The first guy that popped this out at the meetup was saying it like he meant it to be a wisecrack. But everyone seemed to instantaneously agree. Read more »