DevOps Experts Discuss Real-World Chef Usage
There are two sides to every software and IT story: the story of the people doing the work, and the stories the vendors will tell you about how that work can be done more efficiently. Sometimes, the hardest part of the job can be reconciling these two often disparate views of the world, as vision means pavement, and tools meet unique problems. That’s why it’s so important to discuss the usage of IT tooling with real IT practitioners. Today, we’ve got two very smart IT folks packed into this episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, both here to discuss the usage of Chef in enterprise environments.
First up is Stephen Figgins, Associate Director of Operations for Agile Technology Solutions at the University of Kansas. “We have been working with Chef for six years and have had a lot of success. Our Chef made it very easy for us to move to AWS. AWS had a lot of complexity to it, like learning how to set up security and networks and things like that. One thing we really didn’t have to worry about in this was how do we configure the EC2 nodes we’re going to create. Because we already knew how to take a blank EC2 node and make it run our application. We were able to not focus on lifting and shifting our applications from our non-cloud environment and instead focus on how we could best leverage the cloud,” said Figgins.
“That migration started in October of last year (2017) We had testing coming up early in the spring, and so by the holidays we had to have an initial test environment in AWS, and so within that first couple months we had established most of what we’d need in order to get all of our production into AWS. We spent the next couple months making sure we had our production up there and transferred over to AWS, and that all the pieces were in place to keep it secured and monitored,” said Figgins. He added that the main usage of this system by the University of Kansas was around testing students, which required extra care around security and reliability.
Later in this episode, we talked with Pradeep Nair, DevOps Consulting Head at Relevance Lab Inc. This DevOps automation solutions services company helps organizations automate their software delivery workflows. “We come from a previous background of helping ISVs build products and helping them go from licensing their software to SaaS. In that process, we learned a lot about how to put CI/CD development and deployment toolchains in place. A few of us out of this company decided to make a business around this [in 2010],” said Nair.
“What we are seeing in the market as people and companies get more cloud-aware, they definitely want to invest in technologies which are more cloud agnostic. Initially, they may dabble with the tools given by the cloud provider, but they want it cloud agnostic. A multicloud way of working is catching on. Not many large enterprises want to be tied to one cloud,” said Nair.
In this Edition:
2:01: How did Chef help you move to AWS?
5:23: What services did you start within the AWS migration?
7:41: How did you learn about the system through monitoring?
14:20: [Nair] What is your company’s vision?
17:52: [Nair] How multicloud is catching on in the enterprise.
20:28: [Nair] The Chef toolchain Relevance Lab is using to help its customers migrate.