Chicago ALM User Group – Infrastructure as Code and Automation with Chef and Azure

Matt Stratton on Chef at Chicago ALM Users Group – February 18 2015

On Wednesday earlier this week, I attended the Chicago ALM User Group meeting on Chef and Azure by Matt Stratton. It was a really good presentation on not only Chef and infrastructure automation but also DevOps as well.
For quite sometime, I’ve been on the fence about what tool to use to automate my virtual machine guests on my home virtual server and my Azure instances. Chef and Puppet are the two big solutions that I’m aware of but I know there are other solutions. I guess Chef is a good a start as any into automating my server configurations.
I thought Matt made a lot of good points about DevOps in general. Although I haven’t quite able to describe/define/quantify what DevOps is exactly, I can still relate with accurate and/or vague descriptions. Even though I consider myself currently in a DevOps role, I still can’t explain it all in 15 seconds or less. Matt had several points on DevOps, three of which deserved some attention:

  1. CAMS/CALMS – Culture, Automation, (Lean), Measurement, Sharing 
    I wholeheartedly agree with this mantra/philosophy/acronym. Admittedly, it’s just very hard to implement. Matt mentioned that most likely people were probably doing only two to three of the four core concepts but I can easily imagine none for some organizations. Getting companies to buy into the “culture” is extremely difficult to understand let alone implement.
  2. Rushing is not the same as moving fast.
    I know of some teams that would think otherwise, but yeah – this needs to be said.
  3. DevOps is a two-way street.
    In order to promote the culture of DevOps and the notion of sharing, everyone has to adjust. This seems like common sense regarding any paradigm but like point #2, it needs to be said.

As for Chef, I doubt I could elaborate any more on the subject than their website can. There’s a nice Chef learning site I’ll be spending some time within soon enough. If you’re looking to automate your systems configuration, Chef is definitely a tool worth investigating. Overall, it was great session and I learned a lot about Chef and DevOps. A big thanks to Matt again on the presentation and Polaris Solutions (@TeamPolaris) for sponsoring the presentation.



1 Response

  1. I just came across this! I’m glad you found the session helpful. It was great to stop by the group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment