Chef turns infrastructure into code. With Chef, you can automate how you build, deploy, and manage your infrastructure. Your infrastructure becomes as version-able, testable, and repeatable as application code.
Chef relies on reusable definitions known as recipes to automate infrastructure tasks. Examples of recipes are instructions for configuring web servers, databases and load balancer. Together, recipes describe what your infrastructure consists of and how each part of your infrastructure should be deployed, configured and managed.
Recipes use building blocks called resources. A resource describes some piece of infrastructure, such as a file, a template, or a package to be installed. You can use the many resources included in Chef, or create your own to manage unique configurations and legacy systems.
The Chef server stores your recipes as well as other configuration data. The Chef client is installed on each node in your network. A node can be a physical server, a virtual server or a container instance.
The Chef client periodically polls the Chef server for the latest recipes and checks to see if the node is in compliance with the policy defined by these recipes. If the node is out of date, the Chef client runs them on the node to bring it up to date.
SoftLayer has created a set of APIs and dashboards that essentially productize operations procedures in a way that accommodates both cloud and dedicated infrastructure in one unified approach. This productization is based on both the cloud and dedicated resources being hosted at SoftLayer.
Where to start
Start with a smaller footprint and take a staged approach to migrate the workloads. Take the opportunity to automate everything.
Start with workloads ideally suited for the elastic off-premises infrastructure: test and dev, digital platforms (such as public-facing websites), and data processing. Then think about the core systems.
Be aware of cost aware architecture i.e.how to get from ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP) to scale and to deal with unpredictable demand.
We have seen a tremendous amount of change in the IT industry here and around the country as customers have moved from edge of network type workloads – digital, web assets, as lot of test and dev – into more and more production systems,” . Workloads that can be moved to SoftLayer would be your any web application stack including WebSphere middleware.
A simple virtualized, multi-tenant cloud is inexpensive to start with because performance usually isn’t that critical early in the life cycle. As an application scales, however, it can quickly become costly to acquire the quantity of resources and high performance options necessary to achieve the desired throughput and response times. Additionally, an application at scale typically experiences shortcomings with a virtual machine’s reliability or predictability in terms of both up-time and raw performance. Softlayer Bare metal cloud servers can often address both of these issues.
Below are some of our SoftLayer chef recipes.