At ChefCon today Chef made a major announcement unveiling Chef Delivery a “new DevOps workflow product that for the first time enables the continuous delivery of infrastructure, runtime environments – including containers – and applications.” Chef has examined the use success patterns of many of its thousands of customers to distill what they believe is the formula for success in a DevOps environment.
I had a chance to speak with Alex Ethier, VP of Product and Jay Wampold, VP of Marketing at Chef about Delivery. They were both really jazzed as they think this is a real game changer for not only Chef but the entire DevOps market. Chef is already a leader in the DevOps community with a rapidly growing base of customers in the Global 2000 and a dominant adoption position among AWS customers. Delivery will extend the Chef platform into the entirety of the DevOps workflow.
Chef believes this is the time to expand the Chef platform to the entire DevOps workflow. Just about every analyst firm and survey data indicates that DevOps is on the way to wide spread adoption among IT teams of all sizes. While DevOps is about cultural change, once the organization recognizes the advantages to a DevOps culture, tools that leverage this culture are sure to expand their footprint.
I asked Alex and Jay if Delivery would bring Chef into competition with other DevOps tool vendors. For instance Jenkins and CloudBees in the CD and CI area would seem to be square in the cross hairs of Delivery. While on its surface this would seem to be the case, Delivery is actually a platform that is designed to leverage APIs and open source to to work with a large ecosystem of 3rd parties including Jenkins, CloudBees and other players in the DevOps ecosystem. I am still not 100% sure where the cooperation will end and the competition will begin, but I guess we will have to wait and see how that shakes out.
Based on Chef’s customer experience research they think this is what the flow of DevOps looks like:
Some steps are and will remain manual. Chef is seeking to play in the automated areas. Yes this is an ambitious move by Chef. If they succeed they will leverage their already dominant position in the DevOps configuration management field into becoming a dominant player in the entire DevOps life cycle.
Powering this life cycle is the fact that with the move to the cloud today’s enterprises are moving from static systems to rapidly changing services. This is putting new pressures on IT departments to perform in a “high velocity IT” manner. The key to all of this is of course automation. Under it all Delivery seeks to automate CI, CD and continuous testing.
Chef’s CTO, Adam Jacob had this to say about Chef Delivery, ““The tools we use reinforce the behavior; the behavior reinforces the tool. Thus, if you want to change your behavior, change your tools.”
Other highlights of Chef Delivery from the Chef press release are:
- Robust Pipeline: Chef Delivery provides a shared pipeline and proven workflow for software development that safely takes code from a developer’s or operations engineer’s workstation through build, test, and production.
- Platform for Collaboration: Each step of the Delivery pipeline incorporates automated testing to provide developers, operations engineers, compliance and security officers, and IT architects rapid feedback on proposed changes. The common workflow allows personnel of each IT discipline to work together with full visibility into the flow of changes through the pipeline. Policies can be easily applied at each step to ensure maximum change control and governance.
- Sophisticated Analytics: Chef Delivery provides metrics for all stages of your development pipeline. With full audit capabilities, you can track both pipeline performance and activity, manage permissions and access comprehensive change history from easy to use dashboards.
- Scalable Architecture: Chef Delivery was designed from the ground up for performance and scalability. Its architecture is fully integrated with the Chef Server and designed to meet the demands of the largest and most complex enterprise IT environments.
- Full Ecosystem Integration: Chef Delivery integrates with an extensive array of operating systems and runtime environments, including public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, as well as runtime environments such as Docker containers.
- Availability: Chef Delivery is currently available through an invitation program
- Pricing: Chef Delivery will be sold in 2015 on a subscription basis.
This could indeed be a real game changer for already high flying Chef. While at ChefCon today I intend to ask many of the partners and vendors exhibiting here how they view Delivery and what kind of integrations we can expect to see from them for it.
One thing for sure is the DevOps tools market is evolving and maturing rapidly. Tool vendors will have to move quickly to allow high performing IT teams to move at the speed of DevOps.