Chef at the ChefConf 2018 conference today unveiled a series of DevOps offerings, including a revamped version of Chef Automate that has been rewritten using the Go programing language to improve performance and scalability. Now based on a microservices architecture, Chef Automate 2.0 a new user interface based on a REST application programming interface (API) that also serves to enhance integration. There also are a variety of visibility and debugging tools built into the platform, including a streaming event feed, trend graphs and a query language.
At the same time, Chef unveiled Chef Workstation, which enables members of a DevOps team to take advantage of IT automation capabilities on a local PC without having to load any agents.
Chef also updated its Habitat application release management software to include support for Kubernetes Operator for Habitat and the Open Service Broker originally developed by the Cloud Foundry Foundation, the ability to export to Azure Container Service (AKS), a Helm chart exporter for Kubernetes clusters and integration with operational analytics software from Splunk. Habitat also is now available in an on-premises edition as well as as a software-as-service (SaaS) application.
Finally, Chef updated InSpec, the company’s compliance automation tool. The latest version can now verify Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure policies, while support for the Google Cloud Platform support is in beta. InSpec also now has built-in support for more than 30 new resources, including Cisco IOS network devices as agentless targets.
Chef is touting InSpec performance gains of 90 percent on Windows and 30 percent on Linux systems.
Julian Dunn, director of product marketing for Chef, said as more companies transition to emerging technologies such as containers and Kubernetes, the need to rely on IT automation frameworks increases. In fact, while container use is widespread, more than half (51 percent) of 347 application and operations professionals surveyed by Dimensional Research on behalf of Chef said they have fewer than 10 percent of their production applications deployed using containers. Dunn said that survey also finds that adoption of DevOps practices in general are still limited—just over half the respondents (53 percent) said they are using both infrastructure and app automation for DevOps.
However, 46 percent survey respondents said by 2020 they will have more than a quarter of their applications containerized, while 45 percent said at least a quarter of their application deployments will be based on microservices. That accelerated rate of transition will require IT organizations to rely more on IT automation frameworks to implement DevOps processes, Dunn noted.
Further complication matters, Dunn said organizations are trying to lift and shift existing applications into multiple public clouds while continuing to develop new applications faster than ever to drive various digital business transformation initiatives.
There’s no doubt that IT organizations are relying more on IT automation frameworks more than ever. The question is, Which one will they use? There are now more IT automation framework choices than ever. Chef is betting that a comprehensive approach based on a modern microservices architecture spanning both IT management and compliance ultimately will win the day.