Chef, at its online ChefConf 2020 event today, launched Chef Compliance and Chef Desktop as well as additional enhancements to the tools it provides for application deployment automation.
John Wyss, vice president of product for Chef, said Chef Desktop enables IT teams to write their own configuration and compliance requirements as human-readable code using YAML files to manage and secure entire fleets of endpoints via a centralized console. It includes pre-written configuration code and curated content that can be employed to both audit and harden desktop operating systems.
IT teams will now avail themselves of a zero-touch process for enrolling and provisioning endpoints while at the same time automating software deployment and management, Wyss said. That includes being able to enforce security policies using configuration profiles, data encryption and system updates.
Chef Compliance, meanwhile, is built on top of Chef InSpec, an open source framework for testing and auditing applications and infrastructure. Chef Compliance takes Chef InSpec further by including tools to automatically audit IT environments based on the specifications defined by the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and Security Technology Implementation Guide (STIG).
Those audits can then be applied to automate the remediation process without having to write code if IT teams so choose, said Wyss. The goal is to provide DevSecOps teams with a unified language for managing security and compliance, he added.
Finally, Chef has updated Chef Enterprise Automation Stack to include analytics to filter and update views for disconnected services and receive real-time health-check messages and status alerts. Chef has also added rapid rollback, package cleanup and layered container support, and has made it easier to manage package settings and deploy packages across multiple platforms.
Collectively, these capabilities should make it easier for DevOps teams to reduce process friction across the entire DevOps life cycle.
In the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in IT automation is on the rise. Many organizations are either freezing IT headcount or, worse, yet, reducing the size of their IT staff. At the same time, IT environment is becoming more complex, especially if most employees continue to work from home. IT teams now need a common set of tools for managing not only application deployments on servers or in the cloud but also endpoints. Ultimately, that approach should also go a long way toward reducing the total cost of IT.
In fact, in the wake of the downturn more organizations than ever are receptive to automating IT processes. What was once viewed as potentially an existential threat to the existence of the IT staff has become the only way to manage IT at scale, at a time when cutbacks are broad-based. Organizations that don’t find a way to automate the management of IT are likely to incur significantly higher costs than those that do. Arguably, the issue is no longer what to automate and when, but rather how much and how soon, as both applications and the end users accessing them become ever more distributed.