Automated Infrastructure is on the Menu with Chef

Joshua Timberman (Opscode, Inc.), Aaron Peterson (Opscode)
Location: D136
Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials.
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As application infrastructures become increasingly complex, the need for a cohesive, integrated deployment and configuration solution becomes apparent. The era of 6 week server deployments is gone in a world where new computing resources are an API call away. Modern infrastructures need an API, so systems can be automated easier.

Chef is an open source system integration framework, built to bring the benefits of configuration management to an entire infrastructure. Chef provides abstraction and an API so system administrators write simple code that describes the roles, recipes and resources that should be applied to systems. System administrators love Chef because it gives them flexibility to integrate all aspects of their infrastructure. Software developers love Chef because it helps them take care of the muck so they can focus on writing great applications.

This tutorial will cover:

  • Configuration management and system integration as an operations discipline.
  • Chef’s architecture and design.
  • Chef concepts, such as Roles, Recipes, Clients, Nodes.
  • Gory details of Cookbooks.
  • How to use existing cookbooks.
  • Writing a Chef cookbook and overriding an existing cookbook.
  • Integrating systems with search and libraries.
  • Anatomy of a Chef run.
  • Examples of Recipe code and what they do.
  • Cookbook development workflow, with source version control.
  • Interacting with the server API through the command-line tool, Knife.
Photo of Joshua Timberman

Joshua Timberman

Opscode, Inc.

Joshua Timberman has over 10 years experience in Linux and Unix system administration. He has worked for companies from 5 person startups, up to the largest IT company in the world. His background includes deploying highly available enterprise application environments and providing internal infrastructure services and team-based training. Joshua currently works for Opscode, where he is an infrastructure cooking expert with Chef. He speaks at local user group meetings and has a passion for teaching people how to make the most out of automation.

Photo of Aaron Peterson

Aaron Peterson


Aaron Peterson is a seasoned systems and networking engineer and tech evangelist for Opscode, the makers of Chef. He has wielded
real-time command-line kung fu to tens of thousands of servers at once
and automated global production infrastructure at He is
excited about information design and visualization, scale, and analysis.

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Picture of Joshua Timberman
Joshua Timberman
07/21/2010 5:46pm PDT

Chef Repository is on GitHub:

Picture of Joshua Timberman
Joshua Timberman
07/21/2010 1:18am PDT

Slides posted on Slideshare – over size limit to post directly here.

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