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Quick Start architecture for Chef Server on the AWS Cloud

To deploy Chef Server on AWS in about 35 minutes, follow the step-by-step instructions in the Quick Start deployment guide.

For additional Quick Starts, see the complete catalog.


This Quick Start automatically Chef Server, which is the highly scalable foundation of the Chef automation platform, on AWS.

You can use Chef Server to create and manage dynamic infrastructure that runs on the AWS Cloud, or manage the servers in your on-premises data center. The Quick Start gives you instant access to Chef Server, including Chef Analytics, Chef Management Console, and Chef Reporting.

This Quick Start performs Chef Server initial setup, creates the Chef administrative user account, and enables HTTPS access over the Internet and within your virtual private cloud (VPC). You can include an optional Chef workstation and configure it, create and upload a cookbook, and bootstrap an EC2 instance with Knife, which helps you manage infrastructure components.

  • What you'll build

    Use this Quick Start to deploy and configure the following environment for Chef Server on AWS:

    • A virtual private cloud (VPC) with a single, public subnet in the AWS Region you choose when you launch the stack.
    • Chef Server deployed into the VPC subnet. An Elastic IP address is allocated and associated with the instance. During instance launch, Chef Server is bootstrapped and configured using the settings you specify when you launch the stack.
    • A Chef workstation running on Microsoft Windows Server deployed into the VPC subnet. This server has a public IP assigned and is accessible via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) over the Internet. Both Git and the Chef Development Kit (Chef DK) are automatically installed on this machine via the AWS CloudFormation bootstrapping process. This Chef workstation is optional. You can use a workstation in your own on-premises environment as an alternative. This Quick Start uses Windows Server for the Chef workstation, but you are free to use any supported operating system for your own Chef workstation.
    • One Ubuntu Server node deployed into the VPC subnet. After you deploy Chef on AWS, you can follow the walkthrough to configure a local Git repository (chef-repo) on the workstation, create and upload a cookbook to Chef Server, and then bootstrap the node and run the cookbook to configure a basic web server. As with the Chef workstation, this node is optional. With your Chef Server running on AWS, you can manage other nodes that you deploy on AWS or nodes that are located in your on-premises data center.

    For the benefits of deploying Chef Server on AWS and other details, see the Quick Start deployment guide.

  • Deployment details

    Build your Chef Server environment in a few simple steps:

    1. Sign up for an AWS account, if you don't already have one.
    2. Subscribe to the Chef Server AMI.
    3. Launch the Quick Start and customize your settings. The deployment takes about 35 minutes.
    4. Configure a Chef node. You can follow the walkthrough included in the guide to set up a Chef workstation and Git repository, create a cookbook and recipe, and bootstrap a node and run the cookbook.

    Customization settings include the number of Chef nodes (5-250), and the option to include a Chef workstation and demo node.  

    For detailed instructions, see the Quick Start deployment guide.

  • Cost and licenses

    You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using the Quick Start. Prices are subject to change. See the pricing pages for each AWS service you will be using or the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator for full details.

    This Quick Start uses Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) from AWS Marketplace. Before you deploy the Quick Start, you must subscribe to one of the Chef Server licensing options, depending on how many nodes you want to manage. For details, see the Quick Start deployment guide.