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Chef Automate (BYOL)

Chef | 1.8.85

Linux/Unix, CentOS 7.2 - 64-bit Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

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External reviews

39 reviews
from G2

External reviews are not included in the AWS star rating for the product.


    Evan W.

Infrastructure as code never looked so intimidating and yet hopeful

  • September 13, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
The ability to code infrastructure and then run it in action from a single line command is amazing. Imagine spinning up not just 1, but an entire stack of services at once (a whole ecosystem). That's the power of Chef.
What do you dislike?
The problems are myriad. Chef does not have an easy way to pick up for beginners. Most cookbooks are focused on Linux, not Windows. And whenever a deployment breaks, tracing it is a huge pain as there stacktrace is not very informative.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Chef solves the problem of continuously updating and deploying your software ecosystem from scratch for different purposes and even clients. This helps to make infrastructure development verifiable and repeatable.


    Sahil S.

Best tool for unifying development environment in a large team.

  • June 20, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
Chef provides tools for for IT automation and after trying other tools. Its a master client model and is based in Ruby which was really helpful since we were also developing applications in Ruby on Rails.

The best thing about chef is the collection of modules and configuration recipes. Also, its based around Git which everyone is familiar with and 'Knife' tool is very helpful during installations.
What do you dislike?
Learning curve is steep but since we were already using Ruby it was a bit easy for us. Apart from that, its a not a smiple tool, It can lead to very large code bases and complicated environments quickly. One needs to be aware of that. Also, it doesn't support push functionality which other alternatives does.

Chef documentation can also be a little sketchy from time to time. They are more focused on making it work than writing documentations and doesn't provide as much platform support as other alternatives does.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We use chef's Application Automation tool 'Habitat' to unify the development enviroment among a large team which can be a disaster while working with frameworks like Ruby on Rails.


    Stewart H.

A workhorse for deployment and configuration

  • June 03, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
The ability to manage multiple environments easily.
What do you dislike?
The domain specific language has a couple of small quirks.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We used this to manage all of the hosts configurations and applications that we deployed. It was used for all aspects to manage log locations, configurations, and even some kernel level configurations.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
https://docs.chef.io/ is your friend! The domain specific language (DSL) can be very hard at times especially for those coming from a non-Ruby programming back-ground.


    Renato Augusto T.

deploy made easy again

  • May 28, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
Previously to deploy a large application was suffering, always happened several problems. When I met Chef (while studying the vagrant) quickly deployed in my company. Chef is able to handle EVERYTHING related to creation of a dynamic infrastructure
What do you dislike?
Nothing, all in Chef is exquisite, even the price is right. Of course you will have to study hard for put the tool into production, but it is a study that will be worth it.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
DevOps! In my company we had problems in the deployment of the tools. The time between the development and deployment was too long, now with Chef dramatically reduce the costs associated with deployment, and now we have the DevOps culture more strong
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Know that the documentation is extensive. It will take time to master the full tool, but the time spent will be saved in deploy


    Michael M.

Powerful tool but difficult to get started with

  • May 23, 2016
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
Simplifies bootstrapping fleets of servers and managing required packages. Allows developers to build upon a library of packages from other developers so they don't need to start at the basics from scratch and can more quickly and easily start on the parts that really matter
What do you dislike?
Very difficult and time consuming to set up and get started with; large learning curve; compatibility issues with little to no documentation
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Automating deployments, versioning deployment code, granular user permissions, scalable and highly available infrastructure and applications
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Consider as a possible solution for your DevOps build but also consider other tools like Ansible. You may very quickly become dependent on Chef once you implement it so make sure you like it and it meets your needs first. Team members with previous experience will be a huge plus to overcome the initial learning curve and setup time.


    Mario C.

Automating deployment with Chef

  • April 13, 2016
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
Chef is a standard in automated deployment. Is used in Facebook and it's really REALLY powerful. It's a very serious thing about deployment automation and it's capabilities are huge. Maintains states (software, configuration...) of the entire cluster, and I'm talking about hundreds of nodes. Cookbooks are very popular and you can find them to do almost everything in the open source community.
What do you dislike?
Chef is terribly complex to deploy by itself, not only needs a Chef Server that internally will install a RabbitMQ, a SQL database, a Nginx... it can really take a lot of resources of your machine.

Not only this, you need to install a daemon, Chef Client, on each Chef node you want to manage. Of course if this Client fails... your node is "lost" for Chef and you cannot manage it anymore until you restart the client.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We were automating the installation of 8 to 10 linux packages over a set of 4 to 20 machines. We were using a "root" machine to start the installation and, using a web ui, let a user select a set of technologies to install them on the rest of the nodes.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
If you really, really need to manage a big set of nodes to do very complex things, you can give Chef a try (you also have Puppet). But if need something relatively simple I don't think is worth the effort. As I mention before, Chef is quite complex if you want to do simple things (maybe Ansible fits better in this case)


    Kevin V.

Great tool for system configuration management

  • April 07, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
Chef is pretty solid for configuration management of Windows machines and ensuring that they are all setup and provisioned the same way. The setup and scripting of recipes is pretty extensive, and Windows support is solid. There are a variety of recipes to do most windows configuration needed, as well as Linux.
What do you dislike?
The setup is pretty complex, it can take awhile to just setup a server and figure out how to connect a client to it. It would be nice to have more functionality exposed in the Chef GUI, using command line for a majority of tasks can be tedious at times. Chef is mainly geared toward ensuring a server is configured properly, but it would be nice to have the option for 'one off' tasks. When you have agents already running on your systems for Chef it would be nice to run a task on a subset of machines instead of yet another agent and management system for that. It also runs best if you have a person dedicated to the configuration and on going maintenance of Chef. It takes some effort to keep up on your recipes.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Chef solves the system configuration management issue pretty well, it is able to ensure that machines are setup similarly. The 'configuration as code' aspect makes it clear to the organization what is involved in setting up and configuration of a server. It helps to document the process as long as you follow through on continuously adding recipes as you move along.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
If you are using Azure, check out Microsoft's Azure lab on setting up Chef, it significantly speeds up the implementation process. Be sure to run through some tutorials and documentation on the Chef website as it is very difficult to setup straight out of the box. There aren't really any wizards or in-product tutorials.


    Todd P.

Chef is Awesome!

  • March 31, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
The shear amount that you can do with the product from Linux to Windows, configurations to application deployments, Chef is delightfully AWESOME!!!!!
What do you dislike?
I personally don't have any dislikes for Chef as a product. The only caveat is when creating resources, you'll need to increase your Ruby knowledge and skills.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
When I jumped on the infrastructure as code bandwagon, I was testing both Chef and Puppet to Linux and Windows deployments. I chose Chef as they fixed a pending reboot issue with RDSH first. As a Solution/managed Service provider, the ability to reduce deployment time with a standard automated deployment methodology is invaluable.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
To learn Chef, I highly recommend using the http://learn.chef.io . Even for an OPs guy, Chef is awesome!


    Computer & Network Security

Chef is Infraestructure as a Code

  • March 10, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
Not biased to said that everything from Opscode - Chef was well design, from their solo version to the Chef Provisioning module. You can write and deploy your whole infraestructure.
What do you dislike?
Chef Server Operation could give trouble as in performance issues.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Infraestructure as Code. Continuos Delivering and Integration.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Design well and do not forget to have clever metrics from your CI and CD workflow


    Liam B.

Chef is an excellent tool for Server Configuration

  • February 08, 2016
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
I have been using Chef as it helps me to automate my applications in configuring and getting deployed in my web network easily.
It has got various features such as Chef Management console, Chef Analytics, and Client Reporting. It helps me to keep my server up all the time and saves up a lot of time in this area.
It also allows me to keep the track of my applications in terms of version control. So, the applications remains in synchronization with the help of different versions available for each built.
What do you dislike?
The setup document and tutorials could have been a little better. They have provided all the documentation in a single web page with no references to any external links.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We are using it for the automation for our server configuration which saves a lot of time and energy required for manual configuration each time the server gets down. I like the Chef Development Kit where all the command line tools are available for help if you are stuck somewhere.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
I would recommend you to choose between the free version and the paid version of Chef as per your needs and requirements. Getting an initial demo from the team would be a good idea.