Installing Chef: Intro

Why are you here?

The question is simple, I already know why you’re here and what you’ve been through. Let me ask you a couple of questions to confirm:

  • You work in IT, probably operations, probably at some kind of company with some kind of “datacenter”?
  • Your environment is mostly Windows (clicky-clicky) and every last thing you and your coworkers do is a painful, repetitive process?
  • You’ve heard of one or all of these items: devops, datacenter automation, infrastructure as code, self-healing infrastructure, or the like?
  • Your boss (unfortunately?) also heard of the above?
  • You’ve done your research, you’ve looked up things like PowerShell DSC, you’ve read blogs about Puppet, Chef, Salt, etc. etc?
  • You’ve maybe even created a DSC config and applied it for “fun”, possibly even after just copying and pasting it from the web?
  • You’ve maybe even gone down the path of trying to stand up a DSC Pull server, all gung-ho about automating all of your servers!
  • You’ve maybe failed at that? (Don’t worry you’re not alone) or maybe you didn’t but you realize there’s no way I can manage this, “We have too many servers!” (again, you’re not alone)
  • More research?
  • After your research you notice Puppet Open Source doesn’t seem to cut it, Salt doesn’t seem ready yet…and Chef is completely open source and uses DSC, so you know it’ll work with your Windows Servers… seems like the obvious choice! Now we’re getting somewhere.
  • I’m going to guess that you sat down opened up Chef Docs and stood up your first Chef server..
  • I’m going to guess you’re reading this right now, lost, alone and crying in a corner. Nothing makes sense. “how do I get started??”

Relax, let’s get you there.

What is Chef?

I’m not going to bore you with the copy and paste definition of what Chef is, most likely if you’re here you have a general idea of what it is. What I am going to do is to try and explain to you why it seems so difficult, different, and foreign. The number one reason why it’s probably foreign (especially if you come from the world my questions above outlined) is…You’re not a developer!

Chef tries to adopt those strange things developers have been doing for a long time, because well, you’ll be managing code now, instead of servers, so it makes sense right? So let’s get started.

Up Next

Installing Chef: Day 1 (Chef Server)

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