I’ve been giving chef a two-day crash course and have to admit to two
things: 1) it is insanely powerful, and 2) it lacks what I (and many others)
would label as a critical feature: “run once” recipes.
Some background to my claim first. I’m the architect of a wholesale ISP
platform  here in South Africa. We have a fully automated service
provisioning platform in place, built on Rails, ruote  and daemon-kit
. I was looking at chef specifically to replace parts of the existing
shared hosting provisioning processes and leverage the strength of the
community behind chef instead of fighting my own battle and duplicating
Joshua Timberman suggested I make my case here and solicit some feedback on
the topic from other chefs.
I would love to help chef gain the ability to support ‘run once’ recipes in
client/server mode. When running a recipe the attributes for that specific
run are defined, overwriting any attributes present in the recipe be
default. Basically what the JSON parameters do with chef-solo.
Spawning new clouds repaidly with chef is only one of its possible use
cases, maintaining them is another. Chef would gain a lot of traction and
support in the greater ISP arena if these ‘run once’ features are
What do you think?