Chef Infrastructure Layout

We have 5 different data centers and are deploying Chef. We are unsure if best practice is to have one master Chef server, or one server per data center. Any thoughts/recommendations?

Robert Stinnett

I feel we can go with one chef server and different environments.

There are benefits either way. Here’s some considerations we have:

We don’t do much cross-datacenter logic - each is a unit unto its own, so we have one Chef Server in each to reduce the amount of cross-internet connectivity needed. A Chef Server serves a single datacenter.

If you have multiple environments, and they span across DCs, or if you have searches for nodes that could be in any/another DC, then you will want to have one Chef Server as the “source of truth” for everything.

When using one Chef Server per DC, we find it critical to use automation for cookbook deployment - so that we get a consistent deployment of code across Chef Servers.

This is by no means “the best way”, only one way we’ve found maps well to our workflow.