Chef questions


#1

Hi.

I’m evaluating Chef and I really like what I see, but I dived between it and
Puppet.

I have the following questions, and hope someone can en-light me on them:

  1. Is it correct that Chef requires much less configuration then Puppet?

  2. Is there any quick way to install Chef on CentOS - or only via the gems
    process?

  3. Is there plans for tool similar to cft (sift) which tracks changes and
    auto-creates manifests?

Regards.


#2

Hi!

On 25/05/2009, at 4:42 AM, Stas Oskin wrote:

Hi.

I’m evaluating Chef and I really like what I see, but I dived
between it and Puppet.

I have the following questions, and hope someone can en-light me on
them:

  1. Is it correct that Chef requires much less configuration then
    Puppet?

Yes.

  1. Is there any quick way to install Chef on CentOS - or only via
    the gems process?

There are RPM’s for Chef available on CentOS, and the chef server can
be bootstrapped from chef-solo, too.

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation
http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5+with+RPMs
http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5.2+with+gems+(In+progress)

  1. Is there plans for tool similar to cft (sift) which tracks
    changes and auto-creates manifests?

Not that I am aware of, but I’m sure it shouldn’t be too tricky to get
something together. Get a ticket open @ tickets.opscode.com


Opscode, Inc.
AJ Christensen, Software Engineer
e: aj@opscode.com


#3

Hi.

Thanks for the reply.

  1. Is it correct that Chef requires much less configuration then Puppet?

Yes.

How stable Chef is? Can it be used in production environment?

  1. Is there any quick way to install Chef on CentOS - or only via the gems
    process?

There are RPM’s for Chef available on CentOS, and the chef server can be
bootstrapped from chef-solo, too.

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation
http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5+with+RPMs

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5.2+with+gems+(In+progress)

Thanks, will try.

  1. Is there plans for tool similar to cft (sift) which tracks changes and
    auto-creates manifests?

Not that I am aware of, but I’m sure it shouldn’t be too tricky to get
something together. Get a ticket open @ tickets.opscode.com

How can I post there? Couldn’t find any registration link.

Also, is there any good step-by-step tutorial explaining how one writes
cookbooks from scratch? I reviewed the Wiki, but couldn’t really find any
introduction for these without prior experience.

Thanks.


#4

On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 3:53 PM, Stas Oskin stas.oskin@gmail.com wrote:

Hi.

Thanks for the reply.

  1. Is it correct that Chef requires much less configuration then Puppet?

Yes.

How stable Chef is? Can it be used in production environment?

  1. Is there any quick way to install Chef on CentOS - or only via the gems
    process?

There are RPM’s for Chef available on CentOS, and the chef server can be
bootstrapped from chef-solo, too.

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation
http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5+with+RPMs

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5.2+with+gems+(In+progress)

Thanks, will try.

  1. Is there plans for tool similar to cft (sift) which tracks changes and
    auto-creates manifests?

Not that I am aware of, but I’m sure it shouldn’t be too tricky to get
something together. Get a ticket open @ tickets.opscode.com

How can I post there? Couldn’t find any registration link.

Also, is there any good step-by-step tutorial explaining how one writes
cookbooks from scratch? I reviewed the Wiki, but couldn’t really find any
introduction for these without prior experience.

Not really – check out http://github.com/opscode/cookbooks/tree/master for
cookbooks on the most common packages / tasks in a Chef system, and you can
learn from there pretty easily.

Thanks.


#5

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Arjuna Christensen wrote:

Hi!

On 25/05/2009, at 4:42 AM, Stas Oskin wrote:

Hi.

I’m evaluating Chef and I really like what I see, but I dived between
it and Puppet.

I have the following questions, and hope someone can en-light me on them:

  1. Is it correct that Chef requires much less configuration then Puppet?

Yes.

That’s a pretty subjective response and not backed with any evidence.

But we’ll let it pass through to the keeper. :slight_smile:

Regards

James Turnbull


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#6

Hi.

Not really – check out http://github.com/opscode/cookbooks/tree/masterfor cookbooks on the most common packages / tasks in > a Chef system, and
you can learn from there pretty easily.

Thanks for the tip, will check.

Can someone advice about my other questions?

How stable Chef is? Can it be used in production environment?

Not that I am aware of, but I’m sure it shouldn’t be too tricky to get
something together. Get a ticket open @ tickets.opscode.com

How can I post there? Couldn’t find any registration link.

Thanks.

2009/5/25 David Balatero dbalatero@gmail.com

On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 3:53 PM, Stas Oskin stas.oskin@gmail.com wrote:

Hi.

Thanks for the reply.

  1. Is it correct that Chef requires much less configuration then Puppet?

Yes.

How stable Chef is? Can it be used in production environment?

  1. Is there any quick way to install Chef on CentOS - or only via the
    gems process?

There are RPM’s for Chef available on CentOS, and the chef server can be
bootstrapped from chef-solo, too.

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation
http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5+with+RPMs

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5.2+with+gems+(In+progress)

Thanks, will try.

  1. Is there plans for tool similar to cft (sift) which tracks changes and
    auto-creates manifests?

Not that I am aware of, but I’m sure it shouldn’t be too tricky to get
something together. Get a ticket open @ tickets.opscode.com

How can I post there? Couldn’t find any registration link.

Also, is there any good step-by-step tutorial explaining how one writes
cookbooks from scratch? I reviewed the Wiki, but couldn’t really find any
introduction for these without prior experience.

Not really – check out http://github.com/opscode/cookbooks/tree/masterfor cookbooks on the most common packages / tasks in a Chef system, and you
can learn from there pretty easily.

Thanks.


#7

Hi.

That’s a pretty subjective response and not backed with any evidence.

But we’ll let it pass through to the keeper. :slight_smile:

So is it true or not? :slight_smile:

I’m know it’s not probably not the appreciate place to ask, but I do look
for solution which would require from me less typing :).

Regards.


#8

I think the best answer to this is,

everything is subjective to an opinion that we can attempt to make
fact or fiction from there on.

Puppet is puppet, it does what it does and it does it very well;
however I personally prefer chef over puppet any day based on
deployment ease, stability in my mixed multiple data center environment.

25 Clients in 1 data center
24 Clients + 1 Server in another Data Center
12 other clients some Xen some KVM in the office…

Redhat 5.2 and 5.3 (and Centos (it’s el5 right?))
Ubuntu Hardy (Xen) and Ubuntu Jaunty (KVM and non)

It works extremely well, it’s very reliable and it was very easy to
get up and running using Ubuntu Jaunty for the Chef Server.

… I have also used puppet previously and I can tell you that I don’t
miss the messy messy site.pp I had, I admit most of it was my fault
but Chef’s UI even as it is in 6.2 is a breeze to me in comparison.
Having roles in 0.6.4 will just only make it better.

If nothing else I suggest grabbing VirtualBox and grabbing a Ubuntu
Jaunty ISO and installing Chef Server and checking out the web-ui,
look at the recipes and then configure a server to connect to it and
start testing it and playing with it and writing recipes. I will say
that once you start cooking with Chef you just won’t look at cooking
the same again (in my opinion).

FYI The Chef’s server load is never over 1 on a Dell PowerEdge 1850
which does other various tasks such as Ubuntu Mirror and rsnapshot…
very menial and the load is rarely over 0.25 1minute/5/15…

… Safe to say that’s excellent knowing i’m using Apache + Passenger
for Chef. I’m not much of a Passenger lover but it has worked quite
well in this instance.

I hope that helps

Sincerely,

Scott M. Likens

On May 25, 2009, at 1:02 AM, Stas Oskin wrote:

Hi.

That’s a pretty subjective response and not backed with any evidence.

But we’ll let it pass through to the keeper. :slight_smile:

So is it true or not? :slight_smile:

I’m know it’s not probably not the appreciate place to ask, but I do
look for solution which would require from me less typing :).

Regards.
!DSPAM:4a1a50b423381804284693!


#9

Hi.

Thanks for sharing your experience :), this helps indeed.

Regards.

2009/5/25 Scott Likens scott@likens.us

I think the best answer to this is,

everything is subjective to an opinion that we can attempt to make fact or
fiction from there on.

Puppet is puppet, it does what it does and it does it very well; however
I personally prefer chef over puppet any day based on deployment ease,
stability in my mixed multiple data center environment.

25 Clients in 1 data center
24 Clients + 1 Server in another Data Center
12 other clients some Xen some KVM in the office…

Redhat 5.2 and 5.3 (and Centos (it’s el5 right?))
Ubuntu Hardy (Xen) and Ubuntu Jaunty (KVM and non)

It works extremely well, it’s very reliable and it was very easy to get up
and running using Ubuntu Jaunty for the Chef Server.

… I have also used puppet previously and I can tell you that I don’t miss
the messy messy site.pp I had, I admit most of it was my fault but Chef’s UI
even as it is in 6.2 is a breeze to me in comparison. Having roles in 0.6.4
will just only make it better.

If nothing else I suggest grabbing VirtualBox and grabbing a Ubuntu Jaunty
ISO and installing Chef Server and checking out the web-ui, look at the
recipes and then configure a server to connect to it and start testing it
and playing with it and writing recipes. I will say that once you start
cooking with Chef you just won’t look at cooking the same again (in my
opinion).

FYI The Chef’s server load is never over 1 on a Dell PowerEdge 1850 which
does other various tasks such as Ubuntu Mirror and rsnapshot… very menial
and the load is rarely over 0.25 1minute/5/15…

… Safe to say that’s excellent knowing i’m using Apache + Passenger for
Chef. I’m not much of a Passenger lover but it has worked quite well in
this instance.

I hope that helps

Sincerely,

Scott M. Likens

On May 25, 2009, at 1:02 AM, Stas Oskin wrote:

Hi.

That’s a pretty subjective response and not backed with any evidence.

But we’ll let it pass through to the keeper. :slight_smile:

So is it true or not? :slight_smile:

I’m know it’s not probably not the appreciate place to ask, but I do look
for solution which would require from me less typing :).

Regards.
!DSPAM:4a1a50b423381804284693!


#10

On May 25, 2009, at 4:01 AM, Stas Oskin wrote:

Can someone advice about my other questions?

How stable Chef is? Can it be used in production environment?

We’ve been using Chef for some months in production and have been very
pleased with it’s stability, particularly with the more recent
releases. Our environment is fairly small right now, we have on the
order of 50 nodes under management, but things are running well.

-Mark


#11

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Scott Likens wrote:

I think the best answer to this is,

everything is subjective to an opinion that we can attempt to make
fact or fiction from there on.

Scott

Agreed. And that was my point. You backed your view with facts and
your experience. I don’t mind discussing one versus the other - as long
as we’re actually discussing not making blanket assumptions.

I personally found installing Chef quite cumbersome and don’t like the
Ruby-ness of it. But my experience is mine and my involvement in the
Puppet project make it quite subjective. :slight_smile:

Regards

James Turnbull


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#12

Hello again :wink:

On 25/05/2009, at 10:53 AM, Stas Oskin wrote:

Hi.

Thanks for the reply.

  1. Is it correct that Chef requires much less configuration then
    Puppet?

Yes.

How stable Chef is? Can it be used in production environment?

I’m aware of numerous installs of hundreds of systems, and EngineYard
use Chef at the core of their Solo and Flex products [1] for a growing
number of customers every day. I’ve personally tested setups up to 100
nodes, and plan to do some large scale testing in the near future (C10k
+)

Leveraging a lightweight content server and shifting the compilation
to clients allows for rapid dispatching of all server side controller
actions. A stomp queue and seperate indexer process take care of one
of the most intensive parts of the Chef server, indexing the database
into Ferret for full text search.

Speaking JSON all the time (especially when the C-mode driver is
installed) also helps speed, stability and interaction with external
(web) services.

  1. Is there any quick way to install Chef on CentOS - or only via
    the gems process?

There are RPM’s for Chef available on CentOS, and the chef server
can be bootstrapped from chef-solo, too.

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation
http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5+with
+RPMs
http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Installation+on+CentOS+5.2+with+gems+(In+progress)

Thanks, will try.

  1. Is there plans for tool similar to cft (sift) which tracks
    changes and auto-creates manifests?

Not that I am aware of, but I’m sure it shouldn’t be too tricky to
get something together. Get a ticket open @ tickets.opscode.com

How can I post there? Couldn’t find any registration link.

Sorry about that. Signup link is here [2]. Once you’ve signed up you
can submit a CLA or CCLA [3] to gain ‘developer’ status (resolve
tickets) and join the ever growing number of contributors.

Also, is there any good step-by-step tutorial explaining how one
writes cookbooks from scratch? I reviewed the Wiki, but couldn’t
really find any introduction for these without prior experience.

I believe a follow up post to this has given you a link to our
Community Cookbooks repository, which is a separate project [4] to
create and maintain a starting position for cookbook authors most of
which are considered good or best practice.

The cookbook quick start guide [5] on our wiki is also a good place to
begin learning cookbook authoring.

Hope this helps. Don’t forget you can stop by our IRC channel on irc://irc.freenode.net/chef

[1] http://tr.im/mkUh / http://www.engineyard.com/solo/
[2] http://tickets.opscode.com/secure/Signup!default.jspa
[3] http://wiki.opscode.com/display/opscode/Contributing
[4] http://tickets.opscode.com/browse/COOK
[5] http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Quick+Start


Opscode, Inc.
AJ Christensen, Software Engineer
e: aj@opscode.com


#13

On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 1:01 AM, Stas Oskin stas.oskin@gmail.com wrote:

How stable Chef is? Can it be used in production environment?

Chef is pretty stable - there are a few parts that are still in flux,
and we’re liable to have a few non-backwards compatible releases in
the near future. The things that are not liable to change:

  1. The core recipe DSL - recipes you write today will almost certainly
    run un-changed tomorrow.
  2. The majority of the internals - things like the
    Resource->Platform->Provider mechanic.

Things that are going to change in the next release, which will be the
first in a series of backwards-compat breaking releases:

  1. Role support, along with the Chef Server being locked down for
    AuthN by default.
  2. We no longer ship all the cookbooks to every node - we now only
    ship those that are required.

The next release after that will see another breaking change, namely
shifting from OpenID for the API authentication to signed headers,
much like EC2.

Finally, there will definitely be work on the search functionality.
That will likely not break back-compat (as you can just continue to
use the ferret indexes) - but no promises. :slight_smile:

Regards,
Adam


Opscode, Inc.
Adam Jacob, CTO
T: (206) 508-4759 E: adam@opscode.com