We are using environments in a way that more matches our business, and how we currently think about things. So we currently have 60+ environments.
These take the form of:-
Where , may equal, SAP, or Documentum etc…
Each of the projects may/may not have a prod, test or dev environment, though strictly speaking that should be a <project>_prod, <project>_test, or <project>_dev environment. This does nice things like orders your environments by project, and for each project it is easy to see if you have a prod environment or just dev etc. Also you have a nice drop down in the chef console, such that you can select your environment and only browse the nodes in that environment. This is a nice easy win for us. Makes the chef web console actually useful, as we use it "read only".
We plan to use environments in roles, but to be honest, so far we have not done so, execept in a few cases. It is a work in progress, but for now, it gives us a nice easy business view of the environments that make sense. Of course, we have to handle issues like separation of concerns and SOX compliance, so this is a precursor to doing this type of activity.
Almost forgot. - The above all refers to our “visible” network. For development of cookbooks we use the following process:-
each sysadmin has vmware workstation, locally with 16Gb ram on workstation.
each sysadmin has their own chef server, chef developer, and a redhat instance, all running in separate vm’s inside local vmware workstation.
All testing is done here. Builds, etc. Allows snapshots, upgrades, trial/error, do whatever you like, it is yours and only yours.#
We have a vmware domain, where we deploy “new” builds as a final check, this onto vmware ESX server.
Deploy the new code to the “prodcution” chef server(ie the one at the start of the email).
This keeps development separate from the prod/dev/test environments. A bit of a different viewpoint from most.
Hope this helps. We can expand on naming conventions in another thread, if that helps anyone, and maybe cover how we maintain install logs if that helps anyone.
From: Bryan Berry [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 03 May 2012 08:19
Subject: [chef] Re: Re: Re: conflict between using environments to manage cookbook releases and to manage application environments
gotta say I really like Peter’s solution, will have to look at it in more detail
To answer Adam’s, question I use manual upload for my cookbooks
The big cause of the instability in my cookbooks is that I am essentially learning these applications at the same time that I write cookbooks for them, not the ideal situation. I am also under a lot of pressure to set up a quite complicated architecture in a very short period of time. Consequently, many of my initial configuration choices are less than ideal. Going back and fixing those choices w/out breaking running apps is a challenge. The obvious answer here is to implement automated cookbook testing w/ minitest/cucumber and toft/vagrant. Once my cookbooks are more stable and tested, i should be able to move many of those attributes that I have in data_bags over to environments. The only drawback is that I will have a long duplicated list of cookbook version constraints in each environment.
On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 2:02 AM, AJ Christensen <email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
That’s an awesome assertion to have as part of your run_list – may be
stealing this one for ourselves!
On 2 May 2012 11:43, Peter Donald <email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
We have a very similar requirements here but the way we represent it
in chef is with different environments. We do not allow the _default
environment and instead have the following set
- staging (still needed as some of the infrastructure is still part of
a manual non-chef managed release process)
- ci (aka integration tests)
- desktop (i.e our desktop managed machines)
- chef_dev (i.e. when developing cookbooks)
For each of these environments we have flags indicating the
datacenter/location of the environment and the equivalent of a
"stable" flag. If the “stable” flag is set then we require that the
environment explicitly lists a version of a cookbook and that the
cookbook version is frozen. This workflow is enforced by a recipe that
included at the start of every chef run. You can see a snippet that
illustrates the idea at .
On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 6:47 PM, Bryan Berry <email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I am flummoxed by my conflicting needs for Chef environments. I currently
have 2 environments:
QA: cookbooks that I am testing, I know exactly which nodes are in here
and they can tolerate a service restart or two. No important nodes belong to
PROD: Only stable, tested cookbook versions here, the vast majority of nodes
belong to this environment
on the other hand, my organization has 4, count 'em, 4
PROD - production
QA - user-facing tests
TS - integration tests
DV - development servers
All of these servers should be using stable, tested cookbooks as my devs
don’t want to be disrupted by a misbehaving cookbook. Thus all of them
belong to PROD chef_environment, besides the couple that I am using to test
cookbooks at a given moment.
I currently manage application_environments with data bags that look like
. . . .
additionally, I add a top-level attribute to each node “app_env” that
indicates which application_environment a node belongs to
Some cookbooks, such as the haproxy cookbook, treat chef_environments like
I would love to treat chef_environments like application_environments but
that would completely break my workflow. How are others dealing w/ the
issues I have brought up here?