Chef Reviews & Product Details

Chef Overview

What is Chef?

Chef, is the leader in DevOps, driving collaboration through code to automate infrastructure, security, compliance and applications. Chef provides a single path to production making it faster and safer to add value to applications and meet the demands of the customer. Deployed broadly in production by the Global 5000 and used by more than half of the Fortune 500, Chef develops 100 percent of its software as open source under the Apache 2.0 license with no restrictions on its use. Chef Enterprise Automation Stack™, a commercial distribution, is developed solely from that open source code and unifies security, compliance, infrastructure and application automation with observability. Chef provides an unequaled developer experience for the Coded Enterprise by enabling users to express infrastructure, security policies and the application lifecycle as code, modernizing development, packaging and delivery of any application to any platform. For more information, visit http://chef.io and follow @chef.

Chef Details
Website
Discussions
Chef Community
Product Description

Chef turns infrastructure into code. With Chef, you can automate how you build, deploy, and manage your infrastructure. Your infrastructure becomes as versionable, testable, and repeatable as application code.


Seller Details
Seller
Chef Software
Company Website
Year Founded
2008
HQ Location
Seattle, WA
Twitter
@chef
56,819 Twitter followers
LinkedIn® Page
www.linkedin.com
215 employees on LinkedIn®
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Chef Reviews

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Principal DevOps Engineer
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
Business partner of the seller or seller's competitor, not included in G2 scores.
What do you like best?

Its very good tool to setup configuration management Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

its a agent based tool thats why we need to install agent everytiem Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

yes i always recommended chef to use for CI/CD Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

we are doing configuration management using the chef Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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AC
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
Business partner of the seller or seller's competitor, not included in G2 scores.
What do you like best?

Most of our client uses Chef to deploy new code in an automated fashion. We also use it to update existing configurations and push those changes in an automated fashion to large groups of servers. Having the ability to deploy simple or full system changes out to a large group of servers with little human interaction has been a game changer for our company allowing us to deploy at scale and grow our infrastructure as our company grows. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

It is very complex tool and The Chef-client agent needs to be run on the nodes frequently to update the details of it state to master. And also to index the nodes based on tags. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Yes, Centralized Configuration Management; Chef really excels at that as it provides a wide range of features that are well thought of, such as data bags, encrypted data bags, roles, shared repositories, cookbooks versioning, environment locking..etc Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Chef is really great when teams are attempting to migrate over from legacy systems. In our case, it was a switch over from AIX to Linux. Thus, it was a great opportunity to use Chef to build out deployment cookbooks that could then be used win order to set up the new servers in preparation for the upgrade. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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UR
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Organic
What do you like best?

We have build the scripts which makes it very easy to deploy with Chef. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

If something goes wrong its not easy to debug Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Try it. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

All our deployments are with Chef now. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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DevOps Principal Architect
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

- Great centralized features: data bags (central data storage), encrypted data bags, restricting script (cookbook) version on given nodes...etc.

- Amazing ruby-based syntax. This what makes Chef my preferred configuration management tool over other tools that use their own DSL. You can always use Ruby directly for complex tasks

- Open source: Chef has an open source version that does not lack important features

- Ability to test your Chef scripts (recipes and cookbooks) using automated InSpec tests Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

- There is some learning curve involved, but it's worth it

- It might be an overkill for simple automations Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Automates compute nodes configuration, so solves problems like: environment inconsistencies, speed up deploying new nodes, ..etc Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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UC
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Organic
What do you like best?

Once you're familiar with Chef, it's a very powerful tool for ensuring that your servers are all provisioned in the exact same way, and committing those choices to source control. There is a fairly active open source, and a lot of community cookbooks already exist for common tasks. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Reasonably challenging to get up and running with, especially if you aren't coming from a Ruby background. The documentation lags somewhat and I occasionally found myself digging into source code to understand a behavior. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Automating and standardizing server configuration. Reducing the number of errors that arise from server configuration drift. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Senior DevOps Engineer
Publishing
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

The Chef DK allows you to have a full CI/CD workflow for your infrastructure as code. With chef you can stick to the community cookbooks and boilerplate resources or you can make it do anything you like with raw ruby. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

As everyone says it can be a bit daunting to get started. Most new development seems to be targeted at enterprises. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It's worth spending a bit more time up front to understand the product than you might with other configuration management solutions. The benefit is much more power and a massive community. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

With Chef, there's no excuse not to have your entire infrastructure as code. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Lead Software Developer
Building Materials
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

I like chef because it uses DSL for configuration instead of XML, Rackspace supports it very well, etc. However the absolute best thing about Chef is the concept of recipes where you can get your platform up and configured extremely easily if that platform has a chef recipe. In addition most large platforms do have chef recipes so it's great! Also, I like that it;s open source Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Some of the things i dislike about chef, and this might jkust be a criticism of configuration management in general, is that you need pretty much a full team to support it. Sometimes I feel like it adds more complexity instead of kless. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Learn it well before you try to incorporate it in your enterprise Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The biggest issue we are solving with Chef is the knowledge gap that exists in new employees when first learning out platforms. previous it would take months for new developers to become effective because they spend several months fighting with the platform, build tools, etc. Chef makes this much less of a hassle Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Windows Server Administrator
Computer Networking
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

It works on most platforms windows and Linux many flavors. Robust offering Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Server head must be Linux. Not a bad thing. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

A proven leader in Automation software Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Server build similar to Desired State Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Principal Software Engineer - e-Commerce release engineer at Staples
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Organic
What do you like best?

IT infrastructure can be saved /reused as when required. Less time to create infrastructure Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Difficult to learn the language for beginners Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

1) Faster time to market

2) Less human error

3) Robust infrastrcuture Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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CI
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
Business partner of the seller or seller's competitor, not included in G2 scores.
What do you like best?

Easy to understand, configure the management of your infrastructure Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

available documentation is less as compare to other tools, Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Easy to learn, implement, configure, distribute over the landscape, Ruby is the main attraction, can cook the best food for you with its available cookbooks for your infrastructure to automate Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

we need to deploy a software developed by our developer, our infrastructure is very complex with different OS, environment, DBs, explorers, with the help of CHEF we did this within stipulated time without any issues. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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AF
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Being able to feed people with simpe ingrednts Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

At times the lack of knowdgle of the time it takes to make a dish Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Not at this time Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Meeting food cost Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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DevOps Tech Lead & Program Management
Computer Software
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

The ability to code infrastructure and then run it in action from a single line command is amazing. Imagine spinning up not just 1, but an entire stack of services at once (a whole ecosystem). That's the power of Chef. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

The problems are myriad. Chef does not have an easy way to pick up for beginners. Most cookbooks are focused on Linux, not Windows. And whenever a deployment breaks, tracing it is a huge pain as there stacktrace is not very informative. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Chef solves the problem of continuously updating and deploying your software ecosystem from scratch for different purposes and even clients. This helps to make infrastructure development verifiable and repeatable. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Research Intern
Higher Education
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Chef provides tools for for IT automation and after trying other tools. Its a master client model and is based in Ruby which was really helpful since we were also developing applications in Ruby on Rails.

The best thing about chef is the collection of modules and configuration recipes. Also, its based around Git which everyone is familiar with and 'Knife' tool is very helpful during installations. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Learning curve is steep but since we were already using Ruby it was a bit easy for us. Apart from that, its a not a smiple tool, It can lead to very large code bases and complicated environments quickly. One needs to be aware of that. Also, it doesn't support push functionality which other alternatives does.

Chef documentation can also be a little sketchy from time to time. They are more focused on making it work than writing documentations and doesn't provide as much platform support as other alternatives does. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use chef's Application Automation tool 'Habitat' to unify the development enviroment among a large team which can be a disaster while working with frameworks like Ruby on Rails.

Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Desenvolvedor sênior
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Previously to deploy a large application was suffering, always happened several problems. When I met Chef (while studying the vagrant) quickly deployed in my company. Chef is able to handle EVERYTHING related to creation of a dynamic infrastructure Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Nothing, all in Chef is exquisite, even the price is right. Of course you will have to study hard for put the tool into production, but it is a study that will be worth it. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Know that the documentation is extensive. It will take time to master the full tool, but the time spent will be saved in deploy Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

DevOps! In my company we had problems in the deployment of the tools. The time between the development and deployment was too long, now with Chef dramatically reduce the costs associated with deployment, and now we have the DevOps culture more strong Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Software Architect
Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Chef is pretty solid for configuration management of Windows machines and ensuring that they are all setup and provisioned the same way. The setup and scripting of recipes is pretty extensive, and Windows support is solid. There are a variety of recipes to do most windows configuration needed, as well as Linux. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

The setup is pretty complex, it can take awhile to just setup a server and figure out how to connect a client to it. It would be nice to have more functionality exposed in the Chef GUI, using command line for a majority of tasks can be tedious at times. Chef is mainly geared toward ensuring a server is configured properly, but it would be nice to have the option for 'one off' tasks. When you have agents already running on your systems for Chef it would be nice to run a task on a subset of machines instead of yet another agent and management system for that. It also runs best if you have a person dedicated to the configuration and on going maintenance of Chef. It takes some effort to keep up on your recipes. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you are using Azure, check out Microsoft's Azure lab on setting up Chef, it significantly speeds up the implementation process. Be sure to run through some tutorials and documentation on the Chef website as it is very difficult to setup straight out of the box. There aren't really any wizards or in-product tutorials. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Chef solves the system configuration management issue pretty well, it is able to ensure that machines are setup similarly. The 'configuration as code' aspect makes it clear to the organization what is involved in setting up and configuration of a server. It helps to document the process as long as you follow through on continuously adding recipes as you move along. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Cloud Specialist
Information Technology and Services
Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Simplifies bootstrapping fleets of servers and managing required packages. Allows developers to build upon a library of packages from other developers so they don't need to start at the basics from scratch and can more quickly and easily start on the parts that really matter Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Very difficult and time consuming to set up and get started with; large learning curve; compatibility issues with little to no documentation Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Consider as a possible solution for your DevOps build but also consider other tools like Ansible. You may very quickly become dependent on Chef once you implement it so make sure you like it and it meets your needs first. Team members with previous experience will be a huge plus to overcome the initial learning curve and setup time. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Automating deployments, versioning deployment code, granular user permissions, scalable and highly available infrastructure and applications Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Mobile Developer
Internet
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

I have been using Chef as it helps me to automate my applications in configuring and getting deployed in my web network easily.

It has got various features such as Chef Management console, Chef Analytics, and Client Reporting. It helps me to keep my server up all the time and saves up a lot of time in this area.

It also allows me to keep the track of my applications in terms of version control. So, the applications remains in synchronization with the help of different versions available for each built. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

The setup document and tutorials could have been a little better. They have provided all the documentation in a single web page with no references to any external links. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I would recommend you to choose between the free version and the paid version of Chef as per your needs and requirements. Getting an initial demo from the team would be a good idea. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are using it for the automation for our server configuration which saves a lot of time and energy required for manual configuration each time the server gets down. I like the Chef Development Kit where all the command line tools are available for help if you are stuck somewhere. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Cloud Architect
Information Technology and Services
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

The shear amount that you can do with the product from Linux to Windows, configurations to application deployments, Chef is delightfully AWESOME!!!!! Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

I personally don't have any dislikes for Chef as a product. The only caveat is when creating resources, you'll need to increase your Ruby knowledge and skills. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

To learn Chef, I highly recommend using the http://learn.chef.io . Even for an OPs guy, Chef is awesome! Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

When I jumped on the infrastructure as code bandwagon, I was testing both Chef and Puppet to Linux and Windows deployments. I chose Chef as they fixed a pending reboot issue with RDSH first. As a Solution/managed Service provider, the ability to reduce deployment time with a standard automated deployment methodology is invaluable. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Army Of One
Computer Software
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Chef is a standard in automated deployment. Is used in Facebook and it's really REALLY powerful. It's a very serious thing about deployment automation and it's capabilities are huge. Maintains states (software, configuration...) of the entire cluster, and I'm talking about hundreds of nodes. Cookbooks are very popular and you can find them to do almost everything in the open source community. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Chef is terribly complex to deploy by itself, not only needs a Chef Server that internally will install a RabbitMQ, a SQL database, a Nginx... it can really take a lot of resources of your machine.

Not only this, you need to install a daemon, Chef Client, on each Chef node you want to manage. Of course if this Client fails... your node is "lost" for Chef and you cannot manage it anymore until you restart the client. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you really, really need to manage a big set of nodes to do very complex things, you can give Chef a try (you also have Puppet). But if need something relatively simple I don't think is worth the effort. As I mention before, Chef is quite complex if you want to do simple things (maybe Ansible fits better in this case) Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We were automating the installation of 8 to 10 linux packages over a set of 4 to 20 machines. We were using a "root" machine to start the installation and, using a web ui, let a user select a set of technologies to install them on the rest of the nodes. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Senior Software Developer
Information Technology and Services
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Chef is one of my favorite tools lately. It makes painful and risky deployments easy and fast. Chef is also providing a quite flexible infrastructure which lets you to manage many nodes easily. You can simply integrate your other DevOps practices with Chef. It helps you to understand your infrastructure better and minifies security risks before your service goes down. Definetely Chef is a great tool to minimize your downtime. I'm a Ruby developer and Chef has a good support for both Ruby and Rails environments. Also Chef recipes written with Ruby, which is time saving for me. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Hosted and premium versions are more expensive than I can afford. Also management console, analytics and high availability features are not included in free version. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Before going with Chef, I suggest you to read well written documentation first and then check cookbooks for ready-to-use solutions before writing your own. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Chef makes our deployments easy and efficient. In the past deployments were stressful and time-consuming for us and Chef helped us to deal with deployments. Also check and read about Puppet, Ansible, Capristano and other DevOps tools which you can use together with Chef. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Software Development Engineer
Online Media
Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Awesome documentation & training resources given by the Chef are easily understandable.I have used only the opensource and free versions of chef-solo (except for the trail period) in all the organisations I have worked with till now.I use chef in conjunction with vagrant to improve & automate the stuff in development life cycle.Librarian-chef is most useful bundler plugin for chef based infrastructure which one must try automates the things with simple commands.

Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

They divided the Chef tool into three categories for the sake of business which is very disappointing

1. Hosted Chef

2. Enterprise (On-Premise Version)

3. Opensource Version which comes with less add-on and no support

Though there is a vast community present who are using chef for businesses it tuff to rely on opensource chef unless we have very experienced professionals.Pricing disappoints me a lot being a small organisation.Chef commitment to opensource is still doubtful which is an scary thing. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Do you wanna save the amount of time managing server configuration for your systems? Then yes I would recommend Chef for you.For small organisation hire a experienced professional to save money that need to be spend on tech support while using chef otherwise train them to get expertise so that they can confidently manage your infrastructure.

Choosing Hosted chef is best option for the organization with newly trained staff which would save organisation from critical situations. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Cloud Deployment, Build Automation, Server configuration Management Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Principle Engineer
Financial Services
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

The ability to manage multiple environments easily. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

The domain specific language has a couple of small quirks. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

https://docs.chef.io/ is your friend! The domain specific language (DSL) can be very hard at times especially for those coming from a non-Ruby programming back-ground. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We used this to manage all of the hosts configurations and applications that we deployed. It was used for all aspects to manage log locations, configurations, and even some kernel level configurations. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Technical Lead
Information Technology and Services
Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

Open Source

Community support.

Documentation is great.

Well written Chef blogs to understand steps and procedure.

Automated deployment of application in a farm.

Availability of well written cookbooks.

Ease of development with just enough knowledge of Ruby. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

Installation should be made little faster.

knife-plugins support is less

Some of the cookbooks are not maintained.. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I recommend to use Chef because of following reasons :

Community support is amazing. You have developers/users in the list who help to solve your problems. You need not be proficient in Ruby, just know-how of Ruby is enough to start developing recipes. Most of the cookbooks available on Chef's git-hub page can be re-used and customized as per your requirement. It also supports majority of Operating Systems. I have worked with other configuration management and remote execution systems, but it all depends what your need is and which one fits your environment. Rather than wading through so many tutorials, decide on one and be on it. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We wanted to do one-click installation of application on cloud.

Did a setup right from bare-metal provisioning and then used Chef for application deployment on Private Cloud. Developed shell scripts which triggers chef-client once a machine is ready on blade server. Used knife-plugins to manage private cloud farm.

Some of the benefits realized were ease of testing cookbooks using test-kitchen and Vagrant. Chef-solo was also helpful. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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Desenvolvedor
Information Technology and Services
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

There are plenty of well written, documented and supported Chef recipes for dealing with all sorts of server automation, like users management, database management, Solr configuration, full application stack configuration (Sensu, Gitorious, Redmine), SSH, and many more commonly used software. All of them are open-source and have plenty of customization options. Chef itself has good documentation.

Dependencies management is very easy and robust by using librarian-chef.

Chef's verbose mode is very helpful when debugging what a recipe is doing and there's also a dry runner mode which won't actually run anything in the server, which is also helpful in some cases.

Unlike Puppet there's no domain specific language to learn, which is a big advantage for me. You only have to learn a bit of Ruby, which is an easy language to learn and use and you are able to perform any logic pretty easily when compared with Puppet which is quite limiting when you need some custom logic which is not handled by their DSL and you are forced to extend their DSL.

Chef can be configured through an specialized server that will orchestrate all managed servers or they can be used without setting up any Chef server, through chef-solo. Chef-solo can be integrated with Vagrant as well to help setting up a development environment very quickly. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

I'd prefer Chef's focused on chef-solo for most of its beginning tutorials as I find it the easier mode to start with and also the most useful one for most small organizations. The fact that chef-solo is not the tutorials assume makes it harder for a beginner to understand how it works.

I also think they could be more backwards compatible in new releases. I remember it took me quite a while to fix some old recipes I had so that it would work in newer Chef releases...

They use JIRA to manage their tickets and I really don't like JIRA. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I'd recommend starting with the chef-solo mode, which is much easier to start with and well suitable even for more complex servers infra-structure. Also, take some time to learn some Ruby if you are not comfortable with the language. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We integrate Chef and Capistrano to manage our servers and deploy our applications. Since both are written in Ruby, we can share a dynamic configuration written as a Ruby DSL that is used by both Chef recipes and Capistrano tasks. We use Capistrano to run Chef in the servers requiring changes.

For example, we manage multiple environments and applications in a shared set of servers. We have a database server and two application servers and we are able to properly manage the database in the database server through Chef, configure Solr, install packages in the application servers, set up nginx in the right server and everything that is required for the application to run and finally run the deploy procedure using Capistrano tasks, which are more well suited to handle deploys and rollbacks than Chef is. The server management part is handled by Capistrano running chef-solo in the right servers. Then the deploy proceeds as usual with regular Capistrano tasks. All with a single command line that will inform the application, which application server to deploy to and the environment (production, Cert, experimental, staging and others).

Being able to run a single command to handle the full deployment cycle gives a lot confidence specially because there are lots of steps involved for our applications to be properly configured and run in our servers... It would be really easy to forget some of those steps in a big release without the automated recipes. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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AI
Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review source: Invitation from G2
What do you like best?

I won't state how much I like chef due to its automation, but I'd like to say that in comparison with puppet and ansible, it gives better control as it allows you to "develop" your system. The dependencies system that's out of the box due to Ruby is really good! As a vagrant only user, chef-zero was the product that I really needed! Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What do you dislike?

- I have to write ruby

- As a vagrant user, it feels it has quite some overhead when the system bootstraps

- It takes more time to write something "quick and dirty", while ansible performs better for MVP cases

- As a vagrant user, it feels ugly the way I have to manage my secret files, databags are not the best case Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Make it being easier to bootstrap new projects - MVPs, maybe use some template bucket? Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

As a team leader, I've manage to create a unified environment for my team members, and having it on git, we are having the opportunity to all extended based on our ongoing needs. Using chef like that, It also gives me the opportunity to have a "shared communication protocol" with the devops side, and not missing any details that have been developed throughout the development phase.

As a business perspective, it has make the dev environment "disposable", as everything that's needed run in the Dev's VM and their laptops have no value now, or worrying if they got stolen Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

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