Chef Extends Alliance with AWS to Containers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) makes available a managed instance of the IT automation framework from Chef to simplify DevOps management. Now the two companies have now extended that alliance to include integration between Chef’s Habitat Builder tool for managing the deployment of containerized applications and the AWS EC2 Container Registry (Amazon ECR).

In addition, the managed instance of Chef that AWS makes available has been upgraded to include support for the InSpec compliance automation tools that Chef added to most recent release of its core IT automation framework as part of a continuing effort to shift the responsibility for compliance and security as far left of the DevOps process as possible.

Marc Holmes, vice president of marketing for Chef, notes the importance of integration between Habitat, which accelerates the development of containerized applications, and the AWS registry, which keeps track of where and how they are deployed, since AWS is the platform on which more containerized applications are running.

Holmes says DevOps teams should expect Chef to provide similar integrations with Microsoft and Google clouds. The tightness of the relationship between AWS and Chef, coupled with the volume of containerized applications being deployed on AWS, made that specific cloud platform a higher priority, he adds.

Holmes notes that competition among providers of IT automation frameworks has never been fiercer, while the average size of contracts for IT automation software is rising rapidly. The rising value of those contracts suggests an increased level of maturity among a larger number of IT organizations when it comes to embracing IT automation to deploy applications at scale. Couple that need with the rise of multi-cloud computing, and Holmes says it won’t be too long before most IT organizations are relying much more on IT automation frameworks to keep up with the pressure to release applications and their associated updates faster.

Many organizations these days are a lot less interested in underlying technologies as much as they are application outcomes, he says. As such, there’s a lot more focus on accelerating processes to achieve a result than on the technology platforms being used to accomplish that goal.

At the same time, Holmes says IT organizations don’t want to be locked into a specific IT automation platform. That makes them wary of IT automation frameworks that today come bundled with preintegrated systems that can’t be extended easily to their existing legacy environments. In fact, because platform innovation cycles are never likely to ever be in synch, most organizations for the foreseeable future will employ multiple types of platforms to take advantage of various new capabilities.

There’s no doubt Chef is counting on the fact that exposure to managed instances of Chef on AWS will drive demand for Chef on multiple platforms across the enterprise. After all, DevOps teams are not likely to want to have one level of IT automation experience in the cloud that can’t easily be replicated in another environment.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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