Progress Unveils First Update to Chef Automation Portfolio

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Progress today announced it has enhanced its Chef Enterprise Automation Stack (EAS) and released a new version of Chef Infra Client that promises to make the programming language on which EAS relies more accessible.

Sudhir Reddy, vice president of engineering for Progress, said the latest versions of both offerings are the first updates to the Chef portfolio since Progress acquired the company last fall.

Chef EAS combines elements of the Chef portfolio in a way that makes it easier to develop and integrate DevOps workflows that span everything from provisioning infrastructure to deploying applications. The latest update to EAS adds the ability to automatically execute compliance audits as part of any Chef Infra Client run using Chef InSpec tools. At the same time, the latest update also simplifies the implementation of the patch management processes.

DevOps teams can also view and manage Chef Infra Server details via the Chef Automate framework. Those views, when combined with Chef Infra Client Run Reports, provide insights into the various policies and Chef objects in use on a system.


Finally, the Chef Workstation module includes the Chef Habitat command line interface (CLI) to further simplify workflows.

Ultimately, Progress is moving toward creating a common user experience across all elements of the Chef EAS suite of tools, Reddy said. In effect, EAS is emerging as the control plane through which the entire Chef portfolio will be managed, Reddy added.

Meanwhile, Infra Client 17 promises to make the Chef Language underpinning that suite more accessible. It provides a streamlined developer experience as well as pre-built integrations with various cloud services. In addition, Progress is adding support for various ARM processors used in cloud services, macOS Big Sur, the Apple M1 architecture, Windows 8 and PowerShell Core.

Progress also enhanced its ability to securely capture metadata from the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud as well as capturing data from Microsoft Azure clouds.

An early pioneer of a framework for automating IT infrastructure-as-code management, Chef is still widely employed. However, rival open source frameworks have since emerged, which Chef eventually responded to by making its core platform also available as open source software as it changed its business model. Progress today also announced it will recognize external contributors to the platform with recognition awards. Progress reports that, in 2020, there were more than 350 contributions made by the Chef community in support of Chef Infra, Chef InSpec and Chef Habitat.

It’s still unclear how the battle for infrastructure-as-code framework management supremacy will ultimately play out. While many developers have clearly shown a preference for rival open source tools, Progress is positioning the Chef portfolio as a framework for IT organizations that need to automate processes at scale, including how application are deployed on infrastructure that is provisioned as code.

Of course, many rival framework providers have similar ambitions. The challenge, of course, will eventually be convincing organizations that tend to employ a wide range of tools across different departments to finally standardize on one framework versus another.

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