Chef: Why you should
automate your web
Hi I'm Kate Heddleston
Here's what I'm going to talk to you
● Why you should automate your web
● What is Chef?
● How to use Chef to set-up a python/Django
A Programmer's Better Best Friend
Why you should automate your web
● All of your configuration information is in one
place (and that place isn't someone's head)
● You can spin up perfectly configured servers
● You can change things in one place and
have them propagate through your entire
● You can create dev and test environments
that are exact replicas of production.
What is Chef?
"Reality-based automation for the cloud."
"Infrastructure as code."
"A global view of your system as opposed to a
● central storage for all your chef configuraions
● stores all your git repo stuff as structured data in json
● uses couchDB for storage and querying
● Hosted Chef free for up to 5 nodes - then you should
host it yourself
Command line tool to interface between your local code
repo and your Chef Server
servers in your system
● A nice way of abstracting what a node does and what
should be installed on it. I.e. a webserver role vs. a
● run_list of installations
● Can talk about other machines in your infrastructure by
their role; open up firewalls to front-end servers
● You can query roles
● The base unit of configuration, so you would have a
cookbook for nginx, postgres, gunicorn, etc.
● ruby programs that get run when installing that
knife cookbook site download nginx
knife cookbook upload django-application
knife role from file webserver.json
What exactly happens when I run this
knife rackspace server create -r 'role[webserver]' -N
chef.myserver.org -S chef.myserver.org -f 3 -I 125
Go see console output!
● You really, really, really, really should use
something for server configuration
● Getting started with your Django server
To sum it all up...
Other tools like Chef
○ "Like having two full-time dev ops people on your
○ this one is in python, but it's new
No developers were harmed in the
making of this presentation...
Links to particularly interesting
articles I found while making this
You can also find me in the hallways
At the Hearsay Social beer bash:
6-8pm at David's
5151 Stars and Stripes Dr.