I have recently read (and re-read) several books on Chef in order that I can recommend books to clients who are starting with infrastructure automation (and to remind myself of the more obscure uses of knife, encrypted databags, and so on). In this post I comment on these books:
- Chef Infrastructure Automation Cookbook by Matthias Marschall
- Managing Windows Servers with Chef by John Ewart
- Test-Driven Infrastructure with Chef (2nd Edition) by Stephen Nelson-Smith
- Automation Through Chef Opscode by Navin Sabharwal and Manak Wadhwa
Summary: read Chef Infrastructure Automation Cookbook for a good introduction to Chef on both Linux and Windows; read Managing Windows Servers with Chef if you manage many Windows machines; but most of all read Test-Driven Infrastructure with Chef because without a test-driven approach your infrastructure code will rapidly become tangled, unsupported, and obsolete.
Continue reading Using Chef for infrastructure automation – reading list
I attended a workshop at DevWeek 2012 led by Neal Ford (@neal4d) on Continuous Delivery (CD). The day was excellent – Neal is a really engaging presenter – and I took copious notes, even though I’d already read most of the CD book. Fifteen months later, I thought it would be interesting to see how my notes from Neal’s workshop compared with my experience of Continuous Delivery, both within my job at thetrainline.com, and also in conversations with other people, particularly the good folks in the London Continuous Delivery meetup group.
The tl;dr version: go attend one of Neal’s excellent CD workshops, but be prepared for the challenges with Continuous Delivery to be much more social/organisational than technical.
Continue reading Continuous Delivery Workshop with Neal Ford (@neal4d) – a Retrospective
I attended QConLondon 2013 last week; what I took from the first four sessions in the Building for Clouds track was: cloud API and infrastructure automation tools have now solved most of the ‘easy’ cloud problems, but harder challenges (such as automating clusters) remain. The sessions were from Tim Savage (@timjsavage) and Zenon Hannick (@zenonhannick) on Comic Relief’s unique challenges with performance testing, Gareth Rushgrove (@garethr) on how to avoid PaaS lock-in, Stephen Nelson-Smith (@LordCope) on how to use Chef to give you ‘optionality’ with different cloud vendors, and Andrew Crump (@acrmp) and Chris Hedley (@ChristHedley) on the CloudFoundry cloud platform.
Continue reading Comic Relief, @garethr, @LordCope, and CloudFoundry at QConLondon 2013
The London Continuous Delivery meetup group had its first session of 2013 on 17 Jan. We were fortunate to be able to use the offices of [my employer] thetrainline.com in central London, and doubly fortunate to be joined by Andy Hawkins from Opscode, who ran what turned out to be a brave demo showing how Chef can work with CI tools to provision EC2 instances.
Continue reading London Continuous Delivery meetup with Opscode Chef