IT Automation Service Chef Acquires Tower3 To Power New Analytics Platform

Chef isn’t just a feel-good summer move for foodies, but also one of the fastest-growing IT automation services out there. Indeed, the company today announced that its incremental recurring revenue grew 182 percent year-over year in the last quarter. There is clearly a huge demand for this kind of service. That’s driving by the quickly changing landscape of enterprise IT and the fact that Chef makes server configuration and management easier and faster for them.

For many startups, the combination of Chef with Docker — and the fact that they can use the open-source version Chef for free — has become a standard tool for managing their server fleets on AWS and other cloud services, too.

logo-chefFor Chef, the company, most of the revenue comes from enterprise sales, of course, and that’s where many of today’s updates come in.

To improve Chef’s analytics, the company today announced that it recently acquired Tower3, a big data and analytics platform that now forms the backbone of the company’s own analytics service. The new analytics service is now available to all Chef subscribers in the form of the new Chef action log. The log publishes notifications on what is changing on a server and, the company says, will allow server admins to track roles, environments and infrastructure changes through a single dashboard.

Starting today, Chef will also offer commercial support for its test-driven infrastructure, which the team says, “ensures maximum IT safety and consistency with programmatic and automated testing of the entire stack.” It’s a big enough topic to warrant its own O’Reilly book, but the idea here is basically to apply the process behind writing automated tests for application code to infrastructure as well. Today’s update makes Chef the first company to offer commercial support for test-driven infrastructure.

Also new in today’s update is improved support for Docker. The new Chef Container build, which includes the Chef client and a few other goodies, integrates with all Linux containers, including Docker, to help admins manage their container resources. In addition, a new Knife plugin for Docker will allow Chef Container users to launch, configure their Docker containers.

Image credit: Chef the film.