Chef is mostly known as an IT automation service, but the company is branching out into continuous and unified delivery today with the launch of Chef Delivery. This new service provides enterprise devops teams with a new workflow for managing the continuous delivery of their infrastructure and run-time environments (including containers), as well as applications.
As Chef VP of Marketing Jay Wampold noted when I talked to him earlier this week, the company is gearing this new service toward the IT organizations in Global 2000 companies that are now adopting new software development techniques in order to keep up with the expectations of their internal and external customers. The question all of these companies are asking themselves now, he argues, is “how do you become a high-velocity development engine?”
In talking to its existing customers, the Chef team saw a number of patterns that it thought it could distill into a new product that fits in well with Chef’s existing product and extended its expertise in the DevOps market.
At its core, Chef Delivery automates changes to infrastructure, runtime environments and applications. But on top of that, it also offers a framework for automated testing and continuous integration and delivery. Along the way, Chef Delivery provides developers with metrics, permissions management and a comprehensive change history for their code.
More so than a break from its other products, Wampold thinks adding these new capabilities represents an evolution for the company.
“People have been using Chef for years to automate their infrastructure,” he told me. “But in the last three years or so, we’ve seen more interested in continuous delivery and — as a result — a lot of our customers have been building pipelines with Jenkins and Chef.”
Chef Delivery codifies many of the best practices Chef’s users developed in a single product with, as Wampold acknowledged, “a strong view about how you develop applications.”
Interestingly, the team decided to make Delivery open to other IT automation services, too, instead of linking it closely with Chef. As Alex Ethier, the company’s VP of Product, told me, you can also use products like Ansible and Puppet.
The company is going to slowly open access to this new product. For now, it’s an invite-only program, but Chef expects to sell subscriptions to the service later in 2015.