Chef Announces Key Acquisition And New Compliance Automation Tool

Chef has been helping companies configure, manage and automate their software and infrastructure for some time. Today it made several announcements to bring that same level of automation to compliance.

For starters, the company announced that it has acquired VulcanoSec, a German compliance and security firm. Chef actually acquired the company last summer, but is making the purchase official today, according to a company spokesperson. No terms were announced.

At the same time, the company announced that it was incorporating VulcanoSec technology that enables companies to automate and maintain compliance testing, into Chef. This means Chef customers can actually bake compliance testing and enforcement into their Chef workflows.

Finally, the company is making Chef Delivery, a workflow automation tool it announced last April generally available today. This tool has been designed to create an assembly line of sorts, an automated workflow that pushes the pieces of a project to the correct people in the organization to complete their part of the job.

Chef uses a cooking metaphor, letting users create what it calls recipes, which you can string together into cookbooks. These are essentially scripted instruction manuals with sets of processes the application, infrastructure or compliance must follow. In addition, using Chef Delivery the steps can act as triggers to move the project through a prescribed workflow, making sure it passes all of the milestones outlined in the cookbook.

It helps to think of compliance as code, Ken Cheney, VP of business development at Chef told TechCrunch. You can assess the entire fleet against a set of rules, quickly visualize where you are out of compliance and how severe the violation is. Armed with this information, you can figure out how to fix the problems before applying it to your entire infrastructure.

Together, the products are supposed to provide a way to automate every aspect of the software, infrastructure and compliance using tools that developers and operations teams are comfortable using, while creating an automated workflow to make sure it happens in a smooth and organized way.

IT used to run on the rock star model, where the best coders worked long hours driving the project to completion, Cheney explained. That worked when projects lasted months or years, but in today’s world where code is being pushed out very quickly in hours or days, it requires a level of automation to push the pieces through the development process. These tools are designed to help organizations move to that newer model and automate every aspect of a project.