Chef Adds Premium Workflow Management, Compliance Tools To Boost DevOps Platform

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Chef, a popular and pioneering IT configuration management platform vying with a handful of competitors in a rapidly heating DevOps market, Tuesday added two premium products and a new consulting practice to help introduce DevOps culture to enterprises.

The new hosted tools automate compliance verification and collaborative workflow processes, eliminating much of the risk associated with rapidly developing and deploying applications onto complex infrastructure, Jay Wampold, vice president of marketing at Chef, told CRN.

The Seattle-based software developer simultaneously introduced an Enterprise Transformation Practice to help large organizations deploy Chef and embrace DevOps methodology, Wampold said, although the company would much rather enable systems integrators than become one.

[Related: Chef Partners With Microsoft To Train Partners in DevOps-style Azure Deployments]

Over the past two years, DevOps, and the notion of accelerated application deployment through treating infrastructure as software, has gone from being a "movement" to being a real market -- one that's widely measured and tracked, Wampold said.

"It’s the market term that describes the journey that every company is on to becoming a software business," Wampold said.

Research firm Gartner estimates DevOps will be employed by one-quarter of the Global 2000 by 2016, and related technologies will drive $4 billion in sales by 2018.

Chef, like the few other prominent players in the arena, is an open-source technology, and its monetization is dependent on higher-level products and services.

Chef Delivery, which became generally available Tuesday, is available through a premium subscription. The pipeline tool that directly implements DevOps-style workflows enables collaboration by managing complex change across the entire software stack.

Chef Compliance -- built from technology Chef obtained through the acquisition of German software developer VulcanoSec -- for the first time introduces compliance policy expressed as code, moving compliance verification into the software build process.  

"You can version it, you can test it, and by doing this you're putting it into the DevOps operating model as code, which enables you to be more compliant," Wampold said.

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