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Opscode Serves Up New Chef SI Framework

Seattle-based Opscode has served up some new cloud services-based computing news by announcing that its Chef software will now provide infrastructure automation in Windows environments. Applicable to the Chef open source systems integration framework as well as the commercially supported Hosted Chef and Private Chef, the Opscode's release of Chef cookbooks (the name given to Chef software) is intended to enable automation of some major components of Windows infrastructure, including PowerShell, Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL server, and Windows services.

At its core, Opscode Chef is an open source systems integration framework built for automating the cloud. The company aims to target complex environments where DevOps teams are trying to deploy thousands of servers at the same time as they scale applications throughout an entire infrastructure. By using a combination of configuration management and service-oriented architectures, Chef, Hosted Chef, and Private Chef can be used to configure raw machines as web servers. The products can then be further used to manage the web application deployment, automating all the core components of big web shops on Windows.

"Many companies have large, complex Windows deployments and want a solution to manage infrastructure configuration and scale more efficiently," said Christopher Brown, chief technology officer at Opscode. "We are excited to meet this need with Chef's improved support for Windows, which builds on our existing capabilities in system setup, automation, and management."

With support for Windows infrastructure, Chef cookbooks can now provide the setup, automation, and maintenance of Windows-based servers and applications, while still allowing companies who have deployed PowerShell to leverage their current investment. As part of what has been called "specific support for the Windows infrastructure", Opscode says it has made it simple for users working in Chef on Windows with a Ruby recipe to seamlessly integrate a block of PowerShell script into the middle of the recipe. The recipe language is simple with few constructs, so users don't realize they're in Ruby until they do something outside the domain specific language (DSL). Users get the benefit of Chef's management and automation, plus the execution of the PowerShell script.

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