Likelihood to Recommend
8 because it's currently best-in-class and is completely essential to use in contrast to not expressing your infrastructure as code. That said, new contenders are nipping at its heels, and I expect stronger tools to emerge in the coming years. Hopefully the Terraform team is able to keep pace.
Chef is a fantastic tool for automating software deployments that aren't able to be containerized. It's more developer-oriented than its other competitors and thus allows you to do more with it. The Chef Infra Server software is rock-solid and has been extremely stable in our experience. I would definitely recommend its use if you're looking for an automation framework. And it also offers InSpec which is a very good tool for testing your infrastructure to ensure it deployed as intended.
Engineer in Information TechnologyFinancial Services Company, 10,001+ employees
- Terraform is cloud agnostic. Just select the suitable provider for the cloud and it will do the job.
- Templating is possible to make the Terraform templates reusable.
- Variables can be created to make the templates generic so that it can be reused for different environments or resources.
- Chef is great at deploying code to both small and large groups of servers.
- We use chef to standup new servers as well as deploy updated code to existing servers and it does this very well.
- Being able to make a change and have it push manually or automatically to any subset of servers has changed the landscape of how our IT teams operate.
Administrator in Information TechnologyComputer Software Company, 201-500 employees
- The errors generated by the plan and preview commands are pretty cryptic, it can be hard for newcomers to the scripting language to understand how to address problems.
- Access controls around workspaces is limited which makes it harder to secure reduce the scope of teams ability.
- Analytics around user usage, applies and plans would be helpful for managemenet.
- Chef could do a better job with integration with other DevOps tools. Our company relies on Jenkins and Ansible, which took some development and convincing for plug-ins to be created/available.
- It would be nice if kitchen didn't only have a vagrant/virtual-box prerequisite. Our company one day stop allowing virtual-box to run without special privileges, and that caused a lot of issues for people trying to do kitchen tests.
- Chef could use more practice materials for the advanced certification badges. There was not a lot of guidance in what to study or examples of certain topics.
Engineer in Information TechnologyHospital & Health Care Company, 10,001+ employees
Based on 1 answer
I love Terraform and I think it has done some great things for people that are working to automate their provisioning processes and also for those that are in the process of moving to the cloud or managing cloud resources. There are some quirks to HCL that take a little bit of getting used to and give picking up Terraform a little bit of a learning curve, thus the rating
Engineer in EngineeringInformation Services Company, 501-1000 employees
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Based on 6 answers
Terraform's performance is quite amazing when it comes to deployment of resources in AWS. Of course, the deployment times depend on various parameters like the number of resources to deploy and different regions to deploy. Terraform cannot control that. The only minor drawback probably shows up when a terraform job is terminated mid way. Then in many cases, time-consuming manual cleanup is required.
Chef Infra 9.4
Based on 10 answers
It loads quick enough for basically all our systems. Because we have this for local dev environments, speed isn't really a big issue here. Yes, depending on the system, sometimes it does take a relatively long time, but it's not an issue for me. One thing that is annoying is that if I want to make a small change to a cookbook and re-run the Chef client, I can't just make the change in the cache and run it. I have to do the whole process of updating the server.
Based on 9 answers
I have yet to have an opportunity to reach out directly to HashiCorp for support on Terraform. However, I have spent a great deal of time considering their documentation as I use the tool. This opinion is based solely on that.I find the Terraform documentation to have great breadth but lacking in depth in many areas. I appreciate that all of the tool's resources have an entry in the docs but often the examples are lacking. Often, the examples provided are very basic and prompt additional exploration. Also, the links in the documentation often link back to the same page where one might expect to be linked to a different source with additional information.
Chef Infra 7.0
Based on 5 answers
Support for Chef is easily available for fee or through the open source community as most the issues you will face will have been addressed through the Chef developer community forums. The documentation for Chef is moderate to great and easily readable.
Analyst in Information TechnologyAirlines/Aviation Company, 51-200 employees
Terraform is a tool that is particularly well suited to managing infrastructure specifically. It brings "Infrastructure-as-code" to a level that hasn't been achieved with either Puppet or CloudFormation. The former is more accurately aimed at managing the deployment of code on an instance, managing dependencies and configuration files. The latter can manage infrastructure, but is AWS specific, and does not handle company wide infrastructure well nor does it provide a simple way to maintain a history or implement a code review process (ala pull requests). Terraform can start managing individual pieces of infrastructure, and gradually grow to encompass your entire infrastructure stack as needs require. It can refer to existing infrastructure without exerting control over that infrastructure, and being a text based tool, is amenable diffs, source control, and code reviews. It plays particularly well with Kubernetes, as you can use Terraform to stand up the infrastructure that Kubernetes runs on, and manage the permissions that Kubernetes apps require
Professional in Information TechnologyHuman Resources Company, 51-200 employees
We considered the three leading competitors in the field: Chef, Puppet and Ansible. Ansible is a very strong competitor and has a nice degree of flexibility in that it does not require a client install. Instead the configuration is delivered by SSH which is very simple. Puppet seems like it has fallen off the pace of the competition and lacked the strong community offered by Chef. We chose Chef because of the strong support by the company and the dynamic and deep community support.
Return on Investment
- Our deployments are more reliable. This way we avoid having unexpected outages due to misconfiguration performed manually.
- Agility. While doing this using our previous way, we used to spend hours to deploy a new environment. With Terraform it is just a few minutes.
- Better control! We can track every single change in our environment by our control versioning system.
- Chef is a good tool for baselining servers. It will be a good ROI when there are huge number of servers. For less number of servers maintaining a master will be an over head.
- One good ROI will be that the Operations Team also gets into agile and DevOps methodologies. Operational teams can start writing scripts/automations to keep their infra more stable and their application stack more reliable.
- Implementation of Chef eliminates the manual mode of doing things and everyone aligns to automation mind set. It helps in change of culture.
Engineer in EngineeringComputer Software Company, 1001-5000 employees
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