Chef - Automate Server Deployment
August 03, 2016

Chef - Automate Server Deployment

Dan Lepinski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Chef

We use Chef within our Infrastructure Engineering team. Each of our cookbooks is built with the purpose of automating the deployment of a server. Our end goal is to be able to simply run Chef to build out an server with no user intervention. We currently use Chef to perform functions like, but not limited to: Adding Linux and Windows servers to Active Directory, installing IIS and creating functioning sites, installing various applications, and configuring HAProxy servers. Within a minutes, we are able to run a Knife command to build a server in our AWS account, and have that server completely functional within 30 mins.


  • Server deployment. We can knife servers within 30 minutes.
  • Automates software installs.
  • If built out correctly, it takes care of all the little configuration details Admins forget when deploying a new server.
  • There is tons of documentation out there to help you accomplish just about anything with Chef.


  • Coding experience is required. The more you know, the more you'll be able to do with Chef. Chef training is recommended.
  • Sometimes your cookbooks will break due to changes in dependencies. Not Chef's fault, but a fault with the overall path. It can be difficult to track down the issues at times.
  • Chef is overwhelming at first. There's a lot of odds and ends to take in that I found you just needed to learn with time, patience, and practice.
  • While a lot of time can be spent getting the cookbooks built, the time it saves in the future is massive. It can takes hours to deploy a server by hand without missing a step, but Chef can take care of it all in 30 mins.
  • A new team member could quickly deploy a new server in a pinch if needed to, but it could also take some time to get that team member up to speed on building out new cookbooks.
  • None
We did evaluate other solutions comparable to Chef.
Chef is suited for just about any situations in which you need to automate a process on a server. Once you've built out a cookbook, the chef run with take care of everything for you. Assuming nothing changes, you never have to worry about it again. The great thing about it is it's meant to automate everything so you, and your colleagues don't have to worry about it anything. You can make changes in one cookbook that can then update an entire farm of servers.


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