Chef is riding an important wave in enterprise IT. A wave that sees organizations move away from thinking about physical servers as items to be primped and preened and rather toward a Google-like model where servers are simply a unit of measure, to be used, abused and discarded once no longer needed. This theme of “infrastructure as code” is an important part of enabling a far more agile model of IT.
Chef isn’t alone in this space. Archrival Puppet is a company with a similar vintage, a similar story and a similar target audience. Ansible, a younger company in the same space, was acquired by Red Hat last year, and while Docker and Kubernetes may have stolen some thunder in terms of early-adopter excitement and attention, it’s fair to say that moving to automation on a server level is still a key concern for many CIOs and CTOs.