DevOps Sessions

Mise en place - Preparing your Organization for a Successful Chef Infra Journey


Justin Rivait, Infrastructure Engineer, CUNA Mutual Group

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The hardest part of integrating Chef Infra into an organization isn’t learning the technical aspect - it’s helping others to understand “The Why”, and to build a solid community of practitioners. Culinary students often learn the concept of “Mise en Place”, or “Everything in its Place”. From champions, to technical challenges - come learn from my organizations’ lessons that enabled us to scale Chef out, and the epics and features that would have helped us grow faster and become more successful earlier in our journey.

As organizations look to bring new tools in to increase the quality of their infrastructure and speed software delivery, it’s often engineers that identify what may be able to improve these processes. Generally what follows is a business case presented to leadership in order to secure funding, an initial purchase order, and then a discovery period for those engineers and their product or service owners on how to make the tool work well in their unique ecosystems. For many, it’s tempting to start automating and delivering right away - to just get something out there to show value. Often there is low hanging fruit that can be pointed to as a success story - but it’s the more complicated patterns that can slow adoption down. In order for real success to happen there must be a strong community and willingness to change the ways in which we work, as well as support from the bottom of the organization all the way to the business leaders that partner with IT. We can increase velocity and adoption of new tools and ideas by following the concept of “Mise en place”, or “Everything in its Place” by laying a solid foundation for Chef, or any other new tool or concept in our organizations to remove friction and make new ideas become successful realities.

Come learn how we developed a community of practitioners, built support for Chef, and laid the groundwork for Chef to not only survive, but to excel in our organization. In this talk we’ll share how to build a strong business case for Chef to garner support and build new champions. We’ll also cover some epics and features that we think are critical to the success of Chef in an organization. Finally, we’ll talk about some thoughts around removing friction from the development lifecycle for Chef Infra to make it easier to learn and use.

Chef Infra for Dummies: How SAP Ramps Up New Developers


Dan-Joe Lopez, DevOps CoE Global Lead, SAP

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Having trouble picking a talk? Not sure where to start? Are you new to Chef, configuration management, or automation in general? Are you looking for a quick intro to get you started? This talk is for you!

The SAP DevOps Center of Excellence is a global enablement team, helping our developer teams to adopt the DevOps culture and practices. We act as a knowledgebase on topics, technologies and best practices surrounding automation, continuous integration, continuous delivery, micro architecture, etc.

We often work with the development teams to create custom solutions and pipelines, most of which include some chef management. As we work with new development teams, or add members to our own team, we have to quickly ramp up their knowledge of Chef Infra.

In this talk, we’ll share with you how we ramp up knowledge in SAP to get our colleagues working with Chef fast and efficiently. You can expect to learn:

  • The basic concepts of declarative configuration management and how it differs from scripted automation.
  • Important terms you’ll hear at ChefConf.
  • The anatomy of a Chef cookbook.
  • The process of a Chef client execution.
  • How the Chef Infra Client and Server work together.
  • Where to find resources to expand your knowledge and get your questions answered.

Enabling the Coded Enterprise: A First Look at Chef Innovation in DevSecOps


Corey Scobie, Chef, CTO
Luis Madrigal, Engineering Manager, Client Platform Engineering + IOT, Uber
John Snow, Sr. Software Development Engineer, Chef

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Since ChefConf 2019 we have been busy building, driving, and evolving massive innovation across our product portfolio. Our entire team has been working to make our products easier to use identifying how we can simplify the workstreams between DevOps and Security teams to improve compliance and overall security posture, and defining how IT managers can better manage fleets of desktops, laptops, and kiosks. This session with Chef CTO Corey Scobie will show off new products and features that will make your life easier every day and help you enable your business to become a Coded Enterprise.

Third Time’s a Charm: Introducing and Evolving a Chef Infra Implementation


Graham Davison

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This talk will follow a five-year journey with Chef Infra. We will start with its introduction to an existing on-premise infrastructure and scaling as the environment grew. As we scaled, we extended some of the Chef command-line tools to ease deployment.

Next, we will explore the successful and less successful approaches to moving into a hybrid cloud infrastructure in AWS. We built AMIs using Packer and Chef Infra, but ended up with forked cookbook implementations for on-premise and cloud environments.

Finally, we will explore a cloud-centric deployment integrating AWS features with Chef Infra and Chef InSpec, and adopting Policyfiles.

Test Driven Infrastructure


Arthur Maltson, Distinguished Engineer, Capital One

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Test Driven Development is a popular concept in Software Development, leading to higher quality code that’s easier to maintain. Automated testing is normally a foreign concept in the Operations/DevOps world, but as you ssh into your servers to make that quick fix or run your updated script (fingers crossed), you might be wondering if there’s a better way. A way that gives you the confidence in your script and lets you test those scripts in isolation. There is a better way! Test Driven Infrastructure (TDI) is now possible. I know, it sounds crazy.

At this session you’ll learn the how, and more importantly the why, of TDI. You’ll see how Chef can be tested with Test Kitchen and Chef InSpec. You’ll also learn how to improve your feedback cycle with Docker, and using the Docker approach on a CI server. There’s even a live demo!

Finally, the Ops world collides with the Dev world in true DevOps testing bliss.

Moving Security and Sanity Left by Testing Terraform with Chef InSpec


Annie Hedgpeth, Senior Cloud Automation Engineer, 10th Magnitude

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For those that have longed for a simpler test-driven approach to Terraform development, come and see how I’ve made my team’s lives easier by using Test Kitchen for Terraform and how I can validate my deployments with InSpec. This will be a beginner’s guide, but all skillsets are welcome to contribute to the conversation!

We’ll discuss the different use cases for Terraform testing, such as:

  • Test Driven Development (TDD)
  • Integration Testing and CI/CD
  • Compliance, shifting security left
  • Production provisioning validation

As we know, good testing doesn’t just solve CI/CD problems; it solves culture problems. I will seek to convince you of why you need to invest in a good Terraform testing strategy early and how you might have bought into a myth that makes you think you have velocity when you don’t (are you running in wet cement).

And if you’re late to the game and have existing infrastructure with no tests, that’s okay, too. Let’s talk about how you can reduce stress by adding in some testing now. It’s not too late.

It takes an IT village to do DevOps, so let’s talk about moving security and sanity left with InSpec and Terraform. So many use cases, and so little time. You’ll leave this talk ready to implement at least one of them.

You Did What? A Spectrum of Chef Habitat Implementations


David McMaster, Automation Engineer, NetDocuments

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Chef Habitat can be intimidating to adopt as it is considerably different than its predecessor, Chef Infra. This talk will go over a few different partial implementations of Chef Habitat from binary management to full blown habitat environments.

In the first example I will go over is a very basic implementation habitat where you can use existing cookbooks without much modification. This will use zookeeper, Chef Infra, and Chef Habitat to illustrate my point. The binaries will be handled by habitat while service management is handled by the Linux OS and configuration management is handled by chef infrastructure.

Next I will go over a more mixed example based on the same concept. In this iteration the binaries and service management will be handled by Chef Habitat while the release versioning is done by Chef Infra.

Finally I will go over other features, like service discovery and health checks, that could be implemented in a mixed deployment. This should help show a stepwise implementation of Chef Habitat that could transition to a more idealized Chef Habitat deployment.

The intent will be to cover ways an organization can use Chef Habitat to solve application level issues. Hopefully to both get more comfortable with Chef Habitat and solve problems within some limitations for a given organization.

Is Effortless Effortless in Practice?


Yonathan Koren, DevOps Specialist, Indellient / ShuttleOps

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This talk begins with an overview of Chef Effortless’ debut in 2019 and the historical challenges stemming from Chef Infra which Effortless attempts to solve. This talk will recount a first-hand experience of an organization’s movement away from Chef Server to Chef Effortless inside their own datacenter, and how the gradual retirement of the datacenter’s Chef Server was met with challenges in regards to Secrets Management and Configuration Management. We will delve into why these challenges were encountered - because the organization was reliant on Encrypted Data Bag Items and environment-based Cookbook workflows, both features which disappear when moving to the Habitat-driven Chef Effortless model - and how these challenges were overcome.

Code, Low-Code, No-Code: The DevOps Implications


Damith Karunaratne, CEO, ShuttleOps

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The move towards digital transformation and faster software delivery has many DevOps teams contemplating the role of code, low-code and no-code solutions. The success of building and scaling application automation practices remains a challenge for most companies, due to complexity and a lack of access to skilled DevOps engineers. Growing economic pressures have many technology leaders evaluating how to incorporate innovative solutions that enable teams with limited experience, to orchestrate the end-to-end DevOps toolchain, while retaining the depth of functionality required to be successful. Join us as we demonstrate when and how to combine these strategies, so you can:

  • Integrate the Coded Enterprise with a no-code platform
  • Leverage existing Chef investments
  • Scale and easily move applications to the cloud

Use Data, You Must: Leveraging Chef Data in ServiceNow


Brittany Woods, Automation Engineer, CARFAX

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As we have automated our processes, it has become more important than ever to maintain visibility into our systems. As part of that, harnessing the power of our data is on the forefront of all of our minds. Chef is a treasure trove of data. In contrast, ServiceNow acts as a pane of glass for incidents and events among your ecosystem. ServiceNow, in many cases, also houses change data and asset data about your ecosystem.

How can you marry the two? By integrating Chef with ServiceNow in different ways you can improve your visibility into your systems, improve ecosystem health, improve the accuracy of your asset data, and improve incident tracking and response. Join me as we discuss the many different ways you can integrate these two systems effectively to get the most out of your data, the benefit that will provide you, and why you would want to do this in the first place.

Using Chef Effortless to Build DevOps Teams


Chris Todd, Vice President of Engineering, TapHere!
Keith Walters, Director of Partner Solutions, TapHere!

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Congratulations! You just landed a new opportunity, and architects have tasked you with building the next greatest platform on Kubernetes - and everything will be automated and deployed in containers. Now what? You need a team! Where are you going to find the experience to build this solution? Oh, and by the way - your team starts tomorrow.

Building and recruiting teams and training them for the often novel patterns inherent to DevSecOps has been a difficult perennial challenge, especially for larger enterprises with established or rigid staffing processes. DevOps has been well conversed and spread over the past decade, and a lot of core tenets and ideas are finally becoming mature. On the other hand, the technology that drives DevOps and delivering business outcomes continues to evolve at a fast pace. This doesn’t lend to the availability of large pools of seasoned experts readily available for these newer essential technologies and methodologies - hiring experts in things like Kubernetes and container orchestration is really challenging. This makes it hard to assemble a productive team on day 1.

As a developer lead or project manager, staffing for opportunities comes from three likely sources: The unicorn expert, existing developers and system administrators with varying degrees of experience in the required technologies, or entry level hires with the expectation of on-the-job training. Recruiting is hard, so when it comes to building new teams it’s important to invest in the right skills and talent. Each of these has their advantages and challenges:

  1. Unicorns are great at executing these complex systems, but they are extremely hard to find and often not ready to move/jump/leap when you need them.
  2. Experienced developers and system administrators bring valuable and crucial experience necessary completing your new projects. However, years of engagement and experience can sometimes make seasoned engineers reticent to make leaps of faith into new methodologies - and a focus on solving hard problems can give limited time for perspective-changing training, resulting in a longer and more expensive training ramp-up.
  3. Entry level engineers come to us fresh and moldable, but it’s up to us seasoned folk to give them the right tools, attitude and patterns - and to expose them to diverse and expandable perspectives.

In addition to recruiting and training experienced engineers in the field, fostering the skills of more junior engineers through the universal applicability of the concepts in Chef Effortless results in a shorter training tail and engineers with more portable and adaptable skills. We expose them to established patterns that reinforce from the start that infrastructure and apps are -all- code, and deployment is as much a part of the development lifecycle as feature implementation and testing.

In this talk we’ll share our experiences in how we use Chef’s Effortless Infrastructure as a reference implementation to teach and expose newer engineers the core patterns of DevOps to be able recognize when to apply those patterns and strengthen their ability to adapt when faced with problems they haven’t seen before.

Automating ServiceNow Workflows with Chef


Pradeep Nair, DevOps Consulting Head, Relevance Lab
Pradeep Joshi, Director/Architect, DevOps, Relevance Lab

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Relevance Lab talks about its DevOps Consulting services with and Chef work that we have executed over the years. We talk about our solution with ServiceNow and Chef integrated for automating a spectrum of ITSM/ITIL tasks and use cases:

  • Resolving a typical ITSM incident like password reset
  • Provisioning of infrastructure stacks on any cloud
  • Feeding critical build and deployment information from Chef to the ServiceNow DevOps module to accelerate change management decisions.

Full Observability Within Microservice-based Environments


Ran Ribenzaft, Co-founder and CTO, Epsagon

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The move from host-based monolithic applications to complex distributed ones comprised of microservices raises new challenges for Engineering, Devs, and Ops teams. Monitoring, troubleshooting, and eventually development, require a modern OOTB approach for observability. Being able to understand exactly what’s going on under the hood and avoiding alert fatigue are both crucial for daily work.

In this talk, we explain how gaining end-to-end observability within microservice-based environments with Epsagon’s automated solution helps you overcome these challenges, whether you’re running on containers, VMs, serverless, or else.

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