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Opscode 1.0 – Brief Note

Just announced: the @mattray office cloud, preview -

Opscode GA’s its offerings. It’s time for it to start some automation knife fighting.

Opscode, the commercial company around the automation project Chef, had a bundle of what I’d call “1.0” announcements today: firming up their product offerings for general availability:

Also, there’s Windows support, which is sort of a minority interest at the moment but damn fine to start hammering out now.

But does anyone care?

There’s plenty of momentum for Opscode as their numbers-porn slide shows:

Segment Context & Such

Indeed, I continue to see interest in Chef, particularly from developers and ISV types – see their Crowbar partnership with Dell, putting together OpenStack, Chef, and Dell hardware for quick-clouds on the cheap. Check the small Opscode partnering mention in El Reg’s piece on Calxeda today as well.

I tend to hear more interest in Puppet from IT types (see coverage of their offering here), something the Private Chef offering might help address. IT folks have been skittish about using cloud for their software, and, why not? As one admin told me last year, “well, if the Internet goes down, I’m dead in the water,” he has no tools. And, despite the fact that you’re probably dead in the water in all cases where “the Internet goes down” and that ServiceNow seems to be doing just fine, that’s some FUD that doesn’t deserve much scorn.

On the broader front, I’m still not seeing much regard from the traditional automation vendors for these model-driven automation up-starts, Chef and Puppet. But they should be paying attention more: both are classic “fixing a moribund category that sucks” strategies that seem to be actually working in removing The Suck by focusing on speed.

Downloadable PoCs

Matt Ray's OpenStack box in the works

And if you’re on the other end of the stick – buying and/or using automation software – checking out these new approaches is definitely worth your time. The reports are sounding similar to the early days of open source, where the CIO is stuck in multi-month PoCs and license renewals, while a passionate admin somewhere just downloads Puppet or Chef, does a quick-n-dirty PoC, and then gets clearance to take more time to consider these whacky, new methods.


Disclosure: Opscode and ServiceNow are clients.

Categories: Brief Notes, Cloud, Open Source, Systems Management.

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