Opscode adds networking to Chef management capabilities

Users will be able to automate the configuration of networking equipment

Opscode has teamed up with Cisco Systems and Arista Networks to add networking features and has expanded its collaboration with Microsoft to broaden Windows integration for its renamed Enterprise Chef platform.

Chef is used to automate IT management, but any management platform is only as useful as the products it control. To widen the appeal of Enterprise Chef, Opscode has announced partnerships with networking vendors Arista, Cisco as well as Juniper Networks.

Working with Arista, Opscode has integrated Enterprise Chef with the company's Extensible Operating System (EOS). The two have developed a Chef cookbook with recipes for automating the configuration of link aggregation, vlans and physical networking ports.

The cookbooks and recipes are written using the Ruby programming language and tell the Chef client how each node should be configured. The client, which is installed on every node, then does the actual configuration.

The work that Opscode is doing with Cisco and Juniper is similar in nature.

Cisco and Opscode are collaborating to integrate Enterprise Chef and Cisco's One Platform Kit (onePK), allowing users to automate networking port configuration using cookbooks. Cisco is also integrating Chef into its Software Maintenance Upgrades (SMU) Manager.

Juniper Networks, on the other hand, is working with Opscode to integrate Enterprise Chef with Junos OS. Again users will be able to customers will be able to perform common network configurations directly rather than through a series of manual processes, Opscode said.

Opscode didn't provide any details on when the integration with Cisco and Juniper would become available. The company isn't just interested in expanding Chef's functionality in the networking space.

On Monday, the company also announced an expanded collaboration with Microsoft to integrate both the open source version of Chef and Enterprise Chef with Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration. A new management platform that can be used to enable server roles, manage registry settings and manage groups or user accounts.

For users that want to learn more about Chef's Windows capabilities, Opscode is organizing a webinar on Aug. 27.

Enterprise Chef was previously offered as two separate products, Private Chef and Hosted Chef, which have now have been repackaged as one product, available as on-premise software or as a hosted service. It is available free for up to five nodes, and beyond that it costs from US$120 per month for up to 20 nodes.

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