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Barry Crist
Chef CEO Barry Crist. (GeekWire File Photo)

Seattle-based DevOps firm Chef today released Automate, a commercial integration of several open-source and commercial offerings that it described as a enterprise-oriented package for automating infrastructure, compliance policy and applications. The startup made the announcement at its annual ChefConf exhibition in Austin, Texas, which opened yesterday.

Two years in the making, Automate is “our flagship product,” Chef CEO Barry Crist said in a recent interview. It is the first full-featured commercial release for Chef, which has deep roots in the free, open-source movement. Chef’s products are used within companies — particularly those driven by software — seeking to reduce the manual aspects of configuring, using and managing applications.

Usable in the cloud, on-premises or in a hybrid configuration, Chef software is in use “in a meaningful way” in 70 percent of the tech-heavy firms in the Fortune 500, Crist said. The company’s competitors include Portland, Ore.-based Puppet.

Chef’s Automate consists of the following elements:

  • Habitat, a newly released open-source project for ensuring that apps can be built, used and managed in any run-time environment.
  • InSpec, a open-source framework for specifying and testing compliance, security and policy requirements.
  • Chef, an open-source systems-integration framework to manage infrastructure.
  • Chef Delivery, a commercial product for provisioning infrastructure, using applications and managing configuration changes.
  • Chef Compliance, a commercial product built on top of InSpec.

pic-chef-logoTo those it adds Visibility, which offers a single view into the operations of those components and offers a workflow that Chef said makes it simpler for teams to collaborate. It sells for $137 per node per year.

“Every high-velocity software-driven company now needs automation,” Crist said. “Chef Automate puts together all our core automation capabilities and provides a standard platform for operating at scale.”

Three separate commercial products — Compliance, Delivery and Chef Enterprise — will be phased out as standalone offerings.

Chef today also announced a certification program offering badges in basic Chef fluency and local “cookbook” development, a means of automating processes. Badges for Chef on Windows and Extending Chef are planned.

Chef, founded in 2008 as OpsCode, has raised a total of $103 million to date. It has 1,000 customers and 250 employees.

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