Here’s What Was Cooking at ChefConf ’21: Online

Here’s What Was Cooking at ChefConf ’21: Online

Posted on September 15, 2021 0 Comments
Here’s What Was Cooking at ChefConf ’21: Online

Facebook, Netflix and other companies discussed security and compliance, infrastructure and DevOps at the first ChefConf with Chef as part of Progress.

Early last week, as most people were wrapping up the last of their summer activities, folks in the DevOps and IT community were gearing up for a major event. ChefConf ’21: Online began on September 7, and the three-day digital conference proved to be as entertaining and informative as every ChefConf that came before.

Over the course of the conference, speakers and panelists from major companies participated in breakout sessions to discuss how they’re using Chef to overcome issues in their organizations.

Experts from Netflix, Facebook, Discount Tire, Bluestem Brands and more discussed the recent challenges they’ve faced, and how Chef has helped them thrive in the midst of uncertainty.

Mike Dodge, client platform engineer at Facebook, talked about the problems that arose when the company had to go remote at the start of the pandemic–and how Chef eased the transition.

“To the point of everything moving off-network, yeah, that was going to be really problematic. But luckily, we were already working on this and were nearly ready as work-from-home started,” Dodge said. “But trying to establish trust and allowing someone to provision from anywhere added a lot more challenges and actually took a lot more work.”

“We had to re-think the security approach. How do we validate not just that this is our machine and it’s in a good state, but also that the user is who they say they are?” he noted. “We’ve always considered our fleet to have a pretty high bar in terms of security, but recently we’ve been not just relying on Chef, but using InSpec as well to help us with our compliance requirements and give us a good sense of where our fleet stands at any given moment.”

The event also included a keynote session featuring benny Vasquez, developer relations and community manager at Progress Chef, and Yogesh Gupta, CEO of Progress. The two sat down to talk about Progress’ acquisition of Chef nearly one year ago, and all that’s happened since then.

“One of the most important common threads has been that both Progress and Chef have been very much focused on the success of the customer. Always have been, always will be,” Gupta said.

“For us, the ecosystem continues to be the developer-centric ecosystem. So, that allows us to then say, ‘How do we make it happen together?’ It’s been a lot of fun,” he continued. “When a new organization becomes a part of a company, I think that’s tremendous opportunity to grow, and it also creates opportunities for people who came to Progress from Chef as well. I’m excited, and I’m looking forward to us continuing to move forward together.”

benny and Yogesh were later joined by Sundar Subramanian, senior vice president and general manager at Progress; Sudhir Reddy, vice president of engineering at Progress; and Jay Thoden van Velzen, head of security operations and multi-cloud; who discussed some new Chef product innovations. These updates included:

  • Compliance and Multi-Cloud: Chef Compliance Automation for Cloud Resources is now available, with over 300 cloud resource packs spanning AWS, Azure and GCP.
  • Chef Enterprise Automation Stack (EAS) Enhancements for Operator Productivity: This release will build on Chef’s vision for an integrated automation platform and will include significant enhancements to Chef Infra Compliance phase, which allows users to write and execute InSpec policies alongside infrastructure code as part of any Chef Infra Client run.
  • Deployment Flexibility: Progress also launched Chef Managed Services, a new offering to reduce the administrative effort and operational cost while increasing business value for customers who would like Chef to manage their Chef deployment.

“A lot of this has happened primarily because of the focus and efforts of our teams, and the dedication of with which they have worked on all of these matters,” Subramanian said. “I really want to applaud them for that, and that has been so gratifying to see.”

Chef Conf also brought in talent from outside the DevOps and IT community: Day 1 came to a close with a concert featuring performances by Deep Sea Diver and Lakou Mizik. Both sets had a blend of music and talking to tell a story focusing on the changes of the past 16 to 18 months and trying to find a common ground with very different points of view.

With awesome entertainment, interesting sessions, and some of the industry’s most knowledgeable DevOps and IT professionals, there was never a dull moment at this year’s ChefConf. And if you missed the event, don’t sweat it–you can find all sessions on demand here.

Watch all ChefConf sessions

Jessica Kent of Progress

Jessica Kent

Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.


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