Menu
Chef Server on AWS
Quick Start Reference Deployment Guide

Use Cases and Benefits of Chef on AWS

Running your Chef Server on AWS provides advantages in pricing, automation, resource management, and other areas, as explained in the following sections.

Usage-based Pricing and Consolidated Billing

Running your Chef Server on Amazon EC2 gives you the ability to leverage hourly billing, and to pay only for what you use. With this Quick Start and the Marketplace AMI, you can choose the number of nodes you need support for, and the Chef Server licensing costs will be included in your hourly rate for running the instance. If you’re already running your infrastructure on AWS, or if you’re in the process of migrating your workloads to AWS, launching the Chef Server AMI through this Quick Start or through the AWS Marketplace allows you to consolidate your Chef and AWS costs into a single monthly bill.

Hybrid Deployments

If you’re managing servers both on premises and in the cloud, Chef can fully support automation in your hybrid deployment. Chef Server running on Amazon EC2 can be used with other EC2 instances and with servers you have running in your own data center. This Quick Start makes your Chef Server Internet-accessible, and supports automated hybrid deployments out of the box.

AWS Resource Management

Chef has the ability to manage AWS resources. If you want to use a single unified tool to manage your entire infrastructure, you can directly manage EC2 instances and leverage cookbooks to manage other resources, such as security groups, load balancers, Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes, Elastic IP addresses (EIPs), and tags. Take a look at Chef’s aws cookbook on Chef Supermarket. This cookbook provides libraries, resources, and providers to configure and manage AWS components and offerings within the Amazon EC2 API.

Integration with AWS CloudFormation

With Chef, you can automate the deployment of your software applications on Amazon EC2 instances instead of manually writing and executing various scripts. By combining Chef with AWS CloudFormation, you can consistently deploy and configure your AWS resources, along with the software applications that run on top of AWS, all from a single AWS CloudFormation template. For a detailed walkthrough, see the Using Chef with AWS CloudFormation whitepaper provided by AWS.

Chef High Availability

Chef High Availability (HA) is a premium Chef feature that allows you to eliminate a single point of failure for your deployment. Chef HA includes a plugin for AWS that can move a virtual IP address and EBS volume from one Chef back end to another. For details, see High Availability on AWS in the Chef documentation.