Chef Server on AWS
Quick Start Reference Deployment Guide


Chef Server on AWS

Chef Server is the highly scalable foundation of the Chef automation platform. You can use Chef Server to create and manage dynamic infrastructure that runs on the AWS cloud, or manage the servers in your on-premises data center. This Quick Start uses the official Chef Server AMI from the AWS Marketplace to make it easy to automate your infrastructure. You can launch the Chef Server AMI from either the AWS Marketplace or from this Quick Start with a single click to get instant access to the following features:

  • Chef Server, including Chef Analytics, Chef Management Console, and Chef Reporting

  • Consolidated hourly billing for both Chef premium features and your infrastructure running on AWS

  • The ability to manage from 5 to 250 nodes

This Quick Start is for customers who are planning to move to AWS, or are already running on AWS, and also want to deploy and manage their own Chef Server infrastructure. In addition, the goal of this guide is to help you get started with Chef, even if you have no prior experience with the product.

This Quick Start automates the launch of the Chef Server AMI, performs Chef Server initial setup, creates the Chef administrative user account, and enables HTTPS access over the Internet and within your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). If you are new to Chef, you can choose to include an optional Chef workstation and managed node. You can follow the walkthrough included in this guide to learn how to configure the Chef workstation, create and upload a cookbook, and bootstrap an EC2 instance with Knife, which is a Chef command-line tool that helps you manage infrastructure components.

Cost and Licenses

You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using the Quick Start. As of the date of publication, the cost for using the Quick Start with default settings is approximately $0.18 an hour. Prices are subject to change. See the pricing pages for each AWS service you will be using in this Quick Start for full details.

Because this Quick Start uses AMIs from the AWS Marketplace, you must subscribe to Chef Server from the AWS Marketplace before you launch the Quick Start. There are six licensing options available, depending on how many nodes you want to manage. You can use the following links to visit the listing for each Marketplace AMI to see the hourly usage costs that are included with your EC2 instance.

Chef Server, the Chef workstation, and the node deployed by this Quick Start use the t2.medium instance type by default.


If you try to launch the Quick Start without first subscribing to the Chef Server AMI from the AWS Marketplace, the Chef Server instance will not be created, and the stack creation will fail and roll back.