Michael in Chef 15 minutes

Policyfiles Update

I wanted to share with you some great news about policyfiles and let you know what I’ll be up to on this blog over the next couple of months.

Over the past six months or so, the Chef product team and I have been working together to map out our partnership. In the early days, their support and coaching were absolutely essential, but as we’ve matured, their Chef Automate product has become an essential element of operationalizing Chef at scale within our large organization.

It was clear to me after our extensive initial discussions at Chef Community Summit in October that we weren’t going to be able to abandon Policyfiles at NCR. The change management guarantees that Policyfiles give us are too central to our approach to automation with safety. Also, I didn’t have the time to go back and train everyone on a different and more complicated way. And finally, I could see from the highly attended and engaged open space we did on Policyfiles that this topic resonated with users. I then decided to do what I could do to help Policyfiles gain traction as a feature and then try to work with Chef to see what we could do in their product.

In January, Trevor Hess became our Customer Architect and we began working in earnest toward a solution for how to move forward. Trevor relied on his consulting experience to drill down to the essential elements of the solution and find the people that could help us. This led to Chef doing some research of their own to find out that this investment would indeed address a market need that has emerged within the last few months.

So I’m happy to let you all know that Chef’s Product team has confirmed that viewing and filtering on Policyfile data in Chef Automate has made it onto the roadmap for this year. Over the next week or so we’ll be working on getting Policyfile data from the Chef Server to a Kibana report that others who use Policyfiles can take advantage of as well.

The future of Automate is quite bright, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it going forward. Their investment in product management and UX is paying off tremendously. This is not the product I started with in 2014; it’s got a vision, team, and experience that is going to take Chef where it wants to go in the enterprise. I’m so happy that Policyfile users will get to take part of all that goodness.

In May I’m going to speak at ChefConf on Policyfiles. In the meantime, I’m going to blog in detail about my approach to Policyfiles and Chef overall, in hopes that it will begin a movement among the Chef community to simplify the approach and thus broaden the adoption of Chef.

As always, if you have any questions about Policyfiles, a few of us are active in the #policyfiles channel on the Chef Community Slack. Let’s talk there.