Chef is a Community Before It’s a Vendor

Back in October, I was frustrated. I had invested deeply into a new feature Chef had made called Policyfiles and had seen it not be adopted. I met in an intense meeting with their product management team trying to figure out exactly how I be able to migrate off of the feature and onto the platform that … Read More

Chef Artifacts with Artifactory

If you’re going to deploy anything, you’ll eventually come across a fundamental need: you need somewhere to put your large files. At first, Chef seems like an attractive choice for this, but on deeper inspection it’s a horrible path to take. Chef is really great at delivering idempotent scripts to your machines to test and … Read More

Chef Rollback with Policyfiles and Cafe

When we first looked at application release automation tools, one of the first things people told me we needed was a solid rollback mechanism. One of my colleagues even insisted without satisfying his rollback scenarios, it was silly even looking at a tool for application release automation. I can definitely understand the sentiment; when you’re … Read More

Policyfile Pipeline with Jenkinsfile

I’m a huge proponent of policyfiles for managing Chef changes in all of your environments. Let’s talk a little about how we take a policyfile and create a pipeline in Jenkins around it to get it deployed to the right places. Many environments that aren’t as security-conscious will have a single Chef Server to rule them all, … Read More

Cookbook Pipeline with Jenkinsfile

Now that we have a local cookbook build ready to go, it’s time to get that in a CI environment. I have been a fan of TeamCity and my friends at Chef have a done a great job with Chef Workflow in Automate. For us, however, Jenkins is our tool of choice with managing our deployment pipelines, for a few reasons: So … Read More

Cookbook Development with Rakefiles

When we started Chef, we had a loose set of rules for everyone to follow and sent them on their way. We quickly realized, however, that we needed to standardize how a cookbook met quality standards before it got released. We would try to make a simple change to a cookbook and it didn’t meet our … Read More

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 … Read More

Our Superbowl

In the summer of 2014, I became convinced that NCR needed a more agile and consistent delivery process to safely enable our customers to grow their businesses beyond the four walls of the restaurant and into the new opportunities presented by mobile first consumers. While I was no stranger to continuous integration and a testable pipeline for … Read More


Recently at the Chef Community Summit, I proposed a topic on Policyfiles. Policyfiles are a new way to handle dependency and change management for your Chef infrastructure. During the session it became clear that there wasn’t enough information out there on how and why to use Policyfiles. I realized that an introduction to Policyfiles for the Chef … Read More

Chef with Windows

Recently Peter Burkholder asked in the community whether anyone was doing Chef at scale in a Windows environment and what lessons were learned along the way to make that happen. While we at NCR are certainly not the first windows-oriented business to utilize Chef at scale, we are doing it and I have a lot of experience and ideas that could … Read More