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CloudCenter with Chef

CliQr is the leader in hybrid cloud application migration and management. Chef is the leader in web-scale IT automation. With CliQr and Chef together, developers and IT operations both get portability and confidence in application services deployed across multiple environments.

In this blog, I’ll expand on this short video demo of Chef working with CliQr CloudCenter to explain in more detail how these two powerful solutions work together.

CliQr CloudCenter delivers cloud-agnostic application management that gives Chef recipes increased portability across cloud environments. CliQr CloudCenter brings extensive platform features and enterprise-class lifecycle management and governance capabilities to an existing Chef deployment.

With CliQr you can migrate, manage and govern simple or complex application and cloud service topologies including:

  • Chef configured and deployed nodes
  • CliQr configured application stacks
  • Docker containers
  • PaaS or IaaS public cloud services.

CloudCenter offers the following features and benefits when used together with Chef:

Cloud Portability: Apply Chef deployment control across more than 15 datacenter, private cloud and public cloud environments.

Composite Topologies: Model simple or complex application and service stacks using a wide variety of technologies, Docker containers, and public cloud services.

Orchestration: Deploy more generalized recipes and let CliQr manage firewall settings, port configuration, and other cloud environment details.

Governance: Utilize a comprehensive policy framework that guides automation during and after deployment.

Day 2 Management: Manage post-provisioning application actions such as cross-cloud migration or end-of-life actions.

Auto-scaling: Apply horizontal scaling of application stacks or individual nodes based on predefined rules.

Joint Architecture

CliQr includes a simple three part architecture that consists of:

Chef joint arch

  • CloudCenter Manager offers a wide variety of enterprise-class user, management, governance, and lifecycle features, and is used to model application blueprints including Chef nodes.
  • Application Profiles are cloud agnostic models of application stacks including binaries andmetadata. Chef nodes are identified in the application profiles.
  • CloudCenter Orchestrator is a multi-tenant solution that is easily deployed to each data center or cloud environment and that abstracts cloud infrastructure details.

At run time, the Orchestrator installs the CliQr agent and Chef client at each node, connects to the Chef server, and then leaves node installation and configuration to Chef.

CliQr and Chef Working Together

Using CliQr CloudCenter and Chef together includes a simple flow of tasks:

  1. Model Application Profiles: Drag and drop from a palette of application components and cloud services to model an application.
  2. Configure Chef Nodes: Modify initialization scripts to identify the Chef server IP address, along with the recipe, role, and user ID and password for those nodes provisioned by Chef.
  3. Publish the Application Stack: Add to the application marketplace, with appropriate user access controls and usage policies.
  4. Select the Cloud Environment: At run time, the end user selects and deploys the published application and selects an available target cloud environment based on preset policies.
  5. Orchestrate Resources: CliQr’s CloudCenter Orchestrator deploys appropriate VMs as well as network and storage resources in the target environment.
  6. Chef Client Install: For Chef nodes, CliQr will deploy the VM, install the CliQr agent, install the Chef client, and inject information about the Chef recipe and role.
  7. Chef Client Run: Chef handles deployment and configuration for all nodes under Chef control.
  8. Additional Orchestration: CliQr will further orchestrate configuration and deployment of nodes that aren’t Chef controlled, including cloud services such as block storage or load balancing.
  9. CliQr Ongoing Management: Once deployed and configured, CliQr can auto-scale the entire stack or individual nodes, apply HA/DR across clouds, or migrate entire stacks to other clouds.
  10. Chef Ongoing Management: Chef nodes remain under Chef configuration control. CliQr end-of-life scripts can call the Chef server to post status updates.

A powerful Combination

Improved Portability: Chef recipes can pull replaceable, environment-specific parameters from CliQr, such as firewall rules, port IDs, and other cloud-specific commands.

Multi-Cloud DevOps: A Jenkins plug-in creates a powerful cross-cloud continuous integration and continuous deployment solution using existing Chef recipes.

Script Friendly: CloudCenter Manager is easy to use for those familiar with Chef scripting nomenclature.

Preserve Your Chef Investment: CloudCenter lets you leverage existing Chef recipes for extended control across lifecycle phases and more than 20 cloud environments.

Simple Integration: CloudCenter includes drag-and-drop application and service tiers, with simple configuration, automated connection to the Chef server, and automated Chef client deployment.

Together, CliQr and Chef are a powerful combination that accelerate time to cloud value, minimize ongoing management and maintenance costs, and future proof enterprise cloud strategy by minimizing cloud lockin.

Video Demo Chef working with CliQr CloudCenter

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