Java, Rails, and Nagios Quick Start Guides for Chef

Starting with Chef? Curious about how to deploy applications using the cool integration techniques you’ve heard about?  Well, just for you, we’ve published best–practice starter guides and screencasts for a Rails stack, a Java stack, and a data-driven Nagios monitoring server that show how Chef and the Opscode Platform can automate every step of building and integrating your infrastructure.

Build a tasty stack in your choice of Ruby on Rails (screencast) or a Java web application (screencast) that each use an haproxy load balancer and a MySQL database backend.  As the servers are deployed and connect to the Opscode Platform, Chef recipes configure the software, initialize the database for the application, and deterministically discover and link the components, leaving you with a fully operational multi–tiered application.

And for a sweet dessert, we show you how to deploy Nagios (screencast) in a powerful, dynamic style that eliminates many Nagios maintenance headaches.   As you add new servers to your infrastructure with Chef, they are automatically added and monitored by your Nagios instance, with the correct grouping and service checks enabled based on their Chef roles!

Many key features of Chef are used in the guides:

  • Community cookbooks — a great starting point for any new design — are used unmodified in these guides.
  • The Opscode Platform is easy, hosted configuration management using Chef.
  • Roles — like “base”, “production”, and “load_balancer” — show how to build your infrastructure with reusable, data-driven components.
  • Data bags drive application deployment and configuration.
  • Search–based integration connects load balancer, app servers, and databases, and configures appropriate monitoring on the fly.

Watch the videos and get any of the guides with the links above and check out Opscode Help, #chef on irc.freenode.net, or the Chef wiki for more help. These guides are easy to run and they quickly show how a lot of the components of Chef fit together.  It’s a great way to get cooking with Chef fast!

Aaron Peterson

Former Chef Employee