Facebook Likes Opscode and Private Chef

Yes, that’s right, folks, Facebook, one of the largest infrastructures on the planet, has deployed Opscode Private Chef™ to automate configuration and management within its web-tier infrastructure.

Why did Facebook need Chef?

Because Facebook’s infrastructure team has to manage thousands of servers, configurations, and administrative access policies across a very dynamic compute environment.

Why did Facebook choose Chef?

Phil Dibowitz, production engineer at Facebook, explains:

“There are three dimensions of scale we generally look at for infrastructure – the number of servers, the volume of different configurations across those systems, and the number of people required to maintain those configurations. Opscode Private Chef provided an automation solution flexible enough to bend to our scale dynamics without requiring us to change our workflow. Private Chef provided top-flight support, earlier access to upcoming changes, and additional rich features on top of the functionality in open-source Chef. Further, Private Chef’s basis on open-source Chef also aligns with our own open philosophy allowing us to contribute back to the greater Chef community.”

Pretty cool right?

Even cooler is the fact that Facebook played a role in field-testing the code base for Chef 11, continuing its commitment to open sourcing its best practices and tools to the IT community.

If you’d like to hear the full story, then register to attend #ChefConf 2013 April 24-26 in San Francisco, where Mr. Dibowitz will present a keynote address detailing Facebook’s systems management philosophy, best practices and how these strategies can be implemented successfully in any sized environment.

Author Lucas Welch

Lucas runs communications for Chef, having spent the last ten years, talking, writing, and listening about tech he wishes he was smart enough to use. Until then... DevOps!

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  • This is a very good news for opscode and chef. does that mean that they are dropping CFEngine and moving to Chef, or they will be using both? I remember their engineer Tom Cook gave a talk about how Facebook infrastructure looks like and he mentioned they use both IIRC CFEngine2, and moving to CFEngine3, any comments or insights into that?

    • Lucas Welch

      Walid – We can’t comment on that, but can say that Opscode Private Chef is used to automate all configuration mgmt in Facebook’s web-tier infrastructure. We can also point you to the SCALE conference in LA 2/22-24, where Facebook’s Phil Dibowitz will be speaking about Facebook’s systems configuration strategy, tools and more: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale11x/presentations/scaling-systems-configuration-facebook

    • No they are not dropping CFEngine.Actually strategy is that they working with both IIRC CFEngine2, and CFEngine3 and opscode and chef introduction level .Results are good for opscode and chef and may replace any one of them.

    • Everything is now converting in cloud based technology so perhaps Facebook’s founder feel secure their data with cloud technology.Chef and opscode totally based on cloud computing and may be its a strong reason for joining this group.

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  • hyeteck

    Didnt they rip out the serch feature and a few other chef functionality because it didnt scale as well as cfengine?

    • No. While Facebook does avoid using Search in their recipes, the functionality is absolutely enabled, and they do use it for other things – just not in the critical configuration path. The server they run is the stock Private Chef.

  • Chef integrated with Cloud-based platforms such as Rackspace and Amazon EC2 ,may be that’s the reason of installation by Facebook.

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