Opscode To Steward Berkshelf

Chef was built from the beginning as an extensible framework that makes IT professionals’ lives easier. This extensibility has always led to interesting and exciting contributions from the community of Chef users. Innovative solutions for common challenges and process and tooling improvements help Chef users change the way IT works.

Berkshelf is one example of the many tools in the Chef ecosystem that are built to help businesses automate faster. The tool itself is a shining example of our community working together to create something awesome. More than fifty people have contributed code to the Berkshelf project and hundreds more have used Berkshelf to streamline their own cookbook development process. The net result is that developers and operators are happier and have time to work on more interesting automation solutions that will truly help their businesses succeed.

Berkshelf was initially developed to help overcome some challenges faced by the engineering team at Riot Games. The team at Riot immediately realized that the entire community could benefit from the tool and released the software with an open source license.

Today we announced that Opscode will be taking on stewardship of Berkshelf. The key contributors involved in the project: Jamie Winsor, Seth Vargo, Michael Ivey, and Riot Games, will continue their efforts with the rest of the community to make Berkshelf even more awesome.

Be sure to thank Jamie, Riot Games, and the many other contributors who have made Berkshelf such and exciting and helpful tool. This project is a representation of the awesomeness of the Chef community!

You can hear more about this at this week’s Opscode Community Summit and read more in the press release below.

Opscode To Steward Berkshelf

Cookbook Dependency Management Tool has Achieved Widespread Adoption within the Chef Community

Opscode Partners with Chef Community to Maximize Berkshelf’s Potential for Making it Easy to Cook Up Awesome with Chef™

SEATTLE – November 12, 2013 – From the 2013 Chef Community Summit, Opscode®, the leader in IT automation, today announced it has taken stewardship of the Berkshelf dependency management tool. Developed by Riot Games, Berkshelf is one of the Chef Community‘s most notable and popular open source tools. Opscode will dedicate engineering talent and energy in partnership with Berkshelf co-developer Jamie Winsor to maximize Berkshelf’s potential for making it easier than ever to get started and become successful with Chef™.

Berkshelf is a dependency management tool, enabling users to easily track, manage, and maintain the dependencies of their Chef Cookbooks for both infrastructure resources and applications. Using Berkshelf, developers or IT operations personnel can specify the dependencies of any given Cookbook and store those requirements with version controls in an organized repository, ensuring that whenever the Cookbook is used, the appropriate dependencies will be available, as well, all in an automated, repeatable manner.

“We’re energized and inspired by the open source community and amped to contribute time to develop tools like Berkshelf”, said Jeff Hackert, Engineering Manager, Riot Games. “Now that Opscode is taking the reins and leveling up its capabilities, we’re excited to see the possibilities it’s going to play in the Chef user experience.”

“The faster you understand Chef, the more you get out of it and that’s why we developed Berkshelf – to help users get cooking with Chef as quickly as possible,” said Jamie Winsor, Co-Developer of Berkshelf. “I’m hyped to see Opscode putting their energy behind this project and I can’t wait to ratchet up its capabilities even more.”

“Chef contributors extend Chef in innovative ways every day and then open source these tools so all Chef users can benefit,” said Nathen Harvey, Technical Community Manager, Opscode. “Berkshelf is a perfect example of this Community awesomeness. We’re excited to partner with Jamie and the others in the Community going forward in making Berkshelf an even more powerful tool for helping Chef users automate to hyper-speed.”

Opscode will focus its initial stewardship on leveraging Berkshelf to improve the Chef user experience and application developer workflow. In combination with tools like Test Kitchen, which provisions an isolated test environment to run project tests on different platforms, and #learnchef, Opscode’s comprehensive collection of resources for learning and successfully using Chef, Berkshelf provides another valuable tool for Chef users in automating and accelerating their businesses.

The Open Source Chef Community has grown nearly 200 percent across all primary metrics in the last 12 months, including millions of Chef downloads, hundreds of thousands of monthly Chef Cookbook downloads, tens of thousands of registered users, and thousands of individual contributors. The Chef Community currently provides more than 1,100 Cookbooks for automating the creation, management, and delivery of IT infrastructure and applications.

#learnchef

Follow Opscode on Twitter @opscode

Author Nathen Harvey

As the VP of Community Development at Chef, Nathen helps the community whip up an awesome ecosystem built around the Chef framework. Nathen also spends much of his time helping people learn about the practices, processes, and technologies that support DevOps, Continuous Delivery, and Web-scale IT. Prior to joining Chef, Nathen spent a number of years managing operations and infrastructure for a number of web applications. Nathen is a co-host of the Food Fight Show, a podcast about Chef and DevOps.

  • I hope one of the first things to come of this is a clear explanation of what someone would get out of using Berkshelf vs. not using it. I’ve read everything I can find and still have yet to see that explained well. What is it about Berkshelf that is helpful or powerful? What REAL problem is it solving?

    • For starters, cookbook dependency management. Instead of manually downloading all the cookbooks your custom cookbook relies on, you can have Berkshelf figure it all out.

      • Curtis

        If you’re at all familiar with bundler for ruby (http://bundler.io/rationale.html), it’s very similar in terms of benefits. You want to work on a cookbook, but don’t want to deal with all the clutter of its dependencies. Essentially, berkshelf will allow you to clone a cookbook, ‘berks upload’ all of its dependencies, then you’re set to start working! Without it, you clone a cookbook, but notice it has 4 dependencies. Also, none of those dependencies list where the cookbooks are located. So, you have to go searching for them, then clone/download them, and finally upload all of them to your chef server. I would have to say the REAL problem it’s solving is dependency management, as @rafaelmagu:disqus stated above :)