We’ve shown you how much you can do with Chef without ever needing to install its server component. However, to get the full benefits of Chef, you need to set up a Chef Server in your production environment. Using a Chef Server is recommended when you need to manage more than one machine at a time with Chef, which is typically how Chef is used. Chef Server adds more capabilities that can be used in your cookbooks, including roles, environments, data bags, and powerful search.
As of this writing, there are three flavors of Chef Server, as detailed in Table 9-1. Although there are subtle differences, they all contain common features, including an API endpoint, data bags, environments, node objects, roles, and search. Some of these terms are new; we will cover them in the remaining chapters of the book.
Hosted Enterprise Chef
Formerly called Hosted Chef, Hosted Enterprise Chef is “Chef as a Service”—software as a service. It is cloud-based and highly scalable, and comes with an industry-standard service-level agreement. It requires no setup or configuration of the server itself.
Enterprise Chef On-Premises
Enterprise Chef On-Premises, formerly called Private Chef, is a Chef Server inside an organization’s firewall. It is designed to be deployed inside an organization’s infrastructure, and includes additional features on top of Hosted Enterprise Chef. Enterprise Chef On-Premises is most ...