Chef cookbooks can become hard to handle; let’s talk about Berkshelf management tool
Chef is a configuration management tool written in Ruby. With Chef, you can build servers quickly and reliably using cookbooks (which are basically recipes, that can perform tasks like installing webservers, updating SSL’s, or configuring HA proxy servers). Cookbooks themselves can be managed through a tool called Berkshelf. If you noticed our title on your way in, you’ll know that Berkshelf is going to be the subject of this post.
Until now, you might have been managing your servers with growing numbers of scripts, perhaps spread across multiple directories or even multiple machines. As the need to deliver products to market quickly and the sheer numbers of servers we’ll use to do that continue to grow, we need a consistent, reliable, and secure way to manage it all. More importantly: the solution we choose should be simple and intuitive.
More often than not, Chef will fit those needs. It is an infrastructure automation framework that simplifies server and application deployments to any physical, virtual, or cloud location, no matter the size of the infrastructure.
Since your infrastructure will be managed with code, it can be automated, tested, and reproduced with ease. Chef itself is built from many moving parts, including knife, Chef client, Chef server, cookbooks, and nodes. Here, we will talk about cookbooks and how they can be efficiently managed using Berkshelf.
Just what is Berkshelf?
You often won’t need to actually write your cookbooks from scratch, as the community has all kinds of them – often ready to use in your environment without modification – available from the Opscode supermarket. To use a cookbook, you’ll need to download it and save it on your Chef workstation. To download each external cookbook from inside Global cookbook, this is what you would have to run:
knife cookbook site download apache2
As terrific as Chef is, Berkshelf can really make a difference in the way you manage your Chef cookbooks and dependencies. Berkshelf lets you treat your cookbooks the way you treat gems in a Ruby project. When external cookbooks are used, Berkshelf doesn’t require “knife cookbook site” to install community cookbooks. All we have to do is mention the dependent cookbooks with its version number. When Chef client runs on nodes, berkshelf will automatically download and install all the dependent cookbooks from the Opscode cookbook community for us.
Berkshelf requires a bit of set up. The easy way to install Berkshelf is:
gem install berkshelf
But that’s it. Berkshelf is now included as part of the Chef Development Kit (ChefDK), which installs the best development tools built by the awesome Chef community into your workstation. The omnibus installer is used to set up the Chef development kit on a workstation. Here’s how:
- Visit http://downloads.chef.io/chef-dk and select the omnibus installer for the desired platform.
- The Chef development kit supports Mac OS X, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, and Microsoft Windows.
- When the installation finishes, open a command line terminal and enter the following:
- Ensure that the Chef-DK is added to the front of your path.
- Initilize a Berksfile into your cookbook.
cd my-cookbook berks init .
- Specify your dependencies in a Berksfile in your cookbook’s root.
source "https://supermarket.chef.io" metadata cookbook "apache" cookbook "mysql", "~> 5.3"
- Once the dependencies are mentioned in a berksfile, you can install them.
Berkshelf stores every version of a cookbook that you have ever installed in ~/.berkshelf.
- Once your cookbook is ready, you can upload it with all the dependent cookbooks using the following command.
berks upload phpapp
Real-Time Application Monitoring with Amazon Kinesis
Amazon Kinesis is a real-time data streaming service that makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze data so you can get quick insights and react as fast as possible to new information. With Amazon Kinesis you can ingest real-time data such as application logs, website clickstre...
Google Vision vs. Amazon Rekognition: A Vendor-Neutral Comparison
Google Cloud Vision and Amazon Rekognition offer a broad spectrum of solutions, some of which are comparable in terms of functional details, quality, performance, and costs. This post is a fact-based comparative analysis on Google Vision vs. Amazon Rekognition and will focus on the tech...
New on Cloud Academy: CISSP, AWS, Azure, & DevOps Labs, Python for Beginners, and more…
As Hurricane Dorian intensifies, it looks like Floridians across the entire state might have to hunker down for another big one. If you've gone through a hurricane, you know that preparing for one is no joke. You'll need a survival kit with plenty of water, flashlights, batteries, and n...
Amazon Route 53: Why You Should Consider DNS Migration
What Amazon Route 53 brings to the DNS table Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service offered by AWS. It is named by the TCP or UDP port 53, which is where DNS server requests are addressed. Like any DNS service, Route 53 handles domain regist...
How to Unlock Complimentary Access to Cloud Academy
Are you looking to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Cloud Security, Python, Java, or another technical skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendars for August 23, 2019. Starting Friday at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), Cloud Academy is offering c...
What Exactly Is a Cloud Architect and How Do You Become One?
One of the buzzwords surrounding the cloud that I'm sure you've heard is "Cloud Architect." In this article, I will outline my understanding of what a cloud architect does and I'll analyze the skills and certifications necessary to become one. I will also list some of the types of jobs ...
Boto: Using Python to Automate AWS Services
Boto allows you to write scripts to automate things like starting AWS EC2 instances Boto is a Python package that provides programmatic connectivity to Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a range of services for dynamically scaling servers including the core compute service, Elastic...
Content Roadmap: AZ-500, ITIL 4, MS-100, Google Cloud Associate Engineer, and More
Last month, Cloud Academy joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider, and it put us in an excellent position to solve a massive skills gap problem. As a result of this collaboration, you will see our training library grow with additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+...
DevSecOps: How to Secure DevOps Environments
Security has been a friction point when discussing DevOps. This stems from the assumption that DevOps teams move too fast to handle security concerns. This makes sense if Information Security (InfoSec) is separate from the DevOps value stream, or if development velocity exceeds the band...
Test Your Cloud Knowledge on AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform
Cloud skills are in demand | In today's digital era, employers are constantly seeking skilled professionals with working knowledge of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. According to the 2019 Trends in Cloud Transformation report by 451 Research: Business and IT transformations re...
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need to estimate all types of resources, not the least of which are CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which resources you choose for your delivery — cloud-based or local — is up to you. But you’ll definitely want...
Google Cloud vs AWS: A Comparison (or can they be compared?)
The "Google Cloud vs AWS" argument used to be a common discussion among our members, but is this still really a thing? You may already know that there are three major players in the public cloud platforms arena: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)...