Chef Configuration Automation

Chef is a server management application that can use ServiceNow configuration item (CI) data to bring Linux or Windows computers into a desired state by managing files, services, or packages installed on physical or virtual machines.

The Configuration Automation application can interact with Chef systems that run on Linux or Windows. The Chef server controls Chef nodes and uses a standalone utility to discover the components in the Chef environment. The system uses information about server CIs from the Chef server to classify the servers as Chef nodes. Chef then evaluates a node's current state and modifies the node to achieve the desired state.

Chef terms

  • Chef servers: Hubs that store and manage Chef configuration data.
  • Node definitions: Details of the configuration items to be applied to nodes for a specific management server.
  • Recipes: The most fundamental configuration element. A recipe is a collection of resources. Each recipe is stored in a cookbook.
  • Cookbooks: The fundamental unit of configuration. After discovery, the cookbook is populated with version information and one or more recipes.
  • Chef roles: A way to define certain patterns and processes that exist across nodes. A Chef role consists of zero or more attributes and a run list. Each node can have zero or more roles assigned to it.
  • Chef attributes: Specific details about a node. Attributes are used by the Chef client to understand the current state of the node, the state of the node at the end of the previous Chef client run, and the state the node should be at the end of the current Chef client run.