The guys from peritor, who are the creators of webistrano, created an opscode chef based cloud management solution: Scalarium. Jonathan Weiss walked me through their solution, which helps to solve the issue of installing and dynamically configuring applications on a cluster of Amazon EC2 instances. In this post, I want to show you how they use chef cookbooks in a very special way to manage the lifecycle of your web application clusters.
In “The Moving Parts of Opscode Chef” there was an interesting discussion about the need of a highly available chef server if you want to use opscode chef as your configuration management tool of choice. Especially for small to medium sized enviroments running your own chef server is overkill. If you don’t want to use chef-solo (a local “push” tool instead of the client-server model of chef), you can sign up for an account at the opscode chef platform. The opscode chef platform gives you an highly available chef server in the cloud. After sign up, it’s only a matter of minutes to get your first client (or ‘node’ in chef speak) under configuration management control.