In case you missed it, #ChefConf was this past week and it was amazing. I say it's amazing like a person who knew a great band was playing right down the street, had to work, and missed the performance, but still knew it was amazing. I watched the live stream when I could. I still need to go back and watch it all, but highlight for me so far are the Keynote from OpsCode CTO Chris Brown showing the improvements and capabilities of the hosted Chef Web UI, and also the Keynote by Facebook's Phil Dibowitz.
Chris Brown's Key note on Thursday talked a lot about the future of running Chef through the web UI with great reporting and removing the need to cron or Daemonize chef runs. I'm really looking forward to the roll out to Hosted Chef so I can see about leveraging jobs through the website I normally never touch except when I add a new System Engineer to our account.
Phil's Talk focused on how the were able to leverage Open Source Chef Server to handle a large portion of their environment. They were able to manage 17,000 nodes, doing convergence every 15 minutes, with a single OSS Chef Server and 80% idle CPU. Being able to manage with a single server at that scale amazes me still. In case you were wondering, yes, Chef works amazingly well at scale.
After the conclusion of #ChefConf, quite a few people decided to hold hack days. I wasn't able to make it out to any locations that were hosting so I just wrote a quick cookbook that I was kicking around my head. It's fairly simple and can either dynamically or statically generate an /etc/hosts file for all Chef nodes in your environment or whole deployment. I tried to give some guidance as to how to customize it as you see fit. Go ahead and fork it over on github!
If you missed the conference, most, if not all of the keynotes are available on live stream. They're well worth your time if you're tired of doing things by hand or with janky bash scripts.