Saturday, July 2, 2016

Chef Launches Habitat, New Open Source Project to Automate Applications [feedly]

Chef Launches Habitat, New Open Source Project to Automate Applications
// Chef Blog

After Nine Months in Stealth Development, First of Its Kind Open Source Project Packages Automation with the Application for Deployment Anywhere, from Bare Metal to Containers

SEATTLE – June 14, 2016 – Chef, the leader in automation for DevOps, today announced Habitat, an open source project that introduces a new approach for application automation. Applications packaged with Habitat have the intelligence to self-organize and self-configure. Habitat allows the application to both be portable across independent infrastructure environments and have the intelligence to select the infrastructure features that benefit that application. This makes it easy to run applications across increasingly diverse environments such as containers, PaaS, cloud infrastructure, and on-premise data centers, while also accelerating hybrid cloud environments.


Companies today have extensive digital presence with many custom applications to fuel their business. As these applications have grown in complexity, so has the burden of managing them. Traditionally, infrastructure has dictated the design of the application. Habitat takes the opposite view and, for the first time, puts the application front and center. As a result, companies can focus on business value and planning features that will make their products stand out rather than on the constraints of infrastructure and particular runtime environments.

Whether greenfield or legacy, any application that is deployed using a Habitat package has the intelligence to be aware of and react to its environment. Habitat's novel approach to packaging allows the application to be independent of any particular infrastructure environment and fully utilize underlying infrastructure without custom optimization. Habitat also provides a well-defined interface that simplifies common tasks such as monitoring, safe deployment of new features, and the creation of peer relationships that are required for production systems.

From a developer's perspective, by wrapping applications in Habitat packages, application teams don't have to worry about a particular runtime until they're ready to deploy. Because Habitat flexibly handles the management of the application, teams are no longer responsible for creating their own management solutions over and over again. With Habitat, developers can focus on new products and features that move the business forward.

Chef's co-founder and CTO Adam Jacob will unveil Habitat via livestream at 8:30 a.m. PT today. The presentation will include a live demo and be followed by live Q&A on Twitter. Tweet questions to @chef using the tag #habitat.

News Highlights:

Habitat is a first of its kind open source project that offers an entirely new approach to application management. Habitat makes the application and its automation the unit of deployment. When applications are wrapped in a lightweight "habitat," the runtime environment, whether it is a container, bare metal, or PaaS, is no longer the focus and does not constrain the application. Features of Habitat include:

  • Support for the Modern Application: Habitat packages include everything that an application needs to run, throughout its lifecycle. Habitat's core components are:
    • Packaging format. Applications in a Habitat package are atomic, immutable and auditable.
    • The Habitat supervisor runs application packages with awareness of the packages' peer relationships, upgrade strategy and security policies. The Habitat supervisor configures and manages the application for whatever environment is present.
    • The Habitat ecosystem also provides a build service that takes a Habitat build plan, creates the Habitat package, and publishes it to a depot.
  • Run Any Application, Anywhere: With Habitat applications can run, unmodified, in any runtime environment, from bare metal and virtual machines, to containers like Docker and cluster-management systems like Mesosphere or Kubernetes, and PaaS systems like Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
  • Easily Port Legacy Applications: When legacy applications are wrapped in a Habitat package, they become independent of the environment for which they were originally designed. They can quickly be moved to more modern environments such as the cloud and containers. Also, because Habitat packages have a standard, outward facing interface, legacy applications become much easier to manage.
  • Improve the Container Experience: Habitat reduces the complexity of managing containers in production environments. By automating application configuration within a container, Habitat addresses the challenges developers face when moving container-based applications from development environments into production.
  • Integrate into Chef's DevOps Workflow: The Habitat project is sponsored by Chef. Habitat leverages Chef's deep experience with infrastructure automation to bring unprecedented automation capabilities to applications. Chef will offer commercial support for Habitat and ensure seamless integration between Habitat and Chef Delivery to fully automate the application release cycle, from development to deployment.

Habitat is an open source project under the Apache 2.0 license. You can download Habitat immediately at Chef offers commercial support for the Habitat supervisor through its Chef Enterprise subscription.

Supporting Quotes

"We must free the application from its dependency on infrastructure to truly achieve the promise of DevOps. There is so much open source software to be written in the world and we're very excited to release Habitat into the wild. We believe application-centric automation can give modern development teams what they really want — to build new apps, not muck around in the plumbing."

  • Adam Jacob, co-founder and CTO, Chef
"Each year we've seen steady progress in taming the challenges of application management at scale, but I think we have to pay particular attention to technologies that continuously deliver desired end-states, and across diverse production environments, otherwise we're just speeding up over-the-wall procedures."
  • Mark Burgess, Technologist, author, creator of CFEngine, Emeritus Professor of Network and System Administration, Oslo University College
"Open source projects like Habitat embrace the ability to help DevOps teams run their applications in containers everywhere. The community can take advantage of Habitat's application-centric automation on CoreOS Linux, the lightweight OS designed for containers, and Tectonic, the premier infrastructure platform for running distributed applications using Kubernetes, across all their environments while benefiting from security, reliability and scalability."
  • Wei Dang, head of product, CoreOS
"Traditional enterprise applications have limited proliferation into the hybrid cloud. By making it easy to build applications that run anywhere, the value of hybrid cloud platforms, containers, and their management can be fully realized. Habitat is an important step forward in enabling enterprise IT to fully benefit from the portability and efficiency of cloud computing."
  • Jonathan Donaldson, vice president of Software Defined Infrastructure, Data Center Group, Intel
"Open source is at the core of the modern application principles powering today's digital economy. Together, Habitat and DC/OS enable organizations to apply these principles — including autonomy, portability, and scale — to new and legacy applications alike, making it even easier to automate the application stack in any environment."
  • Tobi Knaup, co-founder and CTO, Mesosphere
"Modern application teams want the freedom to make infrastructure choices without worrying about the impact of those choices on their applications. Habitat's application automation combined with our container management platform gives development teams the ability to easily build, deploy, and manage their containerized applications on everything from bare metal to the cloud."
  • Sheng Liang, CEO, Rancher Labs
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