In search of a good book on Chef itself, I picked up this new title on O’Reilly. It’s one of their new format books, small in size, only 75 pages.
There was some very good material in this book. Mr. Nelson-Smith’s writing style is good, readable, and informative. The discussion of risks of infrastructure as code was instructive. With the advent of APIs to build out virtual data centers, the idea of automating every aspect of systems administration, and building infrastructure itself as code is a new one. So an honest discussion of the risks of such an approach is bold and much needed. I also liked the introduction to Chef itself, and the discussion of installation.
Chef isn’t really the main focus of this book, unfortunately. The book spends a lot of time introducing us to Agile Development, and specifically test driven development. While these are lofty goals, and the first time I’ve seen treatment of the topic in relation to provisioning cloud infrastructure, I did feel too much time was spent on that.