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October 9, 2017

Chef cooks up a new Habitat for packaging apps

Aim is to give developers a way to package apps in a consistent way.

By James Nunns

Automation company Chef has launched a new SaaS-based service for packaging apps that is said to give developers complete control over the containerised application lifecycle.

Habitat Builder from Chef is billed as the “fastest way to package apps simply and consistently for deployment and management across flexible cloud-native architecture,” such as those across on-premises and in the cloud as Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, and Cloud Foundry.

The tech will mean that developers won’t need to commit to a particular export format or runtime – until the applications are deployed. Whilst Habitat also offers languages such as Node’js, Java, and Ruby on Rails, and it automatically detects what language tooling will be used for building an artefact for the app.

“While the application portability benefits of containers are widely recognised, lack of consistency in packaging and orchestration across the application lifecycle has, in many cases, limited the success of their deployment at scale, even when using cloud-native architectures,” said Stephen Elliot, Programme Vice President at IDC. “Separating packaging, deployment concerns, and artifacts is one strategy that can empower teams to deliver on business objectives of delivering software at speed, with high quality.”


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With native integration with Github for source code and Docker Hub for container format export, the Habitat Builder is also said to include a native operator for Kubernetes – providing simple export of Habitat packages into a cluster. Habitat also includes a container exporter for Cloud Foundry that puts its defaults into Habitat-run services.

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“While some existing tools are great for getting started with containers, modern app teams need to be able to package and deploy apps across multiple traditional, and cloud native architectures,” said Marc Holmes, vice president of marketing for Chef. “We developed Habitat Builder to enable developers to package apps in a consistent way, and enable operations to choose appropriate deployment targets, bringing the team closer together through a clear separation of concerns.”

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