Seattle-based Opscode has released an open source system called Chef which it says is already used by Engine Yard, 37Signals, Wikia, and others. With Chef, companies can run their applications on cloud computing platforms like Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), then write code to automatically scale applications and resources up and down as needed (rather than manually entering commands). Obviously, Opscode plans to offer products that customers have to pay for too, starting later this year, but it’s not saying much about that yet.
The most intriguing thing so far is who’s involved — both in terms of the companies mentioned above who already use Chef, and Opscode’s leadership. Chief executive Jesse Robbins’ background includes a stint as Amazon’s “Master of Disaster” who was responsible for ensuring website availability, while Vice President of Engineering Christopher Brown was the lead developer for EC2.
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