Managing Windows Servers with Chef

Managing Windows Servers with Chef
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Discover how Chef can be used to manage a heterogeneous network of Windows and Linux systems with ease
  • Configure an entire .NET application stack, deploy it, and scale in the cloud
  • Employ a step-by-step and practical approach to automate provisioning and configuration of Windows hosts with Chef

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 110 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : May 2014
ISBN : 178398242X
ISBN 13 : 9781783982424
Author(s) : John Ewart
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Networking and Servers, Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Chef and Windows
Chapter 2: Installing the Client – an Overview of Chef Concepts
Chapter 3: Windows-specific Resources
Chapter 4: Provisioning an Application Stack
Chapter 5: Managing Cloud Services with Chef
Chapter 6: Going Beyond the Basics
  • Chapter 1: Chef and Windows
    • Working with Windows
      • Interacting with end hosts
      • Bootstrapping Windows hosts
        • Scaling with cloud providers
        • Scripting with PowerShell
    • Integrating with Linux-based systems
    • Working with Windows-specific resources
      • Supported platforms
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Installing the Client – an Overview of Chef Concepts
    • Getting to know Chef better
    • An overview of Chef's architecture
    • Installing the Chef client on Windows
      • Preparing to bootstrap Windows hosts
        • Enabling Windows Remote Management
        • Configuring firewall ports
        • Enabling basic authentication
        • Bootstrapping a Windows host
      • Installing via MSI
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Windows-specific Resources
    • Working with Windows-specific resources
      • Platforms supported by Chef
    • Managing roles and features
      • Installing roles using different mechanisms
    • Executing batch scripts
    • Running scripts at startup
    • Installing software packages
    • Manipulating printers
      • Managing printer ports
      • Managing printers
    • Interacting with the Windows Registry
      • The Chef 10.x resource
      • The Chef 0.11.x resource
    • Managing the system path
    • Scheduling tasks
    • Interacting with Windows pagefiles
    • ZIP files
    • Rebooting Windows
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Provisioning an Application Stack
    • Examining the cookbook
    • Installing the cookbook
      • Fetching from GitHub
    • Examining the recipe
      • Installing the prerequisites
      • Preparing the IIS service
      • Fetching the application
      • Configuring the application
      • Generating an IIS pool and site
    • Performing the installation
      • Bootstrapping the host
        • Creating the role
        • Applying the role to the node
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Managing Cloud Services with Chef
    • Working with Microsoft Azure
      • Downloading the management certificate
      • Configuring knife for Azure
      • Creating a new Azure virtual machine
      • Bootstrapping your Azure node
        • Creating a reusable image
    • Managing Amazon EC2 instances
      • Installing the EC2 knife plugin
      • Setting up EC2 authentication
      • Provisioning an EC2 instance
      • Executing custom user scripts in EC2
        • Writing the user script
        • Providing a custom user script
      • Removing the Chef node
    • Interacting with Rackspace Cloud
      • Provisioning a Rackspace instance
        • Injecting configuration into the virtual machine
      • Terminating the instance
      • Removing the Chef node
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Going Beyond the Basics
    • Chef's declarative language
    • Handling multiple platforms
      • Declaring support in your cookbook
      • Multiplatform recipes
        • Reducing complexity
    • Versioning and source control
      • Testing recipes
        • RSpec and ChefSpec
      • Testing basics
        • RSpec
        • ChefSpec
      • Executing tests
        • Understanding failure
      • Expanding your tests
    • Summary

John Ewart

John Ewart is a system architect, software developer, and lecturer. He has designed and taught courses at a variety of institutions including the University of California, California State University, and local community colleges covering a wide range of computer science topics including Java, data structures and algorithms, operating systems fundamentals, Unix and Linux systems administration, and web application development. In addition to working and teaching, he maintains and contributes to a number of open source projects. He currently resides in Redmond, Washington, with his wife, Mary, and their two children.

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Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Integrate Windows systems with Linux-based systems in a heterogeneous network
  • Automate the configuration of new Windows servers to provide various network services such as a web application
  • Scale your Windows infrastructure in a consistent and automated manner with cloud providers such as AWS, Rackspace Cloud, and Azure
  • Deploy new hosts into your infrastructure in minutes instead of hours
  • Develop cookbooks and recipes for your custom Windows configuration
  • Deploy and configure a complete .NET / IIS application to a Windows server using Chef

In Detail

This book begins with an introduction to the functionality and benefits of using Chef to manage Windows systems. From there, you are shown an overview of the Chef architecture and how to prepare a Windows host so that it can be managed by Chef, followed by an example of writing code to install a popular .NET application with Chef.

This book looks at how Windows system administrators can effectively leverage Chef as an automated system management tool to simplify their lives through managed infrastructure. Included are practical examples that will help you to understand how to take advantage of Chef when managing your infrastructure.

By the end of the book, you will be able to deploy software, provision hosts (including cloud servers), develop and test recipes for multiple platforms, and manage Windows hosts using the powerful tools that Chef provides.


This is a guide to automating Windows infrastructures using Chef, from the big picture through to hands-on examples.

Who this book is for

This book is designed for systems administrators who have had some exposure to Chef and are interested using it to manage their Windows-based systems. Some exposure to programming or scripting languages is expected for portions of this book.

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