Chef has long made a name for itself as the go-to tool for helping businesses automate the deployment of their on-premises or cloud infrastructure environments. About a year ago, though, the company also launched Habitat, a more application-centric service that allows developers to package up their code for deployment on a wide variety of platforms, ranging from containers and VMs to Mesosphere and Cloud Foundry.
Today, the company is building on top of Habitat with the launch of Habitat Builder, a new hosted service that makes it easier for developers to build the applications and deploy them. Habitat itself is a free command-line tool and Habitat Builder is essentially the graphical SaaS version of Habitat
Part of the idea here, the Chef team tells me, is to give enterprises a bridge to the new developer-centric world of cloud-native platforms. Enterprises can take their existing code and use Habitat and Habitat Builder to deploy it to their platform of choice. That makes the service very useful for companies that want to life and shift their applications from their on-premises architectures to the cloud, for example, as it'll give them an easy on-ramp to the cloud or a hybrid deployment. Developers can also use Builder to automatically publish apps directly to the Docker Hub registry.
Habitat Builder offers a build service and an artifact store with public and private repositories for holding the packaged app and their desired deployment architectures, as well as support for the Habitat Supervisor for managing the runtime lifecycle, configuration updates and more.
"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."