Month: March 2013

HowTo Migrate to Chef 11

Chef 11 was released earlier in February and it is awesome! Like most people, I love the new features like partial search, chef-apply and knife-essentials inclusions, awesome formatted output, etc. Of course the open source chef 11 server was rewritten completely in erlang with postgresql/mysql support replacing the ruby/couchdb backend stack. solr and rabbitmq are still there ;)… There are many breaking changes meaning you will want to make sure that you fix your cookbooks before upgrading.

When you are ready to upgrade, you will notice that unfortunately there is no official migration path. This howto will document what I’ve used myself for such migrations and hopefully will help you too if you are trying to perform a similar upgrade.

Opscode has done an amazing job with the omnibus installers and starting with Chef 11, the chef server has support for this also. Meaning you can install a new chef server simply by installing the rpm or deb for your platform and everything should be installed for you (ruby/gems, chef, rabbitmq, solr, erlang, postgresql, nginx). Just head over to http://www.opscode.com/chef/install/ and from the chef-server tab download the version for your OS.

In order to migrate to a new chef server we need to migrate from the old server:

  • clients
  • nodes
  • roles
  • environments
  • data bags
  • cookbooks (with all the versions used in each environment)

It is important to have all the clients with their proper public keys because if not we would have to re-register each one of them.

Personally, I’ve migrated using this process several servers from open source chef 0.10.x to chef 11, but theoretically this should work from any chef server implementation (hosted, private, etc.) because we are downloading and uploading the assets using the api calls.

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HowTo Migrate to Chef 11

knife-backup

While working on migrating a chef server from 0.10.x to version 11, I ended up extending the BackupExport and BackupRestore plugins written by Steven Danna and Joshua Timberman and added support for cookbooks and clients. Currently knife-backup has support for the following objects:

  • clients
  • nodes
  • roles
  • environments
  • data bags
  • cookbooks and all their versions.

knife-backup will backup all cookbook versions available on the chef server. Cookbooks are normally available in a repository and should be easy to upload like that, but if you are using various cookbook versions in each environment then it might not be so trivial to find and upload them back to the server; downloading them and having them available to upload like that is simple and clean. If you have too many cookbook versions then you might want to cleanup them first using something like knife-cleanup.

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knife-backup