Like Puppet, Symantec's Altiris and other configuration management products, Opscode's Chef allows organizations to compose scripts, called Recipes in Chef's case, that automate the process of deploying and managing computers and software. Opscode also touts Chef as a way to manage cloud deployments. For instance, a large unnamed pharmaceutical firm used Chef, along with utility software from Cycle Computing, to run a cancer research investigation across 10,000 servers on Amazon Web Services.
Chef 11 can be downloaded at no charge. Private Chef costs $6 per node, and the hosted version of Chef, called Hosted Chef, costs $6 per node per month.