We use of a lot of great third-party software and services here at HipChat and thought it’d be nice to share some of our favorites. The first tool we’d like to highlight is Opscode’s Chef, a framework we use to configure our servers quickly and consistently.
Chef lets us write source code (example) describing the services we want to run and then takes care of installing and managing them for us. If you’re not the server-managing type, think of Chef like a robot that knows how to set up all your favorite software on that new computer you just got. Instead of spending all day doing it yourself, Chef does it in a few minutes. Once you’re running a service like HipChat that requires multiple servers, this sort of automated setup is a huge time saver.
If you manage servers or are just interested in the technical details, check out the Chef site and wiki. The Opscode team also provides great chat support in their IRC channel, something we’re big fans of. Thanks to Opscode and the Chef community for a great product!