Chef Automate (HA)

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This Azure Quickstart provides an 'unmanaged' full installation of Chef Server configured for high availability mode and a separate instance of Chef Automate.

Whilst the template is fully functional, it is expected that some customization may be required for your particular environment. It is aimed at experienced administrators of Chef.

This template uses Azure Key Vault to securely store and transfer secrets between VMs in the solution.

Deployment Outcomes

After deploying this template into your subscription, you will have deployed the reference Chef HA architecture, similar to

  • 3x Chef Server frontend VMs behind a load balancer
  • 3x Chef Server backend VMs
  • 1x Chef Automate VM
  • 1x Key Vault

Frontend and Backend will be configured with individual Availability Sets and Premium storage. All servers use Managed Disk and have configurable VM sizes. Chef Server will automatically be configured to send run data to Chef Automate.


Installation can proceed within the Azure Portal via Azure Cloud Shell or by using the Azure CLI v2 on a workstation.

The AD identity running this installation should have the Owner role on the required Subscription.

Installation Instructions

1. Create Service Principal [optional]

The template shares information via Key Vault and to do this we need to create a Service Principal to pass in to the template properties. If you do not have an existing Service Principal, you can create one using the az ad sp create-for-rbac command:

stuart@Azure:~$ az ad sp create-for-rbac
Retrying role assignment creation: 1/36
      "appId": "a530c3a0-YOUR-GUID-HERE-21e3d7ede80c",
      "displayName": "azure-cli-2017-05-23-15-28-34",
      "name": "http://azure-cli-2017-05-23-15-28-34",
      "password": "an autogenerated password will appear here",
      "tenant": "a2b2d6bc-YOUR-GUID-HERE-f97a7ac416d7"

You can then use the appId to retrieve further details required via the az ad sp show --id [appId] command:

stuart@Azure:~$ az ad sp show --id a530c3a0-YOUR-GUID-HERE-21e3d7ede80c
        "appId": "a530c3a0-YOUR-GUID-HERE-21e3d7ede80c",
        "displayName": "azure-cli-2017-05-23-15-28-34",
        "objectId": "1a439c30-YOUR-GUID-HERE-9df19f9b1c89",
        "objectType": "ServicePrincipal",
        "servicePrincipalNames": [

Note the values for appId, objectId and password for the parameters file.

2. Customize azuredeploy.parameters file

[Cloud Shell] To read more about transferring files to Azure Cloud Shell, visit the Azure documentation:

[Cloud Shell] You will need to copy azuredeploy.json and azuredeploy.json.parameters to your Cloud Shell before updating the parameters:

Update appId, password, objectId, firstname, lastname, emailid and organization name and any other required parameters in the azuredeploy.parameters.json file.

3. Create Resource Group for solution

Use the az group create command to create a Resource Group in your region, e.g:

az group create -n chef-automate-ha -l westus

4. Execute the template deployment

Use the az group deployment create command to deploy the ARM template, e.g.:

az group deployment create --template-file './azuredeploy.json' --parameters '@./azuredeploy.parameters.json' -g chef-automate-ha -n deploy

NB: Deployment may take between 30-60 minutes depending on deployment size.

After successful deployment you can see the adminusername, chef-server-URL, chef-server-fqdn, keyvaultName, chef-server-weblogin-username, chef-server-weblogin-password, chef-automate-URL and chef-automate-fqdn for Chef Server, Chef Backend and Chef Automate in the deployment output section of your Resource Group.

Post-Installation and Verification

Once you have deployed the cluster, you should be able to SSH to it via the chef-server-fqdn deployment output and perform additional configuration and customization. For all the options available please refer to:

Further information


New users may try the features of this template (including Chef Automate and Chef Backend components) using a trial license for up to 30 days. Contact us at to obtain a full license.


Contact the Partner Engineering team at Chef for queries relating to thie template.

(c) 2017 Chef Software, Inc.

Tags: Microsoft.Resources/deployments, Microsoft.Compute/availabilitySets, Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces, Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts, Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines, extensions, CustomScript, Microsoft.KeyVault/vaults, secrets, Microsoft.Network/loadBalancers, Microsoft.Compute/disks, Microsoft.Network/networkSecurityGroups, Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses, Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks