Running Chef Server on your IBM mainframe? Not for long…

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Chef Software is pulling server support for IBM Linux on Z and Power Systems, giving customers until May next year to find an alternative.

The automation vendor’s Julian Dunn made the announcement in a blog post, saying  “We are announcing the end-of-life date of Chef Server for Linux on IBM Z and Linux on IBM Power Systems to be May 1, 2019.”

The move means no new builds for the s390x, ppc64 and ppc641e architectures beyond the 12.18.14 build, with support ending next May.

He added that “Support for Chef Server on the x86_64 processor architecture is not affected by this announcement. Chef also continues to support Chef Client for Linux on IBM Z and Linux on IBM Power Systems.”


Dunn advised customers using the products to “plan a migration to a supported version of Chef Server on the x86_64 processor architecture. We also encourage customers in the cloud to adopt AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate or Chef Automate Managed Service for Azure.”

Chef announced support for IBM Linux on Z back in 2015. At the time it also trumpeted its support for IBM Power, as well as the vendor’s Softlayer cloud offering.

A Chef spokesman said the move had no impact on its support for any other IBM platforms. He added, “You can still manage those platforms with Chef Client — you just can’t install Chef Server on them anymore.”

How many installations this all affects might be debatable. But shifting big firms off their mainframes is often presented as one of the keys to making them more Agile and able to move to DevOps like practices.

We found the timing of the announcement interesting. If we’ve got it right, Chef Server support for Linux on IBM Z and Power will end shortly before IBM is due to take control of Red Hat – if the deal goes to schedule and is not thrown off track by any rival bids for Red Hat.

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