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Chef Server is the server-side component of the Chef configuration management system. It exposes an HTTP-based API which can be accessed by the chef-client machine configuration agent, the knife command-line tool, or several programming languages using libraries such as ridley.
Some of Chef Server's major responsibilities include:
- Authenticates incoming API requests
- Stores and distributes configuration code, known as cookbooks
- Manages configuration instructions for individual nodes
- Collects node configuration data (using ohai) and makes it available for searching