One of the many features of Chef is something called a Data Bag. Simply put, this allows you to store a blob of JSON based data on a Chef server that is shared across your Chef environments. If you have organizational level data that must be shared and not unique across environments, this is a great, easy system to store and retrieve this data. For this article, my example is the list of our network blocks at DNSimple. We have quite a bit of address space with the amount of hardware we have deployed and we share this data in various cookbooks to know which systems are on our network. This comes in handy when we want to put in firewall rules to allow only traffic from within our own networks, etc.
As I mentioned earlier, data bags are basically a bucket into which you put blobs of JSON data known as a data bag item into.
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