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We are considering using chef to manage our application servers. So, we are creating recipes which configure resources for us as needed in certain situations.

But what happens if the execution fails? Do we have to manage for this cases manually? Are the logs of failing recipes posted somewhere for centralized monitoring? Are there common solutions for this cases like adding some kind of fail handler which notifies the interested parties?

UPDATE: We are running chef-client on the servers as a daemon with -d -i 60

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Chef logs output to STDOUT or a file. Sometimes that is not enough, though, especially if it fails when running as a daemon and the logs were rotated, or simply difficult to mine out of a centralized log server.

Chef has a reporting / exception handling API. It is documented in detail on the wiki, including links to example handlers written by the community.

http://wiki.opscode.com/display/chef/Exception+and+Report+Handlers

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