Today Opscode announced a new addition to their Chef line of cloud provisioning tools. Called Hosted Chef QuickStart, it allows you to set up packaged collections of OS and apps that can be easily replicated to the cloud.

QuickStart lets you assemble two different types of app stacks -- one based on Ruby, the other on Java/Tomcat -- and works in conjunction with accounts that you already have on Amazon's EC2 or Rackspace. When you use the service, you avoid having to reassmble your collection of apps and services, and also avoid having to start from scratch with creating a new machine image when some small configuration file changes in your deployment.

Using Chef, your stacks -- what they call cookbooks (get it?) -- are linked together, so that you can quickly propagate changes across all of them in your cloud infrastructure. Say you need to upgrade to a new version of Tomcat, or add a new server into your mix? Not a problem. You can grow or prune your virtual infrastructure dynamically and easily with this tool.

Hosted Chef QuickStart is available today. Pricing starts at $5/managed servers per month for 20 servers and scales up to $10/month for 1000 managed servers.