Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Stackify Blog, Aruna Ravichandran, Dalibor Siroky, Kevin Jackson, PagerDuty Blog

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Now Witness the Power of This Fully Operational Feedback Loop

It’s called a feedback loop, not a feedback black hole.

It’s called a feedback loop, not a feedback black hole.

One of the key components of a successful architecture designed to mitigate operational risk is the ability to measure, monitor and make decisions based on collected “management” data. Whether it’s simple load balancing decisions based on availability of an application or more complex global application delivery traffic steering that factors in location, performance, availability and business requirements, neither can be successful unless the components making decisions have the right information upon which to take action.

Monitoring and management is likely one of the least sought after tasks in the data center. It’s not all that exciting and it often involves (please don’t be frightened by this) integration. Agent-based, agentless, standards-based. Monitoring of the health and performance of resources is critical to understanding how well an “application” is performing on a daily basis. It’s the foundational data used for capacity planning, to determine whether an application is under attack and to enable the dynamism required of a dynamic, intelligent infrastructure supportive of today’s operational goals.

YOU CAN’T REACT to WHAT you CAN’T SEE

We talk a lot about standards and commoditization and how both can enable utility-style computing as well as the integration necessary at the infrastructure layers to improve the overall responsiveness of IT. But we imagedon’t talk a lot about what that means in terms of monitoring and management of resource “health” – performance, capacity and availability.

The ability of any load-balancing service depends upon the ability to determine the status of an application. In an operationally mature architecture that includes the status of all components related to the delivery of that application, including other application services such as middle-ware and databases and external application services. When IT has control over all components, then traditional agent-based approaches work well to provide that information. When IT does not have control over all components, as is increasingly the case, then it cannot collect that data nor access it in real-time. If the infrastructure components upon which successful application delivery relies cannot “see” how any given resource is performing let alone whether it’s available or not, there is a failure to communicate that ultimately leads to poor decision making on the part of the infrastructure.

We know that in a highly virtualized or cloud-computing model of application deployment that it’s important to monitor the health of the resource, not the “server”, because the “server” has become little more than a container, a platform upon which a resource is deployed and made available. With the possibility of a resource “moving” it is even more imperative that operations monitor resources. Consider how IT organizations that may desire to leverage more PaaS (Platform as a Service) to drive application development efforts forward faster. Monitoring and management of those resources must occur at the resource layer; IT has no control or visibility into the underlying platforms – which is kind of the point in the first place.

YOU CAN’T MAKE DECISIONS without FEEDBACK

image

The feedback from the resource must come from somewhere. Whether that’s an agent (doesn’t play well with a PaaS model) or some other mechanism (which is where we’re headed in this discussion) is not as important as getting there in the first place. If we’re going to architect highly responsive and dynamic data centers, we must share all the relevant information in a way that enables decision-making components (strategic points of control) to make the right decisions. To do that resources, specifically applications and application-related resources, must provide feedback.

This is a job for devops if ever there was one. Not the ops who apply development principles like Agile to their operational tasks, but developers who integrate operational requirements and needs into the resources they design, develop and ultimately deploy. We already see efforts to standardize APIs imagedesigned to promote security awareness and information through efforts like CloudAudit. We see efforts to standardize and commoditize APIs that drive operational concerns like provisioning with OpenStack. But what we don’t see is an effort to standardize and commoditize even the simplest of health monitoring methods. No simple API, no suggestion of what data might be common across all layers of the application architecture that could provide the basic information necessary for infrastructure services to take actions appropriately.

The feedback regarding the operational status of an application resource is critical in ensuring that infrastructure is able to make the right decisions at the right time regarding each and every request. It’s about promoting dynamic equilibrium in the architecture; an equilibrium that leads to efficient resource utilization across the data center while simultaneously providing for the best possible performance and availability of services.

MORE OPS in the DEV

It is critical that developers not only understand but take action regarding the operational needs of the service delivery chain. It is critical because in many situations the developer will be the only ones with the means to enable the collection of the very data upon which the successful delivery of services relies. While infrastructure and specifically application delivery services are capable of collaborating with applications to retrieve health-related data and subsequently parse the information into actionable data, the key is that the data be available in the first place. That means querying the application service – whether application or middle-ware and beyond – directly for the data needed to make the right decisions. This type of data is not standard, it’s not out of the box, and it’s not built into the platforms upon which developers build and deploy applications. It must be enabled, and that means code.

That means developers must provide the implementation of the means by which the data is collected; ultimately one hopes this results in a standardized health-monitoring collection API jointly specified by ops and dev. Together.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
How is DevOps going within your organization? If you need some help measuring just how well it is going, we have prepared a list of some key DevOps metrics to track. These metrics can help you understand how your team is doing over time. The word DevOps means different things to different people. Some say it a culture and every vendor in the industry claims that their tools help with DevOps. Depending on how you define DevOps, some of these metrics may matter more or less to you and your team.
For many of us laboring in the fields of digital transformation, 2017 was a year of high-intensity work and high-reward achievement. So we’re looking forward to a little breather over the end-of-year holiday season. But we’re going to have to get right back on the Continuous Delivery bullet train in 2018. Markets move too fast and customer expectations elevate too precipitously for businesses to rest on their laurels. Here’s a DevOps “to-do list” for 2018 that should be priorities for anyone w...
If testing environments are constantly unavailable and affected by outages, release timelines will be affected. You can use three metrics to measure stability events for specific environments and plan around events that will affect your critical path to release.
In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace: Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system. 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
DevOps failure is a touchy subject with some, because DevOps is typically perceived as a way to avoid failure. As a result, when you fail in a DevOps practice, the situation can seem almost hopeless. However, just as a fail-fast business approach, or the “fail and adjust sooner” methodology of Agile often proves, DevOps failures are actually a step in the right direction. They’re the first step toward learning from failures and turning your DevOps practice into one that will lead you toward even...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
While walking around the office I happened upon a relatively new employee dragging emails from his inbox into folders. I asked why and was told, “I’m just answering emails and getting stuff off my desk.” An empty inbox may be emotionally satisfying to look at, but in practice, you should never do it. Here’s why. I recently wrote a piece arguing that from a mathematical perspective, Messy Desks Are Perfectly Optimized. While it validated the genius of my friends with messy desks, it also gener...
The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Mi...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
The enterprise data storage marketplace is poised to become a battlefield. No longer the quiet backwater of cloud computing services, the focus of this global transition is now going from compute to storage. An overview of recent storage market history is needed to understand why this transition is important. Before 2007 and the birth of the cloud computing market we are witnessing today, the on-premise model hosted in large local data centers dominated enterprise storage. Key marketplace play...
The cloud revolution in enterprises has very clearly crossed the phase of proof-of-concepts into a truly mainstream adoption. One of most popular enterprise-wide initiatives currently going on are “cloud migration” programs of some kind or another. Finding business value for these programs is not hard to fathom – they include hyperelasticity in infrastructure consumption, subscription based models, and agility derived from rapid speed of deployment of applications. These factors will continue to...
Some people are directors, managers, and administrators. Others are disrupters. Eddie Webb (@edwardawebb) is an IT Disrupter for Software Development Platforms at Liberty Mutual and was a presenter at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. His talk, Organically DevOps: Building Quality and Security into the Software Supply Chain at Liberty Mutual, looked at Liberty Mutual's transformation to Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps. For a large, heavily regulated industry, this task ...
Following a tradition dating back to 2002 at ZapThink and continuing at Intellyx since 2014, it’s time for Intellyx’s annual predictions for the coming year. If you’re a long-time fan, you know we have a twist to the typical annual prediction post: we actually critique our predictions from the previous year. To make things even more interesting, Charlie and I switch off, judging the other’s predictions. And now that he’s been with Intellyx for more than a year, this Cortex represents my first ...
"Grape Up leverages Cloud Native technologies and helps companies build software using microservices, and work the DevOps agile way. We've been doing digital innovation for the last 12 years," explained Daniel Heckman, of Grape Up in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Toyota Production System, a world-renowned production system is based on the "complete elimination of all waste". The "Toyota Way", grounded on continuous improvement dates to the 1860s. The methodology is widely proven to be successful yet there are still industries within and tangential to manufacturing struggling to adopt its core principles: Jidoka: a process should stop when an issue is identified prevents releasing defective products
We seem to run this cycle with every new technology that comes along. A good idea with practical applications is born, then both marketers and over-excited users start to declare it is the solution for all or our problems. Compliments of Gartner, we know it generally as “The Hype Cycle”, but each iteration is a little different. 2018’s flavor will be serverless computing, and by 2018, I mean starting now, but going most of next year, you’ll be sick of it. We are already seeing people write such...
Defining the term ‘monitoring’ is a difficult task considering the performance space has evolved significantly over the years. Lately, there has been a shift in the monitoring world, sparking a healthy debate regarding the definition and purpose of monitoring, through which a new term has emerged: observability. Some of that debate can be found in blogs by Charity Majors and Cindy Sridharan.
It’s “time to move on from DevOps and continuous delivery.” This was the provocative title of a recent article in ZDNet, in which Kelsey Hightower, staff developer advocate at Google Cloud Platform, suggested that “software shops should have put these concepts into action years ago.” Reading articles like this or listening to talks at most DevOps conferences might make you think that we’re entering a post-DevOps world. But vast numbers of organizations still struggle to start and drive transfo...
Let's do a visualization exercise. Imagine it's December 31, 2018, and you're ringing in the New Year with your friends and family. You think back on everything that you accomplished in the last year: your company's revenue is through the roof thanks to the success of your product, and you were promoted to Lead Developer. 2019 is poised to be an even bigger year for your company because you have the tools and insight to scale as quickly as demand requires. You're a happy human, and it's not just...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.