Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Stackify Blog, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Virtual, Cloud & IT Availability - Shared Responsibility & Common Sense

A common challenge today is cost cutting along with a focus on the newest technology

In case you missed it, recently the State of Oregon had a data center computer problem (ok, storage and application outage) that resulted in unemployment benefits not being provided. Tony Knotzer over at Network Computing did a story Oregon Storage Debacle Highlights Need To Plan For Failure and asked me for some perspectives that you can read here.

The reason I bring this incident up is not to join in the feeding frenzy that usually occurs when something like this happens, instead, to touch on what should be common. What is lacking at times (or more needed) is common sense when it comes to designing and managing flexible scalable data infrastructures.

Data center

“Fundamental IT 101 is that all technology will fail, despite what the vendors tell you,” Schulz said. And the most likely time technology will fail, he notes, is when people are involved -- doing configurations, making changes or updates, or performing upgrades. - Via Network Computing

Note that while any technology can or has fail at some point, how it fails along with fault containment via design best practices and vendor resolution are important.

Good vendors learn and correct things so that they don't happen again as well as work with customers on best practices to isolate and contain faults from expanding into disasters. Thus when a sales or marketing person tries to tell me that they have never had a failure I wonder if a: they are making something up, b: have not actually shipped to a customer in production, c: not aware of other deployments, d: towing the company line, e: too good to be true or f: all the above.

People talking

On the other hand, when a vendor tells me how they have resiliency in their product as well as processes, best practices and can even tell me (public or under NDA) how they have addressed issues, then they have my attention.

A common challenge today is cost cutting along with focus on the newest technology from servers to storage, networking to cloud, virtualization and software defined among other buzzword bingo themes and trends.

buzzword bingo

What also gets overlooked as mentioned above is common sense.

Perhaps if somebody could package and launch a good public relations campaign profiling common sense such as Software Defined Common Sense (SDCS) that might help?

On the other hand, similar to public service announcements (PSA) that may seem like common sense to some, there is a reason they are being done. That is to pass on the information to others who may not know about it thus lack what is perceived as common sense.

Oregon

Lets get back to the state of Oregon's computer systems issues and the blame game.

You know the blame game? That is when something happens or does not happen as you want it to simply find somebody else to blame or pivot and point a finger elsewhere.

the blame game

While perhaps good for CYA, the blame games usually does not help to prevent something happening again, or in the first place.

Hence in my comments about the state of Oregon computer storage system problems, I took the tone of what is common these days of no fault, shared responsibility and blame.

In other words does not matter who did what first or did not do, both sides could have prevented it.

For some this might resonate of it does not matter who misbehaved in the sandbox or play room, everybody gets a time out.

This is not to say that one side or the other has to assume or take on more blame or responsibility than the other, rather there is a shared responsibility to look out for each other.

Storage I/O trends

Just like when you drive a car, the education focus is on defensive safe driving to watch out for what the other person might do or not do (e.g. use turn signals or too busy to look in a mirror while talking or texting and driving among other things). The goal is to prevent accidents by watching out for those who are not taking responsibilities for themselves, not to mention learning from others mishaps.

teamwork

Working together vs. the blame game

Different views of customer vs. vendor
Having been a customer, as well as a vendor in the past not surprisingly I have some different views on this.

Sure the customer or client is always right, however sometimes there needs to be unpleasant conversations to help the customer help themselves, or keep themselves out of trouble.

Likewise a vendor may also take the blame when something does go wrong, even if it was entirely not their own fault just to stay in good graces with the customer or get that next deal.

Sometimes a vendor deserves to get beat up when something goes wrong, or at a least tell their story including if needed behind closed doors or under NDA. Likewise to have a meaningful relationship or partnership with the vendor, supplier or VAR, there needs to be trust and confidence which means not everything gets put out for media or blog venues to feed on.

Sure there is explaining what happened without spin, however there is also learning from mistakes to prevent them from happening which should be common sense. If part of that sharing of blame and responsibility requires being not in public that's fine, as well as enough information of what happened is conveyed to clarify concerns and create confidence.

hand cuffs

With vendor lockin, when I was a customer some taught that it's the vendors fault (or for CYA, blame them), as a vendor the thinking was enforced that the customer is always right and its the competition who causes lockin.

As an analyst advisory consulting, my thinking not surprisingly is that of shared responsibility.

This means only you can allow vendor lockin, not to mention decide if lockin is bad or not.

Likewise only you can prevent data loss in cloud, virtual or traditional environments which also includes loss of access.

Smokey bear

Granted somebody higher up the organization structure may over-ride you, however ask yourself if you did what was needed?

Likewise if a vendor is going to be doing some maintenance work in the middle of the week and there is a risk of something happening, even if they have told or sold you there is no single point of failure (NSPOF), or non disruptive upgrades.

Anytime there is a person involved regardless of if hardware, cables, software, firmware, configurations or physical environments something can happen. If the vendor drops the ball or a cable or card or something else and causes an outage or downtime, it is their responsibility to discuss those issues. However it is also the customers responsibility to discuss why they let the vendor do something during that time without taking adequate precautions. Likewise if the storage system was a single point of failure for an important system, then there is the responsibility to discuss the cost cutting concerns of others and have them justify why a redundant solution is not needed (that's CYA 101 btw ).

Some other common sense tips
For some these might be familiar and if so, are they being done, and for others, perhaps they are new or revolutionary.

In the race to jump to a new technology or vendor, what are the unknowns? For example you may know what the issues or flaws are in an existing systems, solution, product, service or vendor, however what about the new one? Will you be the production beta customer and if so, how can you mitigate any risk?

Ask vendors tough, yet fair questions that are relevant to your needs and requirements including how they handle updates, upgrades and other tasks. Don't be afraid to go under NDA if needed to get a better view of where they are at, have been and going to avoid surprises.

If this is not common IT sense, then take the responsibility to learn.
On the other hand, if this is common sense, take the responsibility to share and help others learn what it is that you know.

Also understand your availability needs and wants as well as balance those with costs along with risks. If something can go wrong it will if people are involved, thus design for resiliency including maintenance to offset applicable threat risks. Remember in the data center not everything is the same.

Storage I/O trends

Here is my point.
There is enough blame as well as accolades to go around, however take some shared responsibility and use it wisely.

Likewise in the race to cut cost, watch out for causing problems that compromise your information systems or services.

Look into removing complexity and costs without compromise which has long-term benefits vs. simply cutting costs.

Here are some related links and perspectives:
Don't Let Clouds Scare You Be Prepared
Cloud conversation, Thanks Gartner for saying what has been said
Cloud conversations: Gaining cloud confidence from insights into AWS outages (Part II)
Make Your Company Ready for the Cloud
What do you do when your service provider drops the ball
People, Not Tech, Prevent IT Convergence
Pulling Together a Converged Team
Speaking of lockin, does software eliminate or move the location of vendor lock-in?

Ok, nuff said for now, what say you?

Cheers
Gs

 

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2013 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
There are two main reasons for infrastructure automation. First, system administrators, IT professionals and DevOps engineers need to automate as many routine tasks as possible. That’s why we build tools at Stackify to help developers automate processes like application performance management, error monitoring, and log management; automation means you have more time for mission-critical tasks. Second, automation makes the management of complex, diverse environments possible and allows rapid scal...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
The purpose of this article is draw attention to key SaaS services that are commonly overlooked during contact signing that are essential to ensuring they meet the expectations and requirements of the organization and provide guidance and recommendations for process and controls necessary for achieving quality SaaS contractual agreements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that OpsGenie will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2012, OpsGenie is an alerting and on-call management solution for dev and ops teams. OpsGenie provides the tools needed to design actionable alerts, manage on-call schedules and escalations, and ensure that the right people are notified at the right time, using multiple notification methods.
The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that it actually exists. And whether you've realized it or not, cloud services are a problem for your IT department. Even if you feel like you have a solid grasp of cloud technology and the nuances of making a cloud purchase, business leaders don't share the same confidence. Nearly 80% feel that IT lacks the skills necessary to help with cloud purchases-and they're looking to cloud brokers for help instead. It's time to admit we have a cloud s...
According to a recent Gartner study, by 2020, it will be unlikelythat any enterprise will have a “no cloud” policy, and hybrid will be the most common use of the cloud. While the benefits of leveraging public cloud infrastructures are well understood, the desire to keep critical workloads and data on-premise in the private data center still remains. For enterprises, the hybrid cloud provides a best of both worlds solution. However, the leading factor that determines the preference to the hybrid ...
In this modern world of IT, you've probably got some new colleagues in your life-namely, the cloud and SaaS providers who now hold your infrastructure in their hands. These business relationships-yes, they're technology-based, but cloud and SaaS are business models-will become as important to your IT team and your company as the hardware and software you used to install. Once you've adopted SaaS, or inherited SaaS, it's on you to avoid price hikes, licensing issues and app or provider sprawl....
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
DevOps is speeding towards the IT world like a freight train and the hype around it is deafening. There is no reason to be afraid of this change as it is the natural reaction to the agile movement that revolutionized development just a few years ago. By definition, DevOps is the natural alignment of IT performance to business profitability. The relevance of this has yet to be quantified but it has been suggested that the route to the CEO’s chair will come from the IT leaders that successfully ma...