Welcome!

SOA & WOA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Trevor Parsons, Jason Bloomberg, Keith Cawley

Related Topics: SDN Journal, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Cloud Expo, Big Data Journal, DevOps Journal

SDN Journal: Article

DevOps: Bringing 'Life' to Application Lifecycle Management

The DevOps methodology is a straightforward and obvious initiative to cater for the changing face of application development

For most organizations application releases are analogous to extremely tense and pressurized situations where risk mitigation and tight time deadlines are key. This is made worse with the complication of internal silos and the consequent lack of cohesion that exists not just within the microcosm of IT infrastructure teams but also amongst the broader departments of development, QA and operations. Now with the increasing demand on IT from application and business unit stakeholders for new releases to be deployed quickly and successfully, the interdependence of software development and IT operations are being seen as an integral part to the successful delivery of IT services. Consequently businesses are recognizing that this can't be achieved unless the traditional methodologies and silos are readdressed or changed. Cue the emergence of a new methodology that's simply called DevOps.

The advancement and agility of web and mobile applications has been one of the key factors that have led many to question the validity or even practicality of the traditional waterfall methodology of software development.  The waterfall's rigorous methodology of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production/implementation and maintenance in an age when the industry demands "agility" can almost seem archaic. While no one can dispute the waterfall methodology's relevance, certainly not companies such as Sony who suffered the embarrassment of the rootkit bug, but with web and mobile app releases needing to be rapidly and regularly deployed, can companies really continue to proceed down a long a continuous integration process?

Much of the problem stems from legacy IT people cultures as opposed to the methodology itself where each individual is responsible for their sole role, within their specific field, within their particular department. Consequently within the same company the development team is often seen as the antithesis of operations with their constant drive for change in needing to meet user needs for frequent delivery of new features. In stark contrast operations are focused on predictability, availability and stability, factors that are nearly always put at risk whenever development request a "change" to be introduced.

This disengagement is further exacerbated with development teams delivering code with little or no involvement from their operations teams. Additionally to support their rapid deployment requirements, development teams will use tools that emphasize flexibility and consequently bear little or no resemblance to the rigid performance and availability-based toolsets of operations. In fact it would be rare to find either operations or development teams being aware of their counterparts toolsets yet alone taking any interest in potentially sharing or integrating them.

Alternatively you have the operations team that will do everything they can to stall any changes and new features that are being proposed to the production environment in an attempt to mitigate any unwanted risk. Eventually when development teams are allowed to get their software release picked up by operations it's usually after operations have gone through a laborious process of script creation and config file editing to accommodate the deployment on a production runtime environment that is significantly different to the one used by development.

Indeed it's commonplace to see inconsistencies between the runtime environment the development teams have used to run their code upon (typically low resourced desktops) and the high resource server OS based environments utilized by operations. With development having tested and successfully run everything on a Windows 7 desktop, it's no surprise that once operations deploy it on a Unix-based server with different Java versions, software load balancers and completely different properties files, etc., that failure and chaos ensues during a "Go Live". What follows is the internal blame game where operations will point to an application that isn't secure, needs restarting and isn't easy to deploy while development will claim that it worked perfectly fine on their workstations and hence operations should be capable of seamlessly scaling and making it work on production server systems.

Subsequently this is what the panacea being termed DevOps was established to address.  DevOps from its outset works to push for collaboration and communication between the development, operations and quality assurance teams. Based on the core concept of unifying processes into a comprehensive "development to operations" lifecycle, the aim is to inculcate an end-to-end sense of ownership and responsibility for all departments. While the QA, development and operations teams have unique methods and aims in the process, they are all part of a single goal and overarching methodology. This entails providing the development team more environmental control while concurrently ensuring operations have a better understanding of the application and its infrastructure requirements. This involves operations even taking part (and consequently having co-ownership) of the development of applications that they can in turn monitor throughout the development to deployment lifecycle.

The result is an elimination of the blame culture especially in the case of any application issues as both software development and operational maintenance is a co-owned process. Instead of operations blaming development for a flaky code and development blaming operations for an unstable infrastructure, the trivial and time consuming internal finger pointing practices are replaced with a traceable root cause analysis between all departments as a single team. Consequently application deployment becomes more reliable, predictable and scalable to the business' demands.

Additionally DevOps calls for a unified and automated tooling process. The evolution of web applications and Big Data has led to infrastructure needing to scale and grow considerably quicker. This means that the traditional model of fire fighting and reactive patching and scripting are no longer a viable option. The need for automation and unified tools whether for deployment, workflows, monitoring, configuration etc. is a must not just to meet time constraints but also to safeguard against configuration discrepancies and errors. Hence the growing awareness of DevOps has aided an emergence in the market of open source software that deal with this very challenge ranging from configuration management and monitoring tools such as Rundeck, Vagrant, Puppet and Chef. While these tools are familiar to development teams the aim is to also make them the concern and interest of operations.

The DevOps methodology is a straightforward and obvious initiative to cater for the changing face of application development and deployment. Despite this it's greatest challenge lies within people and their willingness to change. Both development and operations teams need to remove themselves from their short term silo-focused objectives to the broader long term goals of the business. That necessitates that the objective should be a concerted and unified effort from both teams to have applications deployed in minimum time with minimum risk. I've often worked with operations staff who have little or no idea of how the applications they're supporting are related to the products and services their companies are delivering and how in turn they are generating revenue as well as providing value to the end user. Additionally I've worked with development teams that were outsourced from another country where communication was non-existent not just because of the language barrier. As the demands from the business on IT rapidly increase and change so too must the silo mindset. DevOps is aiming at initiating an inevitable change; those that resist may find that they themselves will get changed. As for those that embrace it, they may just find application releases a lot less painful.

More Stories By Archie Hendryx

SAN, NAS, Back Up / Recovery & Virtualisation Specialist.

@ThingsExpo Stories
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
Noted IoT expert and researcher Joseph di Paolantonio (pictured below) has joined the @ThingsExpo faculty. Joseph, who describes himself as an “Independent Thinker” from DataArchon, will speak on the topic of “Smart Grids & Managing Big Utilities.” Over his career, Joseph di Paolantonio has worked in the energy, renewables, aerospace, telecommunications, and information technology industries. His expertise is in data analysis, system engineering, Bayesian statistics, data warehouses, business intelligence, data mining, predictive methods, and very large databases (VLDB). Prior to DataArchon, he served as a VP and Principal Analyst with Constellation Group. He is a member of the Boulder (Colo.) Brain Trust, an organization with a mission “to benefit the Business Intelligence and data management industry by providing pro bono exchange of information between vendors and independent analysts on new trends and technologies and to provide vendors with constructive feedback on their of...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. These technological reforms have not only changed computers and smartphones, but are also changing the data processing model for all information devices. In particular, in the area known as M2M (Machine-To-Machine), there are great expectations that information with a new type of value can be produced using a variety of devices and sensors saving/sharing data via the network and through large-scale cloud-type data processing. This consortium believes that attaching a huge number of devic...
Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, with a focus on the enterprise, industrial, aerospace, and defense industries. Innodisk is dedicated to serving their customers and business partners. Quality is vitally important when it comes to industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products. That’s why Innodisk manufactures all of their products in their own purpose-built memory production facility. In fact, they designed and built their production center to maximize manufacturing efficiency and guarantee the highest quality of our products.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.