Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Anders Wallgren, Pat Romanski, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo, @DevOpsSummit

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.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
As software organizations continue to invest in achieving Continuous Delivery (CD) of their applications, we see increased interest in microservices architectures, which–on the face of it–seem like a natural fit for enabling CD. In microservices (or its predecessor, “SOA”), the business functionality is decomposed into a set of independent, self-contained services that communicate with each other via an API. Each of the services has their own application release cycle, and are developed and depl...
With microservices, SOA and distributed architectures becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly harder to keep track of where time is spent in a distributed application when trying to diagnose performance problems. Distributed tracing systems attempt to address this problem by following application requests across service boundaries, persisting metadata along the way that provide context for fine-grained performance monitoring.
The battle over bimodal IT is heating up. Now that there’s a reasonably broad consensus that Gartner’s advice about bimodal IT is deeply flawed – consensus everywhere except perhaps at Gartner – various ideas are springing up to fill the void. The bimodal problem, of course, is well understood. ‘Traditional’ or ‘slow’ IT uses hidebound, laborious processes that would only get in the way of ‘fast’ or ‘agile’ digital efforts. The result: incoherent IT strategies and shadow IT struggles that lead ...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
If we look at slow, traditional IT and jump to the conclusion that just because we found its issues intractable before, that necessarily means we will again, then it’s time for a rethink. As a matter of fact, the world of IT has changed over the last ten years or so. We’ve been experiencing unprecedented innovation across the board – innovation in technology as well as in how people organize and accomplish tasks. Let’s take a look at three differences between today’s modern, digital context...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
The (re?)emergence of Microservices was especially prominent in this week’s news. What are they good for? do they make sense for your application? should you take the plunge? and what do Microservices mean for your DevOps and Continuous Delivery efforts? Continue reading for more on Microservices, containers, DevOps culture, and more top news from the past week. As always, stay tuned to all the news coming from@ElectricCloud on DevOps and Continuous Delivery throughout the week and retweet/favo...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
In the Bimodal model we find two areas of IT - the traditional kind where the main concern is keeping the lights on and the IT focusing on agility and speed, where everything needs to be faster. Today companies are investing in new technologies and processes to emulate their most agile competitors. Gone are the days of waterfall development and releases only every few months. Today's IT and the business it powers demands performance akin to a supercar - everything needs to be faster, every sc...
At the heart of the Cloud Native model is a microservices application architecture, and applying this to a telco SDN scenario offers enormous opportunity for product innovation and competitive advantage. For example in the ETSI NFV Ecosystem white paper they describe one of the product markets that SDN might address to be the Home sector. Vendors like Alcatel market SDN-based solutions for the home market, offering Home Gateways – A virtual residential gateway (vRGW) where service provider...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Web performance issues and advances have been gaining a stronger presence in the headlines as people are becoming more aware of its impact on virtually every business, and 2015 was no exception. We saw a myriad of major outages this year hit some of the biggest corporations, as well as some technology integrations and other news that we IT Ops aficionados find very exciting. This past year has offered several opportunities for growth and evolution in the performance realm — even the worst failu...
Are you someone who knows that the number one rule in DevOps is “Don’t Panic”? Especially when it comes to making Continuous Delivery changes inside your organization? Are you someone that theorizes that if anyone implements real automation changes, the solution will instantly become antiquated and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable?
Welcome to the first top DevOps news roundup of 2016! At the end of last year, we saw some great predictions for 2016. While we’re excited to kick off the new year, this week’s top posts reminded us to take a second to slow down and really understand the current state of affairs. For example, do you actually know what microservices are – or aren’t? What about DevOps? Does the emphasis still fall mostly on the development side? This week’s top news definitely got the wheels turning and just migh...
Test automation is arguably the most important innovation to the process of QA testing in software development. The ability to automate regression testing and other repetitive test cases can significantly reduce the overall production time for even the most complex solutions. As software continues to be developed for new platforms – including mobile devices and the diverse array of endpoints that will be created during the rise of the Internet of Things - automation integration will have a huge ...
Providing a full-duplex communication channel over a single TCP connection, WebSocket is the most efficient protocol for real-time responses over the web. If you’re utilizing WebSocket technology, performance testing will boil down to simulating the bi-directional nature of your application. Introduced with HTML5, the WebSocket protocol allows for more interaction between a browser and website, facilitating real-time applications and live content. WebSocket technology creates a persistent conne...