Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

The Art of DevOps | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps #Containers #Microservices]

Important risk analysis must be performed during the initial requirements gathering during each sprint

The Art of DevOps | Part 3

In this 4-part blog series, I am exposing DevOps best practices using a metaphor inspired by the famous 6th century Chinese manuscript: "The Art of War." It is worth reminding that Sun Tzu, just like me, considered war as a necessary evil, which must be avoided whenever possible. What are we fighting for here? Ultimately, we're fighting for the absolute best services and features that we can deliver to our customers as quickly as we possibly can, and to eliminate the "War Room" scenario we are all so familiar with.

When we last left off, the troops had deployed the build from the Islands of Development to the Staging Grounds. The environments have been outfitted with extensive application monitoring tools and prepared for testing that exposes the battle readiness of the build. Ultimately each build must be exhaustively tested to help ferret out issues that regularly infiltrate user scenarios, UI, high concurrent use, performance, security, disaster recovery, processes, infrastructure and any other function that affects successful operations.

Uncovering issues in the build accomplishes the primary objective in the Staging Grounds. Important risk analysis must be performed during the initial requirements gathering during each sprint. Risks must be assessed regarding how each addition or change in the sprint will affect the overall operation. Because not every change is created equal, the level of risk each change poses will determine:

  • What should be tested
  • The priority in which to build the automated test cases
  • How comprehensive the testing should be around the change
  • Data that may be needed to exercise the identified risks
  • Configuration change effects
  • Number of possibilities to consider when testing the build. This may include but is not limited to:
    • Geographical placement of the tests
    • Consumers such as:
      • Desktop browsers
      • Native Mobile Applications
      • Thick clients
      • Browser versions
    • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Scenarios
    • Login users, roles and rights
    • Workflow paths
    • Operating Systems

Constructing the automated testing can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive. While automation in testing adds to the defenses, it also introduces new complexities. Automated test cases must be maintained and updated; therefore, automation cases should be scrutinized for their overall value and return on investment. Automation in testing acts as a supplemental guard to manual testing and will often be evolutionary. A solid feedback loop between operations and development is crucial to improving the automated tests within the delivery pipeline. Ideally the automation should decrease the time to identify an issue and enable troops to focus manual test cases on more obscure and valuable scenarios. As a best practice all test cases identified should be tracked and managed in a Test Case manager like Zephyr, Silk Central or TestRail, to name just a few. Moreover, the system that is chosen must integrate with the requirements tracking tool. This will maintain traceability by linking the test cases with the requirements throughout the lifecycle. For example, Zephyr is the native test case manager used in conjunction with Jira.

As for the staging environments, the infrastructure should be as close to imitating the infrastructure found in the Operational Battlefield. This will ensure that all testing performed is relevant and test results will accurately predict what's to be expected in operations. Troops should also, when deemed effective, establish new virtual machines using baseline images and apply version controlled configuration templates executed by the same configuration management tools found in the Islands of Development. The following types of performance tests are then performed in the Staging Grounds:

A host of software options are available for our arsenal and affords many of the automation functions mentioned above. A few common tools embraced are Selenium, Load Runner and Visual Studio Test. Larger and far more comprehensive testing for web sites can be executed using platform services such as Dynatrace Synthetic Monitoring - a global network of machines that provide most of the testing variations reviewed earlier. Batteries of tests can be authored in this SaaS environment and directed to hit the Staging Grounds with a vengeance. A global simulation emulates a vast number of end users, using a diverse set of desktop configurations and mobile devices that are located across the world. Traffic patterns can be increased to introduce high volumes of concurrent users and attain accurate real world effects on the staged build. Leveraging these automated testing techniques in combination with a highly focused set of manual tests offers the optimal atmosphere for uncovering issues.

Click here for the full article.

More Stories By Brett Hofer

Brett Hofer is as passionate about DevOps as he is about music and art. Specializing in delivering complex mission critical software under methodologies such as Agile, Lean and Waterfall (to name a few), his success at managing and delivering projects with complex technical and political challenges is almost legendary. More than twenty years of broad software/IT experience—from product designer and solution architect to senior management—has given him a unique 360° perspective on IT that has earned the respect of customers and peers alike. Tweet him at @brett_solarch

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Microservices Articles
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee A...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media 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. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...