Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Orchestration Is the Ultimate Order | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

Remember when you were in school, learning math, and you learned about the importance of the order of operations?

Remember when you were in school, learning math, and you learned about the importance of the order of operations? You do? Okay, good. Pop quiz:

1 + 1 * 8 = ?

The answer is 9, not 16. Why? Because multiplication has precedence. If you want to get to 16 with those numbers, we’ll need to add some parentheses:

(1+1) * 8 = 16

Because parentheses have precedence over everything else.

Okay, enough math for today. The point of this little exercise was simply to emphasize that order matters. And not just in math, but in just about anything that involves a series of steps. Like operations.

warning - math aheadJohn Willis (aka botchagalupe) recently penned an article on Immutable Delivery which was, in itself, a fascinating read for those truly in love with DevOps. In it, he revisited this notion, that order matters and cited a paper on the topic which was also a fascinating read. This is not the first time that John has written about the importance of order in operations, especially as it relates to immutable concepts. The basic premise is that the same set of commands when carried out in a different order can have disastrous results.

One of the examples in the paper that illustrates this is:

“First we will cover a trivial but devastating example that is easily avoided. This once happened to a colleague while doing manual operations on a machine. He wanted to clean out the contents of a directory which ordinarily had the development group's source code NFS mounted over top of it. Here is what he wanted to do:

umount /apps/src
cd /apps/src
rm -rf .
mount /apps/src

Here's what he actually did:

umount /apps/src
...umount fails, directory in use; while resolving this, his pager goes off, he handles the interrupt, then...
cd /apps/src
rm -rf .

Obviously this is bad Juju. And the next time you see me in person ask about my days at a GIS company where someone actually did something similar and nearly wiped out every digital map the company owned. Seriously.

So at this point we probably all agree that the order of operations is important.

But it’s not just important as a means to avoid catastrophic failures. After all most failures to honor the order of operations aren’t going to have this level of disastrous results. The other reason we should pay attention to the order of operations is because it has a profound impact on the velocity of the app deployment process. And given that there’s increasing pressure on IT to deliver apps (particularly mobile apps according to Gartner, Inc. who predicts that “by the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations' capacity to deliver them”) and an increasing focus on decreasing the time it takes to get to market, anything we can do to improve the speed of the deployment process is going to be constructive and useful.

To do that, we have to look at the order of operations and start applying some DevOps math to optimize it.

order of operations

Optimizing the Order of Operations
In most organizations there’s a distinct order of operations at the process layer that dictates which task (automated or otherwise) must be completed before another can move forward. This is often due to dependencies that require a very specific order of execution. Some dependencies are technical, e.g. you have to to deploy the app platform before the app, but others are business dependencies. Additions to DNS, for example, are not necessarily technically dependent on other tasks, but may be considered to have business dependencies that require them to be completed before or after certain other tasks. And still other tasks have no dependencies at all. Their order within the deployment process orchestration is mandated by convention, not corporate policy.

The trick for DevOps is to find the optimal order of operations at the process layer. That means determining not just the order of operations as it is now, but what its optimal state might be. That means combing through each layer – from automation up to orchestration – and ferreting out where there may be unnecessary wait times between tasks or process steps, which tasks can be moved and where, and whether or not there exists duplication that can be eliminated.

It may mean (gasp) math.

Orchestration is the ultimate order of (deployment) operations. Getting it wrong won’t necessarily destroy data or corrupt configuration files, but it will definitely impede your ability to improve the processes that deploy apps. That’s why it’s important to move up the deployment stack and evaluate deployment processes with an eye toward optimization.

Devops is all greekBecause the order of operations really does matter.

For a bit deeper view on Six Sigma, DevOps and how it impacts the deployment process, here’s a presentation from a session at DevOps Summit.

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
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...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
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...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
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 ...
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...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
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 b...
"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.
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, 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.
"We view the cloud not as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), held June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.