Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Charles Araujo, Ed Witkovic, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, FinTech Journal

@DevOpsSummit: Article

You Need #DevOps | @DevOpsSummit @DMacVittie #CD #APM #Monitoring

The problem is right in front of us, we’re confronting it every day, and yet a ton of us aren’t fixing it for our organizations

For those unfamiliar, as a developer working in marketing for an infrastructure automation company, I have tried to clarify the different versions of DevOps by capitalizing the part that benefits in a given DevOps scenario. In this case we’re talking about operations improvements. While devs – particularly those involved in automation or DevOps will find it interesting, it really talks to growing issues Operations are finding.

The problem is right in front of us, we’re confronting it every day, and yet a ton of us aren’t fixing it for our organizations, we’re merely kicking the ball down the road.

The problem? Complexity. Let’s face it, the IT world is growing more complex by the week. Sure, SaaS simplified a lot of complex apps that either weren’t central to the business we’re in or were vastly similar for the entire market, but once you get past those easy pickings, everything is getting more complex.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, we now have OpenStack on OpenStack. Yes, that is indeed a thing. But ignoring nested complexities to solve complexity issues (that is the stated purpose of OoO), rolling out an enterprise NoSQL database or even worse a Big Data installation is a complex set of multiple systems, some of which might be hosted in virtuals or the cloud, adding yet another layer of configuration complexity. The same is true for nearly every “new” development going on. Want SDN? Be prepared to install a swath of systems to support it. The list goes on and on. In fact, what started this thought for me was digging into Kubernetes. Like most geeks, I started with the getting started app – we have devolved to “try first, read later” in our industry, for good or bad. The Kubernetes Getting Started Guide is a good example of how bad our complexity has gotten. To make use of the guide you need Docker, GKE, and GCR, then you need to use bash, Node, and a command line with an array of parameters that, because you’re just getting started, you have no idea what they’re doing.

We need time to get this stuff going, and time is something that we increasingly over the last decade or so (at least) have less of. The amount and complexity of the gear Operations is overseeing has been increasing, the number of instances – be they virtual or cloud – has also, all at a faster rate than staff at most organizations. And that’s a growing problem too.

One does not simply “deploy Kubernetes” it appears. One has to work at it, like one has to struggle with Big Data installs or UCE configuration, or even in some orgs, Linux installations (which are still handled individually and done by hand in more places than makes sense to me – but I work for a company that sponsors a Linux install automation open source project, so perhaps my view is jaded by that experience).

To find the time to figure out and implement toolsets like Kubernetes and OoO, whose stated goals are to make your life easier in the long run, we need to remove the overhead of day-to-day operations. That’s where DevOPS comes in. If the man-hours to deploy a server or an app can be reduced to zero or near zero by the use of automation tools and a strong DevOps focus, then that recovered time can be reinvested in new tools to help improve operations. Yes, it’s a vicious circle, you need time to get time… But simple, easy-to-master tools can free time to tackle the more complex. Something like my employers’ Stacki project that is a simple “drop in the ISO, answer questions about the network, install, then learn a simple command line”. There are a lot of sophisticated tools out there that follow this type of install pattern and free up an impressive amount of time. Most of the application provisioning tools out there are relatively painless to set up these days (though that wasn’t always true), and can reap benefits quickly also, for example. My first run with Ansible, by way of explaining that statement, had me deploying apps in a couple of hours. While it would take longer to set it up and configure it to deploy complex datacenter apps, the fact is that most of us can find a few hours in the course of a couple weeks, particularly if we convince management of the potential benefits beforehand. As an added benefit, application provisioning tools are increasingly including network provisioning for most vendors, further reducing time spent doing manual tasks (once again, after you figure it out).

And that’s the real reason we need DevOPS. People talk about repeatability, predictability, reduced human errors… All true, but they come with their own trade-offs. The real reason is to free time so we can focus on more complex systems being rolled out and get them set without interrupting our day to do standard maintenance work that consumes an inordinate amount of time.

In the end, isn’t that what we all would love to have – the repeated steps largely automated so that we can look into new tools that improve operations or help drive the organization forward? Take some time and invest in cleaning up ops, so that you can free time to help move things forward. It’s worth the investment. In the case of servers, man-hours invested to get from nothing to hundreds of machines can be reduced from hundreds of machines * hours per machine to “Tell it about IPs and boot the machines to be configured”. That’s huge. Even if you sit and watch the installs to catch any problems, the faster server provisioning toolsets will be done with those hundreds of machines in an hour or two. Which means even after troubleshooting any problems, you’re likely to be off doing something else the next day. Not a bad ROI, if you invest the little bit of time to get started. Reinvest some of that savings in the next automation tool and compound the return… Soon you’re in nirvana, researching and implementing, while installs, reinstalls, and fixes to broken apps are handled by reviewing a report and telling the system in question (app or server provisioning systems) to fix it or install it.

It’s pretty clear that complexity will continue to increase, and tools to simplify that complexity will continue to come along. It is definitely worthwhile to invest a little time in those tools so you can invest more in those new systems.

But that’s me, I’m a fan of looking into the possible, not doing the same stuff over and over. I always assume most of IT is the same, if only they had the time. And we can have the time, so let’s do it.

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, 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...
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...
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...
"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.
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.
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 ...
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 ...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
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...
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...
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., 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 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 ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Archi...
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 ...
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 ...
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...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
JetBlue Airways uses virtual environments to reduce software development costs, centralize performance testing, and create a climate for continuous integration and real-time monitoring of mobile applications. The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer performance engineering case study discussion examines how JetBlue Airways in New York uses virtual environments to reduce software development costs, centralize performance testing, and create a climate for continuous integration and real-tim...