Welcome!

DevOps Journal Authors: Trevor Parsons, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Jackie Kahle, Lori MacVittie

Blog Feed Post

Is Your Enterprise Experiencing Groundhog Day?

In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays the roll of Phil Connors, a regular Joe who wakes up each day to find out that he is reliving February 2nd all over again—and he’s the only one aware of the time loop. To take advantage of this phenomenon, knowing that there will be no long-term consequences to his actions, Connors seduces women, steals money, drives recklessly and even ends up in jail. The next morning, all is back to normal, and he starts his antics again.

Connors also repeatedly attempts, and subsequently fails, to get closer to Rita, a love interest of his. The combination of the same day’s repetition and Connors’ futile attempts set up the classic definition of insanity—doing the exact same things over and over but expecting different outcomes.

In today’s hyper-competitive markets, enterprise software development teams who suffer a lack of innovation find themselves stuck in their own Groundhog Days. In order to stay competitive and relevant, companies need to innovate faster and change to adapt to market demand quicker than ever before. Enterprises today compete on differentiated products and services and do so by adopting more efficient processes. Those that fail to innovate, change, or modernize and optimize existing applications will learn more than an economic lesson—they risk the demise of the entire business.

Rapid innovation is at the underpinning of the enterprise competitive advantage. Whether a change in process to your business applications, developing new products and services or consolidation/modernization of existing systems—the pace of innovation and quality of software released is the differentiating factor to enterprise success.

So, why is innovating so darn difficult? Here’s a hint; it's all about development environments.

Technology is delivered through a software lifecycle that is often measured by cycle time, defined as the amount of time it takes for a feature to move from concept to customer value. In a perfect world, features move smoothly from concept to value. But, the reality is that with accelerated release cycles, quality suffers. An acceptable level of quality is always important prior to releasing an application to production, but low quality is often tolerated in an effort to decrease cycle time in order to get application releases out on time and within budget. Most enterprises that are trying to innovate faster are trying to adopt iterative development, agile, scrum, continuous integration, continuous delivery & devops in an effort to ensure quality while significantly decreasing cycle time.

Here lies the fundamental issue that plagues most organizations.

The anchor drag on cycle time is almost always idle time or any delay in the above mentioned processes. Removing idle time should be the focus of all application development executives, as the reduction of idle time is always within their control and enables them to reduce cycle time and accelerate innovation to drive the competitive advantage to the business. But, like Phil Connors, most enterprises do the same things over again and again, expecting different outcomes. The only change they may make is putting more people on projects, spending more on expensive on-premise infrastructure, and implementing idealistic processes—all in an effort to squeeze a few more days from release cycles.

Many enterprises fail to see that the single largest cause of idle time in software projects is shared environments. Typically on-premise environments for dev/test need to be scheduled, may not be available when needed and provide no value to keep around when not in use. While shared software project resources can include people, in high-priority projects, environments are generally what causes the greatest amount of contention.

All software projects require environments that typically include development environments, test environments, user acceptance environments and production. Each environment consists of four layers:

1. Infrastructure & OS

2. Software libraries to support the application

3. Application binaries

4. Application configuration files

Due to the sensitivity of the application to changes in any of the four tiers, consistency across all environments is critical to identifying defects sooner. When environments are not identical, idle time is introduced and cycle time is increased. Sharing environments for any software project will create idle time and disrupt the SDLC. As a result, innovation, velocity, and quality suffer..

Enterprises that leverage SaaS-based environments not only can eliminate idle time, and the developer time wasted managing and maintaining environments—they dramatically impact the time to delivery, and overall release quality. Enabling development teams the ability to self-provision, replicate, share and collaborate on environments as needed greatly removes the inefficiencies and interdependencies caused by environment contention.

One of Phil Conner’s most memorable lines from Groundhog Day is when he asks his buddies, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing you did mattered?” For enterprises that find themselves in a similar predicament, the answer is easy—start using SaaS-based environments for dev/test. Take advantage of the elasticity, scalability and on-demand access of SaaS-based environments. Enterprise grade solutions exist that address security concerns, provide self-service to development teams and complete visibility and control for IT over resource utilization. Believing that on-premise infrastructure is going to help you innovate develop, test, and release quality applications faster is pure insanity.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Noel Wurst

I am the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Our solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, our customers release better software faster. My aim is to publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
We had three quick questions for Mike Kail, and he had three quick answers. Mike is SVP of Infrastructure at Yahoo!, and formerly VP of IT Operations at Netflix. He'll be speaking at @DevOpsSummit about his experiences in integrating DevOps on a big scale in big-scale projects. Here's what we asked and what he said: DevOps Journal: You mention “eventual consistency” as a goal. Is there a timeframe? Mike Kail: It is really a strategy for successful transformation instead of a strict ...
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during this offer perios. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, DevOps Summit sessions at Cloud Expo, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Registration page is located at the DevOps Summit site.
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo--to be held November 4-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley--will expand the DevO...
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo--to be held November 4-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley--will expand the DevO...
Having just joined a large technology company with 20 years of history, it would be suicidal to believe that I can immediately move the entire organization to the DevOps mindset and model. For those not familiar with the term, “Eventual Consistency” is a model used in distributed computing to ensure high availability. In this context, it’s a model for replicating best practices and automation across IT teams and business units. The logical place to start with automation is the on-boarding of a ...
Software is eating the world. Companies that were not previously in the technology space now find themselves competing with Google and Amazon on speed of innovation. As the innovation cycle accelerates, companies must embrace rapid and constant change to both applications and their infrastructure, and find a way to deliver speed and agility of development without sacrificing reliability or efficiency of operations. In her keynote DevOps Summit, Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell, will discuss ho...
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option through September. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during special offer. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, DevOps Summit sessions at Cloud Expo, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Registration page is located at the DevOps Summit site. ...
Despite the fact that majority of developers firmly believe that “it worked on my laptop” is a poor excuse for production failures, most don’t truly understand why it is virtually impossible to make your development environment representative of production. When asked, the primary reason for the production/development difference everyone mentions is technology stack spec/configuration differences. While it’s true, thanks to the black magic of Cloud (capitalization intended) with a bit of wizard...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppDynamics will exhibit at DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital businesses like yours need a way to turn data into actual results. AppDynamics is ushering in the next digital age – the age of the software-defined business. AppDynamics’ mission is to deliver true application intelligence that helps your software-defined business run faster, leaner, and more ef...

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- VictorOps, the leading collaboration and incident management platform for DevOps teams, is hosting a webinar that will discuss how to take full advantage of your project post-mortems with or without a template.

DevOps Journal: Cloud, Big Data, and the IoT all carry disruption within enterprise IT. The same goes with DevOps. Which of these is the major disruptor, in your opinion? Andi Mann: It may well be cloud, because it fundamentally enables all the rest. Cloud scale is why we are now considering Big Data; cloud connectivity is a key enabler of IoT; cloud agility has enabled DevOps to take hold. But in the end, the cloud is “just” a platform, while the results of DevOps speak for themselves--l...
These days, implementing automatic deployment for .NET web projects is easier than ever. Drastic improvements started in Visual Studio 2010 when basic deployment strategies and tools were incorporated into VS itself. Yet, documentation was quite poor at that time, so you had to scour the Internet to find good tutorials in blogs or conference videos. Things have been constantly improving since then; now, we have even more functionality available out-of-the-box and documentation provided in a way ...
Azul Systems Inc. (Azul), the award-winning leader in Java runtime solutions, today announced that its OpenJDK-based Zulu 8 offering is now freely available on Docker. Zulu 8 is a 100% open source, fully tested, compatibility verified, and trusted binary distribution of the OpenJDK 8 platform. Azul has also made Zulu versions compliant with earlier Java SE 7 and Java SE 6 standards available on Docker in the same format.
Founded in 1997, ActiveState is a global leader providing software application development and management solutions. The Company's products include: Stackato, a commercially supported Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that harnesses open source technologies such as Cloud Foundry and Docker; dynamic language distributions ActivePerl, ActivePython and ActiveTcl; and developer tools such as the popular Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, ActiveState is trusted by customers an...
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during this offer perios. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, DevOps Summit sessions at Cloud Expo, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Registration page is located at the DevOps Summit site.
Leading provider of Continuous Delivery and DevOps software XebiaLabs today announced enhanced integration between Puppet and XebiaLabs' XL Deploy, the deployment automation solution that supports DevOps and Continuous Delivery teams. XL Deploy in combination with Puppet means one seamless automation process to deploy your apps.
PagerDuty, the leader in operations performance management, announced the public release of its Advanced Analytics tools, which provide insights IT teams can use to improve team and system performance. Leveraging PagerDuty’s robust data on key operational metrics like incident frequency and time to respond and resolve, companies can now drive even faster incident resolution. The new capabilities further expand PagerDuty’s operations performance platform by giving managers the ability to analy...
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every appli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Serena Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Serena Software supports DevOps and Continuous Delivery by providing application deployment automation and software release management solutions to replace slow and error-prone manual processes. 2,500 enterprises around the world trust Serena to help them develop and deploy better software.
Qubell, an innovator in application deployment and configuration management, empowers online companies to do what they have never been able to do before: put into consumers' hands innovative new features and services, almost as fast as they can conceive them, without sacrificing control, reliability or uptime. Qubell emerged from stealth in the summer of 2013 (see related press release) and announced that Kohl's completed its initial implementation (see press release). Founded by pioneers in ent...