|By Pete Pickerill||
|February 11, 2014 10:00 AM EST||
In the third post in this series, I’d like to talk about the Second Way of DevOps: Amplifying Feedback Loops. Here’s a refresher on The Second Way from my introductory post in this series:
The Second Way: Amplify Feedback Loops – This Way deals primarily with facilitating easier and faster communication between all individuals in a DevOps organization. The goals of this step are to foster better understanding of all internal and external customers in the process and to develop an accessible body of knowledge to replace the dependence on expertise scattered across individuals.
I’ve stated before in this series that Database Change Management poses a unique challenge when your organization is shifting to an agile development methodology and implementing DevOps patterns. Unlike other areas of your application stack, responsibility for managing application schema straddles two groups operating under somewhat opposed expectations. The development group is on the hook for producing more and more business critical features and releases at an ever increasing rate. DBAs are tasked with providing a secure, highly available data platform and protecting the integrity of the organization’s priceless data. The rate of schema change required by development to satisfy expectations can run head long into a database change process that is deliberate and metered by necessity to avoid downtime and data loss. In organizations where these two groups are isolated from each other, you have the makings of a bottle neck in your release process.
The solution to this problem is embodied by The Second Way of DevOps. Communicate early, communicate often, communicate broadly, and prepare for what’s ahead. The tricky part is implementing the solution in a way that’s meaningful to every stakeholder in an organization’s application group. At Datical, we’ve spent just as much time on how we organize and present the data associated with application schema changes as we have on automating the deployment of these changes. We’ve rallied around the following key concepts to bring the The Second Way of DevOps to Database Change Management.
Proactive, Predictive Change Analysis
In an organization where development works independently of the database group, truly understanding the impact a stack of SQL scripts will have on downstream environments is a tedious and time consuming task. Before these changes can be promoted, target environments must be meticulously evaluated for conflicts and dependencies that will impact the deployment process. This often involves manual reviews and comparisons of diagrams and database dumps of complex environments. Achieving a high degree of confidence in the success of the proposed updates is difficult because it is so easy to overlook something. Datical has developed a patent pending simulation feature called Forecast that automates this process. The Forecast feature builds an in memory model of the target environment, simulates proposed changes on top of that model, and warns of potential error conditions, data loss and performance issues without touching the target database. Because there is no impact to target environments, database administrators can Forecast changes several times during the development cycle to get ahead of issues that would normally be discovered much later in a pre-release review. Development gets regular feedback on the changes they are proposing and can address issues that arise during the initial development phase when it is easier and safer to resolve them. The two teams are working in unison to ensure a safe database deployment that works the first time without surprises.
Always Remember Where You Came From
Database changes are usually designed to address the immediate goals of an organization. Once one set of requirements has been satisfied by a release, the motivations for the design decisions made for that release generally fades away as new requirements come along and new business initiatives take center stage. Comments in SQL scripts and on the database objects themselves can be helpful in determining why things are the way they are, but these traces of the past are scattered everywhere. Making sense of the whole is an exercise in archaeology. This was one of the driving forces behind our model based approach to database change management. Our model is architected to provide a living history of your application schema. Individual changes are tied to the specific requirement and release that necessitated them. This data lives in the model so the information you need to make intelligent design decisions is right in front of you when you need it.
Know Where You Are
By tying the business reasons behind each schema change in the model, this information can be tracked in each database instance as it’s updated and included in Forecast, Deploy, and historical reports. Tracking the changes in each instance and providing detailed reports allows you to easily disseminate information, effectively gate deployment steps, and quickly satisfy audit requirements. When everyone in your organization has access to thorough accounts of the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of any single database change in any environment, everyone is operating on the same level and can more effectively work towards a common goal.
Know Where You’re Headed
The model also facilitates concurrent development on multiple releases of a project. By tracking changes made for several different releases in a single model, the development teams working on these releases are able to collaborate and stay ahead of changes made by other teams that may impact future releases. Developers are able to unify redundant changes and eliminate conflicting changes as they implement instead of spending time on redesign later in the process when time is scarce and the cost of change is high.
The Art of DevOps provides a fun overview to help teams understand DevOps. Written in the style of the famous 6th century Chinese manuscript “The Art of War,” this eBook describes DevOps in the form of a mission to continuously deliver assets to the operational battlegrounds safely, securely, and quickly. It’s a fun read with valuable insights.
Feb. 14, 2016 11:45 AM EST
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 deliver them.
Feb. 14, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 454
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principals and help our customers meet today’s DevOps and Digital Transformation challenges.
Feb. 14, 2016 11:45 AM EST
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 how developers and operators work together to streamline cohesive systems.
Feb. 14, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 289
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what doesn’t. He covered proper training and integration of these teams into the corporate structure, and t...
Feb. 14, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 369
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
Feb. 14, 2016 08:30 AM EST Reads: 119
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, 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. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizontal architecture that unlocks a new world of storage opportunities, allowing IT managers, MSPs, and CS...
Feb. 14, 2016 07:30 AM EST
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Feb. 14, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 495
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to move from an insulated culture where automation is absent or hoarded to one where the power of DevO...
Feb. 14, 2016 03:30 AM EST Reads: 399
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboarding time for new developers, and how to maximize productivity according to some of the leading com...
Feb. 13, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 159
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 for digital business, Catchpoint is the only end-user experience monitoring (EUM) platform that can...
Feb. 13, 2016 07:00 PM EST Reads: 426
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cross-functional purposes. So, when traditional IT Service Management (ITSM) meets the cloud, and equal...
Feb. 13, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 520
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid 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. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers to house increasing amounts of storage infrastructure.
Feb. 13, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 158
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, 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. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, implementing, and managing...
Feb. 13, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 296
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 solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight...
Feb. 13, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 483
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. Fully managed by a team of experts, the Alert Logic Security-as-a-Service solution provides network, sy...
Feb. 13, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 481
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 additional third-party data centers across Europe. Its full-service Unified ICT platform serves intern...
Feb. 13, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 462
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 much more convenient, both for a user and web service developer.
Feb. 13, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 325
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, 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. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support, the Men & Mice Suite is taking overlay dexterity one step further into the cloud through full suppo...
Feb. 13, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 290
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow and orchestration capabilities to run their release and operations in a PaaS environment?
Feb. 13, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 263
DevOps is not just last year’s buzzword. Companies with DevOps practices are 2.5x more likely to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals. But how do you enable high performance? What can you do right now to start? Find out from DevOps experts including Gene Kim, co-author of "The Phoenix Project," and the Dynatrace Center of Excellence.
Feb. 13, 2016 07:30 AM EST
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 Partner, VAI is the 2012 IBM Beacon Award Winner for Outstanding Solutions for Midsize Businesses.
Feb. 10, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 665
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, 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. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud communications, cloud connectivity, and cloud computing. Fusion's innovative, yet proven cloud sol...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 803
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Feb. 6, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 769
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Feb. 6, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 590