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Things I Heard (and Said) at DevOps Summit

It was a long and full day for me at DevOps Summ

I could fill a week or more with blogs on ideas I both agreed - and of course, disagreed - with from sessions and panels.

But for now, here's a digestible selection.

Ephemeral Infrastructure
From John Willis (@botchagalupe) session on networking and devops (which is something you'll be hearing more and more about, even if we are calling it something else, like maybe SDN or a part of the more overarching SDDC or even <gasp> cloud):  "servers became ephemeral infrastructure"

This is the descriptor I've been looking for, "ephemeral infrastructure." Whether it's servers or switches, the use of the term "virtual" implies virtualization, a la Hyper-V or VMware. And maybe for servers that's okay, though as we move toward container-based architectures (a la Docker) and into the network with its virtualized (but not virtual machine) form of multi-tenancy, there needed to be something to call it that distinguished it from physical infrastructure without conjuring up images of virtual machines (sorry, pun not intended). John nails it, I think, with the term "ephemeral infrastructure."

The Silos that Lie Beneath the Silos
Problem of
#devops is you can't break down IT silos until you first break out of systems silos.

This was my simple observation and I touched on it in my session: infrastructure services aren't islands, they're part of a larger process and there exist dependencies and relationships between them that need to be bridged before we start worrying about bridging IT silos. That latter statement was one I heard multiple times in many different devops sessions said many different ways, though the best was definitely during a presentation by Jeff Sussna (@jeffsussna) discussing the need for empathy in moving forward with successful devops initiatives.

The fact is that we talk about Devops as cultural change and about bridging gaps between dev and ops (two of IT's four silos) but until we can break out of the systems silos that operations has built we're not going to get very far in practical terms. We need to recognize that just as applications have interdependencies and can impact each other in terms of scale, stability and performance, so too can the systems and infrastructure upon which those applications are deployed. And we need to recognize and manage those dependencies as a first step toward bridging other, more significant, gaps between IT groups.

Continuous is the new Cloud
If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase "Continuous <delivery, integration, deployment, improvement, <insert IT-related thing here>>" today I'd be flying home first class, let me tell you.

Within devops itself seems to be a variety of sub-categories, if you will, that bring the focus of devops onto a specific IT concern, like deployment, integration and delivery. There are a whole lot of them right now, and the formula seems to be to tack "continuous" onto the front of a traditional IT concern and then it becomes devops.

It's the new cloud, because many of these continuous "things" are not so much emulating cloud, but attempting to achieve the same goals - seamless application deployment through abstraction of infrastructure that enables operationalization. And because it's likely to experience the same hype cycle as cloud, watch out for continuous washing.

SDN and DevOps
John Willis did a session on essentially SDN and how its operational aspects are related to devops. While I'm not in agreement with his view on limiting SDN to OpenFlow, the truth is that SDN is still in its nascent phase and it is in fact evolving toward a more devops-oriented approach to operationalizing the network. In that respect, John hit on what's key: network provisioning and management must evolve along with operations if it's going to meet the challenges ahead.

While most enterprises may think they don't need webscale infrastructure and networks, if they're going to take advantage of the Internet of Things, they will. The explosion of applications and services that go along with "things" is going to require a lot more scale and stability in the network, and a devops-like approach is one of the ways in which IT can realize both.

Read the original blog entry...

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.

@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 timeline DevOps Journal: Who has the steepest learning curve, "dev" "ops"? Mike: It is not about sides of the house, it is about one's ability to shift and evolve. Hire smart people who like getting uncomfortable and embrace rapid change DevOps Journal: How important is buy-in from top management? Mike: Very important. Thankfully I have, and provide, that.
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 new employee. That process should be as seamless and streamlined as possible, with a pristine source of truth. The goal is to populate a list of attributes and replicate them out to the various systems, and that’s applicable to either a new employee or an existing one who changes roles. Core infrastructure deployment is also at the base of the DevOps stack. Automate the provisioning of compute, network, and storage, and provide continuous insight into the utilization.
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 DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality.
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.
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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. Your DevOps Summit registration will also allow access to @ThingsExpo sessions and exhibits. Register For DevOps Summit "FREE" (limited time) ▸ Here
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 wizardry from Chef, anyone can create a pretty reliable replica of the production environment on demand. The actual main issue with reliable production mirroring is complex, but can be described in one word – data.
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 efficient. You get the visibility and control you need to identify problems, find the root cause, and instantly connect the dots to get applications – and user transactions – on track and running flawlessly. AppDynamics provides the certainty that your most complex, business-critical applications are performing at the highest level and that the data and information generated by these applications can be harnessed for ongoing business advantage and impact.

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.

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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 that allows you to get started from zero understanding of the process to working deployment in less than two days. Some good places to start are this tutorial for an end-to-end guide on configuration and MSDN’s overview.
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 and partners worldwide, across many industries including telecommunications, aerospace, software, financial services and CPG. ActiveState is proven for the enterprise: More than two million developers and 97% of Fortune 1000 companies use ActiveState's solutions to develop, distribute, and manage their software applications. Global customers like Bank of America, CA, Cisco, HP, Lockheed Martin and Siemens rely on ActiveState for faster development, ensuring IT governance and compliance, and accele...
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 analyze and improve key drivers of uptime.
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 application transaction.
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 enterprise cloud applications and services, Qubell has its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. For more information, visit qubell.com.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With “smart” appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user’s habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can’t be addressed without the kinds of agile software development and infrastructure approaches pioneered by the DevOps movement.