Review Category : Blogs

DevOps Perspectives from Pink15

I recently had the privilege of covering the Pink15 conference on behalf of Devops.com. Pink Elephant is a renowned leader in ITIL and ITSM education, consulting and conferences. Now in its 19th year, the Pink conference brings together attendees from a wide range of vertical markets to learn and share about IT service management and related topics. My mission was to take the pulse of DevOps in the ITSM enterprise community, many of whom represent the operational side of IT. Let me start by saying that this was a well-organized and executed conference. The attendees that I spoke with unanimously agreed that the sessions were relevant and the peer networking invaluable. And while there was not a specific Devops or Agile track, the core concepts were directly or indirectly present in several of the sessions. One particularly interesting session was on “Enterprise Change Management in an Agile, Fast Moving World” ...

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IBM InterConnect: HM Health Solutions shows how continuous delivery helps cure healthcare IT headaches

As a spin off business unit of health insurer Highmark, HM Health Solutions is tasked with helping not only that insurer but also other third-party insurers across the industry to optimize systems that run core functions like benefits design, member enrollment, claims processing and customer service. And according to key members who opened up about the organization’s on-going DevOps transformation at IBM InterConnect this week, continuous delivery will increasingly play a role in HM Health’s ability to do that. Utilizing IBM Urbancode, the business has been able to improve the application delivery process by giving application teams more control over how they stand up new environments, better visibility into builds and deployment , and much speedier configuration management. As a result, not only are they able to deploy more quickly, they’re keeping their developers happier and better engaged, with a higher rate of productivity. “We save time and a good ...

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How Deploy Frequency Impacts Infrastructure Stability

I recently took some time out from reading the Internet to read a very specific piece of research I found on the Internet from IDC – its “DevOps and the Cost of Downtime” to be exact. Sponsored by AppDynamics, this fascinating read included a variety of statistics that are helpful in understanding the impact of (or a lack of) DevOps on organizations given certain financial and competitive impacts. I won’t bore you by repeating what you can so easily read yourself, but I have pulled out a few key stats that are worthy of further investigation – that of the failure of  stability on the business and the predicted increase in deployment frequency. The average hourly cost of an infrastructure failure is $100,000. The average hourly cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 – $1M. The average number of deployments per month is expected to double in 2 years. ...

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Streamlining no matter how many speeds your IT operates at

IBM InterConnect 2015 took over the Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand conference centers this week with an estimated audience of more than 20,000 attendees. The event is filled with DevOps evangelists, hybrid cloud experts, and IBM customers converging to share information in presentations and panel discussions. On Monday I had an opportunity to attend one such panel discussion titled Mobile to Mainframe Experts: DevOps Best Practices for Systems of Engagement and Systems of Record. Yeah, the title doesn’t exactly “pop” but I didn’t let that dissuade me. The panel included a number of respected names in DevOps such as Carmen DeArdo from Nationwide Insurance, and Rosalind Radcliffe and Sanjeev Sharma from IBM. In spite of the title of the panel discussion most of the conversation revolved around the concept of two-speed IT. In any organization—no matter how streamlined—there are going to be different processes or teams that function at different ...

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InterConnecting the Internet of Things

In every direction one turns in the so-called Internet of Things there is fragmentation. There are many programing languages, devices and, more recently, a disparate set of IoT development and management platforms that are all vying for the market and developer’s attention. They hope, to become the standard in IoT in the months and years ahead. One of the biggest obstacles to widespread IoT adoption has been the difficulty attracting developers to use the low-level programming languages on which most run. “IoT has been really hard to work with for a long time because a lot of it has required working with the Arduino tool set, for example, which is a lot of C++,” says RedMonk senior analyst Donnie Berkholz. “A lot of developers these days aren’t very interested in working in low level languages anymore,” he says. Enter the Ethernet IoT Starter Kit for the IBM IoT Foundation. The kit ...

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To Be or Not to Be – Shadow IT

Is it being an innovator, or demonizing business decisions to use other vehicles, and cry foul? Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese strategist and philosopher, once said, “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” These words ring true to the quandary that traditional IT organizations find themselves in today: on one side, hordes of tech-savvy business users are deploying and engaging technology services at an alarming rate, often without any input or validation by the IT team. On the other side, there’s an aging on-premise infrastructure that requires frequent care and stresses the limited resources and budgets of IT staff. In between, sits a group of technology professionals that want to support their users while maintaining the appropriate level of compliance, risk management and security — fondly known as “Traditional IT”. Security teams, a part of traditional IT organizations, have begun demonizing any ...

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Four Steps to Free Your Organization From Scheduled Maintenance

Whether you’re an operations engineer or a customer, scheduled maintenance is often viewed as a given when delivering software as a service. While far better than surprise outages, planned downtime is still tough for everybody involved– customers will always have off-hours access needs, and the low-traffic times you want to perform maintenance are often the same times your operations engineers and admins would like to be sleeping. On top of this, scheduled maintenance implies your system is less reliable than you think, because you’re afraid to change it during the workday. How do we make scheduled maintenance better for everyone involved? Planned maintenance is a non-starter at PagerDuty, since our customers don’t know when their monitoring tools will fire alerts. We’ve had to focus hard and innovate to deliver continuous uptime for our service, and Doug Barth, my colleague and a member of our operations team, recently did a talk ...

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IBM InterConnect: Disruption and the stakes of DevOps

It’s only a day into the main sessions at IBM InterConnect and it’s already clear that the most persistent theme that’ll be impressed upon the 21,000-strong crowd this year is one of business disruption. Woven throughout programming about cloud, mobile, analytics and DevOps innovation, the case studies already presented yesterday offer a testament to the disruptive power of IT transformation—and there’s more to follow in the next few days. Most important to the DevOps community, these stories don’t just show the hows of making good on DevOps, continuous delivery and iterative IT strategies. They also show the whys driving DevOps momentum. Sometimes the DevOps community can get so fixated on the intricacies of orchestrating DevOps practices and processes that it misses the forest for the trees. Ultimately, DevOps is about helping the business completely shake up product delivery models, customer interactions and core business processes through a makeover in how ...

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Dibbe Edwards, VP Rational Software Development at IBM, On Standardizing Tools, Process, and Technology to Build DevOps Success

We had the pleasure, for IBM InterConnect 2015, to speak with Dibbe Edwards, vice president, Rational Software Development about the success IBM has had in implementing DevOps processes within their organization. In her current role, Edwards is responsible for leading Rational’s development business that includes application lifecycle management and reporting, quality and requirements management, systems development and architecture management, and integration and open software development across both the IT and Systems domains. Here is our conversation with Edwards about IBM’s internal DevOps transformation and the importance of, and challenges associated with, standardizing on tools, process, and technology to build DevOps success. DevOps.com: Can you tell us a little about what your presentation will be about on Tuesday? It’s about how IBM has led its own internal DevOps transformation, and I think that is something that would be of great interest to DevOps.com readers. Edwards: From an IBM perspective, we’re moving ...

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Technology is All About the Business

In 2011 I joined a company as their fifth employee. They had been in business a little over a year. They had a product. They had customers. Oh, and the other four people? They were rockstars. Customers, however, were unhappy. The system was frequently down. Rebooting a machine was often necessary and lead to poor performance for hours. I was hired to fix “the database problem” in a multi-tenant SaaS system. On my first day I was given a tour of the technology by the engineer. The code was immaculate, but the database had some core issues. We had the database in good working order in a couple of weeks. We lost our first customer about two weeks after that. Why did this customer leave? Ultimately because we were not working on the problem that mattered. We created a local optima in the database and another in code quality. It ...

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