Review Category : Blogs

DevOps-in-Name-Only? Don’t do DOINO

Let’s not be ‘that’ guy. And let’s not be ‘that’ organization. You know, the one where “DevOps” is some magic pixie dust that we can sprinkle around, and then pat ourselves on the back for being forward-thinking, modern IT managers. It’s actually harder than that. Harder but simpler. Harder because DevOps involves humans. Simpler because pixie dust doesn’t actually exist. (I prefer software instead.) There is thankfully a lot of good “devops” software out there. We are pretty proud of ours too but we fully admit that paying closer attention to human factors of DevOps helps ensure that you get the most from your software whether you buy it or build it. Respect Any “DevOps” organization worthy of that title needs respect and understanding between Dev and Ops. Each brings their own talents, mindsets and constraints. Those other guys generally aren’t trying to make your life difficult just because they can, or because they don’t care. They are making your life difficult because they ...

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Ansible Tower in the Software Development Lifecycle

Ansible Tower is used in a variety of different ways, from traditional configuration management, to custom application deployment, to the orchestration of zero-downtime rolling updates. Companies like Gawker Media use Ansible to deploy their sites more than 10 times an hour. NASA uses Ansible to update security vulnerabilities and to patch manage nasa.gov weekly. Enterprises that make money delivering applications via the web find that Ansible Tower excels at removing IT bottlenecks, automating repetitive tasks, and accelerating the delivery of applications to market. For IT operations, rolling updates with zero downtime is a very common orchestration pattern that has been discussed at length, but let’s take a look at how Ansible Tower fits earlier into the software development lifecycle and removes bottlenecks in operations, as well as in in development and test. Ansible Tower offers a number of benefits in the SDLC, specifically to: Drive consistency between environments Enable self-service ...

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Ignition Partners brings a little bit of Seattle to the Bay area for Microsoft Build

Ignition Partners is throwing a party! Along with four of our portfolio companies – Chef, Cloudera, Couchbase and Xamarin – we will host a special reception in connection with the Microsoft Build Developers Conference 2015. The event will be held on Wednesday, May 29th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Press Club, 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, near Moscone Center, where Build is taking place. With two of our three managing partners at Ignition Partners – Frank Artale and John Connors, having deep roots with both Microsoft and the Seattle area, the idea is that along with our 4 portfolio companies, we will bring a little bit of our Seattle heritage to the party and the conference. We will highlight the two major Seattle-based enterprise Cloud platforms, Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services. Ignition is working on behalf of its portfolio companies, especially cloud-oriented companies based in ...

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A True Story: DevOps(Sec) Manages Out Elective Risks

A True Story There are over 2000 developers in Bill’s organization.  He is a C-level executive for one of the largest insurance companies in North America. Bill boosted developer productivity by 15% last year after taking a closer look at the company’s software supply chain. And this approach isn’t unique to Bill’s organization.  Many high performance IT and DevOps teams are adopting proven supply chain principles to accelerate software delivery. Origins, Quality and Integrity The concept was rather simple and straightforward.  Bill’s team recognized that they were consuming hundreds of thousands of open source and third-party software components to build their applications.  But at the same time, they did not apply much scrutiny to the origin, quality, age, or integrity of those components.  Developers simply selected components at-will that met their functional requirements and helped them meet the next delivery deadline. Secrets of the Free-For-All Deeper analysis of their practice revealed that ...

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Nine Common Ops Mistakes (and How to Prevent Them)

Constant change is a reality for any growing, dynamic organization. Being receptive to change helps us quickly innovate and learn, yet at the same time, poorly-managed change can create instability and downtime. Ask any engineer what the number one cause of downtime in their systems is, and they’ll say change – software changes, network changes, configuration changes. While it would be nice to avoid this instability by working on completely static systems, to cope with the needs of modern technology businesses,  operations teams must learn to better manage change by preventing common ops mistakes before they compromise systems. Arup Chakrabarti, operations engineering manager and my colleague at PagerDuty, stopped by Heavybit Industries, a community workspace for developer-focused entrepreneurs, to discuss the biggest mistakes an operations team can make and how to head them off: 1. Getting It Wrong in Infrastructure Setup Creating Accounts A lot of people use personal accounts ...

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Redefining the state of quality with mobile apps

While many organizations are looking to agile methods to deliver mobile apps faster, they are also facing challenges in embracing the methodology across the organization. The keystone of agile for mobile apps is the focus on “the state of quality,” or the need to know if your code works, so will your app. The major problem that so many organizations are facing is this: DevOps teams are doing agile for mobile halfway. They perform nightly builds but no one is aware of the state of quality. What’s limiting visibility into the state of quality? There are three factors: First, unstable or limited test automation capabilities impacts the number of non-unit tests that can be run. Test automation capabilities are often similar to a slice of Swiss cheese – it looks good but there are definitely holes. Secondly, unstable development environments cause for workarounds, such as non-scalable scripting or skipping over ...

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Enterprise DevOps: Standardize for Security

Etsy is a shining example of the success that can be achieved with continuous delivery (CD). By 2014 Etsy had doubled its deployment rate, deploying more than 50 times a day. Today the site deploys API changes in 18 seconds and launches a new website every 150 seconds. That’s speed, to be sure. Speed that very few enterprises need or want to achieve. But that doesn’t mean that Etsy and CD don’t have valuable lessons for the enterprise, because one of the reasons CD and Etsy succeeds is because of the underlying principle of standardization.   Whether it’s standardization of tools or of processes – or both – it is standardization that eventually drives such speed. The use of the same tools and the same processes over and over hones them until they’re an optimized, lean delivery machine. That standardization has other, benefits, too that are as beneficial – maybe ...

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Welcome to the ADC (After DevOps Connect) era of DevOps and Security

I was speaking with Britta Glade of RSA Conference after our DevOps Connect conference at RSA Conference Monday.  She congratulated us on putting together a great day of tracks and sessions (kudos to Gene Kim and Josh Corman).  But then she said something else that really struck me to my core.  She said after today there is no longer any question about security working with DevOps. Think about it.  Three years after Josh and Gene first presented Rugged DevOps at RSA Conference. After so many papers, articles, presentations and tracks, it has finally sunk in.  Security will embrace DevOps, Security will be better because of DevOps and as importantly, DevOps will be better because of Security. It is very fulfilling to know that this event we produced (along with Mark Miller and theNexus Community) was what finally pushed this over the finish line. For me personally it really represents one ...

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The Top Ten ORA Messages Explained

In the past, data managers operating Oracle data systems had to rely on an unrelenting number of manuals and booklets to figure out how to efficiently maneuver around Oracle errors. The age of Google has transformed this quest, making the lives of countless developers far less painstaking. Now those facing an error that just does not seem to want to go away are also faced with a wealth of resources on the other side of a web search. Several websites have dedicated databases and Oracle writers that work exclusively on developing content to streamline Oracle troubleshooting for individual errors. But why stop there? We compiled a list of the ten most searched Oracle errors on the Internet. 1. Invalid or Nonexistent Column Name – ORA 00904 This is a simple fix. The error is triggered by either an invalid or missing column name. An ORA-00904 can be evaded by making ...

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31 Reference Architectures for DevOps and Continuous Delivery

At QCon London, David Farley (@davefarley77) told the audience that “continuous delivery changes the economics of software delivery”.  I could not agree more. If you have been drawn to the evangelists like David Farley, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim, you’ll know that high performance IT organizations are seeing a massive payoff in their continuous delivery investments.  Industry leaders big and small are sharing noticeable results: 8x more frequent production deployments 50% lower change failure rates 12x faster service restoration times when something went wrong 5 Principles How are they achieving these results?  They are following a few key principles that David and Jez outlined in their seminal book, Continuous Delivery (highly recommended).  The principles outlined in their book and in David’s QCon presentation are as follows: Deliver fast Automate almost everything Keep everything in version control Build quality In Empower the team  Reference Architectures for DevOps and Continuous Delivery In ...

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