Technology’s effect on religion

Today being Good Friday, with Easter being Sunday and in the midst of Passover; it is a time for reflection. Instead of thinking about DevOps, today I ponder life and religion. What comes to mind is the future of religion in these technological times. The number of Americans with a religious affiliation continues to decline, less and less of us make an appearance at a Synagogue, Church or any house of worship for that matter. In my childhood we would at the very least make an appearance a few holidays a year, notably at the annual pancake breakfast. From the calculator to the computer, from mobile devices and the Internet, advances in technology are creating monumental changes in our lives and in turn the way religion is practiced.  The universal acceptance of mobile devices, like the iPhone and iPad, is provoking a profound social change. The dependence on these devices ...

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DevOps adoption can succeed where ITIL failed, if we let it

When I look at the future of DevOps adoption and acceleration I contrast it with what I feel was the failure of ITIL to really move beyond large enterprise IT shops. I am of the firm belief that DevOps has the legs to succeed and soar where ITIL sort of crashed and burned. OK if not crashed and burned, at least sputtered out. To understand why I feel this way, let me share a little personal history with you. ITIL demands you to come to IT I remember my first ITIL project. I was working at a large retailer and I was asked to help our IT department understand what this ITIL thing was and to help drive adoption of some of ITIL’s basic concepts. First on the list was to get a service catalog up and running. In the space of just a few weeks, I realized the main ...

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Programmability in the Network: Stop a Bleeding Heart…

It is not often the case that a security vulnerability can get the entire Internet talking. And not just the security community on the Internet, but everyone. End-users and IT alike are looking for answers and trying to mitigate Heartbleed. It has its own web site and logo. It’s that big of a deal. Many service providers have already patched their systems, but there are a whole lot of sites on the Internet and it’s estimated that a significant number of them are vulnerable. Netcraft notes that Heartbleed, based on OpenSSL, “affects around 17% of SSL web servers which use certificates issued by trusted certificate authorities.”  One of the most trusted sources of data regarding web server software in use today, Netcraft’s “most recent SSL Survey found that the heartbeat extension was enabled on 17.5% of SSL sites, accounting for around half a million certificates issued by trusted certificate authorities.” But it’s not ...

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Automation versus Orchestration

Yes, Virginia, there is a difference. One of the things devops practitioners are tasked with is the provisioning and configuration of all sorts of infrastructure.  Application servers, web servers, load balancers, proxies and database servers are among the lengthy (and no doubt growing) list of “boxes” devops needs to get up and running to support just about any given application today. One of the key value propositions of a devops approach to operations is that it can reduce the time it takes to get applications to market by getting them up and running in production faster. That’s increasingly important as we move into the Era of Things, driven by extreme connectivity of everything, because all those “things” need are going to need to be talking to applications on the back side. So speed is of the essence, but not at the cost of accuracy. We’re encouraged, then, to automate tasks ...

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DevOps Needs a Tsunami To Jump The Chasm

All start up business endeavors must go through the phase of crossing the chasm.  Most of those business endeavors usually fall prey to the chasm. The chasm is this black hole that everyone claims to understand but no one truly does. We have all seen businesses cross the chasm or fail to cross the chasm and fall into the black hole. But no one seems to understand why and how that crossing happens. The bestselling book by Geoffrey A. Moore titled “Crossing the Chasm,” is all about the heart and soul required to get early stage technology across the chasm, from early adopters to mainstream customers. There is a big difference between people who are enthusiastic to try leading edge technologies and the rest of the inhabitants, who tend to be much more conservative. The reasons that people spend time trying to figure out how to cross or jump, if ...

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Using AWS CloudWatch for Anomaly Detection

Based on my unscientific poll of friends, one of the least used and most overlooked features of AWS is CloudWatch.  Not only can CloudWatch be used to monitor the availability of your AWS services, but it can also be used as anomaly an detection tool. Did I mention that these feature are free? Since the holy grail of DevOps is to bring  the security and the operations teams together to meet the same goals in an automated fashion; Cloud Watch is a perfect DevOps tool. In fact, once it’s implemented for your environment  you are one step closer to the exalted state of SecDevOps. If you aren’t familiar with AWS CloudWatch then head on over to https://aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/. As a quick introduction, here’s how AWS website describes the service: “Amazon CloudWatch provides monitoring for AWS cloud resources and the applications customers run on AWS. Developers and system administrators can use it ...

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No DevOps Roadmap? No Problem.

I’m a huge fan of The Phoenix Project and I’m honored to count Gene Kim both as one of my professional inspirations and also as a personal friend. There is, however, a dangerous precipice inside of the Phoenix Project that, if misunderstood, could cause many DevOps practitioners and enterprise IT shops a daunting problem in adopting and progressing in the ways of DevOps. Roadmap or Roadblock? One of the main concepts discussed in both Kim’s The Phoenix Project and Goldratt’s The Goal is “the bottleneck” and what what to do about it. The basic premise explained is that all actions to increase throughput before a bottleneck, pile work up at the bottleneck and all actions to increase throughput after a bottleneck create a void of work to address after the bottleneck. The logical conclusion from this idea is that: in order to have a net positive effect on throughput, action ...

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Parallel Evolution of DevOps Enterprise Patterns

The DevOps evolution (Revolution!) has a great story; a story of winning the hearts and minds of people of all experiences who all anxiously strive to achieve their goals in amazing new and opportunistic ways. This story isn’t that of throwing everything away and starting over, nor is it a story of always having to start from scratch and do things from the ground up. It’s a story that reflects the hard work, critical thinking, scientific processes and deep analysis of your business needs with your goal in mind.  The concepts of the classic DevOps cloud business and the classic Enterprise all evolve in different ways but end up with the same evolutionary cognitive artifact, the focus on improvement and adding value through technology. When it comes to talking about Enterprise patterns vs the more spoken about “Cloud” patterns, we sort of speak to them as if their exclusively different, ...

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An Introduction to DevOps

What is DevOps You can ask 10 people for a definition of DevOps and likely get 10 different answers. If you want to find a definition of your own, your research will probably begin by asking Google, “what is DevOps”. Naturally, Wikipedia is one of the first result so that is where we will begin. The first sentence on Wikipedia defines DevOps as “a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and information technology (IT) professionals.” Well, that’s a fairly dense definition, yet still pretty vague. I think DevOps can be explained simply as operations working together with engineers to get things done faster in an automated and repeatable way. So let’s delve into how DevOps works and can better adjoin two traditionally opposing departments. Growing pains When you are responsible for large distributed applications the operations complexity grows quickly. How do you provision virtual ...

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A Critical First Step in Bringing Dev and Ops Together

We all want to deliver excellent software to our customers. We now have a greater awareness than ever before of the interconnectedness of all the activities required to do so. The agile movement started this but it was not until the advent of DevOps that Ops was considered part of the full picture. In this article I will explain an effective first step that agile organizations can take to complete the picture and bring ops more completely into the product development process. Delivering excellent software starts with product definition and flows from those initial stories and designs, into dev, verification and testing, into production and then back again in the form of customer feedback and bugs. In reality the feedback paths represent a transitive closure of all activities just mentioned as you can see in the diagram below. Agile recognized the importance of feedback loops in good product development. Agile ...

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