The Trouble With Enterprise DevOps

The literary world and beyond has been up in arms as of late regarding the use of the word ‘literally’. It seems that many are using the word literally when they mean figuratively. For example, if you say, “I literally split my pants laughing,” it would be plausible for one to look at your pants looking for a tear. Words are funny that way. When used to emphasize the action or outcome, some will take literary privilege. Enterprise is also one of those words that are used to convey emphasis often with disregard to the implied meaning. When it comes to DevOps there has been a lot of debate about the modifier ‘enterprise’. Modifiers are supposed to add specificity to the noun it is modifying. Agreeably, enterprise is a horrible modifier for DevOps when used without additional modifiers representing scale. I have been, and continue to be, a big advocate ...

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Security Should Be the Top Driver for DevOps

I’ve often said that the driving factor for many companies in adopting a comprehensive information security program are the dreaded “F” and “A” words – FUD and Audit. Technically FUD is an acronym for fear, uncertainty and doubt. And it might be better said that audit is the action used to hopefully demonstrate compliance and trust. Just a few years ago, the predominant drivers for security spending were regulatory and compliance requirements. While compliance remains a driver today, the primary moving force for many is the concern of cybercrime. Fear of being the next Sony, Target, Chase or countless other victims is driving information security budgets to be readdressed. In a recent CA survey the top obstacle (28%) to DevOps in their organization were security or compliance concerns. Yet, in the same study, a huge percentage (88%) already have or plan to adopt DevOps in the next 5 years. The ...

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DevOps needs infrastructure multi-tenancy

DevOps will, under whatever moniker you want to give it – NetOps, DevOps for Networks, operationalization – continue to make inroads into the network infrastructure because ultimately it’s part of the application deployment lifecycle. While DevOps folks call it “application delivery” the reality is that an application is not ready to deliver to a user (internal or external) until all its requisite services have been provisioned and configured. Yes, infrastructure and network devices are increasingly API-enabled and supportive of a variety of tools and frameworks most often associated with DevOps – Puppet, Chef, OpenStack, VMware – and those more commonly associated with just the network – Arista, Cisco ACI, and OpenDaylight. But it takes more than APIs. APIs do not inherently bestow upon devices the ability to support multi-tenancy. That is, the isolation of services unique to a team (or application) required to effectively deploy application-supporting infrastructure services within what is traditionally ...

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Why DevOps is like fitness or religion

What is DevOps? I noted in a blog post last summer that limiting DevOps to a single definition is challenging. The Wikipedia entry for DevOps contains a variety of possible explanations that seem to disagree in some ways: It’s a “software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and information technology (IT) operations professionals.” The goal of DevOps is “to maximize the predictability, efficiency, security and maintainability of operational processes. This objective is very often supported by automation.” It “targets product delivery, quality testing, feature development and maintenance releases in order to improve reliability and security and faster development and deployment cycles.” It “aids in software application release management for a company by standardizing development environments.” All of these are true, and yet none of them is necessarily THE definition of DevOps. A recent ZDNet post titled Why there will never be one do-it-all DevOps tool ...

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Webinar: Security & DevOps in 2015

The intersection of Security and DevOps. What does 2015 hold in store? Organizations are under increasing pressure to do more, faster. But cybersecurity breaches by criminals, hacktivists and state sponsored actors have cast a shadow over large portions of our IT infrastructure. How can security and DevOps in tandem make us safer while allowing us to increase speed and quality? This webinar features a panel of experts in security, development and operations. We will explore what this year and beyond holds in terms of help as well as pitfalls. What can you do to build more security into your processes? How can you be compliant, secure and efficient? This year promises to be a watershed in security and DevOps. Join us in this webinar to hear an expert panels views on what it means to you. Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015 Time: 1pm eastern standard time REGISTRATION LINK:(Limited registration, so don't wait!)  ...

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Enter at your own risk: DevOps isn’t for everybody

There’s always a sexy new tech buzzword flying around, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that if a concept or technology is hot you need to hurry up and jump on board so you don’t miss anything. DevOps is hot, and seems to be almost ubiquitous these days. But that doesn’t mean that every organization should rush out and embrace DevOps. Defining what it is exactly that you think you’re embracing can be a challenge. The concept of DevOps is a bit broad and ethereal in the first place. The number of vendors calling their products or services “DevOps” just because it’s sexy marketing muddies the waters and makes it more difficult to figure out what DevOps is, and how it’s supposed to benefit your organization. Even if you think you have a fair grasp on what DevOps is, though, it still isn’t necessarily right for ...

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Awkward questions for those getting started with automation

This blog asking awkward questions for folks jumping on the microservices bandwagon was enlightening from the perspective that many of the same questions are applicable to operations as they begin to tackle operationalizing all the things in an application lifecycle. For example: “What is your deployable unit?” Great question, isn’t it? What is your deployable unit of automation? Is it per service? Per device? Per cluster of devices? Per container? Wait, but there’s more from this great list of awkward questions: Is it acceptable for another team to take your code and spin up another instance of your microservice? Can team A use team B’s microservice or are they only used within rather than between teams? Do you have consumer contacts for your microservices or is it the consumer’s responsibility to keep up with the changes to your API? Is each microservice a snowflake or are there common conventions? How ...

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Top Skills for Enterprise DevOps

There is one question I hear almost every time I talk with my large enterprise customers about DevOps: What skills do my people need to be successful with DevOps? Talk of DevOps almost immediately focuses on culture – like having empathy for fellow workers, being flexible and adaptable, seeking continuous improvement, building relationships, etc. However, while critically important in DevOps, culture is an outcome, not an input; and such attributes are mostly either innate or acquired slowly. Culture cannot easily be taught. At the other end of the spectrum, we often look at technologies – agile development, coding languages, virtualization/cloud platforms, management tools, etc. Again, these can be important, but while learning these skills might make you a better dev or op, they may not make you a DevOps practitioner. Like most transformations, DevOps will need new people, process and technology skills, so in this post I take a look ...

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Tips to change culture (at least in your team).

DevOps is all about automation, enhancing the Application Lifecycle Management and culture change. In the last few years there have been tons of conferences and articles about the benefits of a cultural change on a project, but I have yet to read a paper about how to actually change culture. How do you manage to get people to change the way they think and act towards each other and professionally? This is a huge challenge that most DevOps leads will have to overcome. Here are some of my ideas. Create cohesion. The first thing to keep in mind when trying to implement DevOps (or on any other kind of project for that matter) is that people who don’t have fun at work will not perform as good as they could. How to make people happy to go to work is up to you, but I find that simple activities such ...

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