Microsoft’s DevOps Gambit and DevOps.com’s Business Directory

Last week was a big one for Microsoft in DevOps. At the Build conference they unveiled several new features and functionality in both Azure and Visual Studio Online to make give them more DevOps chops and DevOps friendly. At just about the same time they announced partnerships and integrations with both Chef and Puppet Labs to bring even more DevOps to Azure.  That is an awful lot of DevOps functionality in a short period of time. Frankly it is to be expected though. In doing my research for DevOps.com prior to launch, I had a chance to speak to some folks at Microsoft about DevOps. Frankly they were frustrated. They thought they had a great story around DevOps and had not been able to attract the DevOps community to what they had available.  Microsoft, much like IBM at one time owned the developer market.  In fact the sheer number of ...

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Config Management & F***ing Shell Scripts

Joke tech projects pop up all the time. Some, like the lamentable titstare, should never have seen the light of day. Others, like Mark Zuckerberg’s Facemash start out as a joke and grow into something that is anything but. Most come and go without anyone really noticing. Whilst their lives are typically short we often learn more from people’s reactions to these projects than we do from their use of them. An excellent example of this popped up recently when a couple of frustrated Chef and Ansible users came up with a simple configuration management alternative, the regrettably named F***ing Shell Scripts (FSS). As they explain it, as in “Why can’t we just use f***ing shell scripts?”. Whilst usability issues with configuration management tools – particularly in the Enterprise – is a topic close to my heart, I would not normally have had much more than a passing interest in ...

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Is DevOps a Title?

So, I’ve wanted to write on this topic for a while as I think it deserves a little attention! I’ve heard numerous times that you shouldn’t have DevOps in your title or that job reqs shouldn’t be “DevOps Engineers”. This came up again at the DevOps State of the Union event that we hosted in Boston recently. There were definitely some very vocal folks saying that it just didn’t make sense to look for a DevOps engineer or hire a DevOps engineer. These folks make the following points: -          DevOps is a methodology not a job description – we don’t call our developers Agile engineers, they are just developers. They happen to follow the Agile methodology but they their job description isn’t to do Agile, it’s to create awesome products. -          DevOps should permeate an organization – having a DevOps group sort of missed the point of DevOps. DevOps should ...

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Partnership Between Tufin, Puppet Labs Indicates Need for Security Baked Into DevOps

A recent partnership between the IT automation developers at Puppet Labs and the security policy orchestration gurus at Tufin Technologies could start setting the pace for how orchestration of security policies can more easily be baked into DevOps practices. Announced at last month’s RSA Conference, the partnership yielded an integration between Puppet Enterprise and Tufin Orchestration Suite. This will make it possible for joint customers to streamline the configuration and provisioning of security policy changes to iptables, a host-based firewall commonly found on physical and virtual Linux servers. “We expect Security Policy Orchestration to become a core requirement for our customers,” says Nigel Kersten, CIO at Puppet Labs. “Integrating with Tufin enables our customers to quickly and effectively address connectivity requirements across the enterprise without compromising security.” The integration is an indication of the market’s need for better tools to help DevOps shops speed up the pace of application and ...

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Docker as a framework for your DevOps culture

If you’re like me and spend a lot of time evaluating new technologies with the goal of “doing more faster” with your engineering organization, then you’re certainly aware of the many choices of DevOps tools like Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Salt, etc. In my opinion each of these tools is amazing at one piece of the DevOps puzzle – configuration management, and some are OK at other DevOps tasks. Each of the tools has a slightly different approach to configuration management but after comparing them I find that you’re usually picking a tool based on stylistic reasons like the DSL, existing recipes/playbooks, or existing familiarity. While I have my opinion on which of the above tools is “the best”, each tool only solves the configuration management piece of the puzzle. If DevOps is truly a culture change and not just the codification of operational tasks then we need tools that help ...

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Hello World

The DevOps Cup o’ Joe  blog appears  a few times a week with a look around the DevOps blog world, highlighting the  authors choices for top blog posts of the period.  Hello World! It’s been many years since I thought it was pretty cool to have a computer print that during my own days of coding back when punch cards were all the rage.  Though the technology has changed a lot since then, the business of technology has not changed as much. The quickest way to figure out whether a practice or process in IT has become accepted and here to stay is to find out how many are writing about it…and what they are saying. That’s what I am going to write about…. I am going to be the nosey neighbor in the DevOps blogs neighborhood, sort of like a Gladys Kravitz. Some of you are probably saying; who ...

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Ops is dead, long live DevOps

Yes, that’s a bold statement, but if the vibe at the recent AWS re:Invent conference was any indication there are a number of methodologies, technologies, and companies working to make that a reality. This article isn’t focused on whether this is a good or bad thing (my personal belief is that ops will always be a critical part of the IT delivery process). Regardless, it is critical for IT operations personnel to understand the implications of this tectonic shift. As Marc Andreessen, founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has said, “software is eating the world.” As a result, ops professionals must have the ability to automate tasks that used to be managed manually. Whether or not you think that is the death of ops as we know it I will leave to you, but it does mean we will live in a world where DevOps will offer distinct ...

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Puppet Labs Announces Puppet Enterprise 3.2

Helps Deliver Value Faster, Simplifies Deploying and Upgrading Agents, and Extends Automation into More Parts of the IT Infrastructure Lifecycle March 4, 2014 – Portland, OR - Puppet Labs, the leading provider of IT automation software, announced today the availability of Puppet Enterprise 3.2, which simplifies and accelerates IT organizations’ ability to meet the demands of their business and their customers. Puppet Enterprise 3.2 includes new capabilities to help IT organizations provision new hardware and scale infrastructure faster than ever before — and realize the full value of Puppet Enterprise more quickly. “As organizations struggle with rapidly increasing node counts and the time pressures of meeting customer demands, reducing cycle time is becoming more critical,” said Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs. “Puppet Enterprise 3.2 addresses these challenges by significantly reducing the time it takes our customers to deliver new value, quickly and with confidence.” Key New Capabilities in Puppet ...

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Tufin Partners with Puppet Labs to Automate and Orchestrate Security Policies for Host-Based Firewalls

Joint Customers Can Now Increase IT Agility and Improve Security Through Central, Automated Management of iptables Firewalls By Tufin Technologies Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 – 5:08 am MORRISTOWN, N.J., Feb. 25, 2014 – /PRNewswire/ – Tufin Technologies, the market leading provider of Security Policy Orchestration solutions, today announced an integration that enables Tufin customers to leverage the IT automation capabilities of Puppet Enterprise, Puppet Labs’flagship commercial product, to configure and provision security policy changes to iptables, a host-based firewall commonly found on physical and virtual Linux servers. The ability to automate and orchestrate iptables policy changes improves collaboration and information sharing across server, application and security operations teams and ensures that network connectivity changes for iptables-protected servers are implemented securely, accurately, and at the pace of business. Concurrently, Tufin is also announcing new security, automation and orchestration capabilities as well as the results of a recent survey that underscores the need for automation to effectively manage change in today’s highly complex, dynamic ...

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Approaches to Application Release Automation

This is a guest post by Phil Cherry from Nolio A discussion of process-based, package-based, declarative, imperative and generic approaches to application release automation. Application Release Automation is a relatively new, but rapidly maturing area of IT. As with all new areas there is plenty of confusion around what Application Release Automation really is and the best way to go about it. There are those who come at it with a very developer-centric mind-set, there are those who embrace the modern DevOps concept and even those who attempt to apply server based automation tools to the application space. Having worked with many companies of various sizes, technologies, cultures and mind-sets; both as they select an ARA (Application Release Automation) tool and as they move on to implement their chosen tool, I have had many opportunities to assess the various approaches. In this short blog I will discuss the pro’s and ...

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