The two thoughts of DevOps

I was able to make the local Triangle DevOps meetup this week. The topic was how local email marketing company, Bronoto, has evolved their deployment processes over the last few years to address their incredible growth. Listening to Doug Hairfield talk about how the system admin team has changed from managing their production hardware as hardware to managing it like code, was very much an ops centric view of DevOps. Doug talked about how the ops team had learned a lot from the way the development team was managing their code, using SCM, testing and validating their configurations. Very cool presentation.

Many people I work with think about DevOps from a development self service method. This comes from a cloud centric view of the world, but Bronto still has a physical infrastructure to management. When you come the cloud/developer perspective you also get to the idea of infrastructure as code, but it reflects the developer centric view of the world. Get it done, and get I done fast so you can get onto the next cool thing. The ops centric view of the world is about getting it done right and making sure that it is repeatable.

When I think about DevOps, I come at it from a business perspective. To me DevOps is how you provide the business with the functionality with more capabilities, as fast as possible, with the least amount of risk. To that end, we need to have both Dev and Ops focus on the business reasons, and address their piece of DevOps with the basic goal of low risk/high velocity Busines change.

Triangle DevOps meetup

I’ve been going to more and more meetup’s lately. Seemingly at least one a week. The latest one was the Triangle DevOps Meetup. What an interesting session. We were at the offices of Teradata, and Felix, the presenter, works at Teradata. He took the time to walk us thru setting up our own OpenStack cloud.

Probably the best advice that Felix gave was the first time you get the installation you should work, is to delete the entire setup and redo it, because it was probably a fluke.

Felix decided to do a live demo of this complex setup. Of course it didn’t work out, but it was great to see that no matter how much experience you have in setting up these environments, it is hard. And mistakes are made, which in my mind is exactly why DevOps is so important for people. Get it right, version it, test it, measure it, and automate it.

I am not sure that the demo wanted to show that, but to me, the message was received. DevOps and continuous delivery would have solved this problem, but it wouldn’t make a good demo.