Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Amit Gupta

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

DevOps and Automation | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #ML #Microservices

Because of the explosive growth of DevOps, there is still a seemingly large amount of confusion on the topic

Because of the explosive growth of DevOps, there is still a seemingly large amount of confusion on the topic. While I’ve written about this before, this article takes a shot at dividing things in a way that we naturally do as users, but vendors often fail to differentiate, simply because “DevOps” is a hot term, and it’s all too often about SEO and AdWords when vendors talk/write.

Dev? Or Ops?
DevOps has two different sources – Development that is getting Ops added in – like automated test, integration, etc., and Ops that is getting Development added in – like provisioning and configuration management. While both sides of IT are used in both, their genesis is different, and responsibility in all but a few organizations is different.

DEVops

Since discussing all three boxes would become more of a treatise than a blog, today we’ll focus on devOPS, and what each of these is actually for.

devOPS is where development methodologies (and often actual development) are being added or enhanced with regard to Operations traditional practices to create an automated datacenter for deployment and maintenance.

Server Provisioning
Automated spin-up of servers, be they physical or virtual, with a customizable image set and configuration options. Repeatability is key – the system must be able to restore a damaged install to a known good state. Also important is total automation – configuration of things like disk and network controllers is part of spinning up a machine. (Full disclosure, I work for a server provisioning company, and this blog will originally appear on the www.stacki.com website – home of an open source provisioning tool).

Configuration Management (Application Provisioning)
Once the machine is spun up, the applications required to make it perform a specific task are required. Today this is largely a separate step from provisioning, but the market is clearly moving to a stage where the two are bundled into a single toolset. Provisioning a server without apps is half the job, and provisioning apps without a server is not possible, so it makes sense the two will slowly merge, possibly under the aegis of orchestration (below). The purpose of configuration management tools is to make certain that the applications, application pre-requisites, and configuration of both are correctly set up on target machines. Most of us know these tools better than any of the others.

Orchestration
Today the focus of most orchestration tools is on coordinating the deployment of complex software across the datacenter. The ability to fully deploy and configure an application no matter how many servers that application is spread across is powerful, as long as the automation gets it right, and the leaders in the space certainly do take steps to make certain the orchestration tool gets it right or reports to users what is broken in the infrastructure.

Moving forward, I see it as likely that orchestration will increasingly focus on including server provisioning so that the orchestration tool orchestrates everything from spin up to spin down. Today there is good support for virtual and cloud spin-up, but less for hardware spin-up. Watch for that to change, so where you want the orchestration tool to deploy is less important than what you want it to deploy.

Process Management
Process Management is often included in monitoring, but because it has a very focused role and does more than monitor, I’ve chosen to split it out. The point of process management is to make certain your services and apps are running. Depending upon the tool, they can also make certain the processes are responding, but that is more often done as part of overall automated monitoring. No matter how good your deployment methodologies are, a crashed process can not respond to users, so this is a pretty important bit in the automation world.

Monitoring (Logging)
Monitoring encompasses logging and watching systems for errors. While included in many of the other toolsets, a proper monitoring system will work with the overall information available across the datacenter and application to provide a more comprehensive picture of what is going on. For example, a monitoring tool can watch hardware failures, OS counters and errors, and application issues together to help trace down what actually happened from a “single pane of glass” as they say.

Metrics
Knowing what broke and where, or knowing that processes are actually running do not cover the entire picture of application availability. Knowing how responsive the application is and where the bottlenecks are is every bit as important, particularly in high-volume or spike situations. That’s where metrics come in. They track historic performance and response times, and offer insight into what might be slowing down an application both in daily use and in heavy peak periods. Insight into overall app performance and specific subsystems/infrastructure helps resolve problems quickly, and even helps prevent problems with early detection. From low-level disk through API response times, measurement is the key to fine-tuning performance.

Network Automation
DevOps has a weird relationship with network automation. Most DevOps pundits simply ignore it, feeling that’s the realm of SDN. Others try to include the network but stick to only basic functionality – because that enables “real DevOps”. But reality is that for a fully automated datacenter, networking simply must be included. Without proper VLANs, DNS, DHCP, all those pretty apps are pretty useless. In fact, according to this blog on F5.com (relation disclosure, that’s my wife – but also a genius level geek), there are a whole host of network services that need to be automated to achieve an automated datacenter. So network automation is still in its relative infancy, with vendors just starting to take APIs seriously, and tools to manage cross-vendor network architectures few and far between, but it’s coming. Using network automation, a Big Data installation could be spun up with its own subnet or VLAN, complete automation of the network part adding to complete automation of server and application parts. The better vendor APIs get, the faster this can become a reality, but you can do it today, if you’re willing to put in a little work.

Summary
There are a ton of ways you can subdivide DevOps, and certainly lots of people have tried. I offer this alternative simply as a way to consider it that follows the natural path from manual to automated and then into DevOps. It allows for conversation not to be cluttered (and as I’ve mentioned before, it often is), so we can talk about what’s important, not the generic “DevOps”.

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Here are the Top 20 Twitter Influencers of the month as determined by the Kcore algorithm, in a range of current topics of interest from #IoT to #DeepLearning. To run a real-time search of a given term in our website and see the current top influencers, click on the topic name. Among the top 20 IoT influencers, ThingsEXPO ranked #14 and CloudEXPO ranked #17.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...