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Archive for the ‘DevOps’ Category

ShotsAtPrize

Value of DevOps Culture: It’s not just hugs and kumbaya

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Damon Edwards / 

The importance of culture is a recurring theme in most DevOps discussions. It’s often cited as the thing your should start with and the thing you should worry about the most.

But other than the rather obvious idea that it’s beneficial for any company to have a culture of trust, communication, and collaboration… can using DevOps thinking to change your culture actually provide a distinct business advantage?

Let’s take the example of Continuous Deployment (or it’s sibling, Continuous Delivery). This is an operating model that embodies a lot of the ideals that you’ll hear about in DevOps circles and is impossible to properly implement if your org suffers from DevOps problems.

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marten

Video: Marten Mickos and Rich Wolski talk DevOps and Private Clouds

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Damon Edwards / 

I ran into Marten Mickos and Rich Wolski from Eucalyptus Systems at PuppetConf and got them to sit down for a quick video alongside my fellow dev2ops.org and DevOps Cafe contributor, John Willis.

I had just come out of Marten’s keynote where he spoke about DevOps far more than I would have expected. In this video we explore the deep connection between DevOps and Private Clouds as well as other industry changes for which they are planning.

Eucalyptus was one of the first private cloud technologies on the scene, and consequently got the benefit and burden of being the early mover. The community had some ups and downs along the way, but their product and industry vision seems encouraging and warrants a closer look (and never count out Marten Mickos in an open source software battle).

huddleAndy

Huddle.com – Being Agile about Agile with Andy McLoughlin

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John Willis / 

Last week I attended a Pacific Crest Mosiac Summit in Vail Colorado and met with a number of institutional technology investors.  During the summit there were a number of interesting BOF’s and I was fortunate enough to moderated a #devops BOF.  Andy McLoughlin the founder of Huddle.com, was one of the individuals in the Devops BOF and he blew me away with some of his internal #devop practices.  I am happy to share some of Andy’s insights here with you in the video.

 

TechDebtGatt

Full video of Israel Gat interview (Agile in enterprise, DevOps, Technical Debt)

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Damon Edwards / 

After posting the exceprt on Technical Debt, I’ve gotten a number of requests to post the full video of my beers-in-the-backyard discussion with Israel Gat (Director of Cutter Consortium’s Agile Product & Project Management practice).

We covered a number of interesting topics, including bringing Agile to enterprises, how Israel found himself part of the DevOps movement, and the measurement of Technical Debt.

TechDebtGatt

DevOps and Technical Debt: A Debt Crisis in Your Workplace?

31

Damon Edwards / 

With all of the recent global financial news being dominated by various debt crisises, this seems like a fitting time to point out that there is another type of debt that is rampant in IT organizations as well.

This type of debt also sneaks up on you if you aren’t keeping an eye on it and it too can have devastating effects. I’m talking about Technical Debt.

Technical Debt is already well known in the Agile circles as way of quantifying the deficit created by cutting corners on code quality or completeness in order to speed business feature delivery. The “Technical Debt” is the difference between doing something good enough for now rather than doing it right.

The debt metaphor is used because it implies that the organization has taken on liabilities that must be “repaid” (i.e. fixed) at some point in the future. The further along in development you move without getting rid of that debt, the more the debt grows. And like monetary debt, there is a nasty compounding effect at work here as well.

 

My favorite short explanations of the main points of the metaphor are:

  • Skipping design is like borrowing money
  • Refactoring is like repaying principal 
  • Slower development due to complexity is like paying interest

Folks like Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, and Israel Gat do a much better job of explaining Technical Debt than I do and I highly recommend reading their work.

So what does this have to do with DevOps? I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that DevOps problems can best be approached and quantified using the concepts of Technical debt. I hear people all the time digging themselves into deep holes of DevOps problems with mindset of “lets just get these features out the door first and then we’ll come back and fix our process and automation issues”. They are taking on massive amounts of technical debt and are usually lacking a way to quantify or account for it.

Let’s try the above definitions on for size with one particularly common DevOps problem — missing or poor quality automation:

  • Missing or poor quality process automation is like borrowing money
  • Implementing and improving process automation is like repaying principal
  • Slower pace of innovation and poor execution due to missing or poor quality process automation is like paying interest

It does seem to fit quite well. And the best part? Aside from being a concept that forward thinking developers have already embrace, Technical Debt has also been proven to be a persuasive metaphor at the executive level. Now we just have to port these ideas and vocabulary to the mainstream of the DevOps movement.

The next time you are struggling to convince an executive to fund and support DevOps work, remember to looking into using tried and true Technical Debt arguments.

Below is an except from a recent video interview I did with Israel Gat of the Cutter Consortium. In this segment he goes into what technical debt is and how it can be used to prove the cost of not “doing it right”.

 

Update: If you are at Agile 2011, go see Israel speak at one of his sessions. It’s worth it. His session on Wednesday, ‘Super-Fresh Code’, promises to be of interest to anyone grapping with DevOps issues.

 

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Matt Ray talks Crowbar, Chef, and OpenStack integration for building private clouds (VIDEO)

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Damon Edwards / 

Also while in Austin, I stopped by Opscode‘s satellite offices to talk to Matt Ray about the integration work he is doing with Crowbar (a soon to be open source bare-metal provisioning tool from Dell), Chef, and OpenStack. This toolchain stretches the concept of infrastructure as code all the way from the bios to the provisioning of a private cloud… it’s a “datacenter as code”.

See the short (06:39) video below:

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