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DevOps: Caution Ahead

Despite the continued adoption of enterprise DevOps practices, some organizations, especially those in highly-regulated industries remain cautious about moving forward too quickly. “There’s no doubt that DevOps brings benefits for some organizations,” says Martin Fisher, director of information security at Atlanta-based WellStar Health System. “However, many pushing for DevOps underestimate the amount of technological and cultural change that is necessary to overcome before moving ahead to boldly, especially among those in security and regulatory compliance roles that are concerned with securing and auditing processes they see as they’re potentially losing control over,” Fisher says. “You can’t audit and secure what you can’t control,” he says. Eric Cowperthwaite, former chief information security officer at Providence Health and Services agrees. “There are some who want to move too fast. In many organizations the culture just isn’t yet there, especially where they are used to very rigid quality assurance and audit controls,” says Cowperthwaite, currently a VP at Core Security. It’s certainly not uncommon to find chief security officers in heavily regulated industries...

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DevOps developers; don’t be a DevGoof

There was a lot of brush back last week over Jeff Knupp’s post about how DevOps is killing the developer. Frankly I wasn’t shocked by Knupp’s opinion that developers “are the dentists in the dental office”. In my 30+ years of involvement in the IT industry my experience is that developers often think of themselves as the only smart person in the room. Often times that is the reason they are are the only person in the room, lol. The fact is many developers relate better to code than to people. For me all this talk about DevOps killing the developer is akin to saying power steering killed the driver. Just because you can do more with new technology, does not mean one dies, one just has to pivot and in this case become business social. Now the sociable part may be the problem. Sometimes I feel that DevOps is trying to create a love fest between Ops, Developers, QA, security and the rest of the IT stack. While they...

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What Cisco’s OpFlex means for DevOps

Some big news in networking land at Interop this year revolved around Cisco’s latest contribution to open source and the Internet, its proposed “OpFlex” control plane protocol. The protocol itself is focused on communicating with network elements and specifies encoding in a variety of formats, including JSON, that are developer-friendly. That’s nice, of course, but the big question as someone interested in operations and devOps is why should you care about what appears to be a networking protocol? After all, beauty is only interface deep. What’s in it for you? To see where DevOps fits into the picture, consider the description of OpFlex as specified in the IETF draft of the OpFlex protocol: The OpFlex architecture provides a distributed control system based on a declarative policy information model. The policies are defined at a logically centralized policy repository (PR) and enforced within a set of distributed policy elements (PE). The PR communicates with the subordinate PEs using the OpFlex Control protocol. This protocol allows for bidirectional communication of policy, events,...

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Advanced Automation – Getting Your Systems to Work for You

In my previous post I discussed how to take your DevOps to the next level by taking it beyond infrastructure automation, to the automation of your deployments and code pushes, through patches and updates. And then I promised to make it interesting…so here is the next stage – actually using the extracted data to get your systems to work for you. Monitoring Like IT’S YOUR BUSINESS Let’s start by discussing what it means to monitor your application, and what kind of data you can extract from it. At the most basic level, you want to know whether your application is available for your users. It sounds very basic and simple, but setting it up properly is actually not an easy task. It is intended to give you an answer to the most important question to your business: can my users use the application? Think of it as a big red or green light on your dashboard. Although the answer may seem obvious and simple, but it is not at all....

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DevOps Jobs on DevOps.com

DevOps.com has launched its DevOps Jobs board. Free listings available now!

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DevOps storytime: The tale of the secret passageway named MTTR

When DevOps practitioners and evangelists talk about adoption, they mostly fall into one of two camps. People who talk about driving devops adoption by helping people understand the core ethical reasons of improving the world for those who work in it (I’m usually in this camp with Gene Kim). Others talk about driving DevOps adoption by helping people understand the monetarily valuable things that come out of DevOps like improved user engagement and conversion via better performance, more resilient operations via adaptive architectures, or an increase in IT throughput delivered by a use of automation technologies. There is, however, a third way to drive adoption; rather than introduce devops directly, introduce mean time to resolve (MTTR). MTTR is an Industrial Age metric that measures the time from a problem arises to the time it solved. It just so happens that shops that make a nuanced version of MTTR a very visible metric and seek to drive it down, have no other choice but to adopt DevOps methods because DevOps methods...

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Defeating the irrational DevOps jobs displacement fear

People are generally resistant to change, but when that change comes accompanied with the whiff of potential for job loss down the road you can count on gentle inertia to snowball in to out-and-out opposition. Unfortunately, as early misperceptions swirl around the DevOps philosophy, many in the ops world have gotten their backs up in fear that the automation that’s tied to DevOps will endanger their jobs. “I think it’s almost impossible to overstate the amount of angst that  DevOps creates in operations,” says Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project. “The big fear  in operations is that in order to get to lead times not in months, not to weeks, but to days, you can’t be  manually configuring servers, you can’t be manually reviewing things all of the time.  And so there’s a deeply held fear that these configuration management tools are going to automate everyone’s job away.” Now, to the degree that some within IT operations ranks rely solely on large vendors to set the course of their...

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DevOps adoption – Enterprises (part 2 of 2)

 A large enterprise has institutionalized an incredible number of processes. Their fundamental approach to IT has been built over years if not decades of experience. Their leaders may have grown up with these methodologies and approaches. In this article I wanted to continue the thread I started in my last article about how different organizations adopt DevOps differently. The focus of this article will be on how enterprises adopt DevOps. I will also contrast it with how startups adopt DevOps, which was the focus of the first part of this article. To recap the first part of the article, we discussed how startups are adopting DevOps. We stated that adoption occurs organically because of the nature of startups. Because they only start with a few people and they have little to no process, DevOps starts through the addition of tools. The founding developers or CTO will find tools to solve the practical problem of automating different aspects of their development, QA, or operations functions. With so few resources, automation is critical....

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What’s new at DevOps.com

Things have been very busy at DevOps.com these past weeks. After a hectic first month, we are trying to execute on some of our ideas around building DevOps.com into a valuable asset and linchpin of the DevOps community. To that end I wanted to hit on three initiatives that we have kicked off over the past weeks here: 1. Camp DevOps @Gluecon 2014 – Our very first conference held in conjunction with the popular Glue Conference.  Camp DevOps will be held Tuesday, May 20th at the beautiful Atlas Building in the University of Colorado.  We have a great lineup of speakers including Sanjeev Sharma of IBM, JP Morgenthal, Rich Mogull and many more. We are also going to do our first Hello World sessions where attendees will get hands on training on some key products. Admission including meals is just $49.99 and you receive a $100 dollar credit for Gluecon. If you are already registered for GlueCon admission is free, but you still have to register. Head over to CampDevOps.com...

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Jeff Knupp of “DevOps Killing the Developer” on Linuxinstall Podcast Tuesday

Brian Wagner and Linux Install Podcast team will feature Jeff Knupp on tomorrow nights show.  Of course Knupp wrote the controversial “How DevOps is killing the developer” blog article last week which touched off a firestorm. This week Knupp will respond to some of the criticism and and further discuss his views. In last weeks episode of the linuxinstall.net the team took author Jeff Knupp to task for his article “How ‘DevOps’ is Killing the Developer”. Linuxinstall.net will be recording live on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @8PM with Mr. Knupp.  He will be on to discuss the article and the significant response to it.  If you have any questions for him please let the linuxinstall.net team know via Tweet(@linuxinstall), Google+(https://plus.google.com/+LinuxinstallNet), or via E-Mail podcast@linuxinstall.net. Should be a good listen!

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