Welcome!

FinTech Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Ed Featherston

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, FinTech Journal

@DevOpsSummit: Article

You Need #DevOps | @DevOpsSummit @DMacVittie #CD #APM #Monitoring

The problem is right in front of us, we’re confronting it every day, and yet a ton of us aren’t fixing it for our organizations

For those unfamiliar, as a developer working in marketing for an infrastructure automation company, I have tried to clarify the different versions of DevOps by capitalizing the part that benefits in a given DevOps scenario. In this case we’re talking about operations improvements. While devs – particularly those involved in automation or DevOps will find it interesting, it really talks to growing issues Operations are finding.

The problem is right in front of us, we’re confronting it every day, and yet a ton of us aren’t fixing it for our organizations, we’re merely kicking the ball down the road.

The problem? Complexity. Let’s face it, the IT world is growing more complex by the week. Sure, SaaS simplified a lot of complex apps that either weren’t central to the business we’re in or were vastly similar for the entire market, but once you get past those easy pickings, everything is getting more complex.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, we now have OpenStack on OpenStack. Yes, that is indeed a thing. But ignoring nested complexities to solve complexity issues (that is the stated purpose of OoO), rolling out an enterprise NoSQL database or even worse a Big Data installation is a complex set of multiple systems, some of which might be hosted in virtuals or the cloud, adding yet another layer of configuration complexity. The same is true for nearly every “new” development going on. Want SDN? Be prepared to install a swath of systems to support it. The list goes on and on. In fact, what started this thought for me was digging into Kubernetes. Like most geeks, I started with the getting started app – we have devolved to “try first, read later” in our industry, for good or bad. The Kubernetes Getting Started Guide is a good example of how bad our complexity has gotten. To make use of the guide you need Docker, GKE, and GCR, then you need to use bash, Node, and a command line with an array of parameters that, because you’re just getting started, you have no idea what they’re doing.

We need time to get this stuff going, and time is something that we increasingly over the last decade or so (at least) have less of. The amount and complexity of the gear Operations is overseeing has been increasing, the number of instances – be they virtual or cloud – has also, all at a faster rate than staff at most organizations. And that’s a growing problem too.

One does not simply “deploy Kubernetes” it appears. One has to work at it, like one has to struggle with Big Data installs or UCE configuration, or even in some orgs, Linux installations (which are still handled individually and done by hand in more places than makes sense to me – but I work for a company that sponsors a Linux install automation open source project, so perhaps my view is jaded by that experience).

To find the time to figure out and implement toolsets like Kubernetes and OoO, whose stated goals are to make your life easier in the long run, we need to remove the overhead of day-to-day operations. That’s where DevOPS comes in. If the man-hours to deploy a server or an app can be reduced to zero or near zero by the use of automation tools and a strong DevOps focus, then that recovered time can be reinvested in new tools to help improve operations. Yes, it’s a vicious circle, you need time to get time… But simple, easy-to-master tools can free time to tackle the more complex. Something like my employers’ Stacki project that is a simple “drop in the ISO, answer questions about the network, install, then learn a simple command line”. There are a lot of sophisticated tools out there that follow this type of install pattern and free up an impressive amount of time. Most of the application provisioning tools out there are relatively painless to set up these days (though that wasn’t always true), and can reap benefits quickly also, for example. My first run with Ansible, by way of explaining that statement, had me deploying apps in a couple of hours. While it would take longer to set it up and configure it to deploy complex datacenter apps, the fact is that most of us can find a few hours in the course of a couple weeks, particularly if we convince management of the potential benefits beforehand. As an added benefit, application provisioning tools are increasingly including network provisioning for most vendors, further reducing time spent doing manual tasks (once again, after you figure it out).

And that’s the real reason we need DevOPS. People talk about repeatability, predictability, reduced human errors… All true, but they come with their own trade-offs. The real reason is to free time so we can focus on more complex systems being rolled out and get them set without interrupting our day to do standard maintenance work that consumes an inordinate amount of time.

In the end, isn’t that what we all would love to have – the repeated steps largely automated so that we can look into new tools that improve operations or help drive the organization forward? Take some time and invest in cleaning up ops, so that you can free time to help move things forward. It’s worth the investment. In the case of servers, man-hours invested to get from nothing to hundreds of machines can be reduced from hundreds of machines * hours per machine to “Tell it about IPs and boot the machines to be configured”. That’s huge. Even if you sit and watch the installs to catch any problems, the faster server provisioning toolsets will be done with those hundreds of machines in an hour or two. Which means even after troubleshooting any problems, you’re likely to be off doing something else the next day. Not a bad ROI, if you invest the little bit of time to get started. Reinvest some of that savings in the next automation tool and compound the return… Soon you’re in nirvana, researching and implementing, while installs, reinstalls, and fixes to broken apps are handled by reviewing a report and telling the system in question (app or server provisioning systems) to fix it or install it.

It’s pretty clear that complexity will continue to increase, and tools to simplify that complexity will continue to come along. It is definitely worthwhile to invest a little time in those tools so you can invest more in those new systems.

But that’s me, I’m a fan of looking into the possible, not doing the same stuff over and over. I always assume most of IT is the same, if only they had the time. And we can have the time, so let’s do it.

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
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,...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
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.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. 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 settl...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
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.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
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...