I spent two days at PuppetConf 2013 in San Francisco this week, and the common themes were automate everything, monitor everything, provide feedback early in the process, and focus on culture. All four of those topics aligned with the DevOps movement, with the goal of faster and more reliable deliveries. Companies that can deliver software more frequently with fewer issues have a competitive advantage over those who can’t.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend PuppetConf 2013. When I walked into the first keynote session, I was shocked by the size of the audience. Over 1300 people were packed into the ballroom. Another 3700 had signed up to watch the event streaming online. Last year there were 800 people at the conference and only 300 the year before. Obviously, both Puppet and DevOps are hot topics these days.
The old way of delivering software was to bundle up the software and ship it, sell the software off the shelf, or allow customers to download and install it. In the “shipping model”, it was the buyer’s responsibility to install the software, manage the uptime, patch, monitor, and manage capacity. Sometimes the buyer would perform all of those tasks themselves, or sometimes they would hire a third party to handle it for them. In either case, the buyer of the software had total control over if and when the software was updated and at what time a planned outage would occur in order to perform the patches or upgrades.
For many years, the focus in IT has been on building robust systems that invested heavily in avoiding failures. To accomplish this goal, methodical processes were implemented to guide IT through a list of known use cases so that systems could try to avoid failing and have a plan for recovery if a failure did…
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As a consultant, I get to travel around the country and see many companies in action. Almost every company I visit is practicing what they call an agile methodology, with varying degrees of success. The companies that are good at agile tend to have happy customers and high morale. Unfortunately, many companies I visit are…
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