All posts by Mike Kavis

Mike is a VP/Principal Architect for Cloud Technology Partners. Mike has served in numerous technical roles such as CTO, Chief Architect, and VP positions with over 25 years of experience in software development and architecture. A pioneer in cloud computing, Mike led a team that built the world's first high speed transaction network in Amazon's public cloud and won the 2010 AWS Global Startup Challenge. An expert in cloud security, Mike is currently writing a book for Wiley Publishing called "Architecting the Cloud: Design Decisions for Cloud Computing Service Models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)" which is expected to be released in late 2013.

Is DevOps What Organizations Really Seek?

agilecloudDevOps has risen in popularity over past twelve to eighteen months to the point that most enterprises are either practicing something they call DevOps or are at least exploring how they can leverage DevOps to be more agile. The problem companies are having with DevOps is that it is not really a thing that comes with instructions or a framework that is prescriptive in nature. DevOps is instead a shift in the way we approach building software and even running a company. The age-old way has been more factory oriented, where software went from inception to production by passing through various silos of specialists (developers, testers, security experts, system administrators, operations, etc.). Continue reading Is DevOps What Organizations Really Seek?

Taking DevOps to the Next Level

agilecloudI have seen many DevOps initiatives at various levels of maturity. One common pattern in successful ones is that they have made progress in automating the build process or the provisioning of environments. Both of these accomplishments are necessary and worthy of focus, but the efforts don’t stop there. The following is a list of things to consider that can take your DevOps initiative to the next level.

Continue reading Taking DevOps to the Next Level

The Hidden Benefits of DevOps

agilecloudDevOps is gaining serious momentum within enterprises as of late. The big business driver is the pursuit of agility and improved reliability and quality. Adopting DevOps can be challenging because it often requires drastic changes in culture, process, and technology. Those companies that have had success with DevOps often discover some hidden benefits that they may not have anticipated when they started their journey.

Continue reading The Hidden Benefits of DevOps

HashiCorp Launches First Commercial DevOps Product

agilecloudHashiCorp, a San Francisco–based start-up founded in 2012, has recently released its first commercial product, called Atlas. HashiCorp is known by many people as the creator of a number of open-source tools that assist in developing, deploying, and maintaining applications. One major challenge for IT shops is that so many tools are required to automate the building and delivery of software that engineers spend far too much time trying to tie all of these tools together, which takes away time from working on business requests. In many shops, one or more people may be dedicated to managing the complexities of the DevOps tool chain, which includes integration, patching, upgrading, and many other non–value added tasks. With Atlas, engineers can leverage a single tool for managing infrastructure and builds with a common workflow and a central dashboard.

HashiCorp takes a page from the Atlassian playbook. Atlassian focuses on integrating a collection of open-source tools for agile development, such as JIRA, Confluence, HipChat, and others. HashiCorp brings together a collection of open-source tools to aid in the delivery and management of applications and infrastructure. Atlas is made up of five major functions, as represented in the following image:

Source: Hashicorp
Source: Hashicorp

Vagrant, Packer, Terraform, and Consul are all open-source projects that you can download and use for free today. Atlas provides a common platform that makes all of these open-source solutions work together seamlessly and is delivered as SaaS. In addition, Atlas handles the integrations with various CI/CD tools (Maven, Jenkins, etc.), containers and VMs (Docker, VMware, VirtualBox, and eventually Rocket), version control (GitHub and Bitbucket), configuration management (Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and Salt), public cloud providers (AWS, Google, Rackspace and Azure), and private cloud providers (OpenStack and SoftLayer). Doing these integrations yourself would require a significant amount of time and money, and it would be a never-ending task to keep everything current. Atlas provides these capabilities out of the box and will continue to add integrations as the demand for new tools arises.

Many organizations live in a multicloud world. I have seen where engineers have written thousands upon thousands of lines of code in Chef or Puppet, trying to manage the many permutations of cloud endpoints, applications stacks, and containers and VMs. Tools like Atlas to allow you to build a common workflow that can deliver a Docker container to AWS in the same way in which you could deliver a VM to a private cloud without major development. The goal of Atlas is to simplify the process of getting code from development to production by making infrastructure management and application delivery easier.

The company also announced $10 million in Series A funding from Mayfield, GGV Capital, and True Ventures.

Are You Drinking Your Own DevOps Kool-Aid?

agilecloudI am starting to get annoyed with the direction of all the DevOps discussions that fly across my Twitter feed each day. I think people are focusing way too much on culture and not taking a pragmatic approach to solving business problems. I’ll be the first to admit that embracing the DevOps movement can be transformational and in some cases a major culture shock to large organizations. But there is much more to DevOps than culture.

Continue reading Are You Drinking Your Own DevOps Kool-Aid?

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