Containers and other technologies are moving administrators, developers, and even operational folks up the stack. In other words, we have abstracted out the hardware and abstracted out the operating system; next, we will abstract out middleware and eventually everything but the code to run. However, when we do that, we no longer train people to be systems engineers; we no longer have the ability to do root cause analysis. We have seen this many times in recent years, and it may just get worse. Root cause analysis is part knowledge and part tools, but most of all an understanding of the system underneath the code. We are fast approaching a time when this skill may become a lost art.
We all need performance and capacity management tools to fine tune our virtual and cloud environments, but we need them to do more than just tell us there may be problems. Instead, we need them to find root causes for problems, whether those problems are related to code, infrastructure, or security. The new brand of applications, if designed for the cloud à la Netflix, or older technologies instantiated within the cloud need more in order to tell us about their health. Into this breach comes a new set of tools, as well as an existing set of tools.
The latest and greatest thing in the data center is apparently containers. For those of us with long enough teeth to remember the heady days of the early millennium, they look and smell a lot like Solaris Zones.
Containers in their current incarnations are garnering a great deal of attention, especially in the DevOps world, where continuous deployment is the latest word in deployment strategies.
It is said that nothing is new in the world, and with containers, this statement could not be truer. I think, therefore, that an overview of the evolution of the container may be useful.
As technologists and analysts for the virtualization and cloud spaces, we are always talking about various places within the IT stack. Actually, as we talked about within the article Technical Arc of Virtualization, we have noticed that many people are moving up the IT stack, forming new and more interesting substrates of IT. These substrates are used to simplify the actions one takes to deploy new and more interesting applications, while at the same time abstracting away the physical and virtual layers of the stack—in essence, forming new substrates on top of which to build. Continue reading The Substrates of IT
On the 29th of July, Microsoft released to the world the latest iteration of its highly popular desktop operating system. Well, I say “popular” because in over 80% of all desktops and notebooks it is the desktop operating system of choice. However, “choice” may be too strong a word, as the OS comes with the hardware, so perhaps “Hobson’s Choice” would be a better phrase.