Incorporating DevOps into the development of Dell’s Active System Manager

November 5, 2015

As Dell as a company continues to evolve we have started implementing DevOps practices in our software development.   Dell IT is employing DevOps as are some of our product development teams.

In the following video, systems engineer Chris Gully explains how Dell’s Active System Manager has incorporated DevOps into its development. (the audio could be a bit better so you’ll have to crank it up a bit for Chris :)

Some of the ground Chris covers:

  • What is the Dell Active Systems Manager (ASM)
  • Putting the ASM code up on GitHub
  • Their path from Dev -> IT -> Ops -> Customer -> Feedback
  • What were some of the issues the team had to overcome when implementing

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

My Dell World Talk: DevOps, Containers and Microservices

October 23, 2015

Yesterday at Dell World, Dell’s annual customer event, I did a session entitled: DevOps, Containers and Microservices: Buzzwords or fundamental to survival?

The idea was to explain these concepts, show how they serve as a foundation for digital transformation and talk about where Dell plays in the space. (see abstract below)

Topics and times

  • 2:20 – 5:54     What is DevOps?
  • 6:58 – 9:30     What are containers?
  • 10:24 – 12:30 What are microservices?
  • 12:30- 15:00   Where does Dell play? (professional services, testing, creating MVPs)

Check it out.


Gartner believe that by 2016, DevOps will evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25% of the largest 2000 global organizations [1]. One of the key developments within this space is Container technologies. In turn both DevOps and container technologies are proof of a larger shift in IT to a microservices architecture.

These technologies together serve as the foundation for agility and responsiveness in the modern enterprise. They give organizations an increased ability to serve their customers and, more importantly, are ultimately key to organizational survival in the modern world . This session will explain these technologies in terms of what they mean to your business and how they fit within larger trends in the industry.

[1] Tech Go-to-Market: How to win with DevOps buyers, May 15, 2015; Gartner

Pau for now…

Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS, what its about and where Dell fits in

November 18, 2014

The next interview in my series from Dell World features Julio Tapia of Red Hat.  Julio is a global director for Red Hat’s platform as a service, OpenShift.

I got Julio to give me a quick overview of OpenShift, where Dell plays and what they are planning going forward.

Some of the ground Julio covers

  • Who is OpenShift targeted at and how does it benefit developers
  • The three flavors: Online (Public PaaS), Enterprise (Private PaaS) and Origin (Community PaaS)
  • How Dell is working with OpenShift and the DevOps in a Box they both announced
  • The role Docker plays
  • What’s in store for next year and how their work with Google and Kubernetes will help ISVs

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

LittleIdea: No true DevOps (but we do have Samurai) — DevOps Days Austin

May 9, 2014

Earlier this week the third annual DevOps Days Austin took place.  Given that it was Cinco de Mayo, and given that it was Austin, as we walked in on the first day we were greeted by a mariachi band.

Also on the first day we were treated to an opening keynote by Andrew Clay Shafer.  Shafer, aka Littleidea, is among other things a DevOps bon vivant and all around muser on concepts and systems big and small.

Take a listen as Andrew gives an overview of his talk and answers questions.  For your reference, his slides are embed below.

Some of the ground Andrew covers:

  • The history of the Japanese Samurai and how this parallels DevOps’ trajectory
  • How will DevOps evolve over the next three years
  • What needs to happen for DevOps to ultimately be successful

Still to come

You’ll want to stick around over the next few weeks as I post 10 more interviews from DevOps days Austin.  I’ll be talking to people from Puppet, Chef, CFEngine, AppDyamics, New Relic, SumoLogic, Rackspace, Pager Duty, Dell Cloud Manager and Cote.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

DevOps Days NYC — When DevOps goes wrong

January 9, 2014

One the most enlightening and entertaining presentations on Day one of DevOps Days NYC, was given by ScriptRock cofounder, Mike Baukes.

In his presentation, which is embedded below, Mike talks about a devops project he was on in Australia.  He and his team were brought in to a large trading firm to implement continuous delivery and integration, they got the code right but made a few critical mistakes.

Listen to Mike as he tells his cautionary tale.

Some of the ground Mike covers

  • Their charter and goal on the project
  • The team they created and the alienation it resulted in
  • What went wrong
  • How would he do it if he could it over again

Extra-credit reading

  • ScriptRock GuardRail, First Take: Cloud-based server monitoring and diagnostics – ZDNet

Pau for now…

Whitepaper: Learning from Web Companies to drive Innovation

December 4, 2013

Web-WhitepapercoverToday I finally get to debut a white paper that Michael Cote, now of the 451 Research, and I started quite a while back:

Learning from Web companies to drive Innovation – Embracing DevOps, Scale and Open Source Software

The basic theme of the paper is that Web companies set the agenda for the IT industry and enterprises can benefit by understanding and following their practices

The paper’s key themes:

  • Web companies are characterized by Open Source software and a three-tiered architecture:
    • A scale out infrastructure
    • A data tier that utilizes big data
    • An application tier supported by a proliferation of development languages
  • Developers are kingmakers and must be supported and allowed to innovate
  • DevOps is a key trend that brings developers and operations together to reduce friction and increase velocity

If this looks at all interesting, please check it out.  It should be a quick read and hopefully we’ve written it in away that is accessible to a wide audience.

Extra-credit viewing

Pau for now…

Automating the Cloud: Talking to the Puppet Master

November 7, 2013

In the cloud you can turn on 100s or 1000s of servers at the click of a mouse, but what happens when you want to configure them?  If you do it by hand it will take you months if not longer.  That’s where Puppet comes in, an automation tool that allows you to configure and manage legions of servers.

Back in September, at Venture Beat’s CloudBeat I moderated a session with Stan Hsu of Paypal and Luke Kanies, CEO and Founder of Puppet labs.  During the session Stan talked about how Paypal used Puppet to automate their processes and increase responsiveness to the business.

After the session I grabbed some time with Luke to learn more about Puppet.

As Luke explained,  as we have moved to cloud-scale the need for automation has continued to rise.  With the cloud the rate of change continues to increase and time to value is what you compete on.  As a result, shortening the amount of time between when your developers finish coding and your customers get access to those services is critical.  Anything that lengthens that time is friction and the name of the game is reducing friction and increasing velocity.  As Stan of paypal explained during our session you want to constantly examine your processes for bottle necks and then automate them.

With a tool like Puppet sysadmins can automate processes and move beyond the table stakes of providing a stable and secure environment and become more responsive to the business and ultimately the customer.

Some of the ground Luke covers in the above video:

  • How did Luke get in the automation game and where did the idea for Puppet come from?  How form the start his goal was to make a tool that the vast majority of people could use, not just the gurus.
  • 2:38 How have things changed in the eight and half years since he started Puppet?
  • 4:46 Who are the primary users of Puppet?  Why DevOps is poorly named and why it’s so important for sysadmins and operations.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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