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…


OSCON: Talking to Andrew Parker of Puppet labs

August 19, 2013

Im now at the penultimate interview in my video series from OSCON 13.  Today’s installment features Puppet LabsAndrew Parker, team lead for the core platform team.  Check out what Andrew has to say:

Some of the ground Andrew covers

  • What is Puppet and how does it work?
  • DevOps:  How does Puppet help bridge the divide between Dev and Ops?
  • Puppet’s key crowd is hands-on operation types but business and devs play big roles as well.
  • As we get further into a cloudy world, what implications does that have for the Puppet platform?

For more Puppet goodness, check out PuppetConf this week in San Francisco.  If you cant make it there is also a live stream set up.

Extra-Credit reading


OSCON: Neil Levine of Inktank, sponsor of Ceph

August 12, 2013

The next in my series of interviews from last month’s OSCON features the ever affable Neil Levine of Inktank.   Neil, who has been with the company nearly a year, heads up product management and we talked about Ceph, the company and where its going.

Warning:  I used Youtube’s feature that is supposed to fix shaking and the result gives the video a hallucinogenic feel (Timothy Leary would approve).

Some of the ground that Neil covers:

  • Inktank as the primary sponsor of Ceph, a scale-out open source software defined storage solution
  • Other similar solutions
  • Selling to cloud devops teams rather than traditional storage teams
  • What’s next?  tiering, deeper integration with OpenStack, pushing out more APIs to build up their dev community etc.

Extra-credit reading/viewing:

  • Press Release:  University of Hawaii at Manoa Deploys Ceph Storage With OpenStack
  • OSCON 2013 – My video playlist: Enstratius, Dasein, Citrix, Mark Hinkle’s keynote, Apigee, Inktank, OpenShift, AppDynamics and Puppet

Pau for now….


Developers + IT ops = cloud innovation

June 27, 2013

A couple weeks ago Dell put on a half-day Cloud summit on BrightTALK.  The event, led out of our services group, was made up of six hour-long presentations that ranged from Cloud security to compliance to HPC.

John Willis, who recently joined Dell via the Enstratius acquisition, and I presented the deck below.  We began with the rise of the developer and their key role in cloud.  From there we talk about how IT can best work with developers to drive innovation, while at the same time maintaining stability (spoiler alert: the answer is DevOps).

If you want to listen to recordings of any of the six presentations that made up the cloud summit, check out the links below:

Extra-Credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell Acquires Enstratius — So what do they do?

May 6, 2013

Last week at DevOps Days Austin, I did a couple of interviews with John Willis (aka @botchagalupe), VP Client Services and Enablement at Enstratius.  The first video dealt with devops and the idea of culture as a secret weapon in the war of hiring.  The second one was about Enstratius the company, which coincidentally today Dell announced it was acquiring.

I’m very excited about the move because, besides the great technology, with Enstratius we are getting some top talent like John, James Urquhart, George Reese, Bernard Golden, David Bagley and many more.

Take a listen as John explains what exactly it is that Enstratius does:

Some of the topics John covers:

  • Enstratius’ common open API structure
  • Governance: e.g. Role based access, a federated view of resources, encrypted key management storage yadda, yadda
  • Direct integration with Chef and Puppet
  • Integration points with APM companies like AppDynamics and New Relic

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


DevOps Days Austin — John Willis: Culture as the secret weapon in the war of hiring

May 2, 2013

DevOps Days Austin took place earlier this week here in our fair city.  Kicking off the festivities was Mr. John Willis who delivered the DevOps state of union.

I grabbed sometime with John on day two to discuss what he talked about:

Some of the ground John covers:

  • Culture as the secret weapon in the war of hiring
  • Comparing and contrasting the cultures of Netflix, Gighub and Etsy

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Talking OpenStack, DevOps and Project Sputnik at the OpenStack Summit

April 25, 2013

Last week Dell’s cloud group was out in force at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Oregon.  Its amazing to see how the event has grown since the first design summit back in July of 2010.

I got to catch up with a bunch of people, and attend a few sessions and some parties.  I also got to spend a fair amount of time in our booth and was impressed by the amount of interest we had in the XPS 13 developer edition.

Near the end of the first day I joined John Furrier and Jeff Frick in the Cube for a chat.  We talked about the growth of OpenStack, DevOps and Project Sputnik.

Extra-Credit reading

Pau for now…


Ars Technica provides detailed review of Dell XPS 13 developer edition

April 22, 2013

If you’re thinking about getting a Dell XPS 13 developer edition you might want to check out the comprehensive review published by Ars Technica this weekend:

It just works: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Linux Ultrabook review — Dell’s substantial investment in making a functional Linux Ultrabook pays off.”

Here is the summary intro:

In an effort originally known as Project Sputnik, Dell dedicated resources into doing Linux on an Ultrabook “right”—writing code where necessary (and contributing that code back upstream like a good FOSS citizen) and paying attention to the entire user experience rather than merely working on components in a vacuum. The result is a perfectly functional Ultrabook with a few extra tools—that “Developer Edition” moniker isn’t just for show, and Dell has added some devops spices into the mix with this laptop that should quicken any developer’s heartbeat.

Check out the entire review

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Sputnik has landed! Introducing the Dell XPS 13 Laptop, Developer Edition

November 29, 2012

A little over six months ago we announced a scrappy skunkworks project to pilot a developer solution based on Ubuntu 12.04LTS and our sleek XPS 13 laptop.  Thanks to the amazing feedback and support we have received from the community, today we are announcing the availability of the resulting official product – the Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition.

What’s exactly is it?

Here is an overview of the components of this client-to-cloud solution and some key facts:

Hardware: XPS 13 laptop, high-end config

  • I7 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD

Software

Price: $1,549 $1,449* (includes 1 yr ProSupport)

*Updated 11/30/12: the community pointed out we had not priced consistently across our online stores, this has been fixed.  This offering was always intended to be priced less than Windows.

Availability

  • Small office/consumer - U.S.
  • Enterprise – U.S./Canada
  • Outside the US  – early 2013

Community projects: Profile tool and Cloud Launcher

The profile tool and cloud launcher are beta open source projects that we have just kicked off on github.  These projects are quite nascent at this point and we are looking for more people to get involved and help get them going (hint, hint :) ) .

  • Profile Tool: The idea behind the profile tool is to provide access to a library of community created profiles on github, such as Ruby and Android, to quickly set up your development environments and tool chains.
  • Cloud launcher: The cloud launcher enables you to create “microclouds” on your laptop, simulating an at-scale environment, and then deploy that environment seamlessly to the cloud.  Today the launcher utilizes Linux Containers to model your environment on your laptop and then uses Juju to jettison that environment to the cloud.  The launcher project on github will allow for community expansion on this concept using different technologies and approaches.

How did we get here?

As I mentioned at the beginning, project Sputnik began as a skunkworks effort.  It was made possible by internal incubation fund designed to bring wacky ideas from around the company to life in order to tap innovation that might be locked up in people’s heads. 

Just weeks after the basic concept was greenlighted by the innovation team, it was publically announced as a pilot project at the Ubuntu developer summit.  The big focus of our efforts, particularly in the beginning, has been to work with Canonical to make sure that we had the appropriate drivers for all functionality including the pesky touchpad.

From the start, the idea was to conduct project Sputnik out in the open, soliciting and leveraging direct input from developers via our Project Sputnik StormSession, comments on this blog, threads on the Sputnik tech center forum as well as the project Sputnik beta program.  In fact it was the tremendous interest in the beta program that convinced us to take Project Sputnik from pilot to product.

I would like to give a special shout out to the beta cosmonauts who signed on.  They were an intrepid lot who were patient and diligent working through issues to help make sure that when we went to production we had a product that developers would want.

Where do we go from here?

The next big thing for XPS 13 developer edition is availability outside the United States.  We are working with teams inside of Dell to make this so as quickly as we can.  The other direction we are looking at potentially expanding is offering a bigger beefier platform for developers.  The XPS 13 is perfect for those who want an ultra light and mobile system but we have heard from a bunch of devs who would also like an offering that was more workstation-like with a bigger screen and more RAM.

Today is a very proud moment for our team, putting together an official Dell offering for developers with their input and suggestions through out the process.  Stay tuned for more to come!

 Pau for now…


OSCON: Tim O’Reilly chats with Mark Shuttleworth

August 7, 2012

Here’s the last of my posts from OSCON.

The conversation below took place right after Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote.  Tim and Mark start off by talking about Mark’s persistence of vision and what keeps driving him.  At the 2:00 minute mark they talk about Project Sputnik, the buzz around it at OSCON and where it has the advantage over Mac OS.  From there they talk about bringing the cloud right to the desktop via Juju.

Enjoy!

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


OSCON: Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote

July 31, 2012

On the Thursday at OSCON, Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth gave a great  keynote entitled, “Making Magic From Cloud To Client.”   He did the entire keynote and live demo on a project Sputnik laptop (a Dell XPS13 running Ubuntu 12.04LTS)!

Here it is in its entirety:

Some of the ground Mark covers:

  • A fantastic demo on Juju and writing Juju charms showing how you can design a complex topology, deploy that in memory on your laptop and then map the whole shebang to the cloud.
  • How JuJu charms allow for “encapsulation and reuse”
  • The idea of crowdsourcing ops
  • A demo showing how, in realtime, you can map actual running infrastructure from one cloud to the next (in his demo he mapped it from EC2 to an HP cloud)
  • The idea behind Unity and the principle of having one UI that works across phones, tablets, desktops and even TVs.
  • The HUD
  • Project Sputnik going from pilot to product this fall where you will be able to purchase an XPS13 from Dell with Ubuntu preinstalled.

Pau for now…


Talking about Project Sputnik

May 8, 2012

Last Friday Cote and I took a break from the mad rush getting ready for today’s Sputnik announce and grabbed a conference room to record a short video.  Below we discuss the project, how it came about, what its goals are and where it could go from here.

-> Weigh in on Dell IdeaStorm: Project Sputnik

Extra-credit reading


DevOpsDays: Crowbar, where its been and where its going

April 25, 2012

Earlier this month at DevOpsDays here in Austin the Dell Crowbar crew hosted a session and gave a demo.  If you’re not familiar with it, Crowbar is an open source software framework written at Dell.  I grabbed some time with Crowbar architect Rob Hirschfeld and got him to recap how far we’ve come in its less than a year and where he sees us going over the next year.

Extra-credit reading


Mark Shuttleworth part two: Developers, DevOps & the Cloud

January 13, 2012

As I mentioned in my last entry, Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu fame stopped by Dell this morning on his way back from CES.  Between meetings Mark and I did a couple of quick videos.  Here is the second of the two.  Whereas the first focused on the client, this one focuses on the Cloud and the back-end.

Some of the ground Mark covers

  • The cloud, Ubuntu and OpenStack involvement
  • The developer story: connecting the dots between app work on the client and testing and then deployment on the other end.
  • The world of DevOps and how JuJu fits in
  • Apple’s iOS as a developer platform and where Linux might have the edge going forward

Extra-credit reading


Opscode visits

January 10, 2012

This afternoon Matt Ray, Technical Evangelist for Opscode, stopped by Dell’s Round Rock HQ to brief a gaggle of folks on what they are up to.  Cote arranged the visit as well as one last month with Puppet labs, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to make.

After Matt, with some help from teammates on the phone, briefed the Dell gang I grabbed some time with him to get the 5 minute Reader’s Digest version.  Here is the result.

Some of the ground Matt covers:

  • What are Opscode and Chef?
  • How did they come to be?
  • The hosted version of Chef (moving from EC2 to Rackspace)
  • Crowbar: lending a helping hand
  • What’s next for Opscode and what do they have up their sleeve for 2012?

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Hadoop World: What Dell is up to with Big Data, Open Source and Developers

December 18, 2011

Besides interviewing a bunch of people at Hadoop World, I also got a chance to sit on the other side of the camera.  On the first day of the conference I got a slot on SiliconANGLE’s the Cube and was interviewed by Dave Vellante, co-founder of Wikibon and John Furrier, founder of SiliconANGLE.

-> Check out the video here.

Some of the ground we cover

  • How Dell got into the cloud/scale-out arena and how that lead us to Big Data
  • (2:08) The details behind the Dell|Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop and our “secret sauce,” project crowbar.
  • (4:00) Dell’s involvement in and affinity for open source software
  • (5:31) Dell’s interest in and strategy around courting developers
  • (7:35) Dell’s strategy of Make, Partner or Buy in the cloud space
  • (11:10) How real is OpenStack and how is it evolving.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Hadoop World: Ubuntu, Hadoop and Juju

November 14, 2011

I’m always interested in what’s happening at Canonical and with Ubuntu.  Last week at Hadoop World I ran into a couple of folks from the company (coincidentally both named Mark but neither Mr. Shuttleworth).  Mark Mims from the server team was willing to chat so I grabbed some time with him to learn about what he was doing at Hadoop World and what in the heck is this “charming” Juju?

Some of the ground Mark covers

  • Making the next version of Ubuntu server better for Hadoop and big data
  • (0:34) What are “charms” and what do they have to do with service orchestration
  • (2:05) Charm school and learning to write Juju charms
  • (2:54)  Where does “Orchestra” fit in and how can it be used to spin up OpenStack
  • (3:40) What’s next for Juju

But wait, there’s more!

Stay tuned for more interviews from last week’s Hadoop world.  On tap are:

  • Todd Papaioannou from Battery Ventures
  • John Gray of Facebook
  • Erik Swan of Splunk
  • Nosh Petigara of 10gen/MongoDB.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now..


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