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DevOps in 2014


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A talk about DevOps that I gave at a SysARmy meetup while visiting MuleSoft's Buenos Aires DevOps team. I've been thinking a lot recently about what DevOps is, what it means to be a DevOps Engineer …

A talk about DevOps that I gave at a SysARmy meetup while visiting MuleSoft's Buenos Aires DevOps team. I've been thinking a lot recently about what DevOps is, what it means to be a DevOps Engineer (or in my case a DevOps Engineering Manager). Putting this together was really helpful to clarify some ideas I've been kicking around.

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  • 1. DevOps in 2014 David Thompson DevOps Manager, MuleSoft Inc.
  • 2. A little about me… • Managing DevOps at MuleSoft • Senior SRE at Netflix • Lead SRE at Domino’s Pizza
  • 3. …and what I’m about… • Running large scale Linux installations (100s to 10000s of instances) • Maintaining 99.99+ uptime for critical business services • Building Systems Engineering teams
  • 4. …and what I’m going to talk about. DevOps
  • 5. First, a question: What’s DevOps?
  • 6. Proposed Def. 1 Adjective: A buzzword substituted anywhere you might see the words ‘operations’ or ‘systems’. e.g.: ’operations engineer’ becomes ‘devops engineer’, ‘systems monitoring’ becomes ‘devops monitoring’, etc.
  • 7. Well, let’s take a step back… what are Dev and Ops?
  • 8. Let’s see if this sounds familiar…
  • 9. Meet Dev Dev’s primary goal is delivering quality product features on time. Biased towards change.
  • 10. Meet Ops Ops’ main objective is to maintain the availability and reliability of core services. Biased towards stability.
  • 11. Dev and Ops, Release Planning A Dramatic Reenactment
  • 12. Hey, we need to release this feature we just finished. How about 5 PM this Friday?
  • 13. lol WHAT?!
  • 14. Yeah, Marketing committed to having it out this Monday six months ago. Thanks!
  • 15. *schedules release*
  • 16. What happened here? • Dev and Ops have totally different priorities. • Opposition of priorities leads to inevitable conflict. • Since neither team is responsible for the whole project lifecycle, communication breaks.
  • 17. What do? • This model is flawed by design. • Ops used to hold all the cards because they controlled the infrastructure. • With public cloud, tables are turned. • If Ops doesn’t start a new conversation, they (we) will fade into obsolescence.
  • 18. So, let’s try this again. What’s DevOps?
  • 19. Proposed Defs. 2, 3 Noun: A methodology attempting to close the gap between Dev and Ops by making everyone responsible for the whole project lifecycle. Adjective: A descriptor for staff responsible for DevOps.
  • 20. Wait a second… Adjective: A descriptor for staff responsible for devops.
  • 21. But how do *I* DevOps?
  • 22. Caution… The goal of DevOps is to make everyone aware and accountable for the whole product lifecycle, including release and maintenance. If we’re not careful, a DevOps engineer becomes an Ops engineer, and the whole mission is corrupted.
  • 23. Protip We can take a page from DevOps’ older brother, Agile. The path to success as a ‘DevOps Engineer’ is to act as a DevOps coach for the product team.
  • 24. Centralized vs. Embedded • I’ve seen both. • The only problem with a centralized DevOps team is that it’s actually an Operations team. • To succeed, it’s absolutely imperative that the DevOps engineer be part of the product team.
  • 25. Embedding DevOps • Attend the Dev team’s meetings • Help with architecture and design (as early as possible!) • Assist with troubleshooting and building proof-of- concept systems • Generally, be a value-add to the dev effort
  • 26. What about Ops? Someone still needs to do all that systems & networking stuff, though… • Continuous Integration • Production Changes • Infrastructure Provisioning and Configuration • Monitoring & Alerting • Incident Response
  • 27. Dividing the Kingdom The right division of responsibility for these tasks is going to vary depending on your business and your teams. Typically, businesses that are more ‘enterprise-y’ need firmer processes and more division between ops and dev.
  • 28. Continuous Integration Continuous Integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) reduce project risk. DevOps is usually well positioned to help set up and manage these services. • Continuous Integration: get notified early when a change is committed that breaks some downstream build. • Continuous Delivery: keep the master branch in a deployable state at all times, and deploy often.
  • 29. Production Changes Some change process is always necessary, even if the process is no process. • Consumer firms can be really light, like Netflix: • Devs deploy, changes are audited (project Chronos) but not approved by anyone. • Enterprise firms will need change controls, approvals, etc.
  • 30. Infrastructure Management The most critical thing is to know exactly what is running, where it’s at, and what it’s for. Never provision or support a service you don’t understand! To accomplish this, configuration management is crucial. Develop your templates, commit them to source control, version them, maintain them. Public cloud makes it possible to use templates for infrastructure elements, (e.g. AWS CloudFormation).
  • 31. Monitoring and Alerting This is a huge topic; we could easily do a few hours just on monitoring and alerting. Here’s the TL;DR: • Treat monitoring as testing for your running services & systems • Cover several different levels of abstraction • Aggregate the event streams to one gateway and manage them there • The most ‘devops-y’ thing to do is to have developers set up, receive and respond to their own alerts.
  • 32. Incident Management Things go wrong. Who responds, how do they handle it, how do you escalate? • Process will be entirely dependent on the needs of the business • At minimum, though, there should be an understanding about on-call, escalations, response process, and investigation process.
  • 33. What About Tools?
  • 34. Okay, One More Definition. Adjective: A descriptor for tools, products and services relating to DevOps.
  • 35. “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken” - Tyler Durden, Fight Club
  • 36. Wrapping Up
  • 37. Takeaways • DevOps is something a whole organization does. • The purpose of it is to avoid conflicts caused by the old division of responsibility. • No ‘DevOps Engineer’ can do this by themselves. • ‘DevOps Tools’ are great, but using them doesn’t mean you’re doing DevOps.
  • 38. The Real Takeaway If you share responsibility for the entire project with the whole team, everything else will fall into place.