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Configuration Management
Isn’t Everything
Julian Dunn
Senior Consultant, Chef Software, Inc.
jdunn@getchef.com
What Cred Do I Have?
• 15 years experience in IT
• Consulting Engineer at
Chef
• “Consultants are called
when things are r...
As if.
Revolutionizing IT in a company
takes a lot more than just using
configuration management.
configuration management.
How Configuration
Management Projects
Get Started
Executives: Speed is New Currency
Executives / Managers
• “It takes forever to do anything around here”
• “Our site/apps are down too often”
• “Why can’t we...
System Administrators / Engineers
• Configuration drift leading to failures/outages
• Handcrafted systems with unknown sta...
Commonalities
• Frustration with speed of IT
• Frustration with bureaucracy
• Poor working conditions for staff
• Along co...
The Real End Goal
• IT velocity
• IT as a core competency
• Successful companies
will be IT companies
When Do CM Projects Fail?
When Do They Succeed?
When Do They Succeed?
Failure: Unrealistic Expectations
• Timelines
• Effort
• Scope of change
• “Magic”
“They see the demo, don't
understand what was done, and
think it shits miracles.”
Success: Correct Expectations
• Investment
• People
• Code
• Time
• Open to changing almost anything
Fail: Not dedicating resources
• “DevOps Team”
• Reliance on consultants
• Reliance on contractors
• Not their “real job”
Success: Own the CM
• Engineers with domain expertise writing code
• Part of their “real job”
• Own the changes
“Why do we do
things this way?”
Success: Candid Process Assessment
• Value-stream mapping
• Origins of ITIL & safety
gates
• Loosen controls in
proportion...
Fail: Big Bang Approach
• Hardest problem
• Biggest problem
• All at once
Success: Incremental Change
• Pick a small project
• Make change
incrementally
• Choose a route that
will minimize likelih...
Fail: Lack of Advance Planning
• You can’t automate what you don’t understand
• What do you even have?
Success: Advance Planning
• Spend time up front building the model
• Writing CM code on day 1 is ineffective
• Workflow is...
Fail: Doing It By Force
• Arbitrary deadlines with no business reason
• Panic
• “Failure is not an option”
Failure is always an option.
“When bad things happened, we
just calmly laid out all the options,
and failure was not one of them.
We never panicked, an...
Toolbox for Successful CM
All that said...
• Certain tools are complementary with CM
• Primary: Tools that improve team communication,
collaboration...
Source Control
• Why is Git so popular?
• Easy experimentation
• Full control offline
• Collaboration & communication
• Us...
Artifact Consistency
• Artifact server
• Consistency
• Reproducibility
• Immutability
• Complementary to CM
system
Control Flow of Vendor Patches
• “Artifact server” for patches
coming from upstream vendor
• RedHat Satellite
• Spacewalk/...
Wrap-Up
The Three P’s
• People
• Process
• Product
People
• Own the skills
• Develop internal resources
• Jez Humble: “Stop Hiring ‘Devops Experts’ And Start
Growing Them”
Process
• Using a CM tool to capture bad
process doesn’t get you very far
• Understand current value-stream
map
Product
• CM system is the “star”
• “Supporting cast”
Thank You!

• Jez Humble:
http://www.slideshare.net/jezhumble/stop-hiring-devops-e
• Mark Imbriaco, ChatOps:
https://www.y...
Configuration Management Isn't Everything
Configuration Management Isn't Everything
Configuration Management Isn't Everything
Configuration Management Isn't Everything
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Configuration Management Isn't Everything

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Main track talk at CfgMgmtCamp2014.

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Configuration Management Isn't Everything

  1. 1. Configuration Management Isn’t Everything Julian Dunn Senior Consultant, Chef Software, Inc. jdunn@getchef.com
  2. 2. What Cred Do I Have? • 15 years experience in IT • Consulting Engineer at Chef • “Consultants are called when things are really screwed up”
  3. 3. As if.
  4. 4. Revolutionizing IT in a company takes a lot more than just using configuration management. configuration management.
  5. 5. How Configuration Management Projects Get Started
  6. 6. Executives: Speed is New Currency
  7. 7. Executives / Managers • “It takes forever to do anything around here” • “Our site/apps are down too often” • “Why can’t we be like Amazon.com?” • “I have an iPad with all these apps”
  8. 8. System Administrators / Engineers • Configuration drift leading to failures/outages • Handcrafted systems with unknown state • Janky & error-prone one-off scripts • Developers spend too much time “setting up environment” • Constant firefighting and reactivity
  9. 9. Commonalities • Frustration with speed of IT • Frustration with bureaucracy • Poor working conditions for staff • Along comes automation...
  10. 10. The Real End Goal • IT velocity • IT as a core competency • Successful companies will be IT companies
  11. 11. When Do CM Projects Fail? When Do They Succeed? When Do They Succeed?
  12. 12. Failure: Unrealistic Expectations • Timelines • Effort • Scope of change • “Magic”
  13. 13. “They see the demo, don't understand what was done, and think it shits miracles.”
  14. 14. Success: Correct Expectations • Investment • People • Code • Time • Open to changing almost anything
  15. 15. Fail: Not dedicating resources • “DevOps Team” • Reliance on consultants • Reliance on contractors • Not their “real job”
  16. 16. Success: Own the CM • Engineers with domain expertise writing code • Part of their “real job” • Own the changes
  17. 17. “Why do we do things this way?”
  18. 18. Success: Candid Process Assessment • Value-stream mapping • Origins of ITIL & safety gates • Loosen controls in proportion to consistency guarantees
  19. 19. Fail: Big Bang Approach • Hardest problem • Biggest problem • All at once
  20. 20. Success: Incremental Change • Pick a small project • Make change incrementally • Choose a route that will minimize likelihood of failure
  21. 21. Fail: Lack of Advance Planning • You can’t automate what you don’t understand • What do you even have?
  22. 22. Success: Advance Planning • Spend time up front building the model • Writing CM code on day 1 is ineffective • Workflow is as important as the work
  23. 23. Fail: Doing It By Force • Arbitrary deadlines with no business reason • Panic • “Failure is not an option”
  24. 24. Failure is always an option.
  25. 25. “When bad things happened, we just calmly laid out all the options, and failure was not one of them. We never panicked, and we never gave up on finding a solution.” - Gene Krantz
  26. 26. Toolbox for Successful CM
  27. 27. All that said... • Certain tools are complementary with CM • Primary: Tools that improve team communication, collaboration and experimentation • Secondary: Tools that complement CM’s consistency guarantees
  28. 28. Source Control • Why is Git so popular? • Easy experimentation • Full control offline • Collaboration & communication • Use whatever source control system lets you have these features
  29. 29. Artifact Consistency • Artifact server • Consistency • Reproducibility • Immutability • Complementary to CM system
  30. 30. Control Flow of Vendor Patches • “Artifact server” for patches coming from upstream vendor • RedHat Satellite • Spacewalk/Katello • WSUS • Ubuntu Landscape • others?
  31. 31. Wrap-Up
  32. 32. The Three P’s • People • Process • Product
  33. 33. People • Own the skills • Develop internal resources • Jez Humble: “Stop Hiring ‘Devops Experts’ And Start Growing Them”
  34. 34. Process • Using a CM tool to capture bad process doesn’t get you very far • Understand current value-stream map
  35. 35. Product • CM system is the “star” • “Supporting cast”
  36. 36. Thank You! • Jez Humble: http://www.slideshare.net/jezhumble/stop-hiring-devops-e • Mark Imbriaco, ChatOps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCVvYCjvoZI

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