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Best Practices for Modern Service Ownership

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The move from monolithic architectures to microservices has resulted in a monumental increase in the number of distinct pieces of software that engineering teams own. It’s getting harder — some would say impossible — for engineers to keep the architecture of the entire system in their heads. And this is to say nothing of understanding service interdependencies and the resultant risk profile associated with either code or architectural changes. If we don’t find solutions to these problems, we not only risk large-scale service disruption, but lengthening the time to diagnose and resolve incidents due to a lack of system-level understanding.

In this talk from Sensu Summit 2019, Julian Dunn, Sr. Manager of Product at PagerDuty, shares insights from how the most innovative companies on the Internet today combat these issues with service maturity modelling: how they define maturity, how they measure it both before and after a service change is introduced to a system, and how they map out the potential impact of component changes on the whole environment. This talk is also a clarion call for a new way of keeping track of all the “stuff” that we’re building, because our existing approaches like CMDBs and Wikis are inadequate for keeping up with the scale of what’s being built today.

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Best Practices for Modern Service Ownership

  1. 1. Julian Dunn Senior Manager of Product Marketing PagerDuty @julian_dunn Best Practices for Modern Service Ownership
  2. 2. @julian_dunn 2
  3. 3. μ more stuff being created @julian_dunn 3 … BY TEAMS THAT DON’T NECESSARILY TALK TO EACH OTHER … with an exponential growth rate
  4. 4. @julian_dunn 4 It’s getting harder to communicate with each other about things that matter. This situation is totally unacceptable. Well, that just about wraps it up!
  5. 5. This situation is totally unacceptable. Well, that just about wraps it up!
  6. 6. @julian_dunn 6
  7. 7. 7@julian_dunn How do we keep track of critical services?
  8. 8. @julian_dunn 9 BurgunDB Reporting and Analytics EventQueue Web UI
  9. 9. @julian_dunn Existing Approaches 10 Often maintained by “Bob in accounting” “Functional Service Registry” Only if you have complete homogeneity If you have engineering resources (dev tools team)
  10. 10. @julian_dunn Main Problems with CMDBs 1. Designed to be updated manually by “asset managers” 2. Relationships between objects is impossible to track 3. Turned out to be most useful for people other than operations Result: Few people doing operations find the CMDB usable for their purposes. 12
  11. 11. @julian_dunn Service Inventory Systems... 1. Track customer-facing software components and not hard assets 2. Primarily serve operations people 3. Are derived implicitly, not updated explicitly 13 The maintenance of an service inventory must align with actions an operations team is already taking in their day-to-day work.
  12. 12. @julian_dunn Things You’re Already Doing in PagerDuty ● Setting up technical services ● Associating them with business services ● Assigning teams to services ● Putting teams on-call ● Getting alerted on service failure 14
  13. 13. PagerDuty Service Directory ● Dynamic, searchable list of services in your organization, with associated operational metadata ● Updated by operations teams as part of service lifecycle ● Additional metadata, service relationships, and business impact coming soon
  14. 14. @julian_dunn 16 Wrapping Up ● Architectures are too big for one person’s head. ● Autonomous teams need to find out information about relationships in the heat of the moment. ● Existing solutions for keeping track of stuff we’re building are insufficient. ● We need some sort of cloud-native, dynamic inventory that is updated dynamically, not manually.
  15. 15. PDS19FF350 - “Friends and Family” Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, CA September 23-25, 2019 https://summit.pagerduty.com/ The Road to Real Time
  16. 16. Thanks! @julian_dunn jdunn@pagerduty.com

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