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How to choose tools for DevOps


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With an ever-increasing array of tools and technologies claiming to 'enable DevOps', how do we know which tools to try or to choose? In-house, open source, or commercial? Ruby or shell? Dedicated or plugins? It transpires that highly collaborative practices such as DevOps and Continuous Delivery require new ways of assessing tools and technologies in order to avoid creating new silos. Matthew Skelton shares his recent experience of helping many different organisations to evaluate and select tools to facilitate DevOps; the recommendations may surprise you.

Slides from Unicom DevOps Summit, 26th June 2014, London

Published in: Technology, Business
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How to choose tools for DevOps

  1. 1. How to choose tools for DevOps Matthew Skelton, Skelton Thatcher Consulting Unicom DevOps Summit, 26 June 2014, London, UK
  2. 2. Collaboration Learning Singleton tools Conway’s Law
  3. 3. Matthew Skelton •15 years building & operating software systems •Cybernetics + Neuroscience • control engineering • psychology • ‘network’ interactions @matthewpskelton
  4. 4. Help orgs to adopt and sustain good engineering practices Interim CTO/Head of X, tech strategy, architecture, workshops, delivery
  5. 5. DevOps Ongoing, highly effective collaboration between Development and Operations* *also QA/Testing, IT Service Desk, Programme Management, Commercial, Marketing, etc.
  6. 6. Not DevOps “Automation” “Build & Release” “Infrastructure Development” “System Administration”
  7. 7. Collaboration
  8. 8. 1. Version Control
  9. 9. 2. Deployment Pipeline
  10. 10. Challenges were: •Limited Git skills in Service team •Manual deployments •‘Snowflake’ servers •No CI •Risks: security, automation, etc
  11. 11.
  12. 12. What we did •Built a walking skeleton pipeline •Modelled security roles and stages •Included manual steps (at first) •Walked people through steps •Finally: opened firewall so everyone could see the UI
  13. 13. Results •Security: happy •Service team: relieved (& happy) •Developers: won over (& happy) •Business: surprised (& happy)
  14. 14. 3. Log Aggregation
  15. 15. LogStash •ElasticSearch+ LogStash+ Kibana •ELK •In Production, Pre-Prod, Test •On developer machines!!!
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Collaboration & tool choice Value collaboration as a key criterion Orthogonal to main purpose (?) “How does [the use of] this tool help people to collaborate?”
  18. 18. Learning
  19. 19. Learning & tool choice Bring people with you Appreciate current skills Prefer achievable gains now Avoid fear of too-scary tools
  20. 20. Singleton tools
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Singleton tool Breaks feedback (learning) loop from Production Makes CI/CD more difficult Underestimates value of collaboration and learning
  23. 23. Conway’s Law
  24. 24. Mel Conway, 1968 “organizations which design systems ... are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations”
  25. 25. DevOps Topologies
  26. 26. DevOps Topologies
  27. 27. DevOps Topologies
  28. 28. DevOps Topologies
  29. 29. Conway & Tool Choice See the organisation as a system Separate tools for separate teams Shared tools for collaborative teams
  30. 30. Conway’s Law •Allan Kelly - @allankellynet •
  31. 31. How to choose tools for DevOps Value collaboration aspects Avoid a learning mountain: evolve tooling Avoid Production-only tools Consider Conway’s Law (this list is incomplete!)
  32. 32. Further reading HighOps Operability eBook Build Quality In
  33. 33. Thank you / @matthewpskelton HT: @Squire_Matt, @alan_parkinson