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The History of
Pets vs. Cattle
Randy Bias

Vice President

September 30, 2016

OpenStack Days Seattle
@randybias
… & Using It Properly
Once upon a
time …
2
Cloud was Hard to Explain
3
It Wasn’t Really About Buying Online Services
4
2012
How to explain … ???
It’s got to be simple. Dead
simple.
I Went Looking for Inspiration
5
Bill Baker had a genius explanation
for scale-out vs. scale-up
So I, um … Appropriated It
6
Randy Bias
And a Meme was Born…
7
How to Explain Why Cloud is Different
8
Hint: it’s about uniqueness
“
”
In the old way of doing things, we treat
our servers like pets. For example,
‘Frodo’ the mail server. If Frodo goes
down, it’s all hands on deck. The CEO
can’t get his email and it’s the end of
the world.
In the new way, servers are numbered,
like cattle in a herd. For example,
www001 to www100. When one server
goes down, it’s taken out back, shot,
and replaced on the line.
— Randy Bias (many hundreds of times from 2012-2016)
9
The Old Way: Assembly Line IT
11
“Mode 1”, “The Second Platform”, “Legacy”
GUI Driven
Ticket Based
Hand Crafted
Reserved
Scale-Up
Smart Hardware
Proprietary
“Waterfall Ops”
. . .
Each Server Built This Way is A “Pet”
12
“I love you!”
• Unique & indispensable
• Hand fed, hand-crafted
• Examples:
–mainframes
–HA pairs (LB, firewall, etc.)
–master/slave databases
• A “herd” of cattle is not 2 servers
The New Way: Robotics Factory IT
“Mode 2”, “Third Platform”, “Cloud-Native”
API Driven
Self Service
Automated
On Demand
Scale-Out
Smart Apps
Open Source
Agile DevOps
. . .
Every Server is Just Another Part of the Herd
15
“Lunch!”
• “A herd” is just many homogeneous servers
• 100% automated & designed to fail
• Load balanced & multi-master
• LB: svc discovery, DNS, H/W LB
• Examples: 

- web server arrays

- multi-master data stores (Cassandra)

- Hadoop clusters
Pets vs Cattle
16
GUI Driven
Ticket Based
Hand Crafted
Reserved
Scale-Up
Smart Hardware
Proprietary
“Waterfall Ops”
. . .
API Driven
Self Service
Automated
On Demand
Scale-Out
Smart Apps
Open Source
Agile DevOps
. . .
Disposable,
One of the
Herd
Unique and
Indispensable
Our Brave New World
17
• Failures happen … always
• Everything must fail without an
impact: server components,
servers, racks, datacenters …
everything
• And most importantly, apps
must detect and route around
these failures
The Fundamental Difference
18
The Old Way
(inelastic)
The New Way
(elastic)
99.9%
Applications
99.999%
Infrastructure
($$$$)
99.999%
Applications
99.5%
Infrastructure
($)
Responsibility
Shift
Extending the Meme … Muddies the Water
19
An Example: Kubernetes “Pet Sets”
20
Stateful Applications supported by “Pet Sets”

• Cassandra

• Kafka

• MongoDB
These are

Cattle-architected
data store systems
Source: K8s Blog: Stateful Applications in Containers!? Kubernetes 1.3 Says "Yes!”
The World’s Biggest Stateful System is …
21Cattle … All the Way Down
Getting Value from “Pets vs Cattle”
22
Respect the Meme
23
See Also:
• http://tinyurl.com/history-pets-cattle
• http://www.slideshare.net/randybias/pets-vs-cattle-the-
elastic-cloud-story
• http://www.lauradhamilton.com/servers-pets-versus-cattle
• http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/18/
servers_pets_or_cattle_cern/
• http://www.slideshare.net/randybias/architectures-for-open-
and-scalable-clouds
History of Pets vs Cattle Explained

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History of Pets vs Cattle Explained

  • 1. The History of Pets vs. Cattle Randy Bias Vice President September 30, 2016 OpenStack Days Seattle @randybias … & Using It Properly
  • 3. Cloud was Hard to Explain 3
  • 4. It Wasn’t Really About Buying Online Services 4 2012 How to explain … ??? It’s got to be simple. Dead simple.
  • 5. I Went Looking for Inspiration 5 Bill Baker had a genius explanation for scale-out vs. scale-up
  • 6. So I, um … Appropriated It 6 Randy Bias
  • 7. And a Meme was Born… 7
  • 8. How to Explain Why Cloud is Different 8 Hint: it’s about uniqueness
  • 9. “ ” In the old way of doing things, we treat our servers like pets. For example, ‘Frodo’ the mail server. If Frodo goes down, it’s all hands on deck. The CEO can’t get his email and it’s the end of the world. In the new way, servers are numbered, like cattle in a herd. For example, www001 to www100. When one server goes down, it’s taken out back, shot, and replaced on the line. — Randy Bias (many hundreds of times from 2012-2016) 9
  • 10. The Old Way: Assembly Line IT
  • 11. 11 “Mode 1”, “The Second Platform”, “Legacy” GUI Driven Ticket Based Hand Crafted Reserved Scale-Up Smart Hardware Proprietary “Waterfall Ops” . . .
  • 12. Each Server Built This Way is A “Pet” 12 “I love you!” • Unique & indispensable • Hand fed, hand-crafted • Examples: –mainframes –HA pairs (LB, firewall, etc.) –master/slave databases • A “herd” of cattle is not 2 servers
  • 13. The New Way: Robotics Factory IT
  • 14. “Mode 2”, “Third Platform”, “Cloud-Native” API Driven Self Service Automated On Demand Scale-Out Smart Apps Open Source Agile DevOps . . .
  • 15. Every Server is Just Another Part of the Herd 15 “Lunch!” • “A herd” is just many homogeneous servers • 100% automated & designed to fail • Load balanced & multi-master • LB: svc discovery, DNS, H/W LB • Examples: 
 - web server arrays
 - multi-master data stores (Cassandra)
 - Hadoop clusters
  • 16. Pets vs Cattle 16 GUI Driven Ticket Based Hand Crafted Reserved Scale-Up Smart Hardware Proprietary “Waterfall Ops” . . . API Driven Self Service Automated On Demand Scale-Out Smart Apps Open Source Agile DevOps . . . Disposable, One of the Herd Unique and Indispensable
  • 17. Our Brave New World 17 • Failures happen … always • Everything must fail without an impact: server components, servers, racks, datacenters … everything • And most importantly, apps must detect and route around these failures
  • 18. The Fundamental Difference 18 The Old Way (inelastic) The New Way (elastic) 99.9% Applications 99.999% Infrastructure ($$$$) 99.999% Applications 99.5% Infrastructure ($) Responsibility Shift
  • 19. Extending the Meme … Muddies the Water 19
  • 20. An Example: Kubernetes “Pet Sets” 20 Stateful Applications supported by “Pet Sets” • Cassandra • Kafka • MongoDB These are Cattle-architected data store systems Source: K8s Blog: Stateful Applications in Containers!? Kubernetes 1.3 Says "Yes!”
  • 21. The World’s Biggest Stateful System is … 21Cattle … All the Way Down
  • 22. Getting Value from “Pets vs Cattle” 22
  • 23. Respect the Meme 23 See Also: • http://tinyurl.com/history-pets-cattle • http://www.slideshare.net/randybias/pets-vs-cattle-the- elastic-cloud-story • http://www.lauradhamilton.com/servers-pets-versus-cattle • http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/18/ servers_pets_or_cattle_cern/ • http://www.slideshare.net/randybias/architectures-for-open- and-scalable-clouds