TAG | DevOps
DevOps is scary stuff for us pure Ops folks that thought they left coding behind a long, long time ago. Most of us Ops people can hack out some basic (or maybe even advanced) shell scripts in Perl, ksh, bash, csh, etc… But the term DevOps alone makes me cringe and think I might really need to know how to write code for real (which I don’t enjoy, that’s why I’m an ops guy in the first place).
So here’s my plan. I’m going to do a bunch of research, play with relevant tools (what fun is IT without tools?), and document everything I discover here in a series of blog posts. My goal is to educate myself and others so that we operations types can get more comfortable with DevOps. By breaking down this concept and figuring out what it really means, hopefully we can figure out how to transition pure Ops guys into this new IT management paradigm.
What is DevOps
Here we go, I’m probably about to open up Pandoras Box by trying to define what DevOps means but to me that is the foundation of everything else I will discuss in this series. I started my research by asking Google “what is devops”. Naturally, Wikipedia was the first result so that is where we will begin. The first sentence on Wikipedia defines DevOps as “a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and information technology (IT) professionals.” Hmmm… This is not a great start for us Ops folks who don’t really want anything to do with programming.
Reading further on down the page I see something more interesting to me … “The goal is to automate as much as possible different operational processes.” Now that is an idea I can stand behind. I have always been a fan of automating whatever repetitive processes that I can (usually by way of shell scripts).
My next stop on this DevOps train lead me to a very interesting blog post by the folks at the agile admin. In it they discuss the definition and history of DevOps. Here are some of the nuggets that were of particular interest to me:
- “Effectively, you can define DevOps as system administrators participating in an agile development process alongside developers and using many of the same agile techniques for their systems work.”
- “It’s a misconception that DevOps is coming from the development side of the house – DevOps, and its antecedents in agile operations, are largely being initiated out of operations teams.”
- “The point is that all the participants in creating a product or system should collaborate from the beginning – business folks of various stripes, developers of various stripes, and operations folks of various stripes, and all this includes security, network, and whoever else.”
Wow, that’s a lot more comforting to my fragile psyche. The idea that DevOps is being largely initiated out of the operations side of the house makes me feel like I misunderstood the whole concept right from the start.
For even more perspective I read a great article on O’Reilly Radar from Mike Loukides. In it he explains the origins of dev and ops and shows how operations has been changing over the years to include much more automation of tasks and configurations. He also explains how there is no expectation of all knowing developer/operations super humans but instead that operations staff needs to work closely or even be in the same group as the development team.
When it comes right down to it there are developers and there are operations staff. The two groups have worked too far apart for far too long. The DevOps movement is an attempt to bring these worlds together so that they can achieve the effectiveness and efficiency that the business deserves. I really do feel a lot better about DevOps now that I have done more research into the basic meaning and I hope this helps some of you who were feeling intimidated like I was. In my next post I plan to break down common operations tasks and talk about the tools that are available to help automate those tasks and their associated processes.
As always, please feel free to comment if you think I have missed something or if you have a request for content in an upcoming post.Link to this post:
It seems like every article, tweet, blog post I read someone has a different definition of the same buzzwords – especially in technology. Mentioning cloud or big data on a tech blog is like bringing sand to the beach. That’s one of the reasons why we made The Real DevOps of Silicon Valley - to make fun of the hype. I got to thinking… has anyone taken the time to shed some light on these ambiguous terms? I investigated on Urban Dictionary and this is what I found…
IT According to UrbanDictionary.com
(Not kidding, look it up…)
1. CLOUD COMPUTING
cloud com·put·ing, noun.
“Utilizing the resonance of water molecules in clouds when disturbed by
wireless signals to transmit data around the globe from cloud to cloud.
‘I use cloud computing so I don’t have to worry about viruses, I
only have to worry about birds flying through my cloud.’”
“Agile is a generalized term for a group of anti-social behaviors used by office workers to avoid doing any work while simultaneously giving the appearance of being insanely busy. Agile methods include visual distraction, subterfuge, camouflage, psycho-babble, buzzwords, deception, disinformation, and ritual humiliation. It has nothing to do with the art and practice of software engineering.”
3. BIG DATA
big da·ta, noun.
“Modern day version of Big Brother. Online searches, store purchases, Facebook posts, Tweets or Foursquare check-ins, cell phone usage, etc. is creating a flood of data that, when organized and categorized and analyzed, reveals trends and habits about ourselves and society at large.”
“When developers and operations get together to drink beer and color on whiteboards to avoid drama in the War Room. Also a buzzword for recruiters to use to promote overpaid dev or ops jobs.”
Watch episode HERE.
“The parts of a computer that can’t be kicked, but ironically
deserve it most.
“The word the Knights of Ni cannot hear or say.”
(Monty Python & the Holy Grail reference)
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Disclaimer: No DevOps were harmed during the filming of this production.Link to this post:
This week Target announced that they will now be price matching BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and ToysRUs.com’s prices all year-long – not just during the holiday season. Talk about competitive edge. ”Showrooming” is just one of the latest ways for retailers to make sure that THEY are the ones you spend your money with. But it doesn’t stop there.
Now that over 39% of all holiday shopping is done online – and the percentage is ever-growing – customer satisfaction is a big tell on how successful a company might be. FORESEE recognizes this correlation, and has been indexing customer satisfaction since 2005.
Here is my “Spark Notes” version of the Holiday 2012 Index:
What is “Satisfaction Score”?
The “E-Retailer Satisfaction Index” is an analysis of customer satisfaction with 100 of the largest online retailers by sales volume (according to Internet Retailer). The Index measures the satisfaction of online retail experience during the holiday season by “Satisfaction Scores” – which are extrapolated from 24,000 customer surveys between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The indicators of customer satisfaction with a retail website are:
- Increased revenues
- Loyalty to the site
- Likely to recommend the retailer to others
And findings show that satisfied customers are:
- 65% more committed to the brand
- 69% more likely to recommend the retailer
- 67% more likely to purchase from the retailer the next time
Naughty vs. Nice Numbers
The U.S. Holiday Edition 2012 Satisfaction Index comes in at an average Satisfaction Score of 78 (on a 100-point scale) – with Amazon scoring the highest (for the second consecutive year) at a score of 88, and Gilt.com scoring 72. This is a large gap considering that FORESEE estimates every one-point change on the Satisfaction Scale is a 14% change in the log of revenues generated – WOW!
Below are the FORESEE standout retailers based on Satisfaction Score.
Keep an eye out for companies in blue – they are AppDynamics customers!
1. Best of the Best Award (Criteria: Top Score)
- Amazon (See Graph Below)
It is awesome to have 4 AppDynamics customers as top satisfaction performers!
Netflix has been a leader 7 out of the 8 years that FORESEE has been indexing Satisfaction Scores.
3. Most Improved Since Last Year Award (Criteria: Increase of 3 points or more)
Besides making the Most Improved Since Last Year list, Overstock has been able to
achieve speedy mean time to resolution, from days or hours down to minutes,
when solving problems in their production environment by using AppDynamics.
See more Overstock.com achievements on video here.
4. Most Improved Over Time Award (Criteria: Significant Increase over 5 years)
Congratulations to Staples for making the Most Improved Over Time list! It’s great to see
another AppDynamics customer killing it against other big names in retail.
5. “Largest Declines Over Time” (Criteria: Significant Decreases over 5 years)
NONE ARE APPDYNAMICS’ CUSTOMERS!
So What Does This All Mean?
The explanations of these findings lie in the retailers’ ability to understand the customers’ expectations. In a nutshell, if they deliver and exceed customer expectations in online merchandise, functionality, prices, & content, then the retailer satisfaction score will be high. “Only when they understand this can they begin to prioritize the site enhancements and make business decisions that can generate the greatest return on their investment,” explains the article. Meeting expectations satisfies the customer – and therefore makes you money.
In this day-in-age, agile releases are the way to differentiate your site and keep up on the competition. Have you stopped to think, are my agile releases satisfactory for my customer? (And if you really want to differentiate your site, have you asked, are my agile releases going to exceed my customers’ expectations?) Moving forward with this in mind will increase your site’s revenues, boost site loyalty, and users will more likely recommend your site to others – who doesn’t want that?!
Don’t be like Gilt.com – falling guilty of not prioritizing the customer. Build to please, and that will surely make you money.
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See the full Holiday 2012 Edition of FORSEE’s E-Retailer Satisfaction Index here.
*All graphs and facts come from FORESEE E-Retail Satisfaction Index (U.S. Holiday Edition 2012)Link to this post: