December 9 - Day 2: The DevOps Cost Puzzle & How PaaS Solves It - InformationWeek

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December 9 Day 2: The DevOps Cost Puzzle & How PaaS Solves It
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It worked in IE! Thank you again for your excellent course(s)!

Apprentice

@Joe, I would agree that IT tends to be an impediment... it's the NO Brigade all over again. I keep trying to be the diplomat in this scenario and am looking for some solution to make everyone love and hug each other. I suspect it's just not going to happen. 

Apprentice

@Wendy-- I think you want to push compliance onto your PaaS vendor, if at all possible.  That's the classic example of complexity that you really don't need to be concerned with all of the details if you can successfully outsource them. 

Ninja

Ideally, you have an IT staff that is more concerned with the higher-level goals of what they do (e.g., security, stability) than with the specific implementations of those goals (e.g., manually setting up servers, requiring people to submit tickets to get things done), but that's often not the case.

Ninja

Joe, can you talk a little bit about compliance in this equation? IT is very concerned with compliance issues, particularly in certain industries. Does the deployment of PaaS for Dev Ops muddy those waters?

Apprentice

@Wendy-- I think that the modern era of cloud computing fundamentally changes the role of IT such that it is often not possible to let existing IT have a strong voice at the table.  My view is that IT has a number of critical things it focuses on that you have to make sure that you have at the table, but unfortunately, I almost always find that the existing IT staff are an impediment to progress here, especially because so much of what they ordinarily do is going to be automated.

Ninja

@Lorna I don't understand it but I keep changing it to Google and somehow it keeps reverting to Bing. It might be an app making that decision for me. It gives me a Brechtian level of angst. 

Apprentice

@Lorna-- The goal is to have the freedom to customize to implement everything you want to orchestrate, but not more than that (since that would be too much) :).  The first PaaSes (and some of the current ones) suffered from either giving you too little or too much to customize.  Too little, and you can't implement what you want; too much, and it's like custom coding, but with vendor lock-in.

Ninja

Back to Dev Ops, Joe you said that the inclination is for the DevOps lead to drop a credit card and solve the problem with a PaaS solution... which then pushes complexity to the IT department who have no say in the decision. What's the secret to getting those decisions in front of IT so that they can at least have some input or is it a lost cause?

Apprentice

Wait ... iOS wants Bing to be the default?

Author

Poor Lorna... I think you're not the only one with cognitive dissonance through mobile OS quirks... (I can't get iOS to remember to make Google my default search engine... stupid Bing)

Apprentice

So you're saying the PaaS vendor allows IT to configure and optimize to implement the platform to fit orchestration scenarios? How much customization freedom can one expect?

Author

@Wendy-- I think that letting developers run wild on IaaS is a recipe for disaster. It's definitely much better to constrain developers through PaaS, as long as the PaaS can help you do what you need to do.

Ninja

Yes - simpler is better. When I tell my Android phone to open a photo, it not only gives me three options for what app, but asks "always or just this time." It's very stressful.

Author

@Lorna-- If you have PaaS in-house, then your "DevOps" team should be doing very little actual software development per se, and instead should be configuring and optimizing your PaaS to implement your various orchestration scenarios.  Now, depending upon how you're doing PaaS, there may be some software development you do within your PaaS environment, but that's usually nicely constrained and in very short snippets, which makes it much easier to maintain.

Ninja

@Lorna-- As far as customization goes, I think Apple has done a lot through its consumer software and devices to show us that the number of configurable options that anyone actually needs/uses is quite small.  The average software developer, in contrast, likes to push configuration back onto customers, because the software developer is lazy and doesn't want to spend the time to figure out what a great default configuration value would be.  I think we're seeing this process of "less configuration/customization is better" get pushed everywhere through the UX movement, and, in the process, businesses are seeing massive benefits of the new, more simplified world that it delivers.

Ninja

Would you say that PaaS is a better choice than IaaS for DevOps in general? I wonder about test environments being a different platform from the inevitable landing spot once deployed.

Apprentice

@Wendy-- The standard software test case can take the form of, "put X value into this function and we expect Y value out", which can be written easily in the context of software development.  The standard DevOps test case is something like, "if we execute this orchestration scenario, the portal should be running a new version", and that is much more complicated to validate...  (and that would be an easy one).

Ninja

Can you delve a bit into the role of in-house devops when PaaS is in use?

 

Author

@Wendy-- Business leads (and some developers) tend not to like code review or refactoring because it doesn't help with short-term dividends, but you won't find a decent CTO that will do without them, because otherwise you're left with too many unpredictable errors in the future, from bugs to not being able to implement features because of technical debt.

Ninja

Customization in general seems to be falling out of favor.

Author

Why is it so hard to write test cases for DevOps? Why is it easier to do software test cases exactly?

Apprentice

From an agility perspective, I do wonder if the code review resistance is coming from a place of trying to get to market faster... not that it's a good thing, but it seems like the snake that eats itself.

Apprentice

How many of us have seen that big blue tangled mess in person? Just me then? 

Apprentice

Joe is building on the cloud business topics Jonathan Feldman covered in a previous session.

Author

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Apprentice

Looking forward to today's discussion!

Apprentice

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Strategist

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Strategist


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