In my first post, I discussed how software and various tools are dramatically changing the Ops department. This post centers on the automation process.
When I was younger, you actually had to build a server from scratch, buy power and connectivity in a data center, and manually plug a machine into the network. After wearing the operations hat for a few years, I have learned many operations tasks are mundane, manual, and often have to be done at two in the morning once something has gone wrong. DevOps is predicated on the idea that all elements of technology infrastructure can be controlled through code and automated. With the rise of the cloud it can all be done in real-time via a web service.
Infrastructure automation + virtualization solves the problem of having to be physically present in a data center to provision hardware and make network changes. Also, by automating the mundane tasks you can remove unnecessary personnel. The benefits of using cloud services is costs scale linearly with demand and you can provision automatically as needed without having to pay for hardware up front.
The various platforms you’re likely to encounter in this new world can be divided into 3 main groups:
- IaaS services like Amazon Web Services & Windows Azure — These allow you to quickly create servers and storage as needed. With IaaS you are responsible for provisioning compute + storage and own the operating system up.
- PaaS services like Pivotal Web Services, Heroku, and EngineYard — These are platforms built on top of IaaS providers that allow you to deploy a specific stack with ease. With PaaS you are responsible for provisioning apps and own only your app + data.
- SaaS services – these are platforms usually build on top of PaaS providers built to deploy a specific app (like a host ecommerce shop or blog).
All of these are clouds — IaaS, PaaS, SaaS — pick which problems you want to spend time solving. However, often the most complexed environments can’t be managed by a third party.
Monitoring Complex Environments
Modern monitoring is not focused on infrastructure and availability, but rather takes the perspective down through the application. The simple reality is perceived user experience is the only metric that matters. Either applications are working or they are not. The complexity of monitoring applications is compounded by the availability of applications on many platforms such as web, mobile, and desktop devices.
By leveraging monitoring tools and strategic product integrations, the future of Ops can be focused on efficiency, optimization, and providing a seamless user experience. At AppDynamics we have a robust list of extensions aimed to leverage existing technology to help Ops (and Dev) departments in this modern era. You can check out our list of extensions at the AppDynamics Exchange.
Ops people, don’t just take my word for it, bring your department into the modern age and try AppDynamics for FREE today!