Agile Methodology for Cloud Administration is Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Written by Josh Larsen on Thursday, May 23rd 2019 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, DevOps, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations

DevOps — the marriage of the development and operations departments within a software organization — and Agile methodology have been mentioned alongside cloud computing for years now, and with good reason. Using Agile in the cloud is a classic pairing that goes together like peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese…okay, let me go grab a snack before this simile gets me drooling.

But seriously, even if Agile and cloud technology aren’t as tasty as PB&J, they can still have you smacking your lips in satisfaction as you react to business problems with technology solutions in a much faster and more reliable manner.

Here’s why Agile software development practices work so well when you’re working with cloud infrastructure, even if you aren’t a software development company.

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Three DevOps Pitfalls to Avoid

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, May 15th 2019 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Software Development

As you transition towards CloudOps, DevOps, DevSecOps, and general continual iteration and continuous improvement type IT management strategies, there are a number of common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

DevOps at all costs is not going to provide any additional business value. Nor is it likely to be great for your IT team morale. Make sure you keep in mind these three common DevOps pitfalls as you evangelize and adopt DevOps practices throughout your IT department or larger organization.

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The InfoSec Student Part 1: InfoSec Roles and Archetypes to Close the Skills Gap

Written by Daniel Deter on Tuesday, May 7th 2019 — Categories: DevOps, IT Operations, Security

It is generally understood, with broad industry concurrence, that an InfoSec skills gap exists and presents a significant challenge for those of us responsible for managing risk within an organization. To close the skills gap, an organization must first understand the competencies required by security teams in their pursuit of information technology risk management.

Information security consists of three core archetypes: builders, breakers, and defenders. It is through recruiting and building the skills of these archetypes that the foundations of highly functional security teams are formed.

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Infrastructure as Code: The Cornerstone for DevOps & Multicloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, March 6th 2019 — Categories: Multi-Cloud, Datacenter Automation, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

One key concept to master when dealing with cloud, containerized, or otherwise software-defined infrastructure is Infrastructure as Code. This may seem strange at first. After all, your code runs on top of infrastructure, right?

Infrastructure as code (IaC) works in practice by managing your computing resources — virtual machines, storage, networking, and all the associated policies for security and such — in the same manner as you treat your code. This packages everything necessary for your application, from the code and assets to the underlying infrastructure itself, together into what works functionally as a single deployment.

Just as DevOps combined development and operations into one entity, IaC combines code and infrastructure as one.

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What is Kubernetes and How Does it Make Container Administration Easier?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, February 28th 2019 — Categories: Multi-Cloud, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization

Kubernetes has been kicking around since Google made it open source in 2014. Like many technologies it has taken some time to go mainstream, but with the rapid adoption of containers by many enterprise organizations, Kubernetes (or k8s) has become extremely popular as a method to manage, scale, and deploy containers across host platforms.

If you aren’t very familiar with Kubernetes, here’s why you might be interested in the platform and why it has proven essential to large scale containerized IT applications.

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Can DevOps as a Service Alleviate Adoption Pains?

Written by Thomas Burns on Thursday, December 13th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Software Development

DevOps practices have moved past pure software development and into enterprise adoption, facilitating faster updates to applications and associated infrastructure.

The crux of DevOps is the unification of tools and processes between development and operations teams to decrease time to market/deployment and implement continuous improvements throughout the development, testing, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of applications and underlying infrastructure.

Despite widespread DevOps adoption — or at least the majority of surveyed enterprises reporting they have started the journey towards it — many organizations are still struggling. Enter DevOps as a Service. But is DevOps as a Service a legitimate offering? The definition is still evolving, and different MSPs may offer different takes on DevOps-a-a-S.

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Beyond One and Done: Consulting and Managed Services Enable Continuous Improvement

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, November 8th 2018 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

A traditional enterprise advisory engagement is often a “one and done” deal — you have an IT problem to solve or a new technology to implement and the consulting agency comes in, gathers info, makes recommendations, helps with the execution and steps out of your way.

That’s great for large-scale improvements. But modern IT practices preach continuous improvement, agile methodology, and DevOps practices even beyond the software development world. With the advent of cloud, it’s all about continuous, constant iterations of your software and services.

Many SaaS platforms take care of this for you. That may not be the case with IaaS and remaining hardware, however. Focusing your existing staff on business goals and service delivery while augmenting it with an advisory and managed service provider partner can take even your backend infrastructure and upstack applications into the realm of continuous improvement via cloud management services, automation, and feedback loops.

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Turning Your IT Department into a Service Center

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 30th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Here we are again, talking about digital transformation. While the pile of buzzwords threatens to overwhelm at times, this particular movement has real benefits for organizations that are still running IT in the old style, with break-fix scrambling, disjointed service delivery, and a take-it-or-leave it approach to technology procurement.

Rather than focusing simply on the end goal from an IT perspective, your IT department should be focused on the bigger picture. Your users are in effect your customers — and your company’s customers are supported by those users. By bringing business goals and processes under the IT umbrella, you help foster communication, efficiency, improve IT services, and most importantly revenue growth across the organization.

Here are three areas to focus on when transforming your IT department into a service center.

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Should You Be Using Microservices in Your App Development?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, July 3rd 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Software Development

While microservice application architecture dates back to 2011, enterprise IT tends to move relatively slowly when it comes to the adoption of new technologies. The concept and methodology has been refined in concert with the rise of cloud computing, and now microservices are a popular way to build, deploy, and most importantly scale applications.

Microservices can improve your agility, security, and resiliency, but they require a major adjustment to your development team’s workflow and the architecture of your application itself. Read on to learn the advantages of microservices and potential caveats for their use.

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Best Practices for Load Testing Cloud Applications

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, November 16th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Software Development

The holidays are looming, meaning many DevOps teams are about to have their apps take a beating as hundreds of holiday orders and new device users slam them all at the same time. Whether or not your systems are consumer-focused, there will eventually come a time when the overall load on your servers is pushed to the limit.

Load testing applications in the cloud allows development and testing staff to perform scale testing to see at what point virtual machines need to scale, when to add additional resources like storage or bandwidth, and when a failover solution might be necessary.

By thoroughly performing load tests throughout the DevOps process, your organization eventually lowers costs and your team doesn’t have to scramble during a major event. Here are some best practices when performing cloud-based load testing.

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