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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Focusing on cloud initiatives as a technology problem rather than business realignment can be a major mistake. Success in the cloud comes from more than just telling your CTO that you want your systems on a cloud platform. It requires a shift in overall business strategy and clear messaging from leadership on down.
You need to identify your business goals and work backwards from there to figure out how specific cloud technologies can help solve them. This may involve the creation of a cloud team or adjusting your organization to be an agile, “DevOps” style operation.
Ultimately the core technologies your team will use in the cloud aren’t much different than the old model of IT (at least if you were already virtualized), but they do require a shift in your business model to better use the flexible resources available from cloud computing, or the development of a plan that boosts efficiency, reduces costs, and thereby improves your bottom line.
Here are a few tips to keep cloud strategy front of mind.
While your admins might have virtualization experience, transitioning to a cloud-first IT strategy involves a real paradigm shift across your entire IT team. You’ve heard some of this before: you’ll be more agile, your team will be focused on service delivery instead of hardware, you’ll work on business issues rather than break/fix.
What you may not have considered are how the roles of your new cloud team may shift from previous responsibilities, or just how far reaching the culture change may be. Here are some tips to build a successful cloud service team within your organization.