Steve Thair’s QCon Talk – now available online

 

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DevOps and the Need for Speed, the talk from our very own Steve Thair is now available online. You can check it out here.

Steve’s just spoken at Krakow’s Atmosphere Conference. Stay tuned for more, coming soon.

Increase your ELK herd with Consul.io

Originally posted on DevOps Is Common Sense...:

At work, I recently had a need to put in place a scalable logging solution based around the ELK stack.

IssueswithMulticastnetworking aside,  Elasticsearch scales pretty well on its own without the need for any additional overheads, however discovering whether a node is online or not and connecting only to available nodes can be tricky.

Scaling Logstash can be tricky, but it basically involves adding more Logstash servers to the mix and pointing them at your Elasticsearch cluster by defining multiple hosts in your Logstash configuration.

Kibana (like most web applications) can only have one Elasticsearch host defined in the config, so scaling out Kibana is more difficult.

The above raises the question – how do I know which Elasticsearch node to point my configuration at if I don’t know whether they are there or not.

The answer came in the form of consul.io.  If you’ve not looked at…

View original 781 more words

DevOpsGuys announce RedGate partnership

More and more companies are now considering source control, continuous integration, and automated deployment for their database. To help them adopt each of these stages of Database Lifecycle Management (DLM), Redgate Software has launched a new partner program. Redgate Certified Consultants are now being trained in the USA, Europe and Australia – and many of them will be familiar to SQL Server professionals.

The advantages of implementing any stage of DLM are many. Just as with Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), it speeds up the introduction of new features, and makes deployments reliable and error-free.

But even though Redgate tools are designed to plug into the tools companies already use for their application d

 

evelopment, questions can arise during the implementation process.

As Dan Wood of Northwest Cadence says: “How can we take a system designed to develop, build and deliver applications and make it work with databases as well? It is a question that has plagued a vast majority of the clients I have worked with over the past few years.”

To address this issue, Redgate’s new partner program is training expert consultants like Dan Wood in DLM – and giving them the tools and support they need to help clients on-site, or in training sessions.

The list of Certified Consultants is growing and already includes familiar faces like Ike Ellis and Northwest Cadence in the USA, The DevOpsGuys and Skelton Thatcher in the UK, and WARDY IT Solutions in Australia.

As John Theron of Redgate points out, the advantages are clear. “Redgate has spent a lot of time and effort joining the dots in DLM, and making it possible with a suite of dedicated tools, alongside learning materials and resources. The partner program complements this with a group of experts on the ground able to help companies on-site, and provide training in a series of public workshops.”

In places as far apart as Washington, London, San Diego, Philadelphia, Northern Ireland, and Baton Rouge, database professionals are how being trained in source control, continuous integration, and automated deployment for the database.

A measure of the success the training is already achieving can be found in the reaction from database professionals like Jim Dorame. A Database Systems Manager for a large scale educational assessment corporation in the Greater Minneapolis area, he reviewed a continuous integration training day on his blog.  “This tool makes the job of the DBA easier as there will be little doubt that the database is in a consistent and correct state. This alone makes me smile, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been executing a release and there was a piece missing that caused a failure.”

Further information about the training opportunities available can be found on the Redgate training pages.

Sponsored DOG Walk

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The DevOpsGuys team are pulling up our hiking socks to raise cash for SSNAP and Countess Mountbatten Hospice this summer with a 13 mile walk across Wales. TrekFest it’s no mean feat. We cross the highest peaks in the Beacons and South Wales including Pen y Fan (886m), Corn Du (873m), Cribyn (795m) and Fan y Big (719m). http://www.trekfest.org.uk/ 

Click here to donate now through our Just Giving Page

Our first charity is special since last year, one of our brave team members was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Unfortunately, and with great sadness we know now they are losing their fight – even after enduring endless rounds of chemotherapy and surgery.

The amazing staff at Countess Mountbatten Hospice are proving specialist palliative (end of life) care to many fighting a losing battles against advanced stage cancer. They also support their families and loved ones. We’d love to show our thanks and support by raising money on their behalf.

It’s with a tear in our eye and sadness in our hearts, that we chose our second charity to support. Last year, little Ollie lost his fight for his life after being born with a heart defect. He was 4 days old. His parents have displayed so much courage during an immensely difficult time during which the amazing doctors and nurses, support by the SSNAP team provided them with much needed support.

It is their wish to continue to champion SSNAP, who provide support for the sick newborns and their parents at new born intensive care unit at The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford as so, we’ll match whatever we raise through our JustGiving page as a donation to SSNAP.

These amazing charities are truly special to us here DevOpsGuys.

Please support us in raising funds for these brilliant charities who have done so much to support our close friends and employees.

The team have signed up to complete the distance in six hours. The trek takes place in the Brecon Beacons and covers the highest peaks in South Wales: Pen y Fan, Corn Du and Fan y Big. The Beacons are a training ground for the SAS so, while the DOGs will have their work cut out for them, they’re more than up for the challenge:

“I can’t wait to get out there” says office manager Rhian Owen. “It’s such a great opportunity to work together as a team to achieve personal goals and to raise money for good causes – it’s going to be brilliant!”

We’ve set up a Just Giving page, so you can show your support here. It’s a chance to donate to some good causes and get the DevOpsGuys and gals out from behind their screens and into the beautiful Welsh wilderness – come on y’all, dig deep!

Click here to donate now through our Just Giving Page

DevOps and the Digital Supply Chain

What is the “Digital Supply Chain” and why is it important to your organisation and to DevOps as a practice?

The concept of the “Digital Supply Chain” is a different way of looking at the SDLC and the Continuous Delivery “pipeline” that we feel makes it easier for traditional organisations to understand the criticality of software delivery (and by extension DevOps) in the modern world.

Any organisation that deals with physical goods understands the concept of the supply chain. They are intimately familiar with ideas like supply chain management, supply chain optimisation and, most importantly, they understand the economics of inventory in the supply chain e.g the carrying cost of inventory.

So what is the “Digital Supply Chain”?

The current definitions of the digital supply chain are anchored in the “New Media” sector and focus on digital assets like music, video etc

“The “digital supply chain” is a “new media” term which encompasses the process of the delivery of digital media, be it music or video, by electronic means, from the point of origin (content provider) to destination (consumer).” – Wikipedia

The Wikipedia article references above breaks it down into a number of discrete steps as shown in Figure 1 below.

image of New Media Digital Supply Chain

If we contrast this with our SDLC Continuous Delivery Pipeline (Figure 2) we can see that many of the steps are directly analogous – we are creating digital assets (code) which we then “compress” (i.e. the Build/Integrate process), which we then subject to Quality Control (Test), we store in a Digital Asset Management system (e.g. like Nexus or Artifactory), we tag it with metadata (e.g. what release/version we’re deploying) and when then deploy it out to servers, CDN’s, the AppStore or wherever.

image of SDLC Digital Supply Chain

Once your customers grasp the idea that software is a digital asset and that carrying excess inventory and delays in moving these digital assets along the supply chain is costing them money it can be a lightbulb moment for many organisations.

Software assets can depreciate over time. Indeed “technical debt” can be looked at as the “cost of deprecation” of your software assets over time.

Code that is “stuck” in your Digital Supply Chain waiting for your next release (as source code in Git, or as artefacts in an artefact repository) represents a capital investment in “digital assets” held as “digital inventory” and having it sat on the digital shelf in your digital warehouse is costing you money is analogous to the carrying cost of inventory for physical inventory.

Sure, the warehousing costs of a digital asset – your latest idea transformed into software code – is fairly trivial compared to the costs of physical warehousing BUT the “opportunity cost” is very real.

Each digital software asset represents a significant investment in time & money by your designers, developers, testers, project managers etc and it doesn’t start generating a return on that investment until it gets to the end of your digital supply chain and into the hands of your customers.

DevOps then becomes a way to optimise your digital supply chain to ensure that we:

  1. only build the right things (reducing waste and optimising our digital inventory),
  2. Supplier management (by improving the relationships between Dev, Test, Ops etc we ensure that we are getting the best from all of the “suppliers” in our digital supply chain)
  3. improving our logistics to get our digital assets in the hand of our customers (by automating testing, release and deployment to accelerate the movement of the digital assets from left to right)
  4. Constantly seeking “flow” across the supply chain (the 1st way of DevOps!)
  5. Gathering metrics along the supply chain to give us insight into the bottlenecks (the M in the C.A.L.M.S model)

So next time you’re talking with people in the business try out the “Digital Supply Chain” analogy and see if it works for you – we’d love to hear your feedback!

-TheOpsMgr

Cardiff: Silicon Valley comes to Wales

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We’ve been set up in Cardiff, South Wales for nearly six months now. Every week it becomes more and more apparent that this city is fast becoming an exciting IT and technical hub; an attractive area for emerging and experienced tech talent alike. The term ‘Silicwm Valley’ is being bandied about as more and more tech start-ups spring up in, or near, the city centre.

Companies like DevOpsGuys, Cardiff Start, Indycube, Method 4, BBC Cymru’s Roath Lock studios and a huge collection of digital and design agencies are choosing Cardiff as their base. It seems to be a logical step; the community is small enough to be interconnected, influential and supportive, but large enough to allow for the freedom to develop, expand and learn from the huge range of related industries in the immediate area.

With several major universities in and around the city the wealth of talent is growing and Cardiff is taking the reins and nurturing Welsh talent and ability; a very different picture from several years ago where work in Wales was hard to come by and the majority of experienced IT professionals were obliged to seek work further afield, in London or Cambridge.

Founder James Smith says:

“Cardiff has historically been built on industry, from the days of exporting coal. It’s also frequently voted one of the top places to live and work in the UK, so it’s no wonder that this tradition is developing and changing shape with the emergence of the tech industry – Cardiff is moving with the times.

“We’ve set up DevOpsGuys in Cardiff in order to be a part of this development. We wanted to provide opportunities for people in Wales – there’s so much skill here. Plus we are working with international companies and forming partnerships with industry giants across the world; this is a great opportunity to share some of the home-grown Welsh talent, create unique, fulfilling career opportunities and forge connections all over the world. It’s a really exciting time.”

The movement has been supported by the Welsh Government, with DevOpsGuys receiving  funding to grow as a business and provide career opportunities in the Welsh capital. Meet-ups, tech events, talks and conferences all taking place in the city, give related, but wildly diverse businesses a chance to meet, mix, talk, share thoughts; ideas flow freely, business connections are forged easily and some new and interesting work is emerging. We’re excited about Agile Cymru – the first event of its kind in Cardiff – this summer.

There seems to be something new to see, do, read, visit, look at or enjoy every week! We’re excited to see where Cardiff will take the DevOpsGuys and the future of the UK tech industry.

 

DevOpsGuys at RedGate

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The DevOpsGuys headed off on a road trip this week to meet with the RedGate team at their amazing offices in Cambridge.

As well as working on some workshop training opportunities and guest blog articles (stay tuned to the DevOpsGuys Blog for some RedGate articles coming soon) the teams got together to brainstorm ideas and share skills.

We were able to look at some of their newest tools and we’re excited to announce that we will be delivering workshops on RedGate DLM tools at various sessions across the country this summer.

We’ve already implemented these tools for a many of our customers and we’re delighted to be able to introduce their qualities, in detail, to a wide range of industry professionals as part of an effective, independent DevOps adoption process.

The workshops will be running on:

May 20 – Automated Database Deployment, London

June 26 – Automated Database Deployment, Belfast

July 8 – Database Source Control, London

July 24 – Database Source Control, Manchester

August 20 – Database Continuous Integration, Cardiff

Spaces are limited, so register now to take part in a workshop or request a workshop near you.

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