CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.08.17

Topics for this podcast:

*Red Hat puts enterprise cred and bet on OpenStack
*LexisNexis touts open source benefits of Hadoop alternative
*Who doesn’t love Hadoop?
*Proprietary vendors siding with open source
*PostgreSQL and its cloud, commercial opportunity
*Our Hosting and Cloud Transormation Summit NA event

iTunes or direct download (32:24, 5.8MB)

Structure builds empowerment, value out of devops, auto-ops

We highlighted recently that along with the prominence of open source software, cloud computing is characterized by its early days. Yet users, customers and most importantly, leadership seem to be aware of the need for change, the need to support it and the fact that every day vendors and users put off starting that change is another day they fall behind. Below are some of the key take aways from discussions with leaders, users and other community members I met at Structure last week.

Again, I heard a lot of discussion of how much vendors and technologies are gaining from their users and communities, which are having a greater say, impact and involvement in the deployment of cloud computing technology. I do believe customers have learned from previously deploying open source software and virtualization in their environments and organizations. The louder customer voice is also a case of user empowerment and enablement that has occurred, giving users more flexibility in hardware, features, operating system, hypervisor, programming language and, increasingly, application programming interfaces (APIs). With user and customers such as E-Trade, Lexis-Nexis, Nasdaq and Netflix — among those represented at structure — we can see how bringing their technology experience and expertise to the table can help move things along for both user and vendor.

However, another theme of Structure was the continued movement of devops — the confluence of application development and deployment of applications via IT operations — from early adopter and cutting edge users to the more mainstream enterprise IT user and customer community. Structure provided more validation that the trend is indeed shifting the IT and technology approaches and purchases of some of the same verticals that helped usher in broad use of open source and virtualization: financial services, insurance and telecommunications, in particular.

At the same time we have continued to see the rise of devops, we are hearing more and more about the abstraction of the IT operations for developers, a term we describe as ‘auto-ops.’ Given my complaints about the term ‘no-ops,’ I’ve been promoting auto-ops as a reference to the abstracting of IT operations, rather than implications of cutting or avoiding IT staffs, a term that emerged on the CAOS Theory blog. The term and idea of auto-ops seemed to resonate with the vendors and users with whom I was fortunate to speak at Structure.

While open source took some time to become more official, devops and auto-ops are emerging with a greater recognition, awareness and verve from leadership. Basically, CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, dev teams, ops managers and others leading both the IT and the business efforts see the writing on the wall, and it says something to the effect of: ‘iterate or obliterate.’ Figure out how to get code, features, applications out to users and be ready to address hiccups not only in the code, but in the conduct of that code in the many virtual, cloud, Web, mobile and other environments where it will live or die. Figure out how to be a service provider on top of or below being a software provider (devops), or get help doing so (auto-ops).

The fact that leadership is so in tune with the changes afoot and that they are more experienced leveraging community — open source or not — means that this time around, the trends are going to equate more quickly to proven, policy-driven and paid implementation of devops and auto-ops technologies and practices.