"web ops" entries

The DevOps identity crisis

Why DevOps needs a manifesto after all, but may never get one.

Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 Libby Levi for opensource.com

DevOps is everywhere! The growth and mindshare of the movement is remarkable. But if you care deeply about DevOps, you might agree with me when I say that although its moment has “arrived,” DevOps is in serious trouble. The movement is fragmented and weakly defined, and is being usurped by those who care more about short-term opportunities than the long-term viability of DevOps.

They are the ninety-nine percent, and nobody cares

How bad could it be? Travel back in time. It is mid-November 2011, and Occupy Wall Street is occupying the headlines. One of the major reasons is that the protestors are targeting shipping ports on the West Coast, causing shutdowns and even violence. As things are getting out of hand, parts of the movement start condemning these actions as counter-productive, hurting the 99% instead of the intended 1%. Spokespeople for the movement are quoted in the media as saying the instigators “don’t represent the movement.”

Why did the Occupy movement become a footnote in history so fast? There were several reasons: there was no cohesive agreement on its identity, values, goals, and mission; in an effort to be unlike “them,” the OWS proponents avoided anything that looked like centralized leadership; and it seemed to be entirely negative, advocating nothing to replace what it wanted to remove.

I believe a similar thing is happening to DevOps right now, for many of the same reasons. Let’s talk about some of these problems.

Read more…

Comments: 16

Roll-your-own database architecture

Making the case for blended architectures in the rapidly evolving universe of advanced analytics.


Two years ago, most of the conversations around big data had a futuristic, theoretical vibe. That vibe has been replaced with a gritty sense of practically. Today, when big data or some surrogate term arises in conversation, the talk is likely to focus not on “what if,” but on “how do we get it done?” and “what will it cost?”

Real-time big data analytics and the increasing need for applications capable of handling mixed read/write workloads — as well as transactions and analytics on “hot” data — are putting new pressures on traditional data management architectures.

What’s driving the need for change? There are several factors, including a new class of apps for personalizing the Internet, serving dynamic content, and creating rich user experiences. These apps are data driven, which means they essentially feed on deep data analytics. You’ll need a steady supply of activity history, insights, and transactions, plus the ability to combine historical analytics with hot analytics and read/write transactions. Read more…


Velocity Profile: Justin Huff

Web ops and performance questions with PicMonkey's Justin Huff.

A profile of web operations and performance expert Justin Huff, software engineer at PicMonkey and formerly of Google/Picnik.


Jesse Robbins on the state of infrastructure automation

Shifts for sysadmins and a surprising use for Chef.

OpsCode chief community officer Jesse Robbins discusses cloud infrastructure automation and the most surprising use of Chef he's seen so far.


Velocity Profile: Sergey Chernyshev

Web ops and performance questions with Sergey Chernyshev.

A profile of web operations and performance expert Sergey Chernyshev, director of web systems and applications at truTV and organizer of the New York Web Performance Meetup Group.


Operations, machine learning and premature babies

An astonishing connection between web ops and medical care.

Machine learning and access to huge amounts of data allowed IBM to make an important discovery about premature infants. If web operations teams could capture everything — network data, environmental data, I/O subsystem data, etc. — what would they find out?

Comments: 4

Strata Week: The data behind Yahoo's front page

A new look at Yahoo's traffic, the challenge of scaling Tumblr, and a host of visualization guidelines.

In this week's data news: Yahoo visualizes its front page traffic and demographics, why Tumblr is tougher to scale than Twitter, and a look at what you need to consider as you build visualizations.

Four short links: 3 February 2012

Four short links: 3 February 2012

Investigating Page Speed, The Web Commons, Community and Popularity, and GPL Enforcement

  1. Page Speed (Google Code) — an open-source project started at Google to help developers optimize their web pages by applying web performance best practices. Page Speed started as an open-source browser extension, and is now deployed in third-party products such as Webpagetest.org, Show Slow and Google Webmaster Tools.
  2. What Commons Do We Wish For? (John Battelle) — trying to understand what the Internet would look like if we don’t pay attention to our core shared values. Excellent piece from jbat, who is thinking and writing in preparation for another book.
  3. The Trouble with Popularity — this blog post on StackOverflow does a great job of explaining why moderators are necessary, and why it’s not in everyone’s interest to give them what they want. Sad to see this come out just as Yahoo! continues to gut and fillet Flickr, which used to be the benchmark for all things community.
  4. The Ongoing Fight Against GPL Enforcement — interesting! Software Freedom Conservancy, who have pursued several cases against manufacturers who ship GPLed code but do not release their source and modifications to it, have used busybox as a fulcrum for their GPL code release lever. Manufacturers may be attempting to replace busybox with non-GPLed code to take away the fulcrum. In other news, engineering metaphors are like a massless body at light speed before the bigbang: unknowable.
Comment: 1

Velocity Newsletter: January 19, 2012

Slow performance plagues a major newspaper's website. Old operations advice holds true.

Highlights from the 1/19/12 edition of the Strata newsletter include: Slow download times prevent a major media organization from innovating, and Velocity co-chair John Allspaw unearths some pearls of wisdom from his archive.

Comment: 1

Velocity is coming to Europe

Velocity Europe will be held Nov. 8-9, 2011 in Berlin.

The Velocity Conference has already turned once exotic topics like database scaling and mobile performance into common knowledge. Now, Velocity is bringing its mix of web ops and performance evangelism to Europe.