Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Liz McMillan, David Sprott, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: DevOps Journal, Java, Linux, SDN Journal

DevOps Journal: Blog Post

The Operational Amplifier | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Operational amplifiers are a lot like force multipliers in that they enable a small number of people to achieve more

DevOps: The Operational Amplifier

When Instagram was sold to Facebook in 2012, it employed only 13 people and maintained over 4 billion photos shared by its 80 million registered users.

Internally, Instagram was a small business. Externally, it was a web monster. Filling the gap between those two contradictory perspectives is DevOps.

Now to be fair, Instagram (like many other web monster properties today) has it easier than most other businesses because it supported only one application. One. That's in stark contrast to large enterprises which are, by most analyst firms, said to manage not one but one hundred and even one thousand applications - at the same time. Our own data indicates an average of 312 applications per customer, many of which are certainly integrated and interacting with one another.

Which makes it difficult to manage even the most innocuous of processes. Maintenance windows exist in the enterprise, after all, to manage expectations with respect to downtime and disruption specifically because of the interdependent nature of enterprise applications.

The thing is, these numbers are only going to get worse as the Internet of Things continues to put pressure on organizations to up their app game with new ways to offer things and apps together using new business models.

Unfortunately IT budget and staff is not necessarily going to increase at the same pace. In fact, despite analysis that suggests a highly mobile customer base requires a lower ratio of IT personnel to users due to higher complexity, it is unlikely IT will suddenly grow enough to meet a ratio nearly 40 to 1 lower than optimal to support static technology users.

That means IT has to look to other means to up the output of operations teams tasked with deploying and maintaining the applications and infrastructure critical to business success.

IT needs an operational amplifier.

Operational Amplifiers
Operational amplifiers are a lot like force multipliers in that they enable a small number of people or infrastructure to achieve more, as if they were multiplied (or cloned, if you prefer).

The term comes from electrical engineering, which describes an operational amplifier as:

An operational amplifier (op-amp) is a DC-coupled high-gain electronic voltage amplifier with a differential input and, usually, a single-ended output.[1] In this configuration, an op-amp produces an output potential (relative to circuit ground) that is typically hundreds of thousands of times larger than the potential difference between its input terminals. -- Wikipedia

And that is what makes it possible for a 13 member staff to support 80 million users; for a small business inside to perform like a web monster outside. That operational amplifier is devops, and it's going to be critical moving forward to shift staff from break and fix to the innovation necessary to meet the demands of the Internet of Things.

Now, that said, DevOps is not a tool. It's not a thing, it's not something tangible. It's an approach, a verb, a perspective that requires organizations to shift process burdens from people to technology in a way that makes them more efficient, repeatable and consistent.

And because there is no specific tool, but rather a mindset and methodology, it behooves producers of the infrastructure and platforms upon which applications and application services are deployed to enable operations to put into action the principles behind those methodologies: automation, orchestration and process re-engineering.

That means APIs - strong APIs - as well as extensibility and flexibility. Infrastructure cannot remain rigid and static in an environment that is rapidly changing. It must be dynamically configured, extensible, and imminently flexible.

The support of well-designed APIs and programmable data paths associated with emerging architectures like SDDC and SDN is a requirement not just for the network but for "The Network" - the whole shebang  from layer 2 to layer 7. It is through these APIs and programmatic extensibility that operational excellence is amplified and repeated across the myriad applications supported by most enterprises today.

DevOps can be the amplifier necessary to enable the economies of operational scale required to efficiently meet challenges associated with rapid, explosive growth in both user communities and app deployments. Infrastructure supportive of those efforts must provide the means by which that scale can occur.

Infrastructure must support DevOps and the shift from process reliance on people to technology through both control and data path programmability, lest it become a resistor instead of an amplifier.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Creative Business Solutions will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Creative Business Solutions is the top stocking authorized HP Renew Distributor in the U.S. Based out of Long Island, NY, Creative Business Solutions offers a one-stop shop for a diverse range of products including Proliant, Blade and Industry Standard Servers, Networking, Server Options and...
WHOA.com has announced the newest addition to its data center footprint with the expansion into Equinix's newest state-of-the-art facility: DC-11 Washington, DC IBX+. Located in Ashburn, VA, this data center expands Whoa.com's presence to meet rapidly expanding customer demand for secure cloud solutions. Equinix, Inc. operates International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 32 markets across 15 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. Equinix is committed to operating faciliti...
SYS-CON Events announced today that FierceDevOps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FierceDevOps keeps software developers and IT operations personnel updated on the latest news and trends around the rapidly evolving role of the traditional IT worker.
The Open Compute Project is a collective effort by Facebook and a number of players in the datacenter industry to bring lessons learned from the social media giant's giant IT deployment to the rest of the world. Datacenters account for 3% of global electricity consumption – about the same as all of Switzerland or the Czech Republic -- according to people I met at the recent Open Compute Summit in San Jose. With increasing mobility at the edge of the cloud and vast new dataflows being pre...
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabili...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborat...
WSM International is launching a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. This is the first independent services company to create a dedicated practice to help organizations looking to transition to the DevOps model. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things...
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a “Make or Buy” decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud busi...