April 3, 2013 5:35 PM
Posted by: Dr. Werner Hopf
, IT assets
With SAP recently announcing a major directional shift to its core business strategy, revealing that its SAP Business Suite will be running on SAP HANA, businesses are now faced with determining how to best prepare for that journey. SAP has essentially left it up to its customers to decide if they want to make the switch or keep their current systems, evaluating both cost and performance factors. If your IT organization is considering this journey, you may feel the need for a check list on how to proceed and what pitfalls to avoid on the road to SAP HANA. Here is a “roadmap.”
Companies that embark down the road to SAP HANA should be aware of one sobering aspect of this technology: it utilizes disk space on a “pay-as-you-grow” basis and because in-memory blades are rather expensive, cost becomes a consideration. Keeping databases as lean and mean as possible will be a major priority for businesses pursuing a HANA strategy. Even with commodity servers, the performance and scalability that SAP HANA offers can carry a considerable price tag. While it is inevitable that many companies will want to pursue the road to SAP HANA because of the clear performance advantages gained by keeping data in memory, it is important to understand that the process is more involved than flipping a switch, especially around the critical aspects of optimizing performance and database size.
Since the extra cost to add sufficient capacity can be higher than expected, most businesses need a more cost-effective approach. This involves moving large amounts of static data to a lower-cost, high-performance “nearline” storage (NLS) environment that complements the in-memory SAP HANA architecture. NLS is an inexpensive, scalable option for storing large volumes of data. When using NLS, it is critical to segregate frequently used, “high-value” information from data that provides lower business value, regardless of environment or current (or planned) platform. Data archiving is an essential part of this data management process and an NLS solution ensures the right balance between performance and storage costs. It also provides the ability to maintain size and growth of production environments through archiving processes, while protecting data for business and audit requirements.
Other considerations include what kind of database preparation and infrastructure is needed. For example, what data and documents should be migrated, what information is archived or purged, what are the access requirements, and what strategy should be adopted to maximize cost-to-performance ratio (which determines value to archiving efforts).
SAP is investing heavily in its partner and developer network and allocates resources for Web services and startups. This eventually will make the path to SAP HANA more straightforward, however, organizations currently weighing their options need a place to start.
To begin, evaluate current needs for streamlining infrastructure and accessing data. This first step identifies key performance indicators (KPIs) for system performance, and specific areas for cost reduction, management and avoidance. It also allows CIOs to more fully understand their environments, especially as they consider a move to SAP HANA, and understand what could be if they decide to pursue that path.
Another important consideration when migrating to SAP HANA is a comprehensive database assessment or HealthCheck. The HealthCheck from Dolphin is a proactive audit that will help safeguard against costly system down time and ensure that the in-memory infrastructure remains lean and stable.
The HealthCheck incorporates standard SAP reports and specifically designed utilities to identify areas that need attention. Based on assumptions and a series of non-intrusive transactions from the system, data focusing on opportunities in three key KPI areas can be gleaned. These include:
- System performance
- Size and growth of production environments
- Cost reduction/containment
The resulting report will provide an overview of the health of the database on a monthly basis.
What can businesses hope to achieve from this audit process? In this context, the HealthCheck for SAP archiving provides insight into realizing significant opportunities for SAP systems improvement and a clearer path to SAP HANA. It includes:
- Increased Performance: including smaller database size, faster data load, queries, back up, refreshes and upgrades.
- Sustainable & Predictive Growth: including reduced storage and server growth.
- Reduced Total Cost of Ownership: including operational, system infrastructure and administrative savings.
The Dolphin’s HealthCheck for SAP databases is a structured examination into what areas need attention. Whether or not a company running SAP systems is considering moving to SAP HANA, the need to evaluate their databases, taking stock and assessing system performance, its design for capacity, and the business needs for data, may uncover specific areas where building an archiving strategy, engaging in database clean-up, or more aggressive data archiving to nearline storage makes sense.
The recommendations that come out of that evaluation become the foundation for making informed decisions for an efficient, more cost-effective footprint. The benefits for increased performance and stabilized growth can result in substantial cost savings. Add to that a lower total cost of ownership and lower risk factors IT has a business win-win for the critical business stakeholders – Finance and Compliance.
# # # # #
Dr. Hopf is responsible for setting the Dolphin’s strategic corporate direction and is the Archiving Principal. With more than 20 years of experience in the information technology industry, 14 focused in SAP, Dr. Hopf specializes in SAP Information Lifecycle Management initiatives including Data and Document archiving, SAP Archive Link Storage Solutions and Business Process solutions.
March 28, 2013 7:10 PM
Posted by: Renodis
As a child I always loved concept cars and that someday planes and cars would merge and cars would be able to fly. Well as we still wait for those flying cars, here is something more reachable. In my latest trip to the car show there were cars that could connect to the internet and cars that would allow you to dock your phone and play your music from your phone over your car’s radio system.
So, what else can be done? Let’s look at some of the new technology on the market now as well as dive into the future of smartphones and cars.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: Ready, Set, Start
Most of us have seen or used a key fob that we can just keep in our pockets. When we touch the car door it unlocks. Then inside the car we push a button to start – all very cool. But, I still have to have the key fob with me.
There are several applications newly on the market that join your smartphone and car to allow for interaction with your vehicle. Take for instance the new product by www.viper.com for starting, locating, locking or unlocking your car. It only makes sense that since that you always have your phone with you, you should be able to have this type of functionality.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: Are You OK?
Not sure if this has happened to you, but it’s happened to me – twice. My check engine light comes on and stays on (I can hear the cash register ringing up in the background). So I take the car in and they hook it up to a computer to check it. Interestingly, it was just letting me know that it’s 500 miles or so short of the next oil change.
OK, well wouldn’t it make sense for the car to just display a message that says, “This is a reminder that your next scheduled oil change is due in 500 miles.” This new technology is something you can have today from www.automatic.com. Their technology helps you become more cost aware by tracking and notifying you of wasteful driving habits while monitoring your engine status. So when the check engine light does come on you get real time information of what the problem is. You might be able to correct the problem yourself and clear the message which removes the check engine light for that issue.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: My Dashboard
On average most families have two cars and three plus drivers. Today each person in your family that drives probably has a cell phone. Now, image that your phone can function as your key fob. In addition, when you open the car the seats, mirrors, headrest etc. will adjust to your personal specification that you set with your phone.
Let’s take it a step further. The whole dashboard would be a blank touch screen panel that you could setup your personal preferences and save to your phone. Then when the car is started all the features of the dashboard are just the way and where you like it to be (within reason). I like my stereo controls to be above the heater controls. I like my speed to show up on the right side not the left. I like my gears display to be vertical not horizontal. I like my background to be green not red, etc.
To go a step further, imagine that all cars are designed this way. When you rent a car on vacation or borrow a car from a friend or family member, the cars can wirelessly get your preferred settings so all your pre-loaded configurations are there. How cool is that!?
And if you really want to reach for the sky, let’s take the current functionality some cars have to parallel park themselves. Why not have the car drop you off at the mall entrance and then go park itself? Then when you’re finished at the mall, pull out your smartphone and tell your car you’re ready to be picked up. By GPS your car comes to the entrance and picks you up.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: The Summary
In the future of smartphones and cars no matter which car you take, your setting will be your settings. Your spouse’s settings will be their settings. No more getting in the rental car and having the steering wheel hit you in the chest because the last person who drove it was much shorter than you.
All in all I see these future visions of technology taking place based on the latest technology we’re seeing coming out of the market as the future of smartphones and cars start to merge. Let’s hope this vision does not take as long as the flying car scenario.
Reynaldo Lyles is a recognized expert in mobility thought leadership, new industry standards in Mobile Device Management and compliance, and the Mobility Practice Leader for Renodis Telecom Management.
March 21, 2013 2:46 PM
Posted by: Renodis
Most of us have already heard about BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” and know what it means, but it is the “why you should care part” that some people struggle with. Isn’t it just another phone accessing my corporate email and applications?
In this blog, we’ll get back to the basics and explain why it’s important to know about – because dismissing the BYOD phenomenon may be done at your own peril.
BYOD: What Is It?
The acronym BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device”. In this environment an employee comes to the company with their own phone. On the surface this is nice. Your organization does not need to provide them with a device to communicate, access email, access corporate applications, receive text messages etc. So, yes, on the outside this looks like it may be a winner. The reality can be different when you take into account the security and policy measures you need to take to make sure your mobile ecosystem stays secured and policies are followed.
BYOD: Why You Should Care
The positives of allowing your employees to bring their own devices is appealing: no equipment cost for the company, small stipend to help pay for the phone plan, what’s not to love? A lot (this is the part where you start to care). Here are some questions you should ask yourself.
What about support for the device? Is your support desk ready for the extra calls that may not be related to your corporate information? The support requests might come in as, “The corporate application is not working!” only to debug and find out that it is due to some game that was downloaded for their kids which caused a conflict with that application. It is a personal device right. So now your support cost might go up.
What if this employee leaves the company with confidential information on their device? This could lead to loss of information, loss of clients, and legal ramification due to loss of data.
Will top talent work for me if all I have to offer for connectivity is a laptop or desktop? Yes this is a concern for top companies that want to attract the best and the brightest. Most students coming out of college today are well versed in the usage of their phone and will want to use it for all their communication needs. So do you cater to them and allow them to use their own phone or do you risk losing the talent by forcing them to carry two devices?
BYOD: What Else You Should Know
As you start to dig deeper into understanding the full picture of a BYOD environment, here are some things you need to pay attention to and get under control in your mobile ecosystem.
Establish a mobile governance team composed of HR, Legal, IT and any other stakeholders. Their job will be to create policies similar to employee code of conduct, but directed at mobile. Policy guidelines should include 1) what’s acceptable use and what is not 2) what rights you have to confidential information and how they will be put into effect in case of a layoff or resign.
Be aware of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act if you are planning to use a Mobile Device Management tool to manage your BYOD environment. Remember, texts are electronic communications so caution goes out to both sides: the user and the monitor of the managed BYOD’s.
Think about overtime implications. Recently, hourly workers have been bringing legal action when putting in more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay. Smartphones and other technology have allowed a bleed into personal time. Examples of this are replying to a corporate email here and there at 7 pm, 9pm 2am or reading a document that was sent out at 4pm around 8pm. This time adds up. Before smartphones and mobile devices, these types of items would not get addressed until the next work day.
BYOD: The Summary
The BYOD phenomenon is changing the Where, How and When workers do their jobs. It can provide a lot of good synergy on how your organization conducts business, but it also has the risk of leaving your organization open to legal challenges and cost overruns if not properly managed.
March 15, 2013 5:43 PM
Posted by: Renodis
As an IT leader, do you remember the first time you had that ‘aha’ moment when you realized that you can’t be all things to all stakeholders because of the pesky, immutable Economic Law of limited resources/unlimited opportunity? If you are like other IT leaders, that moment of enlightenment was probably both liberating and frustrating. The former because it took the pressure off of trying to do too much with limited money, time and talent; the latter because you still knew there were many un-done or un-initiated projects or solutions that could drive your business forward by leveraging technology correctly.
Well the difference between great IT leaders and those locked into spending approximately two thirds of their budgets on operational needs vs. innovation, are those that do something about this Law of Economics vs. simply accepting it.
Another way to approach the challenge is to ask “What is NOT worth the limited resources you have (Time, Money, Talent), but you always assumed it had be done by your department”?
Telecom. Even the word implies out-dated and non-strategic, limited ROI, and frustrating. Important, yes. Strategic, no. A wise use of your time, people, and money to manage wireline and mobility? No.
Here are three key reasons Telecom Management should not compete for your valuable time, people, and resources.
Reason #1 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: IT is Strategic. Telecom is Tactical
What would you rather have your star IT talent focus on:
a) Transformative IT technology that will grow your business and keep you at the CEO planning table, OR
b) Answer help desk calls on why someone’s mobile phone is not pulling email
Sound familiar? How about this long list of tactical, talent-wasting activities that have a huge opportunity cost for your IT achievements:
- Meeting with numerous Carriers that waste valuable time selling their brand of Kool Aid
- Reviewing Wireline and Mobile Telecom bills and contracts
- Evaluating Mobile Device Management platforms and how to manage them
- Staying current on the best DR strategies and solutions
- Escalating trouble tickets with non-responsive Carriers
The list can go on and on….it’s all tactical Telecom Management, and it’s all preventing you from being efficient and innovative.
Reason #2 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: Expertise is Unlikely; Mediocrity is Best Case
It is no secret that Carriers have reduced investment in customer service to the Mid Market Enterprise. This trend has required companies to either accept the frustration and inefficiency that it produces, or expect their IT staff to pick up the slack. Do you want your best IT talent (or any valuable FTE role) investing their training and educational time on learning the latest mobility rate plans, or how to mitigate risks in a SIP environment, or even what is the lowest cost/most reliable DR solution deployed by peers in your industry? Will these tasks transform your business or create innovation relative to your competitors? Of course not. Your staff knows this as well, and that is precisely why they don’t gain this expertise; namely, there is not a strong ROI to them or you, hence Mid-market firms are destined to experience mediocre Telecom Management outcomes at best, and very wasteful and potentially damaging outcomes at worst.
Reason #3 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: Money
Let’s face it, at the end of the day all business decisions are about a return on investment. However pouring money into developing the people, processes and tools to manage world-class Telecom outcomes is not a good use of finite resources nor will it produce innovation or business growth from technology that your Executive peers demand.
Conversely, ignoring one of your largest operating expenses within your IT budget will surely mean substantial money will be left on the table. In fact, most industry experts put the financial costs overruns that occur when mid-market firms try to take on Telecom Management internally at 20 to 30% or more in terms of Total Cost of Telecom. Therefore, accepting the status quo will guarantee one thing: waste. And that means less money for IT, and less focus from your IT staff.
Telecom Management: Conclusion
Firms have always sought to fill this inevitable gap between what your internal talent can effectively do, and what is desired to run wireline and mobility outcomes well. Usually this results in viewing Telecom Management as catalyst driven and thus contracting with third party experts on an as needed basis such as contract renewals, expense management, consulting etc. However that still leaves most firms with managing multiple parties to produce the outcomes desired.
The solution is to view Telecom as a process and not an event. This thinking then frees up firms to gain all the benefits of solving the three areas highlighted here. Seeking fully outsourced Telecom Management by partnering with a firm that invests in the people, process, and tools to run world-class Telecom Departments is the only sure path to an efficient IT staff focused on strategic initiatives, world-class service to your end users, and substantial savings that can be better invested in technology vs. Telecom.
Like what you hear? Contact Renodis today to learn how Turnkey Telecom Management helps businesses manage all Telecom outcomes in a holistic and integrated fashion while allowing valuable IT staff to focus on strategic transformation not operational chaos.
Myron Braun is an industry expert in Telecom Management and Vice President of Sales for Renodis.
March 14, 2013 10:43 PM
Posted by: SolarWinds
By Jennifer Kuvlesky, SolarWinds Product Marketing Manager
SolarWinds has seen many product releases in the last week, including a new free product called Alert Central, and one of the products I’m responsible for marketing—Server & Application Monitor (SAM). The new version 5.5 is feature rich and truly demonstrates this product’s maturity. SAM now delivers server monitoring for more than 150 applications, as well as brand-new remediation features like starting/stopping services, killing processes, and rebooting servers.
What’s really impressive to me is how far this product has come since its birth in 2008. From a software development perspective, SolarWinds kills it with its ability to rapidly develop and deliver quality, function-packed releases. I’m not sure how the dev team maintains such high energy. Maybe they’re energized by our CEO’s pep talks, or the funny t-shirts, free snacks, and caffeine. Most likely, they’re glowing from the praise of our customers.
Whatever it is, I’ve noticed a few things that work really well around here that I wanted to share. Here are some SolarWinds tips for speedy software development.
1) Start with solid interactive design. This aspect of software development, along with having a high-quality (not buggy) product, is what makes my job as a product marketer SO EASY! Just yesterday I interviewed a customer on why he chose SolarWinds, and he said “The product just worked—it was easy to set up and easy to understand.”
Without solid interactive design, a company must spend a lot of money on pre-sales engineers and professional services staff. Sometimes developers are pulled away from their regular workload to assist customers with implementation. This gets in the way of developing quality software in a timely manner, and can erode revenue because marketing and sales teams have nothing new to talk about!
2) Prioritize features that will benefit all of your customers. This requires discipline. Sometimes it’s not sexy to work on features that everyone needs. Many companies go for developing the next cool feature that really only 2% of customers need. It becomes very easy to develop a feature that’s of little use to the typical customer. Even worse, add a few of these together and your product becomes a Frankenstein that’s difficult to understand, use, develop, or migrate.
When you develop features for everyone, you mitigate risk for everyone in your company. Your development plans will be more solid, and your sales and marketing organizations will have more flexibility to sell to a broader base.
3) Focus on DevOps across the company. DevOps is traditionally defined as “emphasizing integration and collaboration between development and IT operations to aid in enabling scale and speed while reducing errors in products/applications.” This concept is similar in nature to supply chain management, which is a total systems view of how to link processes throughout the company for maximum customer satisfaction.
That’s what I’m talking about: Applying that concept to product development and delivery, to extend DevOps to all the functions that touch a customer. Every function in the company touches the customer in a different way. Integrating systems reduces manual mistakes and speeds up deployment time but, more importantly, each function is involved in the QA process. This is not only important for catching bugs errors (e.g. broken links, inaccurate wording, etc.). It’s also invaluable when working through a new process or product, or during a major organizational change, like an acquisition.
Check out this blog to learn more about SolarWinds’ UX process, or view this page to find out about the latest release of Server & Application Monitor.
March 5, 2013 8:56 PM
Posted by: Renodis
By Reynaldo Lyles from Renodis
In my last blog I talked about Windows Phones, in particular the HTC Windows Phone 8X moving up in the fray among the top iPhones and Androids.
Twelve years ago, Microsoft had the mobile market in its hand with its OS on PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) – remember those things? Then they made a half attempt at phones and poof … nothing. This left a void which first Apple, then Android filled by pushing the Smartphones.
With this background in mind I set out to take a closer look at the HTC Windows Phone 8X running the new Windows Phone 8 OS to find out what others were saying and how it matched with my opinion.
Will the HTC Windows Phone 8X change the minds of individuals and corporate enterprises to gain a larger share of the mobile market?
The HTC Windows Phone 8X: The Processor speed
With a dual-core CPU and LTE speeds it gives this phone the ability to stream, download and upload faster, which makes this a more powerful device. Who wants to wait for information these days?
The HTC Windows Phone 8X: Look and Feel
I think this is where the phone excels. Its screen design allows you to comfortably view movies and other streaming material. This can also be great for short work presentations and training information. Also, the thin and light weight design makes it very easy to carry around. But for me, I would add an Otter Box just for the extra protection.
The HTC Windows Phone 8X: Features
The phone is global ready, which is nice for the international enterprises. A few other competing phones have the following features, but it’s worth mentioning since that field of phones is small.
- You can use data and voice simultaneously
- For an extra monthly fee, you can use the phone as a Mobile Hotspot, with support for up to 8 Devices on 3G or 4G
- NFC allows for Tap and Share of files with other NFC devices
- Voice commands: Make a call, launch an app, send a text, take a note, find something online (pretty standard though limited when compared to Siri or Google Now)
- One knock that I’ve seen reported is that the camera does not take great pictures. All the pictures I’ve taken were good enough for me. If you need high quality pictures, invest in a high quality camera.
The HTC Windows Phone 8X: The Summary
In my opinion, the draw backs on this phone are:
1) Non-expandable storage. You need to rely on the cloud which some enterprises still find risky for their confidential information.
2) Non-removable battery. It’s not that big of a deal for me but I could see this being a pain for those international travelers who may not have time to sit and re-charge.
Once all the top Mobile Device Management (MDM) providers are able to fully manage and remote control this device (I say roughly 3 months), it will make a good alternative for their enterprises users. But as it stands right now this is no game changer to the smartphone market.
What are your thoughts on the new Windows Phone? Comment below!
Reynaldo Lyles is a recognized expert in mobility thought leadership, new industry standards in mobile device management and compliance, and the Mobility Practice Leader for Renodis Telecom Management.
February 13, 2013 8:53 PM
Posted by: stackify
Once upon a time two people from different sides of the tracks met and fell in love. Never before had the two people found another person who so perfectly complemented them. Society tried to keep them apart – “It’s just not how things are done,” they’d say. But times were changing, and this sort of pairing was becoming more socially acceptable.
They met at the perfect time.
Ops had grown tired of the day to day grind of solving other people’s problems. Enough was enough and she needed a change in her life. A perfectionist and taskmaster to the highest degree, she tended to be very controlling and possessive in relationships. It became more about commands than conversation, making life miserable for both parties. She began to realize she hated change, and felt like she spent most of her time saying “No.” It was time to open up and begin to share to make a relationship work.
Dev, on the other hand, was beginning to mature (a little late in the game, as guys seem to) and trying to find some direction. He had grown tired of communication breakdowns in relationships – angry phone calls in the middle of the night, playing the blame game, and his inability to meet halfway on anything. He began to realize most of those angry phone calls came as a result of making impulsive decisions without considering how they would impact others. His bad decisions commonly led to performance problems and created a mess for his partners. Dev wanted to more actively seek out everything that makes a healthy relationship work.
The timing was right for a match made in heaven. Dev and Ops openly working and living side by side to make sure both contributed equally to making their relationship work. Ops realized she didn’t have to be so controlling if she and Dev could build trust between one another. Dev realized that he caused fewer fights if he involved Ops in decisions about the future, since those decisions impacted both of them. It was a growing process that caused a lot of rapid and sudden change. Although, like most relationships, they knew it was important to not move too fast, no matter how good it felt.
Dev and Ops dated for about four years before they decided to get married. Now they will be living together and sharing so much more; will their relationship last? How will it need to change to support the additional closeness? But they aren’t worried, they know it is true love and will do whatever it takes to make it work. Relationships are always hard, and they know they can solve most of their problems with a reboot, hotfix, or patch cable.
Will you accept their forbidden love?
7 Reasons the DevOps Relationship is Built to Last
- Faster development and deployment cycles (but don’t move too fast!)
- Stronger and more flexible automation with deployment task repeatability
- Lowers the risk and stress of a product deployment by making development more iterative, so small changes are made all the time instead of large changes every so often
- Improves interaction and communication between the two parties to keep both sides in the loop and active
- Aids in standardizing all development environments
- DevOps dramatically simplifies application support because everyone has a better view of the big picture.
- Improves application testing and troubleshooting
About the author: Matt Watson is the Founder & CEO of Stackify. He has a lot of experience managing high growth and complex technology projects. He is on a mission to simplify the daily lives of developers and how they support their production applications by leveraging DevOps.
February 12, 2013 5:54 PM
Posted by: Renodis
As most people know, the BlackBerry has fallen way behind other smartphones like the iPhone, Android and yes, Windows Phones (also jumping up in the fray but that’s another article). The question is: Can the new BlackBerry Z10 Phone and OS 10 sway new users to choose BlackBerry? This could be a major shift in the smartphone arena which may make people think twice before their next smartphone purchase.
The New BlackBerry Z10 Phone and OS 10: The Processor and Browser
The new, redesigned OS 10 looks nice and is faster with a dual core processor. The browser is also faster and similar to iPhone and Android. On the negative side, OS 10 is lacking in applications and features such as mapping and finding points of interest effectively. Because of this, it’s seen as not as robust as other smartphones.
The New BlackBerry Z10 Phone and OS 10: The Virtual Keyboard
On the plus side one of the big separators of the BlackBerry Z10 Phone is the virtual keyboard. In fact, it’s one of the best on the market. The virtual keyboard is quick to respond and built with the capability to automatically generate word predictions based on letters you type. Though the BlackBerry Z10 does not have a physical keyboard, there are rumors that you will have the option to get a physical keyboard with the later models due out this spring.
The New BlackBerry Z10 Phone and OS 10: The BlackBerry Hub
The BlackBerry Hub (which is an area for all messaging, email and social media accounts) is easy to use and fits well with the Active Frames area which contains all open applications. (Note: iPhone and Android have similar areas)
The New BlackBerry Z10 Phone and OS 10: The Summary
At the time of this blog, BlackBerry has not indicated if they will allow the BlackBerry Z10 to be managed by an MDM (Mobile Device Management) Service. They still offer a proprietary BlackBerry Enterprise Service to manage the device.
So, all in all the BlackBerry Z10 Phone and OS 10 is a nice, easy-to-use, single personal device. However, when it comes to larger enterprise-size deployments, it still needs to have the capability to be managed by an MDM. Otherwise the ship may have sailed on BlackBerry for new enterprise adoptions – only time will tell.
January 17, 2013 3:42 PM
Posted by: stackify
, Cloud Computing
, Server Management
So what does DevOps mean exactly? What is the Ops in DevOps? Operations can mean a lot of things and even different things to different people. DevOps is becoming more and more popular but I also think a lot of people are confused to exactly what it is. So let’s make a list of all the things operations does and figure out what developers should be doing, and not doing.
- IT buying decisions
- Installation of server hardware and OS
- Configuration of servers, networks, storage, etc
- Monitoring of servers
- Respond to outages
Some other duties
- IT security
- Managing phone systems, network
- Internal help desk support
- Change control
- Backup and disaster recovery planning
- Manage active directory
- Asset tracking
Shared Development & Operations duties
- Software deployments
- Application support
Some of these responsibilities have changed a lot in the last few years. Virtualization and the cloud have greatly simplified buying decisions, installation, and configuration. For example, nobody cares what kind of server we are going to buy anymore for a specific application. We buy great big ones, virtualize them, and just carve out what we need and change it on the fly. Cloud hosting simplifies this even more by eliminiating the step of buying a great big server.
So what part of the Ops should developers do?
- Be involved in selecting the application stack
- Configure and deploy servers
- Deploy their applications
- Monitor application and system health
- Respond to applications problems as they arise.
In my opinion, that is the lifecycle of DevOps. Select the application stack, build it, deploy it, support it. The developers basically own the stack from operating system and up. If you have 5 development teams working on different projects, it makes a lot of sense for each team to be responsible for all of these things from start to finish. Make the developers completely responsible for their own application. Operations can simply be responsible for the physical infrastructure that supports it.
So what does the operations team do then?
- Manage the hardware infrastructure
- Configure and monitor networking
- Enforce policies around backup, DR, security, change control, etc
- Assist in monitoring the systems
- Manage active directory
- Asset tracking
- Other non production application related tasks
If your IT department is small, one of your developers can easily handle all of these tasks. In larger companies though I’m sure this role will be around forever. But… If you are using cloud based hosting, do you need operations at all? If you are embracing the DevOps concept of developers owning the deployment and production support of their applications, and you are using cloud hosting, you could probably say you are doing NoOps in your data center. But you still need at least a help desk person in the office to support your internal desktops.
DevOps to me is the concept of letting the operations team provide the hardware and letting the developers basically own everything from the OS up. Select the application stack, build it, deploy it, support it.