In this episode we talk with Todd Persen on the topic of monitoring cloud-native applications with Pivotal Cloud Foundry Metric. We discuss the changing nature of monitoring in cloud-native platforms, how developers can now turn black-boxes into white-boxes, why time-series dominates the thought-technology in this space now, and the benefits of open source taking over most innovation in systems management. Richard is out this week, so Andrew Shafer returns to fill in as co-host.
I started a new booklet project, the Cloud Native Cookbook.
The premise is this:
The premise of this book is to collect specific, tactical advice transitioning to a cloud-native organization. The reader is someone who “gets it” when it comes to agile, DevOps, cloud native, and All the Great Things. Their struggle is actually putting it all in place. Any given organization has all of it’s own, unique advantages and disadvantages, so any “fix” will be situational, of course.
This cookbook draws from actual experiences of what worked and didn’t work to try to help organizations hack out a path to doing software better. While we’ll allow ourselves some “soft,” cultural things here and there, each of the “recipes” should be actionable, tangible items. At the very least, the rainbows and unicorns stuff should have concrete examples, e.g., how do you get people to actually pair program when they think it’s a threat to their self-worth?
As with my previous cloud-native booklet, I have this one open for comments as I’m working on it. It’d be great to get your input.
Here’s some slides I’ve been using around all this.
The new version of Pivotal Cloud Foundry (“PCF” as folks like to say) is out. It has a whole slew of updates across the board.
My selective highlights:
- Google Cloud & Azure support, so you’re all multi-cloud ready (still with OpenStack, VMware, and AWS support).
- Will run 250,000 containers concurrently; in addition to scaling based on CPU usage, you can now auto-scale on HTTP Latency and HTTP Throughput.
- Updates to Spring Cloud, Zipkin, and Spring Boot Actuators for diagnostic stuff.
- MySQL updates, esp. for multi-zone support in AWS.
- “Tasks” one time processes that are an initial cut at “serverless”
- A slew of security updates.
See more – much more – features and details in Jared’s blog post wrapping the release up.
A webinar we recently did with Holger and Brian Gregory. It turned out well, esp. the discussion part.
According to the bank, the built-in automation of Pivotal’s cloud platform allows it to focus on delivering differentiated value, instead of being caught up with systems management and IT resource procurement. This means that DBS will be able to quickly deliver services, as well as build and update next-generation applications in order to deliver a better banking experience to users.
Another Pivotal Cloud Foundry customers. Banks seem to like it.
The biggest cloud native conference is coming up at the first week of August, SpringOne Platform. To plan out my time I took at look at the sessions. Here’s what I’m looking forward to and what I think you, dear readers, will find interesting as well. Doing a list like this, of course, ends up excluding some awesome sessions, so be sure to check out the talk list yourself as well.
Also, if you’re interested and haven’t registered yet, be sure to use the code
pivotal-cote-300 to get $300 off.
Dealing with legacy
Almost every conversation I have with large organizations involves a discussion about dealing with legacy software. While you may not be running JFK era IT, you probably have to deal with legacy. Here’s some sessions on that topic:
- Moving from Monolithic Architecture to Spring Cloud and Microservices – an overview of how Premier, Inc. (servicing 3,600 U.S. hospitals and 120,000 other providers) moved from a monolithic JBoss platform to Spring Cloud and friends.
- Bootiful Microservices in a Legacy Environment: Lessons Learned
- It’s Not You, it’s Us: Winning Over People and Yourself for the Team – while this session doesn’t explicitly address legacy, it sounds like the tactics of persuading your meatware to do the new thing would apply for sure: “what do you do when someone rubs you the wrong way or when people don’t quite get along? The problem is simple: not getting along, and the solution is simple, too: getting along. What’s not so easy is the magic in between.”
- The Journey to Becoming Cloud Native – A Three Step Path to Modernizing Applications – this one hits all the major “yeah, but, whaddaabout this!” questions around moving legacy apps to the new approach.
Cloud Native Coding
Moving to The New, New Thing requires different ways of architecting and coding your software. Here’s some sessions that go over those new ways:
- 12 Factor, or Cloud Native Apps – What EXACTLY Does that Mean for Spring Developers? – “At the conclusion you will understand what is needed for cloud‐native applications, why and how to deliver on those requirements.”
- Architecting for Cloud Native Data: Data Microservices Done Right Using Spring Cloud – dealing with data is always a pain and one of the least talked about parts of the cloud native approach. I’ve seen Fred give a version of this talk, tho, I have to admit I wasn’t paying full attention. It’ll be nice to actually listen and watch.
- Building .NET Microservices – compatibility with .Net ranks up there with a top question right after asking about dealing with legacy. We recently talked with Kevin on Pivotal Conversations, so I’m looking forward to seeing .Net and Spring in action together to go all microservices crazy.
- Consumer Driven Contracts and Your Microservice Architecture – while we were walking to a park bar in Warsaw a few weeks back, Marcin explained this idea of contracts with API management. It sounded like an intriguing way, to use my rephrasing, get the benefits of type safety into a dynamic languages and type-enforcement-resistant environments like over-the-web APIs. Should be interesting. There’s also another session on using the contract metaphor if that’s your bag.
- Implementing Microservices Tracing with Spring Cloud and Zipkin – another one with Marcin and also Reshmi Krishna. I asked Marcin to explain all this Zipkin in Spring and PCF stuff to me on a train ride between Warsaw and Krakow: it was awesome, esp. given my background in systems management. When we talk about “day two problems,” a large part is monitoring new applications in production. I think Zipkin’s addition to cloud native ecosystem will be incredibly helpful.
- Who Does What? Mapping Cloud Foundry Activities and Entitlements to IT Roles – this is another one that could pop-up in the “dealing with legacy” bucket, but it’ll apply to net-new development as well: “In this session Cornelia will take a holistic view of the Cloud Foundry “control plane” and map the key functions to IT roles (perhaps with some redefinition), and she’ll show which entitlements allow which configurations.”
While cooked up demos of Pet Stores and Breweries are education, I’m most interested in hearing tales of what’s actually happened out in the world. Here are some of the case studies that look interesting:
- Building Out a CI/CD Pipeline at Express Scripts – “Find out how Brian worked with the Line of Business, with Application Development, and with IT to broker this alignment, exposing to the business why the infrastructure matters and why they were able to get a better seat at the table and become more relevant. Hear the reality of what Express Scripts experienced in adopting microservices, touch points into legacy integration, and how to approach the challenges involved.” Brian was also on the Lord of Computing podcast where he gave an excellent overview of transforming ESI.
- From 0 to 1000 Apps: The First Year of Cloud Foundry at The Home Depot – Home Depot has been using Pivotal Cloud Foundry for awhile now and each time I’ve seen them talk on the topic it’s been incredibly helpful to understanding how large orginizations do cloud native. Most of this session looks like meatware-talk, which suits me just fine!
- Unwinding Platform Complexity with Concourse – hear Matt Curry and his co-worker at Allstate, Alan Moran, talk about setting up their continuous delivery pipeline. Also, see my recent Q&A with Matt where we talk about this session, as well as transformation in general at Allstate.
The Usual Chuckle-heads
And, to highlight talks from my team:
- Someone got Casey to do two sessions! The Five Stages of Cloud Native and The Twelve-Factor Container.
- Cloud Native Java – if you haven’t seen The Josh Long Show, you should make sure to check this out. I’ve seen him present to a huge room and then an audience of one: it’s always fun, and educational.
Containers Will Not Fix Your Broken Culture (and Other Hard Truths) – as someone who’s actually run containers in production, Bridget is legit on this topic. Check out a little preview here from Velocity.
- Extending the Platform – the other part of the Cloud Native Java duo, check out Kenny: ”
There are several supported mechanisms for extending the platform. In this talk we’ll consider each method and which problem areas they address well. We’ll cover everything from user-provided services to first class services managed by BOSH.”
- Machine Learning Exposed! – when it’s time to hit the cocktail circuit, you’ll need to know about machine learning: “You’ll be the hit of your next party when you’re able to express the near-magical inner-workings of artificial neural networks!”
- IoT in the Cloud: Build & Unleash the Value in your Renewable Energy System – I’ve seen Mark talk and he packs a lot into a good, coherent session. Here, I like the idea of showing how the cloud native approach is helpful, if not needed, for IoT.
- DevOps for Normals – What’s Happening as Donkeys Adopt DevOps – my 2016 DevOps talk, updated with stats, studies, and advice I’ll have come across.
(And, remember: if you want to come, you can get $300 if use the code
pivotal-cote-300 when you register.)
I’m often asked to come speak on, well, the topic of “tell us about the new, interesting stuff out there that makes software development better…but don’t be pitching me anything.” This is my most recent cut at that kind of talk.
You can check out the slides as well.