Oracle’s view is simple: SaaS suites win in the long term.
The single biggest one is the move to public cloud, and this is where Docker is focused today. This is the number one area that we are putting all our investment in. We have this great container platform that allows you to do a lot of things, but just like any company, we need to pick an area of focus and for us, helping customers take legacy apps, moving them to the Docker platform, and allowing them to run it on any infrastructure because it’s hybrid cloud world, does a couple of things — it drives massive savings for customers, typically 50 percent cost reduction in a cost structure, but it also opens up real opportunities for the customer and our partners to innovate within that environment
Also, this is an insanely good example of a fluffy leather chair conference interview, plus, The Channel filter.
Where does the 50 percent savings come from? A few different areas. The biggest is, honestly, in the mass reduction in number of VMs [virtual machines] and that’s not good or bad, it’s just the reality. The other is that there is a massively increased density factor on compute, and so we can put a lot more workloads on a fewer number of servers. If you are a [company like] Nestle, and you are going to take a bunch of information and business systems and move it to the public cloud, doing a one-to-one move is not necessarily all that advantageous.
When I joined Docker I had a good conversation with someone over at Microsoft that said ‘I’d love to partner with you.’ His view was, the more people move to Docker, the more business they get on Azure. In fact, for every dollar we generate, he generates $7.
Momentum and the EBIT(A) chase:
we’re growing at 150 percent-plus year over year and expect that to continue for at least another few years. I’m hoping to get to profitability in mid-2019, and that’s important
Everyone always wants to know metrics. While the answer is always a solid “it depends – I mean, what are your business goals and then we can come up with some KPIs,” there’s a reoccurring set of technical metrics. Nicole lists some off:
These IT performance metrics capture speed and stability of software delivery: lead time for changes (from code commit to code deploy), deployment frequency, mean time to restore (MTTR), and change fail rate. It’s important to capture all of these because they are in tension with each other (speaking to both speed and stability, reflecting priorities of both the dev and ops sides of the team), and they reflect overall goals of the team. These metrics as a whole have also been shown to drive organizational performance.
And, then, further summarized by Daniel Bryant:
Key metrics for IT performance capture speed and stability of software delivery, and include: lead time for changes (from code commit to code deploy), deployment frequency, mean time to restore (MTTR), and change fail rate.
Also in the interview, a concise DevOps definition:
I define DevOps as a technology transformation that drives value to organizations through an ability to deliver code with both speed and stability.
See the rest.
I’m always interested to hear how management manages to change how software is done in large organizations – it can seem impossible! As ever, Allstate provides a fascinating stream of information here, and I was lucky to get the chance to interview Opal Perry there on how Allstate has been doing with all that cloud-native stuff.
Also, if you want to hear more, Matthew Curry and I had a similar conversation a few weeks ago at OSCON.
Another interview, mostly on cloud and other dorky topics:
Having worked in cloud since before cloud, JJ and I talk about what companies are using various cloud things for. We also discuss the conceptual history of cloud, and what exactly he does as a “business development” person at Chef.
While in San Francisco for a Pivotal meeting, I recorded an episode with Josh Long. We talk about what reactive programming is and why you’d use it. Also, dish towels. Also, check out the livestream of this if you’re into video.
If you haven’t subscribed already, subscribe to the Coté Show. I do little monologs and interviews like this in it, somewhat irregularly.
I always like his focus in speeding up the release cycle as a forcing function for putting continuous integration in place, both leading to improving how an organization’s software:
I try not to get too caught up in the names. As long as the changes are helping you improve your software development and delivery processes then who cares what they are called. To me it is more important to understand the inefficiencies you are trying to address and then identify the practice that will help the most. In a lot of respects DevOps is just the agile principle of releasing code on a more frequent basis that got left behind when agile scaled to the Enterprise. Releasing code in large organizations with tightly coupled architectures is hard. It requires coordinating different code, environment definitions, and deployment processes across lots of different teams. These are improvements that small agile teams in large organizations were not well equipped to address. Therefore, this basic agile principle of releasing code to the customer on a frequent basis got dropped in most Enterprise agile implementations. These agile teams tended to focus on problems they could solve like getting signoff by the product owner in a dedicated environment that was isolated from the complexity of the larger organization.
You can hide a lot of inefficiencies with dedicated environments and branches but once you move to everyone working on a common trunk and more frequent releases those problems will have to be address. When you are building and releasing the Enterprise systems at a low frequency your teams can brute force their way through similar problems every release. Increasing the frequency will require people to address inefficiencies that have existed in your organization for years.
On how organization size changes your managerial tactics:
If it is a small team environment, then DevOps is more about giving them the resources they need, removing barriers, and empowering the team because they can own the system end to end. If it is a large complex environment, it is more about designing and optimizing a large complex deployment pipeline. This is not they type of challenges that small empowered team can or will address. It takes a more structured approach with people looking across the entire deployment pipeline and optimizing the system.
The rest of the interview is good stuff. Also, I reviewed his book back in November; the book is excellent.
When we’re talking with customers about the value that Puppet brings to them, invariably we talk about the future, and the future in their mind in some ways includes containers. There’s a lot experimentation going on. There’s a lot of Docker work being done and container work being done, Kubernetes work being done on their laptops. The conversations we have with them is how does Puppet help you bring it into production, into mission-critical production? How do you keep it secure? How do you operate it? All of those things that we know how to do and have done with various kinds of infrastructure, whether it was OpenStack, whether it was virtual machines, whether it’s just server configuration. For us, we take the same approach to containers and are evolving our road maps to make sure that customers have the same benefits they’ve have had over the years now with containers or other technology.
From an interview with Puppets CEO, Sanjay Mirchandani.
“I like to express it like this. Every team that develops with agility follows these steps: 1. Know where you are; 2. Take a small step towards where you want to be; 3. Evaluate what happened; 4. Repeat.”
A little while back I did an email interview with Ray Wang from iThome Weekly, in Taiwan. It’s a little piece about DevOps getting more and more into the enterprise. To read the Google, robot translation, it looks like I did some things “single-handedly,” where in fact I was one of many hands.
As always, here’s the original email exchange we had:
Q. You mention about software-defined business in your article, can you tell more details about what is software-defined business? Why CEO have to think about the software-defined business？ Why DevOps is so important for software defined business?
“Software defined businesses” are companies that are using custom written software to dramatically change and enhance how they run their business. Uber is a good example. Instead of just being a taxi or car service, they use software they wrote to change how their business runs: calling and paying for a taxi on your sell phone is much different than hailing a cab and paying in cash. Insurance and banking companies that are moving more and more of their daily business and interaction with customers to run over mobile apps and other custom written applications are another good example; we see this happening at Pivotal customers lie Allstate, Humana, and banks that use Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
Q: What’s your definition of DevOps? Does DevOps equal to Continuous Delivery?
Which definition of DevOps you don’t like most and why?
In general, I think of DevOps as the process and “culture” you wrap around continuous delivery to get the full effect of CD. I tend to speak about them interchangeably at this point; I suppose you don’t need DevOps to get the full benefits of continuous delivery, but they seem to go together well (you could always have just a jelly or just a peanut butter sandwich, but they seem to show up together a lot). CD is always looking to automate as much as possible, delivery to production frequently, and use the feedback loop this rapid cycle gives you (you an observe what your users does each week or day instead of each six months) which are many of the things DevOps seeks to enable as well.
It’s easy to get caught up in DevOps conversations that spend all of them time talking about “culture” and the need to change. I’m interested in that, but I always want to hear about actual, tactical things companies can do to get the benefits of DevOps. We all know how businesses use IT needs to change to be better, and that it’s hard to do so. I want to make sure the overall community is giving advice that’s helpful and, dare I say it, “actionable.”
Q: Should companies have to implement agile development before implement DevOps? Why?
It certainly helps to know what agile development is as a school of thought and to have done some form of agile to trust that way of thinking. If you’ve never done agile before, it just becomes part of trying to do DevOps. It’s certainly hard to think of being successful at DevOps without also doing agile software development.
Q: If CIO want to tell his CEO boss about what’s the value for non-technology companies , what’s your suggestion?
Time to market is the main, measurable, benefit. What that means, to me, is that software is being given to customers more frequently. New features and fixes come out weekly instead of once every 6 to 12 months. The business (the CEO) has to figure out what to do with time to market. If you can put a new features in production each week, how will that help the business? In the consumer space (where much of this mentality comes from) you can add more and more features to out-compete competitors. In the business space, the actual business has to change and evolve at a fast pace to fully take advantage of time to market. All that said, I don’t think any CEO is satisfied with the pace of change in IT. They’d all like it to move not just “faster,” but to get more meaningful features in production more often. Humana provides an interesting example: because they had been honing their software delivery process they were able to launch an Apple Watch app in just five weeks. That timeline is pretty amazing for most enterprise IT projects, let along being in the App Store on the first day of the Apple Watch’s release.
Q: Gartner say 2016 will be the year of DevOps. Do you agree with that? why or why not?
Sure, but I think you’ll see the next 3 or so years be the year of DevOps. I don’t think there’s any one year in particular that will stand out. I don’t think there was “a year of Agile Software Development” in the 2000s, it just took over slowly. What important is for companies to understand what DevOps can help give them – faster time to market for their software-driven products and services – and figure out what they’d do with that new ability. “Doing DevOps” is not easy, so you really need to value the end result or you’ll likely loose interest in the transformation process and let it unhelpfully fizzle out.
And, check out the recording of the DevOpsDays Austin talk referenced in the article if you’re interested.