Michael Churchman started as a scriptwriter, editor, and producer during the anything-goes early years of the game industry. He spent much of the ‘90s in the high-pressure bundled software industry, where the move from waterfall to faster release was well under way, and near-continuous release cycles and automated deployment were already de facto standards. During that time he developed a semi-automated system for managing localization in over fifteen languages. For the past ten years, he has been involved in the analysis of software development processes and related engineering management issues. He is a regular Fixate.io contributor.
How have monitoring tools evolved over the years? That’s a big question, and one that few people are capable of answering based on personal experience. Monitoring software has been around in one form or another since the early years of computing, and few people who are active in the profession today were working then.
Are you a bit unsure about the difference between log aggregation and Application Performance Monitoring (APM)? If so, you’re hardly alone. These are closely related types of operations, and it can be easy to conflate them—or assume that if you are doing one of them, there’s no reason to do the other. In this post, we’ll take a look at log aggregation vs APM, and the relationship between these two data [...]
AWS Config is an indispensable service with a bit of an identity problem: It really should be called something like “AWS Monitors Everything And Keeps Your Apps In Compliance,” because it is that important. But since there’s no way to put everything it does in a short, snappy name, “AWS Config” will do. What does AWS Config do? Basically, it monitors the current and past configurations of your AWS resources, [...]
Why do you need patterns for building a successful microservices architecture? Shouldn’t the same basic principles apply, whether you’re designing software for a monolithic or microservices architecture? Those principles do largely hold true at the highest and most abstract levels of design (i.e., the systems level), and at the lowest and most concrete levels (such as classes and functions). But most code design is [...]
How can you get the most out of monitoring your AWS Lambda functions? In this post, we’ll take a look at the monitoring and logging data that Lambda makes available, and the value that it can bring to your AWS operations. You may be thinking, “Why should I even monitor AWS Lambda? Doesn’t AWS take care of all of the system and housekeeping stuff with Lambda? I thought that all the user had to do was write some code [...]
Looking for some logging moves that will impress your business partner? In this post, we’ll show you a few. But first, a note of caution: If you’re going to wow your business partner, make a visiting venture capitalist’s jaw drop, or knock the socks off of a few stockholders, you could always accomplish that with something that has a lot of flash, and not much more than that, or you could show them something that [...]
“DevOps and technical debt? But isn’t DevOps the cure for technical debt?” Well, yes and no, but largely no. It’s important to understand the ways in which DevOps is not the cure for technical debt — and particularly the ways in which DevOps may produce its own, characteristic forms of technical debt. First, a very quick refresher: In software development, technical debt is code that is substandard (in design, [...]
When you roll out a new deployment, how do you roll? With a big bang? A blue/green deployment? Or do you prefer a Canary Release? There’s a lot to be said for the Canary Release strategy of testing new software releases on a limited subset of users. It reduces the risk of an embarrassing and potentially costly public failure of your application to a practical minimum. It allows you to test your new deployment in a [...]
“Of course our pipeline is fully automated! Well, we have to do some manual configuration adjustments on a few of our bare metal servers after we run the install scripts, but you know what I mean…” We do know what you mean, but that is not full automation. Call it what it really is — partial automation in a snowflake environment. A snowflake configuration is ad-hoc and “unique” to the the environment at large. But [...]
Is bare metal infrastructure relevant in a DevOps world? The cloud has reduced hardware to little more than a substrate for the pool of resources that is the cloud itself. Those resources are the important part; the hardware is little more than a formality. Or at least that’s been the standard cloud-vs-metal story, until recently. Times change, and everything that was old does eventually become new again — usually [...]
Your website (or online application or service) isn’t just a website. It’s also the backend, plus the hosting medium (local hardware, cloud, etc.), plus the IP connection, plus search engine visibility, plus an open-ended (and growing) list of other factors. And one of the most basic factors is the flow of traffic. In many ways, it is the key factor in the dynamic environment in which any website or service lives. [...]
Until recently, deploying containers on Windows (or on Microsoft’s Azure cloud) meant deploying them on a Linux/UNIX VM managed by a Windows-based hypervisor. Microsoft is a member of the Open Container Initiative, and has been generally quite supportive of such solutions, but they necessarily required the added VM layer of abstraction, rather than being native Windows containers. If you wanted containers, and if [...]
Log analysis is a first-rate debugging tool for DevOps. But if all you’re using it for is finding and preventing trouble, you may be missing some of the major benefits of log analysis. What else can it offer you? Let’s talk about growth. First of all, not all trouble shows up in the form of bugs or error messages; an “error-free” system can still be operating far below optimal efficiency by a variety of important [...]
Once again, DevOps is moving the needle. This time, it’s in the open source world, and both open source and commercial software may never be the same again.As more and more open source projects have become not only successful, but vital to the individual and organizations that use them, the open source world has begun to receive some (occasionally grudging) respect from commercial software developers. And as [...]