Reflections on “What is #DevOps?”


Via @carymillsap, I was pointed to What is DevOps? by Mike Loukides.

Loukides’ argument appears to be that operations has now merged into development and should be called ‘devops’.

This merging of operations and development ignores the security inherent in the separation of duties. The operations not only configured and ran the production system, but were also the guardians of the production data. There is supposed to be a hard line around the production data.

Another problem is that operations and development have different ways of approaching the world.

Following on from ER DBAs – Reflections on Tom Kyte’s “Doctors…”, operations have an ER mindset, while development have a longer term focus either in the operating theatre or in preventative medicine.

Operational personnel have to make decisions quickly. Things have to be prioritised. There is no time for dilly-dally. Restoration of service is paramount.

The problem is that wrong decisions can be made in the heat of the momemnt. This is why operational personnel have to train continuously for emergencies. It is drill after drill.

I tried to drill my DBAs by running ASH reports and making quick diagnoses. It is practice to quickly find what is important, and to ignore what is not. And they do it over again and again. And I ask them for recommendations (which are not implemented). The idea to practise diagnosis and remediation as a continuous process.

Development has to consider the much larger picture. The mode of thinking is more intense and has to be carried over many months. Knowledge is painfully acquired and honed in the light of experience before implementation can begin. It is like carving a statue out of a block of marble. The blow has to be carefully thought out before being carried out.

So, security and differing modes of problem solving would prevent the successful merging and of development and operations.

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