As a technical specialist in the DevOps field I would like to share with you my experience around IBM UrbanCode Deploy and how we, based on this experience, are extending the tool with our Talos plugin.
DevOps – current state of play
The most important thing in development projects is to get going quickly, both in terms of getting to market (before someone else does with a competing idea) and getting fingers on the keyboard. All too often a good business idea or opportunity is missed because the infrastructure is not ready to support the product – or even the development of the product. The agile method (the development approach of choice for most modern projects) tells us “release early, release often”, and while the methodology and Project Management governing it goes a certain way toward enforcing this approach, it can’t be achieved without tools and a certain infrastructure type. Developers have for a long time had automated build and deploy, unit testing, performance testing and feedback into the next iteration of development (e.g. did your last commit break anything? Did it slow the system down? Does it provide the functionality it is supposed to) – and for a long time (even now in a lot of cases) this was supported by a team of ‘Ops Guys’ whose job it was to make sure that the infrastructure could keep up – with no such diligent approach to managing infrastructure changes.
We exhibited at the recent WebSphere User Group on the 25th of April in London and many of the conversations we had at the stand were about DevOps. Some of the delegates were already on their journey to ‘becoming DevOps’ but many were still trying to understand what DevOps means and how they should get started. Most of those conversations led on to discussing Talos, Tech Data’s middleware automation tool.
The term cloud means different things to different people. For consumers the cloud might be where they store their music and photographs. For others it might be Google Apps or Office365. If you’re a business user it could be a cloud-hosted application. If you run a datacentre it could be a way of optimising hardware. The list goes on.
Being a provider of IT solutions is sometimes not easy. I often feel for our partners. Over a coffee last month, one partner was explaining that after 12 months of hard work, they finally found themselves in front of their client to discuss migrating to the cloud. It had taken them months of hard work to convince their customer that a cloud based application was the right solution. They’d successfully completed a number of sales pitches and addressed a succession of stakeholders. On this journey they had sat in countless meetings, clocked up thousands of miles, drank too much coffee, sat up late at night producing slide decks and quoted numerous experts on why cloud is the best solution.
Middleware has been a foundation of modern web-based applications for a long time now. Middleware has evolved substantially over the years and has provided a platform for developers to develop rich distributed applications. In today’s world the richest of applications can all be easily accessed via the web and can scale to accept millions of connections, thanks in large part to middleware. There are a variety of middleware types from application servers to message oriented middleware all working together to provide a platform upon which developers can develop and scale applications.
Migrating to the Cloud is not a new concept and by no means a declining one. Migrating to the Cloud means different things for different people, whether they are in Finance, business users or in the hands on IT Technical teams. However, the drivers to migration are fundamentally the same but will hold different levels of value to the different teams or business areas.
The latest core release v1.1 has been released for customer download. Please contact your account manager or support team for more information.