Operating Dev

Blurring the line between software development and operations

Operating Dev - Blurring the line between software development and operations

Scaling down – running cost-effective campaigns on the AWS cloud

[Originally posted on the TriNimbus blog]

If you ever had to handle a big marketing campaign on a website or a promotion on your SaaS product, you probably know that sizing your servers to handle the anticipated load is notoriously hard and costly. Typically, you need to get beefy hardware to power up a number of servers and deploy a load balancer to equally split the traffic between each server so you get a system that can handle millions of views in a small time range like hours.

If you read my post on the OperatingDev blog or the Precursor Games case study on theTriNimbus site, you know that we recently worked with Precursor Games to design and implement a scalable deployment architecture for their crowdfunding campaign. We chose to deploy the system on AWS and our aim was to ensure the servers can handle up to a million page views in the first few days. Continue reading

Crowdfunding done right

Screenshot from the game Shadow of the Eternals

A while back I wrote that crowdfunding can be a distraction to startups from working on their products. While I still believe that, one of my clients have shown me that the two can be put together to create a community of people who passionately care about your product and are investing their time and ideas (beyond the $10 or $50 or whatever amount they contribute) in helping you deliver an outstanding experience.

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When a disaster hits – rising from the ashes

Image from http://www.eci.com/blog/77-hedge-fund-disaster-recovery-requirements-part-one.htmlSo far in the Disaster Recovery series I have discussed the importance of DR planning for building resilient organizations regardless of size and described the steps needed for building a basic DR plan using the cloud. This article will complete the series by looking at the process of recovery and the thoughts that go into proactive planning and recovery actions.

The most critical part of DR — and hardest to implement — it is the procedure to rebuild your infrastructure in a different location should a disaster hit. As you can imagine, the cost of a secondary infrastructure in a traditional data centre is prohibitive for many companies to even start thinking about DR.

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Cloud vision – anno 2016

Image from http://www.cloudifysource.org/2012/11/02/moving_enterprise_workloads_to_the_cloud_on_a_massive_scale_cloudify_way.htmlIt is the year 2016 and Amazon is getting ready for their fifth re:Invent conference. The conference attracted a lot of attention already – after all one of the keynotes will be broadcast from aboard MV Ushuaia as Amazon is ready to launch their newest data centre, built next door to the Palmers Station on Anvers Island in the Antarctic Peninsula region. With this, they will now have data centres on all continents on our planet! (Some say they are building one under water in the Pacific too but these are only rumors for now.)

The interest for the conference has been growing since the first one in 2012 and Amazon decided this year to hold simultaneous events in several locations around the world. The audiences will follow the broadcast of the keynote from Antarctica using the latest video streaming service the AWS team plans to officially announce at the conference – AWS Cineplex – which is seriously threatening Netflix as the main provider of online movie streaming.

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Evolving codelines – mastering the runtime

Image from http://www.techgatherer.com/newvem-unveils-first-ever-iphone-app-for-managing-amazon-cloud-services/In last week’s article, I have argued that most software code is at what I called maturity level 1-3 and only those teams that practice coding as a deliberate discipline achieve level 4. At this level they are controlling every aspect of their deployment, like configuring the application, managing shared libraries and third-party dependencies, deploying or migrating their database, etc. They are also taking advantage of scripted builds, continuous integration and automated testing, which are pre-requisites for successful adoption of agile and lean methodologies.

But there are two more levels (and maybe more can be achieved through innovation) that are pushing the limits of what is possible with code. Arguably, these levels are only possible thanks to advances in virtualization and cloud technologies and may be beyond reach for certain type of software products that have to deal with traditional infrastructure or where the maturity of the tools available is making it harder to go beyond level 4. (Those projects are possibly limited more by tradition and mindset than tools, though.)

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Software Defined … When new technologies cloud the value of the cloud

Map from http://jedi.be/blog/2010/10/13/the-map-is-not-the-territory-the-world-of-it-anno-2010/A friend who got interested in concepts like DevOps and Infrastructure As Code after I introduce them to him, recently forwarded me an article in PC Magazine about something called Software Defined Networking (SDN). Being passionate about technologies that virtualize hardware infrastructure and allow you to programmatically manage your resources, I was immediately intrigued and decided to look up more information. After all, as the map on the right indicates, the IT landscape is very complex and if Dev & Ops can be put to work together by using a software driven approach to typical infrastructure needs everyone should be a winner.

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Fault-tolerance and scalability for the masses

I was initially thinking to name this post “Eating your own dog food” but thought that talking about fault-tolerance would be more appropriate given that the technologies I am going to talk about are produced by someone else, not me. Still, the concept of dogfooding is an important one in the context of DevOps and Operating Dev and my goal was to use this blog to demonstrate not only the concept but to also put my money where my mouth is and provide some insight along the way.

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