Ops integration will be scary, proceed with haste!

TL;DR: Your own tool silos (and the teams supporting them) are blocking your progress.

As CEO of RackN, I talk to a lot of operations teams who have big aspirations for automation that are faltering due to internal resistance.  Generally, we’re talking to the SREs on the team.  Sadly, those SREs are often stymied by narrowly scoped teams and house-of-cards technical debt.

Last week, I examined some of my DevOps scar tissue and tweeted:  “consider, ops integration will be scary – you have to give up control of individual actions and silos.  it’s hard to give up control”


The tweet seemed to strike a nerve with others because change and control are so often at war.  It was based on a recurring theme that the RackN team sees from ops organizations: antibodies towards integrated solutions in favor of DIY projects combining disparate tools.  

It makes sense to me that operators want a sense of control and ownership; however, those same motivations are counter to the automation imperative that should be driving them forward.  Patching together a solution today is adding technical debt that becomes insurmountable when used in production.

This challenge is why so much DevOps content is targeted at organization culture instead of tools.  While this is clearly the root, I also think that our tools are not designed to work together as a system.  The fact that teams prefer it that was is as key part of the problem.

Let’s do ourselves a favor – let’s take the time to solve operations issues at the system level like we’ve been trying to do with Digital Rebar.  We’ll all move faster together.



This entry was posted in DevOps, Digital Rebar, SRE and tagged , by Rob H. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rob H

A Baltimore transplant to Austin, Rob thinks about ways of building scale infrastructure for the clouds using Agile processes. He sat on the OpenStack Foundation board for four years. He co-founded RackN enable software that creates hyperscale converged infrastructure.

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