DevOps Days India 2011

DevOps Days is an open event which is typically considered as an interaction between what is traditionally considered as Development activity and an Operations activity. I added up to Operations activity for this two day event held at ThoughtWorks, Bangalore on 27-28 August 2011. There were talks, interactive sessions and OpenSpace sessions altogether.
The first day began with a welcome talk by Ajey Gore, followed by talk by Nick Hines on Continuous Delivery. Nick was focusing on things like – basic fundamentals, automation, branching,right sizing, continuous improvements; Development practices like automation testing, code on mainline, branching by abstractions, non-functional automation testing, Build – development pattern : build-pipeline, canary releasing. Tooling: Chef, Puppet, CFEngine, Infrastructure as a Code.
The other interesting talk given by speakers from Infosys – “Why is it difficult to do Test Driven Development and Continuous Integration in large companies ?” was an eye opener. Mainly because of maintenance, reliability and performance, feature release, investments in process automation, culture change, dependencies. Mirror environments , need for constant change, split of activities, maturity levels. These were those immense factors which made them think twice before adopting it and deviating from patterns.
Test Load Balancer [ TLB ] was the talk which I liked the most ; it splits tests into multiple mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive partitions and allows it to run in parallel to reduce build time. There were speakers from SlideShare who presented how they were able to build a system that deploys 5 times a day in a production environment. I attended OpenSpace sessions by techs from MakeMyTrip on Monitoring Systems using Nagios, Puppet, Ganglia. They also mentioned about identifying metric for monitoring, they have their own inventory system to deal with each clusters.
Second day witnessed a talk by Garrett Honeycutt from Puppet Labs which was so worth learning that I did mention about it’s usage in my organisation. We can have hosts on demand, reduce entropy, disaster recovery, infrastructure as a code, usage of dashboard. Automate most of the activities on nodes. Garrett’s talk’s slide is available here
I am not a Ruby guy but could definitely understand it’s power – Ajey & Nikhil spoke on Deployment Pattern in Ruby on Rails world. Ajey’s openspace session was the last thing I attended, went on for more that 45mins and got to know about reducing build times from few days to few hours using automated deployment. Things that they concentrate while setting up an environment – define a standard hardware, choose OS, configurations and provisioning them.
Had a rich experience at the event followed by meeting some old faces too. It’s four years now since I am with Systems and working in Operations, but yes is DevOps solving issues like – (1) Afraid of changing once application is delivered. (2) Risky deployments (3) It works on my machine.

The DevOps movement is still in its infancy, but it’s gathering pace – there are conferences, mailing lists, irc channels, blogs and people to get to know. I’m convinced this isn’t just a fad, and we’re on the brink of a revolution in the software industry – a paradigm shift in which developers and sysadmins start to work together, to train each other, and ultimately to blur the boundary – welcome to the world of the DevOps.

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  1. Journey from Linux Systems Admin to a DevOps Engineer | Ashutosh Narayan

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