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If I lose you at ‘Devops’ … you’re missing the point.

If I lose you at ‘Devops’ … you’re missing the point.

by Jeremiah ShackelfordSeptember 19, 2016
 [But then again, the Title drew you this far, so perhaps you’re onto something.]
   Disrupt SF did not disappoint this year. Yes, the Secretary of Defense, both Marc’s (Benioff & Andreessen), and Steph Curry all made headline appearances, in the same day no less; but I would like to take a moment to highlight the lesser-sung heroes of the conference [and our industry and World for that matter]: DEVOPS. Let’s break IT down: Development Operations, as in Software Development and IT Operations. A match made in tech.haven no doubt, and that’s even before you drop some of that crazy QA into the mix. DEVOPS deserves more respect. I intend to convince you.
Who do you think provisions all that front-end performance you take for granted and deem self-evident? IT is it.
   Let’s start with the Big 3: Amazon, Google, Microsoft. They came they saw they conquer, but if Google thinks they’re going to beat Amazon at price point, I believe surprises are in store. I think Bezos and Werner would rather bet the entire ranch then let that happen. If need be, or perhaps simply as an ecosystem adaptation, look for a little Seattle strategery in the infrastucture offering(s). That is, MSFT & Amazon teaming up to keep GOOG at bay in the Bay. Hybrid is the new stable, and with a new ‘bare-metal’ Azure doing heavy-lifting (albeit generic loads) alongside AWS’ ever-growing expertise and suite of services for more proprietary configurations, there’s room for some pretty clever architectures. Dare I say creative? Ok perhaps not, but at the least, ingenious and tested and [more] efficient and grand.



Infrastructure robots you ask? I would say it’s on its way. Know Alexa? Well get ready for Akira, your friendly data center optimizer. What components will it be built from? Your guess is as good as mine (so start), but I came across a couple companies at Disrupt that tell me we’re headed in the right direction in this massive cloud formation we call revolution.



   One such startup was ParkMyCloud. So perhaps instead of robot we can use valet as the metaphor, but either way, these guys are onto something. What’s more, the product looks great. That’s right, you heard me correctly, this IaaS add-on is not only an ROI no-brainer, but also nice to look at and use. ParkMyCloud’s value prop is almost as easy to realize as it is to describe: ‘Eliminate Wasted Cloud Spend’. And as anyone who holds the keys (AWS credentials) to the castle knows, there’s an opportunity to spend far more than necessary unless adequate preventative measures and provisions are made. ParkMyCloud (PMC) makes it easy, dare I say automatic moving towards zero-touch even. How big are the savings? Customers on average see AWS costs cut


Werner frames IaaS savings right.

by 60% on the instances they Park. Further, you can visualize all instances in all regions from all geos, so dashboard simplification with PMC is a win as well. With all that said, what do the cloud guys at Amazon think about suchtech? I think the keyword becomes stickiness pretty quickly. Whatever layering keeps a client on a given cloud, they say ‘yay’. Basic subscription based strategy: better to get paid off the commission that’s happy and not going anywhere, than to bank on overages that you know are incentivizing customers to look elsewhere. Google is banking on that ‘looking’, they will attempt to offer their cloud just like their mail and maps soon enough, the question is: ‘Is free ALWAYS better?’

   COMMUNITY SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Google gets its cheddar from monetizing your data, there’s NO ONE better at it. So … do you want whatever is on your servers making them money right up to the threshold of the ‘law’. (Which is somewhat comical given they’re all but writing it in most of these matters.) Educate yourself before you jump on the automation float at Burning Man next year. I believe it is in companies like ParkMyCloud that we will trust to keep the big guys honest (or at least not completely dominant as fast). Through the PMC platform you can see exactly what you’re being charged for the infrastructure you require, and with Azure and GoogleCloud scheduled to join AWS soon, I think this DC-Area startup is doing its part.

Save Me Money, ParkMyCloud.

Functionize [your] Nodelab

Two more companies I also want to mention are NodeLab and Functionize. (I hinted some of those crazy QA considerations may get dropped, so here we go.) Nodelab is upgrading the way you do software development. Come on devs, your process isn’t as good as you think it is. Clear dataflow is your/the mission. You strive for the best end-product outcome, so why not start that way? Those maintaining that quality product/experience will thank you. And with Functionize, you knew we needed to get some #MachineLearning up in this piece right? Well, why not when it comes to automating software testing? If EVER there’s a task that the machines are good at, let it be this! I even like the acronym: MLIT. Machine Learning Information Technology (MLIT), talk about self-discovery. I rest my case.
If EVER there’s a task that the machines are good at, let it be this!
   I took it upon myself to thank the IT guy at Disrupt responsible for keeping the network up. Scratch that, responsible for creating the network to serve some 4,000 people AND keeping it operational in a venue consisting of an old, large concrete pier with ample steel structure, a tin exterior, and little else. I had guessed his role earlier in the day when recognizing that underappreciated, exhausted face amongst at least a few times his bodyweight in cable. Behind a caged/fenced perimeter no less, he looked like a pinned-in at the tech.zoo. But the conference continued, even flourished, and without wifi where would we be?
About The Author
Jeremiah Shackelford
Jeremiah Shackelford
Jeremiah Shackelford, Business & Market Developer