DevOps & The Segregation of Duties

Posted on May 20, 2015

Many people believe that traditional IT Service Management (ITSM) and DevOps are incompatible.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Most frameworks and standards for governance and security such as COBIT5, ITILv3, CMMI-SVC, ISO27K, etc, are treasure troves of good ideas.  The reason there is such tension between these two camps lies not in the words but rather in the perspectives of the reader.  Our perspectives are rooted in our core ...

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New Adventures: Leaving Joyent

Posted on November 8, 2014

After more than 8 years, yesterday was my last day at Joyent. I was asked by David Young & Jason Hoffman to join Joyent in 2006.  At the time the idea of "utility computing" was being talked about but "grid" was really the domain of academic super computers for large batch computation.  The industry solutions for off-prem computing at the time was either shared hosting (such as what Jason's TextDrive was offering) or buying dedicated ...

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21st Century Products: The Era of Service Enabled Goods

Posted on November 3, 2014

We've seen a variety of interesting developments in computing, the astounding success of Docker being the most recent.  When I look back across the successes and failures an interesting realization pops out at me: the difference between a good product and a great one is whether or not it service enabled. Lets use Docker as an example.  What makes Docker great?  Is it about virtualization (LXC)?  That's certainly an enabling technology, ...

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What exactly is value?

Posted on May 12, 2014

In the LEAN and DevOps worlds we're obsessed with the idea of providing value. But what is value really? Some times we use a word so much that it is drained of any practical meaning and becomes more of an abstract idea. It may not be too much of a stretch to say that the word "value" ceases to really contain any value. Webster defines "value" as: "a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged" "the ...

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Reflections on 25 Years of LEAN

Posted on March 17, 2014

Gemba Academy has posted an extremely interesting series of videos entitled: Reflections on 25 Years of LEAN. Featured on the panel are LEAN luminaries Jim Womack (who introduced the Toyota Production System to the US and coined the term LEAN), John Shook (author of the seminal "Learning to See" book on value stream mapping), and Dan Jones (Founder and Chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy). The videos are interesting enough for anyone ...

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SmartOS & Vagrant

Posted on August 7, 2013

There are many challenges associated with building applications in the cloud. One of the most challenging is that the cloud properly exploited is inherently transient. This means that your development environment must also be transient, such that you never depend on unfounded assumptions. Once upon a time you would routinely re-install your OS to ensure you weren't mistakenly assuming something were present. Moving development to a VM with a ...

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Why SysAdmin’s Can’t Code

Posted on May 12, 2013

Most systems administrators are quick, perhaps too quick, to tell you "I'm not a coder."  Oddly, this admission normally comes after boasting about how many programming languages they know or have used.  Why is this?  Can this be changed?  Here is my 5 step plan on how any SA can become an honest to goodness programmer. Step 1: Find a problem you care about solving, for yourself SysAdmin's don't actually use tools, they study them. ...

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Hadoop Analysis of Apache Logs Using Flume-NG, Hive and Pig

Posted on December 27, 2012

Big Data is the hotness, there is no doubt about it.  Every year its just gotten bigger and bigger and shows no sign of slowing.  There is a lot out there about big data, but despite the hype, there isn't a lot of good technical content for those who want to get started.  The lack of technical how-to info is made worse by the fact that many Hadoop projects have moved their documentation around over time and Google searches commonly point to ...

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Heavy Metal: A Brief Guide to the Djent Revolution

Posted on December 26, 2012

2012 has been a great year for metal fans, and in particular, for the more mature metal fan.  Maybe you've noticed, the headbanging demographic has slowly been changing, as seen best by "That Metal Show": There are lots of great metal bands, but a lot of our old favorites fail to really evolve and after decades of rockin' to Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, etc, you just need something new, something more evolved, and complex. A critical element ...

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iPXE: Now with Native Menus and SmartOS Support

Posted on October 8, 2012

If you've never heard of iPXE, it is the official fork of gPXE, which was the ultimate result of the Etherboot Project of old.  Apparently there was a power struggle that caused the primary contributors to leave Etherboot/gPXE and they renamed gPXE to iPXE to distinguish.  Technically gPXE still exists, but for all intents and purposes its a dead project. If you are completely unfamiliar with both iPXE and gPXE let me summarize.  The ...

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