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Containerized #Microservices App | @DevOpsSummit #DX #Serverless #DevOps

First Hand Experience on the Path to Continuous Deployment for Docker Containers

Being experienced  startup folks we are not scared of bleeding edge tech. For instance, in 2005 we made the jump to virtual machines  when most companies hadn't even heard of virtualization, in order to create our cloud platform, AppLogic. This time around we were already very familiar with containers, including many of the limitations, and believed they offered a lot of advantages in speed and cost so we decided to go with Docker running on AWS.

Our engineers have written a lot of apps including both interactive user apps and infrastructure level services and we're pretty adept at creating stateless systems where that's possible. Unfortunately, some of the third party software we needed to use, especially open source, wasn't written with stateless in mind.

For us combining Dev and Ops wasn't a choice, but a necessity. We couldn't afford another hire to run ops. Nonetheless we're fanatics for DevOps and automating everything we can in build, test and deploy. In our case the role of the DevOps guru fell on Pavel, one of our senior engineers. He's well versed in systems architecture as well as most of the systems that needed to be touched by the automation.

Introducing VCTR
The app we were bringing out is called Victor (VCTR for Vulnerabilities and Configuration Tracking and Reporting), a free online service that scans containers and VMs for upgrades that fix critical vulnerabilities. You can check out VCTR here.

As we progressed through development some things worked exceptionally well. New tools including Slack made collaboration among a dispersed team very easy. Build and test tools including Jenkins worked as expected though they were a bit harder to set up than they should be. Docker, despite some minor issues, was more mature than we expected. As you probably have guessed, though, there's a "however" coming. In our case, that "however" was that deployments were still complicated and error prone.

broken toolchain.jpg

As we got started our deployment was managed part-time by Pavel, our senior engineer. After all, the literature available suggested he'd just be writing a few short pipeline scripts. At first this worked great, but since change is inevitable, things got complicated. VCTR began expanding as new features were integrated and Pavel's day job became wrangling an unruly set of deployment scripts. Of course, as he spent time on deployment he wasn't contributing to building VCTR. As Pavel got sucked further and further into script hell with each new change, he noticed he'd fallen into a pattern:

  1. understand changes -> understand current app -> write script

  2. test script -> debug -> deploy

  3. fail -> debug again -> redeploy

  4. manual rollback...

  5. give up

The options were minimal. Either we continue to fail through this deployment until we got it right, or find another solution to the problem



Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 11.19.15 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-18 at 11.34.03 PM.png

Deployment Pain
Despite deployment issues hindering our velocity we needed to push forward with VCTR so we started user engagement while looking for solutions. We assumed we'd find a new tool or pattern in time, but things took an unexpected turn. While implementing VCTR we found other folks having similar deployment issues. Bringing up a new user with VCTR requires installing a small piece of code in the container or VM. That process, not surprisingly, happens in a deployment script and in most cases inserting that one change caused a failure in deployment. In one instance, while on a video call with a user, we watched as a five minute change to one script turned into a two hour debugging marathon involving more than half a dozen scripts. The only folks who didn't have errors after making the change had actually recognized deployment as a significant issue and built their own system for it. Systems, so significant in the amount of time they took to build that they were given names and teams to maintain them. However, those systems were tied to their company's specific architecture and tool chain.

The heart of the problem is that despite articles to the contrary, containers and microservices have dependencies. Some dependencies are simple. For instance, some software still have start order dependencies. Others require configuration differences based on the environment they're running in. Still other require logging in and executing commands after startup. Some dependencies you create yourself. As an example, changing an API requires updates to both the providing and calling services. You might require all updates to be backward compatible, but that's just moving the work to what may be an even more complicated arena. Lastly, what happens when something fails? How do you find out what failed? How do you get back to a functional state?

Despite mounting evidence we didn't initially recognize the pattern. One day over lunch, as the discussion turned from VCTR to deployment issues we realized we'd seen similar problems before when we first tackled cloud deployment. Furthermore, we knew we could solve this. We decided to build a continuous deployment system.

Lessons Learned
We obviously learned a ton about what not to do when setting up a new containerized application. Here's our conclusion of the good and bad of containers, microservices and DevOps:

The good

  • Containers, though not perfect, have a rich enough ecosystem of tools to be used in production.
  • Microservices architectures are great but don't try to make everything stateless.
  • DevOps is the new norm, but you need to go beyond just assigning an engineer the title or merging the folks onto a single team. Ops must take on a new role defining use cases and Dev must embrace Ops.
  • Get your tool chain in place from the start. We tried to hack our deployments and as such didn't see the problem for what it was until we were knee deep in it.

The bad

  • Deployment remains hard because it's where software meets the real world.
  • Deployment requires a system once you get past a few containers. If you don't adopt one, you're going to end up building one - whether you realize it or not.
  • Scripts work fine for small apps that don't get updated often, but aren't up to the task for continuous deployment for apps that contain more than a few containers or microservices, especially those that are updated frequently.

skopos1.png


The Result - Continuous Deployment System

We identified key challenge patterns that both ourselves and others faced during deployment and turned them into solutions. One important difference to the other deployment systems we had seen was that we made sure to build for varied environments and architectures. We didn't want this tool to just work for us or rather just the current pattern we were working in. We needed a true system to grow with us. Here are some of the main requirements of our Continuous Deployment system:

  • Integrate with popular tool chain elements
  • Recognize code and architecture updates
  • Provide for identifying dependencies
  • Provide for various operating environments
  • Automatically deploy authorized updates to operating environments
  • Automatically correct for common errors to return proper operation
  • Provide meaningful logs and error messages
  • Be operable from either UI, API or completely autonomously

We built this deployment system and it's now deploying VCTR on a regular basis. It's also in production at InnoScale and being tested by a handful of DevOps teams who felt the same pain as we did. We're offering the system for free to teams for up to 15 containers.

To learn more about Skopos - our continuous deployment system visit http://datagridsys.com/skopos/.


@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.

@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality. Sponsors of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.


DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the "Call for Papers" for @DevOpsSummit at CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York.

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Secrets of Our Most Popular Faculty Members ▸ Here

From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is correlated with 20% faster time-to-market, 22% improvement in quality, and 18% reduction in dev and ops costs, according to research firm Vanson-Bourne. It is changing the way IT works, how businesses interact with customers, and how organizations are buying, building, and delivering software.

With a growing number of both adopters and providers, this rapidly changing market is full of opportunity for technology providers, practitioners, and consumers alike. In this explosive market opportunity, it is not enough to just get in on the action, you need to stand out from the crowd.

Help plant your flag in the fast-expanding business opportunity that is DevOps.

Speaking Opportunities Here


DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City.

Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.

A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

2018 Conference Agenda, Keynotes and 10 Conference Tracks

DXWordEXPO New York 2018 and Cloud Expo New York 2018 agenda present 222 rockstar faculty members, 200 sessions and 22 keynotes and general sessions in 10 distinct conference tracks.

  • Cloud-Native | Serverless
  • DevOpsSummit
  • FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event
  • CloudEXPO - Enterprise Cloud
  • DXWorldEXPO - Digital Transformation (DX)
  • Smart Cities | IoT | IIoT
  • AI | Machine Learning | Cognitive Computing
  • BigData | Analytics
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility | Security
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO 2018 New York cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 200 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor brings together the world's leading companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.

As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities.

Cloud-Native thinking is now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector.

Sponsorship Opportunities

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising on 4,5 million article pages in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Unmatched editorial coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 100,000 plus Twitter followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact [email protected].

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Download Slide Deck:Here

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is now open.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Faculty Members ▸ Here

Submit your speaking proposal  Here or by email [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

CloudEXPO is the world's most influential technology event where Cloud Computing was coined over a decade ago and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals.

From Apollo 13 to Google SRE: When DevOps met SRE

The complexity of managing and delivering the high level of reliability expected of web-based, cloud hosted systems today, and the expectation of Continuous Delivery of new features has led to the evolution of a totally new field of Service Reliability Engineering catered for such systems.
Google, who has been a pioneer in this field, calls it Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). While it would be more aptly named Service Reliability Engineering, the name has caught on. The seminal work documenting Google approach and practices is in the book by Google by the same name (commonly referred to as the ‘SRE book'), and has become the defacto standard on how to adopt SRE in an organization. This session will cover adopting SRE as a practice in organizations also adopting DevOps; address the challenges to adopting SRE faced by large traditional enterprises, and how to overcome them.

Cloud-Native: A New Ecosystem for Putting Containers into Production

The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications.

Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addresses many of the challenges faced by developers and operators as monolithic applications transition towards a distributed microservice architecture. A tracing tool like Jaeger analyzes what's happening as a transaction moves through a distributed system. Monitoring software like Prometheus captures time-series events for real-time alerting and other uses. Grafeas and Kritis provide security policy attestation and enforcement. And there are many more.

In short, there's an entire new cloud-native ecosystem growing up around containers. Come to this talk by Red Hat technology evangelist Gordon Haff and learn all about it.

DevSecOps: The Open Source Way

DevOps purists may chafe at the DevSecOps term given that security and other important practices are supposed to already be an integral part of routine DevOps workflows. But the reality is that security often gets more lip service than thoughtful and systematic integration into open source software sourcing, development pipelines, and operations processes--in spite of an increasing number of threats.

The extensive use of modular open source software from third-parties, distributed development teams, and rapid iterative releases require a commitment to security and the adoption of security approaches that are continuous, adaptive, and heavily automated.

In this session, Red Hat Technology Evangelist Gordon Haff look at successful practices that distributed and diverse teams use to iterate rapidly.  While still reacting quickly to threats and minimizing business risk. I'll discuss how a container platform can serve as the foundation for DevSecOps in your organization. I'll also consider the risk management associated with integrating components from a variety of sources--a consideration that open source software has had to deal with since the beginning. Finally, I'll show ways by which automation and repeatable trusted delivery of code can be built directly into a DevOps pipeline.

Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator.

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.

Dhiraj Sehgal works in Delphix's product and solution organization. His focus has been DevOps, DataOps, private cloud and datacenters customers, technologies and products. He has wealth of experience in cloud focused and virtualized technologies ranging from compute, networking to storage. He has spoken at Cloud Expo for last 3 years now in New York and Santa Clara.

Accelerating CI/CD with Data Management On Premise and Cloud

Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional data management practices to copy data between different developer and test environment. This problem doesn't scale as teams are adopting faster software release cycles.

In this session, Dhiraj Sehgal in Product and Solution at Delphix, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused strategies to update hundreds of developer and test copies with updates from a master database in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also discuss how new practices in DataOps to manage data across multiple sources is making their life easier and helps  becoming invisible to developers for data provisioning.

As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.

FinTech Is Now Part of the DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO Program!

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 22nd CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City will find fresh new content in two new tracks called:

  • FinTechEXPO
  • New York Blockchain Event

which will incorporate FinTech and Blockchain, as well as machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning in these two distinct tracks.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. DXWorldEXPOCloudEXPO are pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program.

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are accepting speaking submissions for this new track, so please visit Cloud Computing Expo for the latest information or contact us at [email protected]

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck ▸ Here

Only DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO bring together all this in a single location:

Attend DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO. Build your own custom experience. Learn about the world's latest technologies and chart your course to Digital Transformation.

22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO, taking place November 11-13, 2018, in New York City, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

About DXWorldEXPO LLC

DXWorldEXPO LLC is a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based trade show company and the creator of DXWorldEXPODigital Transformation Conference & Expo. The company produces and presents CloudEXPO, DevOpsSummitFinTechEXPO Blockchain Event, the world's most influential conferences and trade shows.

More Stories By Stefana Muller

Stefana is a DevOps expert bringing almost 20 years experience delivering enterprise software to the Fortune 1000. Currently Vice President at Datagrid Systems, she works with software and application developers to help them move from periodic releases to rapid deployment. Prior to Datagrid, Stefana spent 16 years with CA Technologies running global software product lines in security, cloud, agile development and testing technology. As a Sr Director, Product at CA, Stefana lead, CA Service Virtualization to #1 in market-share and revenue. She’s transformed teams from waterfall development to Agile and worked with hundreds of teams to help them move to a DevOps culture.

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