Flux7 DevOps Blog

G6 Hospitality CIO Jessie Burgess & Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman at CIO Perspectives Ft. Worth

Join us at the IDC CIO Perspectives conference in Ft. Worth as G6 Hospitality CIO, Jessie Burgess, and Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, present at CIO Perspectives on “How G6 Hospitality Leads Business Transformation through IT Agility”. As a recognized leader in the economy lodging segment for more than 55 years, G6 Hospitality is in the midst of a major transformation of its technology platform that aims to keep its competitive edge while building on the iconic heritage of its Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

A new report from Synergy Research Group reveals that Q4 2018 spending on cloud infrastructure services grew 45% over the year prior, resulting in a full-year growth rate of 48% for 2018. Synergy notes that Amazon continues to move its market share upwards and remains equivalent in size to its next four competitors combined.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

This past week Amazon and Microsoft announced earnings, with both reporting continued strength in their cloud businesses. For its part, AWS reported a 45% increase in revenue, to $7.4 billion in the fourth quarter. Microsoft doesn’t share revenues specific to Azure; however, the company did disclose that its commercial cloud revenue grew 48% year over year with Azure revenue growing 76%. While it’s little surprise that cloud revenue is driving overall growth for Microsoft and Amazon, it’s worth noting that as the market for cloud computing matures, the ability to continue growing at this pace will decrease. Case in point: Amazon forecast Q1 2019 revenue at 10-18% growth, year over year.

Five Best Practice Steps to Enterprise DevOps at Scale

Challenged with increased competitive pressure, many organizations turn to DevOps methodologies to increase agility, speed their time to market, access additional markets, and more. Helping address these pressures, DevOps process improvements both speed developer and operations productivity while increasing the quality and security of output. According to Forrester, with half of enterprises now implementing DevOps, the conversation has moved from “What is DevOps?” to “How do I implement at scale?”.

IT Modernization & DevOps News Week in Review

Happy Data Privacy Day! An international effort to promote privacy, data protection best practices, and to empower individuals and business to safeguard data, the day is celebrated across the United States, 47 European countries, Canada, and India. It marks the signing in 1981 of the first legally binding, international treaty to deal with data protection and privacy. Technology has only served to underscore the importance of this decades-old treaty.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

A new year is a time for new beginnings; yet many organizations are kicking off the year with an ongoing search for talent that will aid them in their cloud migration. According to a recent survey by OpsRamp, 94% of polled IT organizations have experienced challenges finding candidates with the right skills and experience, noting that it can often take longer than a month to find suitable candidates. And the skills gap had 25% waiting three months or more to find skilled candidates. The most sought after skills in 2018 are likely no surprise...

2018 Year in Review: CI/CD, Security & AWS Expert Tools

As we greet the new year, we are taking a look back at the best of 2018, sharing those blog topics that gave our readers the most inspiration in their DevOps and IT modernization journeys. Last week we shared our most popular analysis and expert commentary on AWS Migration and DevOps transformation. As promised, today we’ll delve into CI/CD, DevOps security and specific AWS tools that are sure to remain just as popular in 2019 as they were last year.

2018 Year in Review: DevOps Adoption & AWS Cloud Migration

According to research by IDG, 2018 saw a continued investment in the cloud by organizations big and small, with 73% of enterprises running at least one application, or a portion of their computing infrastructure, in the cloud. Another 17% say they plan to do so within the next 12 months. Moreover, more than one-third of IDG’s surveyed executive technology leaders feel pressure from the business to execute a complete cloud migration. The overarching goals of such a cloud migration: speed IT service delivery, increase agility, enable business continuity, and improve the customer experience.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon was held in Seattle this past week, with a reported 8,000 in attendance. With a waiting list of 2,000 and a lengthy list of vendor announcements, the show illustrates the rapidly growing momentum behind Kubernetes . For IT modernization projects that embrace open source, microservices, serverless, and more, let’s explore just a few of the announcements from the event.

Improve IT Operational Excellence with Game Days

Our DevOps consulting team at Flux7 works with dozens of enterprises to help mature their IT programs and improve their operational excellence. In the process of moving from traditional IT to starting and scaling DevOps in the enterprise, we begin the process of moving to “everything as code” including infrastructure, configuration, pipeline, and security as code. While this approach may be applied to modern apps designed as microservices, or legacy monolithic apps, in either case, failures and incidents will happen. There should be a plan to handle them and that is where Game Days come in.

AWS Case Studies: Flux7 Landing Zone Offers Secure Foundation

For scalable, secure AWS DevOps, it’s important to start on the right foot. For this reason, we were recently contacted by our client, a marketing solutions provider to more than 500,000 small businesses across America, to help them with their cloud-based DevOps transition. The company wanted to bring Development, IT and Security under one umbrella, gain AWS skills and enhance security with its new AWS DevOps initiative.

IT Modernization and DevOps News in Review

On the heels of AWS releasing a slew of new service features at its re:Invent show last week, DevOps tools providers are wrapping up the year with a few DevOps news announcements worth note. As 2018 begins to wind itself down, end of year surveys are begin to appear. Portworx shared the results of its recent survey, the 2018 Annual Container Adoption Survey in which it found that, “four out of five enterprises are now 

Fortune 500 Manufacturer Adopts DevOps at Scale  Onboarding Model

As a DevOps consulting group, we are increasingly asked about achieving DevOps at scale. Indeed, we recently published a blog series on the topic, outlining a seven step process for achieving enterprise DevOps. You can check that out here. Today we’d like to share the story of how a global manufacturer of heavy duty machinery adopted a DevOps onboarding model with the assistance of the Flux7 Enterprise DevOps Framework in the process establishing a scalable, secure infrastructure for its digital business platforms.

Automatic AWS Account Creation with Self-Serve IT

We have the pleasure of working with a research group staffed with hundreds of brilliant researchers tasked with developing innovative new materials and technologies. This talented team of scientists is eager to test their ideas. Yet, the group had inherited infrastructure that got in the way of continuous innovation.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

On the eve of re:Invent, which we will cover as the week progresses, there are several interesting AWS news announcements that apparently didn’t make the cut for this week’s keynotes. In addition, Q3 data by Synergy Research Group find that AWS is still the global leader in the public cloud services market, as measured by revenue across North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC regions. Follow our IT Modernization blog for ongoing AWS news analysis from our CTO, Ali Hussain, over the course of re:Invent.

Docker & Kubernetes: Furthering The Goals Of DevOps Automation

This article originally appeared at Forbes.

Containers are a hot topic, yet production usage remains low, according to Gartner, with most enterprise container adoptions in an early phase. A recent survey by Diamanti backs this up, finding that while almost half (47%) of the IT leaders it surveyed plan to deploy containers in a production environment, only 12% have already done so.  

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Underscoring a rapid shift in DevOps automation and IT Modernization, Cisco Systems released findings this week of a new survey in which IT Leaders reported that within two years more than two-thirds expect their approach to become either predictive (33%) or preemptive (33%). Indeed, 42% of respondents said they 

Flux7 CEO, Dr. Suleman, to Present Preparing the Agile Enterprise at IT Roadmap

 IT Roadmap is a series of one-day events held across the country to encourage IT leaders to discuss technologies and strategies. With IT and business changing faster than ever before, this year’s IT Roadmap focuses on Powering the Agile Enterprise in 2018.

Flux7 Named to 2018 CRN Magazine Next-Gen 250 List for Second Year

Flux7 Named to CRN Magazine Next Gen List

We are honored to share that the DevOps team at Flux7 was named to the CRN Magazine 2018 Next-Gen 250 list for the second consecutive year. In case you are unfamiliar, this annual list identifies IT solution providers who have embraced emerging technologies and are setting the pace for the rest of the channel in their adoption. Those on the list have been identified by experts at The Channel Company as meeting their customers’ ever-changing IT needs in areas such as cloud based technologies, IoT, virtualization, mobility, business analytics and business intelligence.

Announcing Flux7 AWS Landing Zones for Enterprise DevOps

At Flux7, we have extensive experience as a DevOps sherpa to organizations and in the process have learned a lot, including creating a DevOps model for success -- called the Enterprise DevOps Framework, or EDF -- a key element of which is the Landing Zone.

Continuous Innovation Process: Critical to Enterprise DevOps at Scale

With half of enterprises reporting that they have implemented and are looking to expand DevOps within the enterprise--according to Forrester Research’s Global DevOps Benchmark--it’s important to follow those steps sure to lead to success. We’ve been sharing details behind a proven seven step process, and today we’ll highlight how an organization which has set the foundation for transformation operates in the world of DevOps at scale. 

Flux7, AWS and New Relic Present DevOps Transformation Workshop

Moving to DevOps can be difficult and every organization faces its own particular set of challenges. Join us in Dallas, TX on Tuesday, November 6th as top DevOps experts from AWS, New Relic, and Flux7 present a free, half-day workshop on proven and practical steps you can take today to accelerate your DevOps transformation.

Pattern Development: Accelerate and Achieve Enterprise DevOps at Scale

In our last article we discussed the role of pattern identification in the overall process of achieving DevOps at scale. Today we’ll share how to best develop patterns based on the needs of your organization. Pattern development is the fifth step in the enterprise DevOps at scale process, following the development of a DevOps platform.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

We kick off this week’s IT Modernization and DevOps News with Puppet who held its global conference, Puppetize Live, this past week. At the show, Puppet introduced a new product, Puppet Insights, that helps customers measure their software delivery performance and benchmark progress with a goal to help measure DevOps like you would any other part of the business.

Pattern Identification: Simplify, Expedite Enterprise DevOps at Scale

Last week we introduced the idea of enterprise DevOps at scale, and the seven step process that has emerged to effectively achieve this goal, helping organizations effectively reap economies of scale and address the complexities inherent to a large enterprise. While our last blog series on DevOps adoption focused heavily on the first two steps -- plan and assess, and pilot -- today’s article will dive more deeply into the third step of the process: pattern identification.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Risk management is an integral part of any IT modernization conversation, especially among the C-suite. As financial services organizations embrace DevOps and Agile processes and move more and more of their infrastructure to the cloud to facilitate DevOps automation, we’ve seen an increase in conversation around GRC in the cloud. 

Enterprise DevOps Scale: Seven Steps to Success

Challenged with increased competitive pressure, many organizations turn to Agile and DevOps methodologies to speed their time to market, access additional markets, and more. DevOps ushers in process improvements through automation that speeds developer and operations productivity and efficiency. While these benefits are alluring, many large enterprises don’t know where or how to begin their foray into DevOps.

IT Modernization and DevOps News in Review

Underscoring the ever-evolving nature of IT modernization in our industry, 451 Research released findings from its latest Voice of the Enterprise survey on AI & Machine Learning. It notes that most organizations are adopting or considering adopting machine learning due to its benefits. (Increased competitive advantage and enhanced customer experience were listed as the #1 and #2 benefits.) Indeed, almost 50% of 451 survey respondents have deployed or plan to deploy machine learning in their organizations within the next 12 months.

In other IT modernization news:

Emergency Communications Firm Migrates AWS Regions with 100% Uptime

It’s not an understatement to say that uptime for this provider’s emergency communications services, can spell the difference between life and death. Communicating with people during critical events to keep them safe, informed and connected, this company had a need to maintain its 100 percent up time, security and availability as it grew. The DevOps team here at Flux7 were glad to take the call to give them a hand.

DevOps Metrics to Ensure Your Pilot Measures Up

DevOps ushers in new processes, new teams and new technology, so how does one define success? In this final article in our DevOps adoption series, we’ll share our thoughts on a few concrete DevOps metrics your team can use to measure positive change, and just as importantly, why they matter. As the old adage goes, what gets measured gets done and when it comes to DevOps, the overarching impact we should be making is to Time to Business Value.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review



With competitive pressures demanding organizations innovate and bring new products and services to market faster, we’re seeing more and more enterprises moving to the cloud for IT modernization that maximizes the benefits of DevOps automation. Interestingly, Chef this week shared results of a recent survey it conducted finding a dramatic shift to the cloud among its survey respondents.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Kicking off our review of IT Modernization news this week, is a new report by DORA, the DevOps Research and Assessment group, illustrating how DevOps practices pay off for organizations in terms of performance and quality outcomes. In its annual report, DORA adds a new measure, SDO, software delivery and operational performance that measures availability, finding that SDO performance helps organizations achieve competitive advantages like increased profitability, productivity, market share, customer satisfaction, and the ability to achieve organization and mission goals.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

VMWorld took center stage last week, with the company highlighting how it is moving beyond server virtualization to “accelerate your journey to a software-defined business—from mobile devices to the data center and the cloud.” Indeed, Amazon's announcement of Amazon RDS on VMware made a big splash this past week with our AWS consulting group.  

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Your IT modernization news kicks off this week with VMWorld. At the show VMware previewed a variety of new technologies, the furtherment of its multi-cloud support, and launched a new solution that will help VMware Cloud Provider partners transition to multi-cloud. The new solutions are designed to help its partners deliver a VMware-based software-defined data center.

IT Modernization and DevOps News in Review

This week saw cloud security in the headlines again with yet another public disclosure of a misconfigured Amazon S3 bucket that left data wide open to the public. With Black Hat in Vegas this week, it may be little wonder that we also saw several news items of organizations bringing more security tools to DevOps and container-based environments.

IT Modernization and DevOps News in Review

We start this week’s DevOps News with an update on the size of the cloud market. In what may be more confirmation than news, we learn that AWS is still the market leader -- but we’ll share just how its business is growing and why that may be important. And, this week we saw several product enhancement announcements -- from Red Hat to Git. Read on for this week’s news in review.

DevOps Adoption Case Study: Developing a Tomcat Cloud Migration

Last week we shared with you the story of an enterprise media group’s IT modernization project in which it had determined an AWS cloud migration was the ideal path. While we previously shared the company’s overarching migration strategy (and the approach it took to develop that strategy), today we’ll dive into one specific set of applications, sharing how the Center of Excellence (COE) addressed the technical challenge of migrating over 100+ Java applications to AWS.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Last week we shared several interesting reports on trends in the industry and tools to use to take advantage of them. This week, Forrester issued an intriguing report on high-performing DevOps organizations, what commonalities they share and what low performing organizations have in common. Commissioned by Tricentis, you can download the report here, gratis.

DevOps Adoption Case Study: Developing an AWS Cloud Migration Path

Flux7 had the opportunity to work with an enterprise media group on its IT modernization project in which it had determined an AWS cloud migration was the ideal path. The challenge faced by the customer and Flux7 DevOps team was that the customer was under pressure to move these applications, which numbered into the hundreds, to AWS within one year. Today’s blog is the story of how we partnered with the customer to develop a migration approach for its ongoing AWS DevOps adoption.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

As we settle into the dog days of summer, it can be a good time to take a step back and examine some of the bigger trends in the industry and examine how we can take advantage of emerging technologies to gain new advantage. Doing just that this week was SDXcentral who released the findings of two separate studies on Containers and Cloud Security and Forrester research who issued its list of The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch in 2018.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

At DockerCon this past week, Docker announced new capabilities for Docker Enterprise Edition and we also saw Splunk announce the acquisition of VictorOps. With this and Amazon news to boot, let’s dive into this week’s DevOps News.

DevOps Adoption: Assembling the Ideal DevOps Pilot Team

As part of our ongoing blog series on DevOps adoption motivators and best practices, we recently shared Seven Lessons for a Successful DevOps Pilot in which we touched on the criticality of choosing the right team to staff your DevOps pilot. In today’s blog, we will dive deeper into our recommendations for the ideal team size, composition, and the roles each team member should play.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Fun Fact: Four years ago this past week -- on June 6, 2014 to be exact -- the first commit of what would become the public repository for Kubernetes was checked in. And with that, we kick off our DevOps news coverage this week with the announcement that Amazon EKS is now generally available.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

 

The cloud is changing the way we talk and think about IT and the leading cloud proviers are consistently transforming cloud computing to bring even greater depth and maturity of services to IT organizations in their pursuit of IT modernization. Each year Gartner takes a step back from this cycle to look at the cloud infrastructure market, helping organizations who are both new and existing cloud users analyze the state of the market and vendors therein.

Flux7, AWS and New Relic Present DevOps Transformation Workshop

Moving to DevOps can be difficult and every organization faces its own particular set of challenges. Join us in Aurora, CO on Tuesday, June 12th as top DevOps experts from AWS, New Relic, and Flux7 present a free, half-day workshop on proven and practical steps you can take today to accelerate your DevOps transformation.

DevOps Adoption: Why Every DevOps Pilot Needs a Landing Zone

In our last article we discussed how to smartly select a pilot project to prove out the benefits of a DevOps organization. As you begin to put your DevOps adoption plan in place, one thing that should be included -- regardless of the project chosen -- is a Landing Zone. As you transition from a traditional Development - IT Operations framework, the Landing Zone is important as it provides needed efficiency, standardization, and governance.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to go live this Friday, we thought we’d focus this week’s DevOps news in review on using the cloud to help ensure compliance. If you aren’t already familiar with the upcoming GDPR, you should be. While it’s an EU regulation, it serves to protect the personal data of all EU citizens. As such, if you control or process data of EU citizens, the rule applies to you, squarely setting responsibility for protection of that data on your shoulders. It's noteworthy that fines are hefty for the regulation, reaching up to 20 Million Euro or 4% of annual turnover.

DevOps Adoption: 7 Lessons for a Successful DevOps Pilot

For organizations facing competitive pressures that drive them to DevOps adoption, it is critical that they correctly choose, scope and evangelize a ‘right-sized’ pilot project to start their IT transformation. As sherpas for many organizations who travel this path, at Flux7 we’ve learned many DevOps best practices -- as well as things to avoid along the way. As you look to create a successful DevOps pilot with sustaining impact, please join us as we share seven important lessons learned.

Flux7 and AWS Present DevOps Workshop

 

Join us Thursday, May 24th in Dallas, TX for a DevOps workshop as our guest, a leading US airline joins us and AWS to share how to remove barriers and optimize IT processes to accelerate innovation. Specifically, we will share the story of how this carrier applied DevOps strategy and tactics for IT modernization, followed by hands-on lab activities that demonstrate these strategies in action.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

It is spring and that means it’s conference season. Two events this week that caught our attention were the ServiceNow Knowledge Conference and Red Hat Summit, both of which, like clockwork, had several DevOps news announcements  worth sharing.

Hospitality Combats Competitive Pressure with DevOps Adoption

We recently shared with you the results of our customer survey in which we asked our customer base what motivated them to DevOps adoption. What we found was that in more than half the cases, business put pressure on IT to evolve and address a specific business challenge. Those challenges varied from customer-driven pressures to deadlines like an upcoming data center lease expiring.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

With KubeCon and CloudNativeCon in Copenhagen this week, we saw several container-related news announcements--from management to deployment and adoption to monitoring. As more and more organizations look to adopt containers for greater development efficiency and faster application deployment as part of a larger DevOps or IT modernization initiative, the hype and tools surrounding the ecosystem continue to grow. This week was certainly no exception.

Survey: What Motivates Enterprises to DevOps Adoption

At Flux7, we ask every customer their motivation for DevOps adoption and a potential move to the cloud. Curious if the pundits’ thoughts on the topic resonated with our customers’ experience, we recently analyzed the answer to this question across our customer base, which consists of Fortune enterprises as well as mid-enterprises in a wide variety of industries. What we found was fascinating and informative. The majority of organizations were motivated to DevOps adoption as a result of pressure on the business from customers, competitors or other outside forces.

IT Modernization and DevOps Week in Review

 

When it comes to the most popular tools and technologies for IT Modernization and cloud computing, this week’s news rules them all. As you’ll see, this week saw the announcement of Linux Ubuntu 18.04, by far the most popular cloud OS, according to research by The Cloud Market. In fact, it’s so popular that it is chosen at a rate of almost 2:1 of the next four OSs combined. AWS also continued to prove its rank as the leading cloud provider as it released its Q1 earnings.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

In a constantly-changing industry, standing still is not an option -- for your business or your career. And the same is true for the Flux7 blog, where we aim to provide you with valuable content that builds your personal knowledge and transforms your business. It is in this vein that we launch today the first of what we intend to be a regular series of DevOps news blogs, featuring highlights from the week that help keep you in the know, and driving your IT modernization forward.

Optimize Code Delivery Pipelines with DevOps Automation

Many developers steeped in the world of agile startups view continuous delivery (CD) pipelines as an accepted standard requirement for software development. Yet many companies, particularly large enterprises with traditional infrastructure, still struggle to make this approach a standard part of their development process. Whether you are an enterprise looking to make CD pipelines a standard project element to increase agility and speed time to market, or if you are looking to simply implement code delivery pipeline best practices, Flux7 CEO, Dr. Aater Suleman, has written a paper that illustrates how to deliver business value through DevOps-based automation that grows developer output and strategic contributions. Download it here or read on for highlights from his piece.

Enterprise Reduces AWS VPC Creation from Days to Minutes

Enterprise Reduces AWS VPC Creation from Days to Minutes

Today we’d like to share the story of how the DevOps team at Flux7 worked with a Fortune enterprise customer to help them automate their AWS VPC creation, which reduced several days of manual, repetitive tasks into a simple user interface, concluding with a single click. Saving this firm days of manpower has meant that these resources can now be used for more strategic, business-impacting activities. Read on as we share a business view into this AWS case study.

CodePipeline Pipeline Execution History and DevOps Metrics

AWS CodePipeline Pipeline Execution History and DevOps Metrics

Building a continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline is a goal of many enterprises as they look to increase their agility and speed time to market. More to the point, as part of a healthy DevOps environment, CI/CD pipelines deliver business value through automation that grows developer output and strategic contributions. For AWS-based DevOps environments, many enterprises look to AWS CodePipeline to help facilitate their CI/CD as it integrates easily with other AWS services -- and a broad set of ecosystem tools -- and provides a consistent set of quality checks for code.

Ensure 2017 Retail Gains: AWS Best Practices for eCommerce Insurance

AWS Best Practices: eCommerce Insurance

According to eMarketer, ecommerce in 2017 increased 23%, continuing to surpass traditional retail growth rates; total retail sales -- including ecommerce gains -- were 5.8% in 2017. Yet, as we look into a competitive retail landscape for 2018, and begin to field calls from retailers looking to parlay 2017 gains into 2018 advantages, one discussion point is often around what role AWS best practices can play in ecommerce insurance. That is, through the process of digital transformation, building in consistency and availability for retail customers regardless of the channel they choose.

How to Organize Infrastructure as Code in your Source Code Repository

 

Moving to the cloud allows you to manage infrastructure in new and incredibly powerful ways. Unlike traditional, manually managed infrastructure, the cloud empowers Infrastructure as Code(IaC) in which entire infrastructures can be implemented and managed with automation. While IaC offers real benefits in ensuring environmental consistency, growing the pace of innovation, and increasing overall quality, to effectively manage your code, it is important to codify and version it, which is best done through a source code repository. Yet, that is often easier said than done with teams in agile DevOps environments needing to effectively navigate, retrieve and collaborate on code. At Flux7, we have implemented several DevOps best practices for organizing source code repositories which makes this collaboration easier, in turn saving time and potential rework.

2017 Year in Review: AWS Case Studies Highlight AWS Best Practices

 

As we look back on 2017, it was a year full of transition. And, one in which many organizations began -- or continued to -- invest in their transition to cloud computing. According to research by IDC, public cloud services spending was expected to reach $128 billion in 2017, a 25% increase over 2016. Much of this was driven, according to polling by TechTarget, by senior IT executives looking to increase innovation, and reap cost efficiencies from the cloud. Indeed, those among this audience who grew their 2017 budgets, 64% said they would increase their budget for cloud services, including computing, storage and applications -- more than any other area TechTarget asked about.

2017 Year in Review: DevOps Methodology and Digital Transformation

As 2017 draws to an end, we are taking a moment to look back on the year that was and share some of the most popular insights from the Flux7 DevOps blog. Industry-wide, interest in  DevOps soared in 2017, and that was reflected in our readers’ blog choices as well. More and  more companies are undergoing digital transformation and embracing the idea that technology is core to their business and provides them with an advantage in the marketplace. These companies are increasingly insourcing their technology and adopting a DevOps methodology as a way to become more agile and speed their time-to-market, proving the adage that “every company is a technology company.” Helping these organizations on the path to DevOps success were several very popular blogs.

Golden AMIs Help Drive DevOps Automation, Agility, and Stability

 

In the middle ages Byzantine emperors and European monarchs issued decrees with a golden seal that was testament to the origin of the decree. Fast forward to today and we can see how the idea of a golden seal -- or golden copy-- is used in technology to express that something is the official or master version. Taking the idea of a golden copy one step further, today we will discuss the concept of the golden Amazon Machine Image (AMI), its role in supporting a successful DevOps model, and how it can generate greater agility and stability.

Agile DevOps Adoption: The Advantages of Remote Delivery

We embrace the transformative opportunities DevOps provides and when coupled with agile practices, enables us and our customers to move quickly and drive innovation. One of the ways our team embodies agility is through remote service delivery. While this practice runs counter to how consultants have traditionally worked, we are often asked about the advantages of remote delivery and thought we’d share today the upsides of this approach and how it supports the agile DevOps model.

AWS Case Study: AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate Migration

We recently worked with a data analytics organization who specializes in data-based decision support within the insurance and financial services industries. Their goal was to migrate their Chef community server to an AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate (OWCA) server in order to reduce management overhead and accelerate high velocity apps. This project was a step in the company’s larger plan to create a DevOps highway in which it sought orchestration automation, configuration management, and CI/CD with AWS services and Chef.

DevOps Adoption: How to Start the DevOps Conversation

Recently our CEO, Aater Suleman, gave a Webcast presentation, “DevOps Adoption: Framework for IT Modernization” in what was a far-reaching discussion that shared everything from a DevOps definition to examples of successful enterprise DevOps adoption such as Rent-A-Center and Verifone. Based on his experience working on more than 100 enterprise DevOps initiatives, Dr. Suleman was asked how to kick-start a conversation about DevOps adoption within an organization. Today we’ll share his best practices and tips to get the proverbial ball rolling on a DevOps implementation within your organization.

Seven Recommended SysAdmin Skills to Join a DevOps Team

Recently Aater Suleman, Flux7’s CEO, presented an “An Introduction to DevOps with AWS: How to Design, Deploy, and Manage a DevOps Workflow in AWS” as part of the O’Reilly live, online training series. In it, he was asked this pivotal question from one of the attendees: What future-looking skills should sysadmins have to ensure long-term competitiveness in DevOps environments and we thought we’d share his answer here with you today.

AWS Best Practice: Sandbox Accounts Provide Secure Middle Ground

At Flux7, we often work with organizations whose teams are interested in playing with AWS as a way to help them determine where to start with their AWS adoption. While their end goal is to introduce DevOps concepts like infrastructure as code, their initial goal is to enable development teams to start using AWS in a meaningful, quick, and secure manner.

Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, to Present at IT Roadmap

IT Roadmap is a series of one-day events held across the country to encourage IT leaders to discuss technologies and strategies to manage and digitize the enterprise. Specifically, IDG has established this road show to encourage technology leaders to discover the latest in dynamic infrastructure, cloud, data, agile methods, security, DevOps methodology and more.

What Comes First: Cloud Or DevOps?

This article first appeared in Forbes.

I like to use an analogy when comparing traditional IT to DevOps. It goes like this: Traditional IT operations are comprised of highly trained specialists who are like drivers on the treacherous Lowari Pass who can flawlessly execute specific tasks. 

The Difference Between Stable and Stale: A Tale in DevOps Methodology

What’s the difference between stable and stale? It sounds like the intro to a good joke, but trust us, the slippery slope between the two can be no laughing matter. Read on as we explain why it’s important to strive for and embrace the role that agility, and a DevOps methodology can play in keeping your environment agile and moving forward in pursuit of continuous improvement.

Remediate Shadow IT Rogue Sites with AWS DevOps Security

There are two kinds of rogue websites: one created by external organizations looking to subvert a legitimate website by appearing to replace it and the second is a website created by an internal team without obtaining proper approvals. Today we will discuss the latter and how AWS DevOps best practices can remediate the issue--as told through the story of a technology organization we recently worked with.

Flux7 Presents An Introduction to AWS DevOps

Join Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, next Monday, October 9th from 12:00pm – 3:00pm (ET) as he presents an “An Introduction to DevOps with AWS: How to Design, Deploy, and Manage a DevOps Workflow in AWS” as part of the O’Reilly live, online training series.

Paving The Road To DevOps With Automation

This article originally appeared on Forbes.

High in the mountains of Pakistan lie some of the most dangerous roads in the world. With sheer cliff faces that abruptly meet raging rivers thousands of feet below, these roads offer no guardrails to keep vehicles from sliding off, nor protection from falling rocks above. Torrential rains often cascade across the unpaved roadways, eroding gullies out of the dirt, making the paths among the most feared stretches of road in the world.

Balance IT Talent Gaps and Core Business IP with DevOps Automation

CFO magazine recently released results of a survey it conducted of mid-market CFOs which found that almost half (49%) were experiencing adverse impacts from the inability to attract and retain qualified technology talent. To address this gap, many are outsourcing IT services, and finding pros and cons to the situation. In today’s article, we will share which of these positives to take advantage of, the negatives to watch out for, and how to balance them with your company’s specific needs and business goals.

How to Effectively Balance DevOpsSec in the AWS Cloud

As AWS DevOps partners, we are often asked the best approach to balance DevOpsSec within AWS environments. What are the AWS and DevOps best practices and how do you build in security in such a way that it propels the business forward? 

The Relationship Between Cloud and DevOps

This article originally appeared on Forbes 

Most companies understand that if they want to increase their competitiveness in today’s swiftly changing world they can’t ignore Digital transformation. DevOps and cloud computing are oft-touted as vital ways companies can achieve this needed transformation, though the relationship between the two is often confusing as DevOps is about process and process improvement whereas cloud computing is about technology and services. Not mutually exclusive, it’s important to understand how cloud and DevOps work together to help businesses achieve their transformation goals.

Seven Business-Impacting Reasons to Adopt a DevOps Model

In April, Gartner issued its annual CEO Survey report which found that technology-related business change is the number two priority among CEOs, following profit growth. Specifically, Gartner finds that CEOs are pursuing a digital business strategy focused on product innovation (not just innovating how products are marketed and sold), to drive growth and profits. At Flux7, we’ve worked with handfuls of companies looking to apply automation within a DevOps model to achieve product innovation and digital business transformation. In doing so, we’ve unearthed seven common business drivers that when paired with DevOps can drive sustained gains.

A Review of AWS CloudFormation StackSets

At the recent AWS Summit in Chicago, Amazon introduced CloudFormation StackSets, a new feature to CloudFormation. As heavy users of AWS CloudFormation for implementing infrastructure as code in an automated, consistent way, we are dedicating today’s blog to reviewing the new CloudFormation StackSets. As proponents of DevOps automation,

A Primer: What is DevOps? And how do Code, Config, CI/CD & Containers Relate

In 2013 Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford published The Phoenix Project, a book that marries the concepts of manufacturing agility from Eliyahu Goldratt’s The Goal and relates them to IT. As they elucidate in the story, a new approach to IT is clearly needed and many organizations are embracing that change through the DevOps methodology. However, DevOps can be a very broad term making it difficult for people to know where to begin. As a result, we have narrowed the DevOps model

DevOps as the Minimum Entry Requirement

Berry Christ, Chef CEO predicted at Chef Conference 2017 that Web and mobile will eventually become table stakes, the lowest bar to market entry. Taking his prediction one step further, we see a day where DevOps will be the minimum entry requirement needed to become and remain market competitive. That may sound aggressive given the fact that only 20% of businesses have adopted DevOps, according to research last October by Gartner. Yet, for organizations that have implemented DevOps, 66% saw faster realization of business value. And, according to McKinsey, firms with high performing IT organizations were twice as likely to exceed their profitability, market share, and productivity goals.

Design, Build and Operate Docker-based Microservices

At the recent Austin DevOps Days Conference, Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman gave a talk on the "Top Ten Considerations When Planning Docker-based Microservices”. For those of you unable to attend the conference, you can listen to a replay of the presentation here. Or, read on as we share part of his talk focused on the synergy between DevOps, Docker and building microservices.

The Flux7 Enterprise DevOps Framework

Flux7 DevOps consultants have worked with more than 150 companies over the years as they have gone through the DevOps transformation process. And, we’ve learned a lot along the way, including the patterns that emerge in the DevOps journey and where most people land and/or have the vision to land. We’d like to share that journey with you today and more importantly, how we’d encourage you to think about the DevOps framework that helps gets your organization there.

The Socratic Approach: Why We Start DevOps Projects With “Why?”

At Flux7, our big, hairy, audacious goal is to keep our customers exceedingly happy -- falling over themselves happy. And, that doesn’t start by forcing them into a mold or a pre-defined box. As a DevOps consulting company, we sit in the enviable position of getting to focus wholly on helping our customers address their specific business needs.

DevOps West: Docker Fundamentals Jumpstart

Docker is becoming a cornerstone of DevOps architectures with its lightweight, portable, “build once, configure once, and run anywhere” containers. And, for all those who would like to get a jumpstart on building their Docker skills, Flux7 CTO Ali Hussain will be presenting a half-day tutorial workshop on Docker fundamentals on Tuesday, June 6th at the DevOps West Conference.

Seven Steps to Successful and Sustainable DevOps Transformation

We are happy to bring you this article by Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, that was originally published by Sys-Con Media.

While the benefits are many, the DevOps journey for an established organization can be a long one filled with surprises and challenges. To avoid as many of both as possible, learning from those who have gone before you can help you apply best practices to ensure a smoother path to success. As a result, in this article, I will outline the seven steps to an AWS DevOps transformation as learned through working hands-on with more than 100 leading enterprise organizations to establish and sustain successful DevOps and IT modernization.

AWS ECS and Vault Paired for HIPAA-Compliant Secret Management

 

Controlling access to sensitive information, or secrets, required by your applications is a ubiquitous architectural requirement. Your applications need information like passwords, API keys, and certificates, and as the application owner you need to ensure this information is only accessed by the correct application. You also need to know when this information was accessed and by which entity.

Flux7 Achieves AWS Consulting Partner Recognition For AWS Service Catalog

We are excited to announce today that we have achieved our third AWS Service Delivery Partner status, this time for AWS Service Catalog. (You can view the news release here.) This is an important recognition for the Flux7 team of DevOps consultants as the AWS Service Delivery Program only highlights AWS Consulting Partners who have a track record of success delivering verified customer solutions for specific Amazon Web Services (AWS) products.

AWS Case Studies: Building Microservices Speed Time to Market

While microservices benefit a variety of organizations on multiple fronts, (for a deeper discussion on this, please check out our blog, “Microservices Trend as IT Competes on their Respective Strengths”) today we are examining how one startup used a microservice architecture to give developers greater agility and add automation to gain a competitive advantage in its industry.

Building AWS Experts: The Skills that Matter Most

Struggling to find and keep skilled resources? Or, interested in helping your team become AWS experts? Our very own Aater Suleman was recently interviewed by SearchAWS on the topic of getting the AWS skills you need this year. As Flux7’s primary goal is to help its customers fill an internal skills gap by educating them as we shepherd them through their DevOps and IT modernization projects, we were honored to weigh in on this important topic. While there were two primary recommendations made in the article, we have several others we’d like to add for a deeper look at this topic.

Our Favorite Blogs from 2016: AWS Configuration Management

In our last year in review blog, we took a look at how to best use new features and tools to streamline DevOps processes like Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Today we are turning our attention to another topic that garnered a lot of interest this year, Configuration Management.

A DevOps Approach to Creating PCI-Ready Infrastructure

 

 

Creating a healthy security posture is one of the key factors in achieving PCI DSS certification, especially for enterprises. Truly, when it comes to security, even the smallest of details are important and can cause huge troubles. As a result, in this post we'll talk about how to achieve better security outcomes with help of version control and automation and how this can help you  with your PCI DSS certification.

DevOps in the Cloud helps Transform Retail Enterprise

A Fortune 1000 Retailer Transforms IT with DevOps in the Cloud Increases Global Agility, Availability and Market Competitiveness while Maintaining PCI Compliance

This leading retailer decided that the creation of a new portal was just the proof of concept it needed for a larger initiative to transform its IT function, addressing the weaknesses in its traditional on-premises infrastructure and lengthy, manual IT processes. The IT team’s goals to help the business deliver more quickly to market in a secure, highly available, agile fashion fell in lockstep with the DevOps approach and as a result, they quickly set a path to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a platform to launch both the new portal and DevOps initiative.

5 Expert Recommendations when Hiring a DevOps Engineer

As DevOps adoption grows, the demand for DevOps engineers grows with it and a field of highly diverse applicants. Here at Flux7, we are frequently asked for best practices and tips when sourcing and hiring a DevOps Engineer. While we highly recommend “breeding” DevOps experts in-house, when our customers do feel the need to hire a DevOps resource, the following are our top five recommendations:

Setting Up an Efficient CI/CD Pipeline

CICDBlog

Many developers born in the world of agile startups view continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) as accepted standard requirements for software development. Yet many companies, particularly large enterprses with traditional infrastructure, still struggle to make this approach part of their development process.

Cloud Migration Success Factor: Refocus Internal IT Staff

DevOps Automation enabling self-service, secure IT

How Digital Pharma is Driving Cloud Migration

The future of pharmaceutical companies is changing. From new ways to develop and extend the use of drugs, to direct patient communication, digital pharma is coming. Many industries have seen a surge in digital business models, but pharma has generally been seen as lagging, burdened by regulation, economic factors and traditional processes.

DevOps Days: IT Process Orchestration with Jenkins

Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman will be speaking at DevOps Days Austin Monday and Tuesday May 4-5, 2015. Aater's presentation, titled "IT Process Orchestration with Jenkins" is during the Ignite block on May 5th, starting at 12:45. See the full program here

The Risk of Not Investing in DevOps

TECHNOLOGY FIRM:

If you are a technology firm, involved in the creation of software, whether it be robust enterprise-level specialized applications, mass-market consumer-level computer programs, or apps that can be used on mobile devices, DevOps is the most efficient and productive way for you to organize all the stages of your product development.

Optimizing Your Software Development Cycle

The technological world is always changing. In fact, technology is moving at such a rapid pace that a recent trend has been constant pressure on digital businesses to deliver more software updates more frequently. It’s now common for apps, software  and even operating systems, like Windows and iOS, to have small weekly updates, rather than previous process of implementing major new changes every year or so.

On Papercuts And DevOps

Last Saturday, I was talking with one of our Attune customers about their needs and that led to a very useful conversation on the improvements we can make to our Attune package. The customer expressed some features that would be useful for them and I decided that we need to implement those features in Fluxboard (™), our visual dashboard that helps organizations to own their IT. But it got me thinking about papercuts, and how DevOps can be thought of as the business practice of paying attention to the papercuts.

Startups: Save Your Dev's Time, Start Making Money

At the New York Times, one intern recently learned a painful lesson: It can take a long time to set up a development environment. In this case, about two weeks.

Startups: 5 Signs That You Need to Invest in DevOps

Having a DevOps approach for application or product development is like H2O to your organization. It’s a basic need to live long and prosper.

Yes, DevOps is like H2O:

  • High-quality bug-free apps and products

  • Heights of innovation

  • One-click deployments

And a lot more to be honest!

Chef Tutorial Series, Part 3: Installation in 3 Steps

In previous posts, Understanding Chef Basics with 3Q’s and Delving into More Chef Basics, we started you on a journey to become better acquainted with Chef elements, their functions, node objects, policies and cookbooks.

Now that you likely have the fundamentals of Chef in your pantry, today, let’s start cooking with Chef.

Writing On The Wall: RackSpace Removes Unmanaged IaaS Offerings

Last week, RackSpace announced its intention to remove unmanaged cloud service offerings. You can read about it here: Where does IaaS fit into the managed Cloud.

Bad DevOps infrastructure Makes for Unhappy Customers

"DevOps is not a tool. DevOps involves the human element. It’s about efficient collaboration between the ops and dev teams. DevOps is a process. DevOps is a culture."

Haven’t you already heard enough of this? I know ... right!

Chef Tutorial Series, Part 2: Delving Into More Chef Basics

It’s kitchen time again. Put that Chef hat on and let’s check out some more cool stuff.

In our last postPart 1: Understanding Chef Basics with 3 ‘Wh’ Q’s,” I bundled a whole lot of Chef ingredients. (That features for you lay Chefs.)

Part 1: Understanding Chef Basics with 3 ‘Wh’ Q’s

While I believe you have enjoyed the Docker tutorial series, it’s now time to explore yet another interesting DevOps tool. That tool is Chef.

6 Myths and The Facts about DevOps


What’s Trending with DevOps Tools: A Study Using Google

A lot of the conversation on DevOps is focused on what are the right tools to accomplish our goals. The popularity of a tool is more than an indication of interest. Many of the popular DevOps tools are open source and the long-term viability of a project is dependent on the number of users of that project along with the ease of supporting it.

DevOpsDays Austin Wrapped Up: Talks About DevOps [of course], Docker & the Cloud

DevOpsDays Austin 2014 came to an end earlier this week, on Tuesday. It was a great event; one of the best I have been to during the past year. The event was well organized by Ernest Mueller and other volunteers.

Challenges for Delivering DevOps to Meet Customer Needs

Recently, I was helping a client setup log management. While talking to the internal team, I found myself frequently arguing that you have to make the setup easy, otherwise it will not get done. As I found myself repeating this statement, I realized I was cutting right to what is needed to create a working DevOps solution.

DevOps Glossary - DevOps Monitoring Tools/Services

As we mentioned in our article, DevOps is about gaining visibility into key metrics, communicating that information to the stakeholders, and reacting to that information automation where and when possible.

How DevOps Saved Healthcare.gov

Recently, I read this article in TIME Magazine about the launch and resurrection of healthcare.gov. In reading the entire article, the only thing I could think of was how the key problem here is summed up in one word: DevOps.

Dissecting Effective Developer Workflows to Save Time & Lower Costs

Let’s set the stage. My developer, Anton, has a Jira ticket assigned to him for adding a feature to our product VyScale. How does he go about doing it? The process of the Jira feature request to production is what we call developer flow. This is a complex process with cycles. A typical flow consists of several checkpoints that the code has to go through before it gets into production and can be called done.

Checklist for Validating A DevOps Architecture | Part 2

Last week we explored how business goals should inform every good DevOps strategy. This week we’ll discuss how to use those goals to validate your DevOps architecture. From our experience at Flux7, the best way to do this is to define the workflows of key users.

Checklist: Validate DevOps Architecture|Part 1: Understand business needs

An organization moving to the cloud truly understand cloud’s benefits only when setting up good DevOps methodologies and cloud automation to meets its needs. The process is replete with tool choices at every stage and the overall goal is to understand and meet the organization’s needs.

How to: Create productive developer workflows using Git, Gerrit and Jenkins

Our clients are always deeply interested in creating productive dev environments. The power of a dev environment comes from many places. First is time saved by reducing the number of manual steps and by preventing context switches for a developer. Improving flow enables a developer to catch bugs sooner when they’re still inexpensive. Consequently, moving toward continuous testing and integration is essential. In this post, we’ll discuss a continuous integration workflow using opensource tools.

DevOps Quiz 1: How well do you know DevOps Trivia?

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