Devops is a relatively new concept that centers around the interdependence of development and operations and has been on the rise in the Web 2.0 world of virtualization and the cloud. The characteristics of devops include concepts like "architect, developer, tester, product manager, project manager--all in one" and "ability to write code beyond simple scripts" all working toward an ideal of managing infrastructure in an automated fashion.
One of the players in this market is Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of the Puppet Labs, which provides support and service to users of the Puppet open-source server automation tool, and is hosting its Puppet Camp 2010 next month in San Francisco. (Disclaimer: I serve as an adviser to Puppet Labs.)
I asked Kanies some questions about devops, automation, systems management, and the cloud.
Q: Give us a brief overview of the rise of devops and why it matters? Kanies: Devops is essentially a cultural movement toward more development-like operations. First and foremost this means acknowledging and impressing the fact that your infrastructure is code, so you should be using developer tools and practice to maintain and interact with it. It also means that you should have the same requirements of your infrastructure as you do of your applications--you need an API, high quality data, version control, access control, auditing, and more.
The reason it matters is that the problems of IT have outstripped its ability to deal with them--our tools and practices largely aren't built for a world where you can turn up 36,000 machines in a week or deploy 1,000 machines an hour, nor where your boss can expect full deployment of an application across thousands of nodes in seconds or minutes rather than weeks or months. Devops attempts to fix these problems with a culture and practice that adopts and adapts development tools in the infrastructure and builds a culture of delivery and agility. … Read more