As much as we like to believe we work in a static environment, the fact is that change is happening all around us all the time. In an typical IT shop, new equipment might be added or new applications might be brought on line. You might be implementing a minor upgrade or bringing a major new system online.
Change is inevitable. The real questions is are you ready and can your systems continue working as that change rolls across your organization.
In yesterday’s post, Sure you can virtualize apps, but can you monitor them?, I wrote about the impact of virtualization on monitoring. In the post, I discussed the challenges that virtualization brings to monitoring because it’s a constantly moving target. By its nature, new virtual machines can easily be created and destroyed as your needs change.
But in a post by Lori MacVittie on the F5 DevCentral blog earlier this week, she points out that ecosystems are always in flux — IT ones and otherwise. And that’s true whether you’re using virtualized servers or physical ones. As MacVittie says, change is happening all around you all the time.
She points out that DevOps has been designed specifically to “to enable successful and repeatable application deployments through automation of the operational processes associated with a deployment.” The rub comes in trying to manage change while achieving those goals.
In fact, she recommends that change management be a part of the DevOps application delivery and management system because as she writes:
“Automation of configuration and policy-related tasks as well as orchestration of accepted processes is critical to maintaining a healthy data center ecosystem in the face of application updates, changes in security and access policies, as well as adjustments necessary to combat attacks as well as legitimate sudden spikes in demand.”
As she points out, inevitably, there are going to be issues around that delivery, no matter how careful you are and no matter how well designed your delivery system may be. That’s because there are so many unknowns in the process including the human factor, that we are subject to making mistakes (believe it or not).
That’s where monitoring must come into the equation because change is going to happen and you need to understand the impact of these changes whether they are introduced by IT Ops, DevOps or outside circumstances such as a traffic spike or a security breach.
If you have your monitoring tools in place, you can deal better with the inevitable unknowns that will surely take down your systems from time to time, no matter how carefully designed they may be. And perhaps you can minimize the impact of those glitches and bring the system back into balance sooner.