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Key Takeaways from Continuous Discussions (#c9d9) Episode 46: Deployment Automation 2.0

Best Practices for Deployment Automation

On this episode of our Continuous Discussions video podcast,  our expert panel included: Juni Mukherjee, author of Author of “Continuous Delivery Pipeline – Where Does It Choke?”; Martin Cron, principal engineer at WiserCare; J. Paul Reed, an internationally recognized speaker on DevOps, release engineering, and operations complexity;Robert Firek, software craftsman at Codurance, plus DevOps engineer, Java programmer and Agile practitioner; Taco Bakker, a LEAN Six Sigma black belt focusing on CD; and our very own Anders Wallgren and Sam Fell.

During the episode, we discussed must-have’s for deployment automation, advanced deployment patterns, Docker orchestration and what automation 3.0 looks like.

»Must-Have’s for Deployment Automation

 

"You don't want your production deployment to be the first time you are doing it" advice per @anders_wallgren

 

You have to get to production otherwise you are wasting time and money - figure out how to get there in a predictable way@samueldfell

 

In Deploy 2.0 scenario, you start to reuse stuff and create a culture of automation | @tsbakker65

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 179w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 80w" height="90" width="90" alt="j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcast.jpg" class="wp-image-25163 alignleft" />Tooling and processes are not the most interesting factors in automation saysReed: “What’s more interesting to me is the human factors of automation. I work with start-ups who say they are still going to do things manually because they need to get it out and don’t have time to automate it. For Automation 2.0, there’s enough data out there now where businesses are starting to say ‘We need to invest in automation,’ so it’s not a technical or tooling conversation.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 179w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 80w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 189w" height="90" width="90" alt="Robert-Firek-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devops-podcast.jpg" class="wp-image-25903 alignleft" />Firek views automation as a triangle containing three main parts: “When I think about automation I see a triangle. [One part is] you can’t do any manual steps. When you do manual steps it is painful for everyone and you can’t do whatever you want because you can’t repeat it. The other thing in this triangle is ‘rapid response’- you have to be able to deploy anything, and you can’t wait for approvals for weeks, for days, even hours, because when you have to make changes you have to do them rapidly and now. The most important part of this triangle for me is ‘team effort’ – you have to do [automation] together with your team. If you don’t have the right culture around automation and the right culture around rapid response it’s painful. You want to have a team that is ready to deploy something automatically and work together to automate and improve all the time.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker-150x150.jpg 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker-115x116.jpg 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker-79x80.jpg 79w" height="91" width="90" alt="taco-bakker" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker.jpg" class="wp-image-24701 alignleft" />What is a major difference between Automation 1.0 and 2.0? Bakker explains: “What I see in Automation 2.0 is that you start to reuse stuff. In 1.0, it is basically every man for himself, it’s just automating whatever they were doing in pretty much the way they were always doing it. In 2.0, you get more of a mindset for Continuous Delivery. You have to learn from each other – if someone already defined how to deploy a token application, you should say ‘Let’s just reuse that,’ which then increases the pace in which you can automate stuff.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-150x15... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-115x11... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-80x80.png 80w" height="91" width="90" alt="juni-devops-c9d9" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9.png" class="wp-image-25164 alignleft" />Mukherjee expands on advice she has taken from Martin Fowler on Continuous Delivery and automation: “The bits and bytes should roll silently from source code to production and there is this pipeline that takes it through. You enable it, you don’t actually do any execution as humans – you decide how it is done and when it is done, but you don’t actually do it.”

»Advanced Deployment Patterns

 

 

When Dev teams are left out of , they have less understanding of the product - @JuniTweets

 

Advanced deployment techniques - you shouldn't let them get in your way, says @martincron

 

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-150x15... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-115x11... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-80x80.png 80w" height="91" width="90" alt="juni-devops-c9d9" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9.png" class="wp-image-25164 alignleft" />Mukherjee “When you treat configuration like first-class citizens, only then can you have your deployment product succeed because your product depends on the deployment configuration being right. Coming through the pipeline, you should have the features, tests for the features and configurations for the features, tests and the environment.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 179w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 80w" height="90" width="90" alt="j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcast.jpg" class="wp-image-25163 alignleft" />

According to Reed, these advanced patterns aren’t really all that advanced: “What makes [the patterns] advanced is you have to start incorporating all these things that we used to maybe not care about so much. For instance, versioning. A product we see on a website is probably a number of versions of different components put together. But, to do that, you have to care about versioning and that’s something for a long time we didn’t care about. What makes it complex is the advanced interactions within the socio-technical system”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops... 80w" height="91" width="90" alt="martin-cron-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops-podcast.png" class="wp-image-25762 alignleft" />Cron advises not to let the advanced patterns get in the way of automating your pipeline: “Advanced techniques are by definition advanced techniques but you shouldn’t let them get in your way. Just because you can containerize everything, or do some things that are relay advanced, that shouldn’t hold you back from doing things in a straightforward way. Automation is something that is useful for everyone and even automating a small part of your pipeline is an incremental step.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 179w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 80w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 189w" height="90" width="90" alt="Robert-Firek-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devops-podcast.jpg" class="wp-image-25903 alignleft" />Think about what deployment patterns make the most sense for your business, says Firek: “These patterns have to express what you are actually doing in the business context. When I take a look at the patterns I always try to ask “Do we need this?” Because if we don’t need blue/green we shouldn’t use rolling deployments, instead let’s just sit down together and think. This is the most important thing – understanding what you are doing. It’s so easy to over-engineer something. When you over-engineer you’re just stuck with some kind of new legacy code and you think that its better when it’s not better.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-768x432.jpg 768w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-115x65.jpg 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-230x129.jpg 230w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-380x214.jpg 380w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-760x428.jpg 760w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-100x56.jpg 100w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-338x190.jpg 338w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-676x380.jpg 676w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4.jpg 960w" height="281" width="500" alt="slide9" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Slide9-4-300x169.jpg" class="alignnone wp-image-27322" />

»Docker Orchestration + Automation 3.0

 

 

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 179w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 80w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devop... 189w" height="90" width="90" alt="Robert-Firek-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/Robert-Firek-c9d9-devops-podcast.jpg" class="wp-image-25903 alignleft" />Firek on Docker and the Cloud: “Docker gives us the ability to realize how we can use the Cloud. Before, the Cloud was just cheap computing power and now we understand that it’s not only cheap, it’s also a power that we can have on demand, and when we combine Docker and the Cloud together we can create some kind of always adapting system.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker-150x150.jpg 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker-115x116.jpg 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker-79x80.jpg 79w" height="91" width="90" alt="taco-bakker" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/taco-bakker.jpg" class="wp-image-24701 alignleft" />

Do what is best for your own business, advises Bakker: “You should always automate what makes sense, but also challenge the current status quo. One of the key things in Deployment Automation 3.0 is do not just assume that the traditional way you are distributing and installing software or existing hardware is right. Maybe there is a better way for your specific situation that might increase the pace that you can deliver your software. Maybe it’s a container, maybe it’s a virtual machine – look where it makes sense to go in a total different direction and start to deploy in a totally different way.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops... 80w" height="91" width="90" alt="martin-cron-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/martin-cron-c9d9-devops-podcast.png" class="wp-image-25762 alignleft" />Ops and dev teams should both be involved in the automation process, saysCron: “I like to treat the automation code and infrastructure code, as first-class citizens. It’s not just something the ops people work on, it’s something that every dev does as part of their job every day. Not every team has that luxury but it makes a huge difference of knowing the deployment will work in production because it worked on my machine, and it worked on the workspace environment, and validation environment, and on this other environment.”

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-150x15... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-115x11... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9-80x80.png 80w" height="91" width="90" alt="juni-devops-c9d9" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/juni-devops-c9d9.png" class="wp-image-25164 alignleft" />Mukherjee explains that immunity and self-healing are a part of Automation 3.0: “For Automation 3.0: immunity and self-healing. Immunity is the human system. For instance, I might catch a cold, but the anti-bodies build up and I become stronger – this can happen to the pipeline just like it can to a human. You have initial failures – test, configuration, features – but if you increase the feedback, you increase your immunity and will fail less. There also needs to be self-healing. For instance, if you have failed even after all the learning we can have different patterns to self-heal so nobody has to intervene. A failure does not necessarily require a manual intervention – we can teach it to self-heal.

http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 150w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 115w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 179w, http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops... 80w" height="90" width="90" alt="j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcast" src="http://cdn.electric-cloud.com/wp-content/uploads/j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcast.jpg" class="wp-image-25163 alignleft" />IoT will play a big role in the future of automation, according to Reed: “If we buy the argument that the shift from 1.0 to 2.0 is understanding the patterns and making a cultural shift within the organization, I think we will see from 2.0 to 3.0 IoT come into play, because IoT is actual stuff in our lives like in our refrigerator or our car. We’re going to have to reexamine some of the assumptions that we make. In 3.0 when we are deploying things that matter, like Tesla autopilot, do we really want anyone to be able to update that over the air?”

Watch the full episode here:


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We hold our #c9d9 podcast every other Tuesday at 10 a.m. PST. Each episode features expert panelists talking about DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Agile and more.

Check out all past episodes and panelists here.

More Stories By Anders Wallgren

Anders Wallgren is Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud. Anders brings with him over 25 years of in-depth experience designing and building commercial software. Prior to joining Electric Cloud, Anders held executive positions at Aceva, Archistra, and Impresse. Anders also held management positions at Macromedia (MACR), Common Ground Software and Verity (VRTY), where he played critical technical leadership roles in delivering award winning technologies such as Macromedia’s Director 7 and various Shockwave products.

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