Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff

Article

Key Takeaways from Continuous Discussions (#c9d9) Episode 42: Release Pipelines

Release Pipelines

release-pipelines-devops

Last week, we hosted another episode of our Continuous Discussion (#c9d9) podcast- this time discussing Release Pipelines.

Our expert panel included: Gioia Ballin, software engineer at Measurance; Jamie Ingilby, software development leader; Juni Mukherjee, author of “Continuous Delivery Pipeline – Where Does It Choke?”; J. Paul Reed, Managing Partner at Release Engineering Approaches and host of the ShipShow podcast ; and our very own Anders Wallgren and Sam Fell.

During this episode, we covered the hard truths and common hurdles along your pipeline- from code check-in to Release- and some best practices to address them on your path to achieving Continuous Delivery. We discussed Continuous Integration, the importance of testing, and challenges of configuration, deployment and release, and more. Continue reading for best practices and advice from our expert panelists.

Continuous Integration

Configuration and deployment is not a tooling problem, its a process problem | @JuniTweets

 

 

  • BallinGioia-Ballin on CI in small teams: “When your team is very small, time resources are scarce, and you have to give power to the developers. You don’t have the time to ask someone to deploy your service; you have to be able to deploy your service by yourself.”
  • juni-devops-c9d9The way Mukherjee sees CI? “The way I visualize it is you have the feature branches, where you are relatively isolated and can make mistakes without really putting the entire team up for sale. Then, when you check into main line, mentally prepare yourself to see it in production. That way you go into main line with the amount of confidence that you had before.”
  • jamie-ingilbyIngilby on the challenges of CI in legacy and monolith applications: “In these applications where there isn’t maybe the branching strategy to support it, Continuous Integration is sometimes the first hurdle that people have to get over. And sometimes it’s a lot more difficult to get through that one first hurdle than we might otherwise think.”
  • j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcastFirst, operationalize Continuous Integration, says Reed: “Often times, legacy applications or not, I find that the conversation really starts around operationalizing your Continuous Integration platform, and then having the organization react to when it fails – when they’re failing unit tests, leaving them red for months at a time, or having tests that might be flapper tests, that go red and green, actually spend time on fixing those.”

Testing

Testing is where a lot of orgs fail right away - it's not an optional thing, it is mandatory. @anders_wallgren

 

Testing is the hardest part of CD, per @jpaulreed. It's a nonfunctional requirement that we just assume works. 

 

  • jamie-ingilbyAdvice on testing in release pipelines, per Ingilby: “You have to consider everything that is considered ‘testing’ for your product – we’re not just talking about functional testing, or acceptance tests, it could be everything that’s required in order for you to build confidence in your artifact as a releasable product.”
  • j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcastTesting is the hardest part of Continuous Delivery, according to Reed: “Testing is the hardest part, because we talk about unit tests and static tests and all these different types of tests. We say that we should have them – and the fact that we’re still saying that – the more interesting question to me is – it’s not that we don’t get it, it’s just that we don’t do it.”
  • juni-devops-c9d9According to Mukherjee, tests move you from “suicidal speed” to “responsible speed.” She goes on to say, “Tests are first class citizens – a test pipeline is as meaningful as anything else.”
  • Gioia-BallinTesting can save you dollars, according to Ballin: “Software testing is so important because software always contains defects, defects leads to failures, and failures potentially lead to money losses.”

Configuration, Deployment, Release

"Focus on the quality of the product and don't waste your time on the conveyor belt" @anders_wallgren

 

"treat the pipeline like a product, otherwise you aren't delivering value to customers in a sustainable way" - @samueldfell

 

  • j-paul-reed-c9d9-devops-podcastReed stresses the importance of release engineering. He says successful organizations: “[Are] caring about those none functional requirements of operational requirements, release engineering, tooling, asking how to do AB testing and feature flagging.  All these things are release engineering problems, and we’re starting to see its impact on security.”
  • juni-devops-c9d9Mukherjee: “Don’t make this a tooling problem. It’s essentially a process problem, and if you say process drives architecture and architecture drives tools, then once we lay out a cool process for ourselves, I think it’s very reasonable to then follow it up with the right architecture and the right tool set – and the tools will evolve.”
  • Gioia-BallinAdvice for when you have multiple environments before production, per Ballin: “If you have several environments and you have to pass through all the environments, the best way in my opinion is to streamline the pipeline until the very last step before production.”
  • jamie-ingilbyEveryone on the team should be akin to the release process, according to Ingilby: “It’s important that the final step is part of a step that anyone on the team feels confident in doing. There are lots of organizations that have formal, or even informal, deployment heroes that do all of the deploying and have special access – this isn’t a scalable pattern and doesn’t encourage your software architecture to be easily deployable and resilient.”

Watch the full episode here:

 

 

 

c9d9-devops-and-cd-for-embedded-iot-hardware

Want more Continuous Discussions? We hold our #c9d9’s every other Tuesday at 10 a.m. PST, which features expert panelists talking about DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Agile and more. Next Tuesday on Continuous Discussions, we’ll be talking about DevOps and CD for Non-Web Apps.

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.

CloudEXPO Stories
The precious oil is extracted from the seeds of prickly pear cactus plant. After taking out the seeds from the fruits, they are adequately dried and then cold pressed to obtain the oil. Indeed, the prickly seed oil is quite expensive. Well, that is understandable when you consider the fact that the seeds are really tiny and each seed contain only about 5% of oil in it at most, plus the seeds are usually handpicked from the fruits. This means it will take tons of these seeds to produce just one bottle of the oil for commercial purpose. But from its medical properties to its culinary importance, skin lightening, moisturizing, and protection abilities, down to its extraordinary hair care properties, prickly seed oil has got lots of excellent rewards for anyone who pays the price.
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected path for IoT innovators to scale globally, and the smartest path to cross-device synergy in an instrumented, connected world.
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of the world’s largest data centers. Click here to schedule a meeting with our experts and executives.
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understanding as the environment changes.