SRE Anti-Pattern: "I Could Fix It, If I Could Get To It"

In this edition of SRE Anti-Patterns, I'm highlighting the common enterprise problem of disjointed access. Often the people responding to an incident are blocked from taking the required recovery actions even though they have the first-hand knowledge and experience needed to know what to do.

Operations: The Last Mile Problem For DevOps

The last mile problem for DevOps is Operations. "The last mile" is an economic concept, born in the telco industry, that describes the last bit of effort that is required to extract the benefit of significant previous investments. The metaphor is a good fit for the relationship between DevOps and Operations.

Tickets Make Operations Unnecessarily Miserable

IT Operations has always been difficult. There is always too much work to do, not enough time to do it, and frequent interrupts. Moreover, there is the relentless pressure from executives who hold the view that everything takes too long, breaks too often, and costs too much.

In search of improvement, we have repeatedly bet on new tools to improve our work. We’ve cycled through new platforms (e.g., Virtualization, Cloud, Docker, Kubernetes) and new automation (e.g., Puppet, Chef, Ansible). While each comes with its own merits, has the stress and overload on operations fundamentally changed?

Enterprises have also spent the past two decades liberally applying Management frameworks like ITIL and COBIT. Would an average operations engineer say things have gotten better or worse?

In the midst of all of this, there is conventional wisdom that rarely gets questioned.

Self-Service: Making Operations More Secure and Less Risky

"We would love to give our Devs, QA, and Analysts self-service access to privileged Ops tasks. The capability sure would help these teams move quicker and lighten the load on Operations. But alas, Security and Compliance would never allow it, so we don't push for it."

There appears to be a pre-conceived notion that self-service — especially self-service between teams with different levels of privilege — is inherently risky and therefore not an option. However, if you dig in, you'll see that this belief is mostly folklore. Self-service isn't inherently dangerous or out of control. In fact, the case can be made that the opposite is true.

Going to Velocity? Stop by and See us

Will you be at the Velocity Conference in San Jose, June 12-14? The Rundeck team will be in Booth #713 demonstrating Rundeck Pro. Want fewer tickets and more self-service in your Ops organization? Who doesn't? Learn how to get started with Operations as a Service. We'll show you how the Rundeck IT Operations Management platform can make your team more efficient while maintaining security and compliance. 

Seeing Both Dev and Ops Within Operations

I recently wrote about how the craft of Operations is changing, but is far from being in decline. In an ensuing twitter conversation, Charles T. Betz brought up some excellent points about the need to be precise when unpacking what Operations does.