Uncategorized

Continuous Delivery: It’s All About the Pipeline

16 Giu , 2015  

Continuous Delivery PipelineThe Agile Manifesto has had significant impact on the way software is built. It defines twelve fundamental principles, the first of which is “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”

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CloudFoundry

Continuous Delivery Among the Donkeys

26 Feb , 2015  

I was recently asked to give a brief overview of the mainstream market for continuous integration and continuous deployment and how companies are using it. The audience was a mixture of HeavyBit portfolio companies and their customers. So, it provided a nice mix of sellers and buyers. Since this topic comes up all the time in Pivotal conversations, I thought it’d be worth going over here as well.

Carrots on Heads, Please

Source: (PBF Comics)[http://www.pbfcomics.com/253/]

Source: (PBF Comics)[http://www.pbfcomics.com/253/]

I’m often fascinated—if agog in wonderment—at what the “elite” of the tech world are doing, those “unicorns.” There’s even “horses” out there—high performing organizations that are keeping up with those unicorns. But, I’m most interested in the normal folks, “donkeys,” as I like to think of them. I like seeing how the donkeys are doing when they strap a carrot to their head and try to keep up with the unicorns.

If you’re the type of person who wants the benefits of Cloud Foundry (making sure you’re shaving the right yak, focusing on application development instead of infrastructure development), you’ll want the benefits of continuous delivery, namely, speeding up your software delivery pipeline by automating as much as possible from builds, to tests, and even promoting builds to production.

These are outcomes of doing CD. The overarching goal is to reduce the cycle time to get new features into production, helping you establish a feedback loop that you then use to guide the perfection of your software. That last part is key, and often “money left on the table” when organizations stop short of changing their process.

So, let’s take a look at a quick survey of studies on how CD is doing out there in donkey-land.

Yeah. Everyone Wants a Pony. Astute Question, Boss

When I was at 451 Research, we did two studies of the DevOps market, from a donkey perspective. The first study had 201 participants, the second 300. We achieved a good cross-industry mix, not just people in the technology world. There were plenty of horses and donkeys in there. One of the first questions we asked was around each company’s desires to speed up software deployment. That is a core benefit of DevOps (perhaps the core benefit), and certainly a core benefit of continuous delivery.

In aggregate, the answer was painfully obvious—of course people wanted to go faster. Everyone wants a pony! Sliced up by industry, things got a little more interesting:

There are obvious ones who want to speed up like retail, entertainment, and SaaS companies. Industries like transportation can seem weird until you realize that IT-driven companies like Fedex, UPS, or even Uber are in that category (which is to say, there’s tremendous competitive pressure for IT to move faster). On the low-end, it’s sort of depressing that health care is less interested (I know I’d certainly like more, interesting uses of software when I visit the doctor), and perhaps things like construction are not so surprising.

When I look at this chart it helps me triangulate what types of industries are most interested in using software to change how they do their business. Those industries on the left side are certainly high on the list of people who’d be interested in continuous delivery, one would assume.

The Job To Be Done: A Platform for Speedy Software Delivery

With the desire to speed up software delivery frequency, we’ve found the job to be done. Now, a job to be done is a fun way of describing the problem a product or service solves—what “job” does a customer “hire” a business to do? I hire a hamburger to (a.) fill me up, and, (b.) make me happy. In contrast, when I’m on a long road-trip, I might just “hire” a gas station hot dog drowning in pump-chilli to fill me up, but not really make me happy.

In the realm of continuous integration and continuous delivery, there’s a clear job to be done—creating the “pipeline” for packaging up, verifying, and then deploying software into production. That is, everything between writing code and operating it. Someone once suggested to me that DevOps was simply the evolution of continuous delivery, which, while not entirely accurate, is useful framing. In that sense, I think it’s good to use one of the older but still useful process studies from the DevOps world, the software delivery platform:

Originally published in 2012, it’s stood the test of time and even popped up in one of the more useful cloud books of last year, The Practice of Cloud System Administration. CI/CD plays a huge, if not necessary, role in this process. One key point is to think of structured platform—moving code through this “pipeline” requires a lot of standardization and discipline. The alternative of re-inventing the packaging and infrastructure layers each time is the wrong kind of chaos.

There’s another vital part missing from the diagram, though, usually not from the conversation around it—a feedback loop. In addition to just getting software out the door more frequently, the primary business benefit of continuous delivery and DevOps (you see how those two so neatly dance around with each other?) is access to oodles of feedback about how customers are using your software.  This is used to hone and modify your software to better fit what your customers want, and one presumes <hopes>, that it leads to making more money from them.

Adapting to this feedback loop is the “money on the table” when it comes to process. I see very few donkeys taking advantage of those feedback loops, and the horses and unicorns even struggle with changing their process. Surveys and anecdotes alike show that people feel like things are often going wrong with their modern IT projects and often blame doing too little when it comes to change.

Speaking of Failure: CI/CD Use is Low in Donkey-land

Getting down to actual tool-usage, surveys from 451 and others, show a consistently lower use of CI/CD tools than you’d expect:

Here, you see the sad donut and some confirming, but encouraging survey data from DZone.

The sad donut shows that somewhere between 25–30% of the respondents are using CD tools like Jenkins, Bamboo, or hosted CI/CD services. There is a seemingly positive 35%, let’s call it, who are creating their own CD platforms. In past years, “rolling your own” when it came to service delivery platforms was needed and there was no other option. But, the technology is mature at this point, calling into question the strategic worth of DIY’ing your continious delivery platform. Effort spent creating your own CD tool is probably better spent on, you know, the actual software your customers use. The most distressing part of the donut is the near 30% of respondents who are doing nothing. I call this “distressing,” because, one, I like to be hyperbolic to keep myself awake, and, two, because CD as an idea and technology has been around a long time, well over five years. It is hard for me to imagine a software development team that wouldn’t benefit from it.

Now that I don’t work at an analyst shop, I can freely mix and match research data. So, I wanted to pull in some additional survey results on CD. On the right, you can see a year over year comparison of a DZone study, first listing companies who believed they did CD and then, according to a pretty good criteria based on orginization indicators laid out by Martin Fowler, judging which of those respondents are actually doing CD. Again, the results are somewhat shocking, but help triangulate the sad donut.

The Pipeline Is Your Platform, Perfect It!

For ease-of-thinking and strategic application, I wanted to simplify the software delivery platform diagram a bit. So, here it is with Pivotal colors!

There are a few things to think about:

  1. The most valuable part of this process is actually a handful of pixels—the first few steps where you’re creating the software used to help run your business. The feedback loop is clearly key to getting the right specifications in place and making sure you’re writing software that is actually effective. I believe these first two boxes are where most companies—most donkeys to be sure—should spend the majority of their effort (and yes, one should bundle test/verify in there, that’s always nice…).
  2. Over recent years, we’ve spent most of our time as an industry focused on the rest of the boxes, especially the infrastructure platform and production concerns boxes. Topics like cloud, OpenStack, and containers have made this area a churning pool of excitement. When I was an analyst and doing cloud strategy, I came across enterprises all the time who wanted to build their own platforms out of piece parts. For some—often the unicorns—it makes sense, or at least it used to. For others, it’s probably gold-plating and a mis-application of time and money. Unlike in recent years, there’s are so many “off the web” (to morph the old OTC idea) infrastructure parts that you’re likely better just using one of those rather than letting your people go crazy with the always entertaining task of building a platform.
  3. You also need to be on the look-out for fat boy scouts in this pipeline. If you lead an exciting enough life that you’ve read The Goal (a “business novel”), you’ll hopefully recall the lesson of the fat boy scout—your line of marching boy scouts will only be as fast as the slowest marcher. It follows that optimizing anything else before addressing bottlenecks is a waste of time. Focus on analyzing the whole process (i.e., the pipeline) and ruthlessly remove the bottlenecks. If you want an IT nerd version of The Goal, check out the more recent The Phoenix Project.

All of this raises a larger point. While we might think of all of this as Agile and the sort of cowboy codery that’s often associated with it…there’s actually a tremendous amount of discipline, process, and careful work involved in running a business with a continuous delivery engine. It’s much more than just using a tool. It relies on building out and perfecting the entire pipeline. The rewards are high, though—getting software out the door faster, making customers happier, which hopefully leads to more profits.

Let’s Fix the Sad Donut

From the anemic, but slowly beefing up, usage of CD we’re seeing out there it’s clear that we can do better as an industry. Almost five years after the publication of the Continuous Delivery book, there’s a lot of that half full glass to fill. In the meantime, the growing interest in developing mobile applications, cloud native applications,12 factor style applications, DevOps, and cloud in general has sparked a renewed interest in the otherwise sleepy,but always valuable, corner of the IT world, software development. Software development is suddenly very interesting and the focus of lots of great work and innovation from companies large and small. Indeed, HeavyBit’s investment thesis is that development tools as a market is fast becoming a big deal again; a strategic point that Pivotal obviously believes as well. Part of the goal of Pivotal Cloud Foundry is to provide as much as possible in the nature of structured platforms to slim up all those fat boy scouts in the pipeline. While the label “Platform-as-a-Service” has been and is certainly one that applies, we prefer to think of what we offer as a set of tools that helps our customer perfect the software delivery pipeline, that is: a platform.

Recommended Reading:

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Uncategorized

Sooooo, what’s new with HP’s cloud strategy?

25 Feb , 2015  

Look! Hewlett-Packard is doing something with Eucalyptus after all, at least according to a new web page touting HP Helion Eucalyptus, the “Open. Agile. Secure AWS-compatible private cloud.” HP bought Eucalyptus in September, put that company’s CEO, Marten Mickos, in charge of the overall HP cloud business and things […]

Sooooo, what’s new with HP’s cloud strategy? originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

Continue reading…

, , ,

CloudFoundry

All Things Pivotal Podcast Episode #15: What is Pivotal Web Services?

10 Feb , 2015  

featured-pivotal-podcastYou have a great idea for an app—and need a quick and easy place to deploy it.

You are interested in Platform as a Service—but you want a low risk and free way to try it out.

You are constrained on dev/test capacity and need somewhere your developers can work effectively and quickly—NOW.

Whilst you might be familiar with Pivotal CF as a Platform as a Service that you can deploy on-premises or in the cloud provider of your choice—you may not know that Pivotal CF is also available in a hosted for as Pivotal Web Services.

In this episode we take a closer look at Pivotal Web Services—what is it used for, and how you can take advantage of it.

PLAY EPISODE #15

 

RESOURCES:

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the All Things Pivotal podcast, the podcast at the intersection of agile, cloud, and big data. Stay tuned for regular updates, technical deep dives, architecture discussions, and interviews. Please share your feedback with us by e-mailing podcast@pivotal.io.

Simon Elisha:

Hello everyone and welcome back to the All Things Pivotal podcast. Fantastic to have you back. My name is Simon Elisha. Good to have you with me again today. A quick and punchy podcast this week, but an interesting one nonetheless hopefully and answering a question that comes up quite commonly. Well, it’s really 2 questions. The first question is, how can I try out Pivotal Cloud Foundry really, really quickly without any set up time? Which often relates to my answer being, ‘Well have you heard of Pivotal Web Services?’ To which people say, ‘What is Pivotal Web Services?’ Also known as, PWS. Also known as P-Dubs.

Pivotal Web Services is a service available on the Web, funnily enough, at run.pivotal.io. It is a hosted version of Pivotal Cloud Foundry running on Amazon Web Services in the US. It provides a platform upon which you can use as a developer, push applications to it, organize your workspaces, and really use as a development platform or even as a production location for your applications. It is a fully-featured running version of Pivotal CF in the Cloud. Not surprisingly, that’s what Pivotal CF can do, but this provides a hosted version for you.

Let’s unpack this a little bit and have a look at what it is and why you might want to use it. The first thing that’s good to know is you can connect to run.pivotal.io straight away. You don’t need a credit card to start and you get a 60-day free trial. I’ll talk about what you get in that 60-day free trial shortly, but the good thing to know is you can go and try it straight away. Often when I’m talking to customers and they’re getting their toe in the water with platforms and service and they’re trying to understand what it is and they say, ‘Oh where can I just try and push an app or test something out?’ I say, ‘Hey go to Pivotal Web Services, it’s free, you can try it out, you can grab an application you’ve got on the shelf and just see what it’s like.’ They go, ‘Well that’s pretty cool, I can do it straight away.’ No friction in that happening.

In terms of what you can use on the platform, so we currently support apps written in Java, Grails, Play, Spring, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Go, Python, or PHP. Any of those ones will automatically be discovered and [hey presto 02:37] CF push and away we go. If you’ve been listening to previous episodes you’ll know the magic of the CF push process. If however you need another language, you can use a Community Buildpack or you can even write a custom one yourself that will run on the platform as well. Obviously, if you’re running an application you may want to consume some services. You can choose from a variety of third party data bases, e-mail services, monitoring services, that exist in the Marketplace, that exist on Pivotal Cloud Foundry. I’ll run you through what some of those services are because there really is a nice selection available for you.

What you then do is you buy into those services within your application and Pivotal Cloud Foundry, and P-Dubs in particular, takes care of all the connection criteria or the buying in process or the credentials etc, which make it nice and easy. You may be saying, ‘Well hmm, what does this cost me to get access to this kind of platform?’ Well, it’s a really simple, simple model. It’s application centric and you pay 3 cents US per gig per hour. That’s the per hour cost is for the amount of memory used by the application to run. Now, with that 3 cents you get included your routing, so your traffic routing, your load balancing, you can up to 1 gig of ephemeral disk space on your app instances. You get free storage for your application files when they get pushed to the platform. You don’t pay for that storage cost at all. You get bandwidth both in and out, up to 2 terabytes of bandwidth. You get unified log streaming, which we’ll talk about and health management, which we’ll also talk about.

As you can imagine, this could be very cost-effective platform for dev test and production workloads because you’re only paying for what you use when you use it and you’re only paying at the application layer on a per memory basis. Now, there’s a really handy pricing tab on the Pivotal Web Services page that lets you put in how many app instances you’d need for your application and will punch out for you that cost on a per month basis for the hosting, which is really, really nice.

What are some of the things that we allow you to do with this platform? What are some of the benefits? As I mentioned, you get the 60-day free trial and the 60-day free trial, you get 2 gig of application memory, so it can run applications that consume up to 2 gig of aggregate memory. It can have up to 10 application services from the free tier of the Marketplace. This means you get to play with quite a lot of capability at very low cost, very, very easily.

Aside from pushing your app, which is yeah, nice and easy and something you want to do, what else do we do with this? Well, we can [elect 05:17] to have performance monitoring. In the developer console, which you can log into, you can see all your spaces, your applications and their status, how many services are bound to them etc. You can drill into them in more detail to see what they’re actually consuming. If you want even more detailed monitoring, so inside the application type monitoring, you can use New Relic for that and that’s a service that’s offered in the Marketplace. It has a zero touch configuration. For Java applications, you can basically [crank and bind 05:47] you New Relic service to your app very, very simply with basically no configuration. It’s amazing. For other languages like Ruby or Java Script, you have to the New Relic [agent 05:56] running, but it’s still a pretty trivial process to get it up and going.

Now, once your application is running, you probably want to make sure it keeps running. A normal desire to have. We have this thing called, The Health Manager. This is an automated system that monitors your application for you and if your application instances exit you to an error or something happens where the number of instances is less than the ones that you actually created when you did your CF push or CF Scale, the platform will automatically recover those particular instances for you. Obviously, the log will be updated to indicate that that took place. If you set up an application and you have 3 instances running, it will run them for you. If one of them fails, it will spin up another one for you and you’re good to go.

Another capability is, of course, the Unified Log Streaming. One of the features of Pivotal CF is the ability to bring logs together from multiple application instances into the one place. In PWS, we do the same thing. We have this streaming log API that will send all the information, all the components, for your application to the one location. You can tailor this interactively yourself or you can use a syslog drain too, once you have a third party tool you may like. Tools like, Splunk or Logstash etc. They’re all scoped by a unique application ID and an instance index, so they can correlate across multiple events and see how they all fit together, which is nice.

The system also has a really nice Web console, which is built for really agile developers to use. You jump in, you can see what applications are running, where, who started them, what’s going on. You can even connect your spacers with your CI pipeline to make sure that builds are going into the correct life cycle stage of being deployed appropriately as well. You can also see quotas and building across your spacers because you have access to organizations and spacers as well. We’ll talk about organizations and spacers in another episode.

What about from a services perspective? What are some of the services that we have available in the Marketplace? Well, it’s growing all the time. It’s a movable face, as I like to say. We have a number. I’ll just call out a few highlight ones. Things like, Searchify for search, BlazeMeter for load testing, Redis Cloud, which is an enterprise-class cache. We talked about caches a little while ago, ClearDB, which is a MySQL database service. We have Searchly, ElasticSearch. We have the Memcached [D 08:19] Cloud. We have SendGrid for sending e-mail, MongoLab for MongoDB as a service, New Relic obviously for access to performance criteria. RabbitMQ, so through Cloud AMQP, ElephantSQL, PostgreSQL as a service etc, etc. A good selection of services there are available to you to use.

It’s interesting seeing what people use this for. Often, customers who use this for a dev and test experience or to get the developers up to speed with using platform as a service. A company called [Synapse, which I’ll say 08:49], which is small, or young I should say, Boston based company that builds software and service web and mobile apps for consumer startups, they decided to use Pivotal Web Services for their platform because they wanted to just have the same develop experience through dev test and production, and it completely suited their needs. It gave them the flexibility in terms of how they built the application, it gave them the sizing requirements they needed etc. The other nice thing that they got out of it was the ability to deploy their particular application both in the public Cloud or in private Clouds that customers wanted to run. What they realized is that if they had customers who said, ‘Hey we really like your particular application, we like your service, but we want to run it in-house for whatever reason that we have,’ they had a very simple and easy way to say that ‘Hey, you just run Pivotal CF internally, we bring our code across, and it will work fine.’ A really interesting example there.

If you’ve ever wanted to have a play with Pivotal CF, you wondered how it looks, and what the experience is from a developer perspective, then Pivotal Web Services or PWS is the place to go. That’s run.pivotal.io. There’s a 60-day free trial. You don’t have to enter your credit card when you sign up for the free trial. You can have a bit of an experiment and see how you go. Hopefully you’ll be able to make something pretty cool and until then, talk to you later, and keep on building.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the All Things Pivotal podcast. If you enjoyed it, please share it with others. We love hearing your feedback, so please send any comments or suggestions to podcast@pivotal.io.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CloudFoundry

All Things Pivotal Podcast Episode #15: What is Pivotal Web Services?

10 Feb , 2015  

featured-pivotal-podcastYou have a great idea for an app—and need a quick and easy place to deploy it.

You are interested in Platform as a Service—but you want a low risk and free way to try it out.

You are constrained on dev/test capacity and need somewhere your developers can work effectively and quickly—NOW.

Whilst you might be familiar with Pivotal CF as a Platform as a Service that you can deploy on-premises or in the cloud provider of your choice—you may not know that Pivotal CF is also available in a hosted for as Pivotal Web Services.

In this episode we take a closer look at Pivotal Web Services—what is it used for, and how you can take advantage of it.

PLAY EPISODE #15

 

RESOURCES:

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the All Things Pivotal podcast, the podcast at the intersection of agile, cloud, and big data. Stay tuned for regular updates, technical deep dives, architecture discussions, and interviews. Please share your feedback with us by e-mailing podcast@pivotal.io.

Simon Elisha:

Hello everyone and welcome back to the All Things Pivotal podcast. Fantastic to have you back. My name is Simon Elisha. Good to have you with me again today. A quick and punchy podcast this week, but an interesting one nonetheless hopefully and answering a question that comes up quite commonly. Well, it’s really 2 questions. The first question is, how can I try out Pivotal Cloud Foundry really, really quickly without any set up time? Which often relates to my answer being, ‘Well have you heard of Pivotal Web Services?’ To which people say, ‘What is Pivotal Web Services?’ Also known as, PWS. Also known as P-Dubs.

Pivotal Web Services is a service available on the Web, funnily enough, at run.pivotal.io. It is a hosted version of Pivotal Cloud Foundry running on Amazon Web Services in the US. It provides a platform upon which you can use as a developer, push applications to it, organize your workspaces, and really use as a development platform or even as a production location for your applications. It is a fully-featured running version of Pivotal CF in the Cloud. Not surprisingly, that’s what Pivotal CF can do, but this provides a hosted version for you.

Let’s unpack this a little bit and have a look at what it is and why you might want to use it. The first thing that’s good to know is you can connect to run.pivotal.io straight away. You don’t need a credit card to start and you get a 60-day free trial. I’ll talk about what you get in that 60-day free trial shortly, but the good thing to know is you can go and try it straight away. Often when I’m talking to customers and they’re getting their toe in the water with platforms and service and they’re trying to understand what it is and they say, ‘Oh where can I just try and push an app or test something out?’ I say, ‘Hey go to Pivotal Web Services, it’s free, you can try it out, you can grab an application you’ve got on the shelf and just see what it’s like.’ They go, ‘Well that’s pretty cool, I can do it straight away.’ No friction in that happening.

In terms of what you can use on the platform, so we currently support apps written in Java, Grails, Play, Spring, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Go, Python, or PHP. Any of those ones will automatically be discovered and [hey presto 02:37] CF push and away we go. If you’ve been listening to previous episodes you’ll know the magic of the CF push process. If however you need another language, you can use a Community Buildpack or you can even write a custom one yourself that will run on the platform as well. Obviously, if you’re running an application you may want to consume some services. You can choose from a variety of third party data bases, e-mail services, monitoring services, that exist in the Marketplace, that exist on Pivotal Cloud Foundry. I’ll run you through what some of those services are because there really is a nice selection available for you.

What you then do is you buy into those services within your application and Pivotal Cloud Foundry, and P-Dubs in particular, takes care of all the connection criteria or the buying in process or the credentials etc, which make it nice and easy. You may be saying, ‘Well hmm, what does this cost me to get access to this kind of platform?’ Well, it’s a really simple, simple model. It’s application centric and you pay 3 cents US per gig per hour. That’s the per hour cost is for the amount of memory used by the application to run. Now, with that 3 cents you get included your routing, so your traffic routing, your load balancing, you can up to 1 gig of ephemeral disk space on your app instances. You get free storage for your application files when they get pushed to the platform. You don’t pay for that storage cost at all. You get bandwidth both in and out, up to 2 terabytes of bandwidth. You get unified log streaming, which we’ll talk about and health management, which we’ll also talk about.

As you can imagine, this could be very cost-effective platform for dev test and production workloads because you’re only paying for what you use when you use it and you’re only paying at the application layer on a per memory basis. Now, there’s a really handy pricing tab on the Pivotal Web Services page that lets you put in how many app instances you’d need for your application and will punch out for you that cost on a per month basis for the hosting, which is really, really nice.

What are some of the things that we allow you to do with this platform? What are some of the benefits? As I mentioned, you get the 60-day free trial and the 60-day free trial, you get 2 gig of application memory, so it can run applications that consume up to 2 gig of aggregate memory. It can have up to 10 application services from the free tier of the Marketplace. This means you get to play with quite a lot of capability at very low cost, very, very easily.

Aside from pushing your app, which is yeah, nice and easy and something you want to do, what else do we do with this? Well, we can [elect 05:17] to have performance monitoring. In the developer console, which you can log into, you can see all your spaces, your applications and their status, how many services are bound to them etc. You can drill into them in more detail to see what they’re actually consuming. If you want even more detailed monitoring, so inside the application type monitoring, you can use New Relic for that and that’s a service that’s offered in the Marketplace. It has a zero touch configuration. For Java applications, you can basically [crank and bind 05:47] you New Relic service to your app very, very simply with basically no configuration. It’s amazing. For other languages like Ruby or Java Script, you have to the New Relic [agent 05:56] running, but it’s still a pretty trivial process to get it up and going.

Now, once your application is running, you probably want to make sure it keeps running. A normal desire to have. We have this thing called, The Health Manager. This is an automated system that monitors your application for you and if your application instances exit you to an error or something happens where the number of instances is less than the ones that you actually created when you did your CF push or CF Scale, the platform will automatically recover those particular instances for you. Obviously, the log will be updated to indicate that that took place. If you set up an application and you have 3 instances running, it will run them for you. If one of them fails, it will spin up another one for you and you’re good to go.

Another capability is, of course, the Unified Log Streaming. One of the features of Pivotal CF is the ability to bring logs together from multiple application instances into the one place. In PWS, we do the same thing. We have this streaming log API that will send all the information, all the components, for your application to the one location. You can tailor this interactively yourself or you can use a syslog drain too, once you have a third party tool you may like. Tools like, Splunk or Logstash etc. They’re all scoped by a unique application ID and an instance index, so they can correlate across multiple events and see how they all fit together, which is nice.

The system also has a really nice Web console, which is built for really agile developers to use. You jump in, you can see what applications are running, where, who started them, what’s going on. You can even connect your spacers with your CI pipeline to make sure that builds are going into the correct life cycle stage of being deployed appropriately as well. You can also see quotas and building across your spacers because you have access to organizations and spacers as well. We’ll talk about organizations and spacers in another episode.

What about from a services perspective? What are some of the services that we have available in the Marketplace? Well, it’s growing all the time. It’s a movable face, as I like to say. We have a number. I’ll just call out a few highlight ones. Things like, Searchify for search, BlazeMeter for load testing, Redis Cloud, which is an enterprise-class cache. We talked about caches a little while ago, ClearDB, which is a MySQL database service. We have Searchly, ElasticSearch. We have the Memcached [D 08:19] Cloud. We have SendGrid for sending e-mail, MongoLab for MongoDB as a service, New Relic obviously for access to performance criteria. RabbitMQ, so through Cloud AMQP, ElephantSQL, PostgreSQL as a service etc, etc. A good selection of services there are available to you to use.

It’s interesting seeing what people use this for. Often, customers who use this for a dev and test experience or to get the developers up to speed with using platform as a service. A company called [Synapse, which I’ll say 08:49], which is small, or young I should say, Boston based company that builds software and service web and mobile apps for consumer startups, they decided to use Pivotal Web Services for their platform because they wanted to just have the same develop experience through dev test and production, and it completely suited their needs. It gave them the flexibility in terms of how they built the application, it gave them the sizing requirements they needed etc. The other nice thing that they got out of it was the ability to deploy their particular application both in the public Cloud or in private Clouds that customers wanted to run. What they realized is that if they had customers who said, ‘Hey we really like your particular application, we like your service, but we want to run it in-house for whatever reason that we have,’ they had a very simple and easy way to say that ‘Hey, you just run Pivotal CF internally, we bring our code across, and it will work fine.’ A really interesting example there.

If you’ve ever wanted to have a play with Pivotal CF, you wondered how it looks, and what the experience is from a developer perspective, then Pivotal Web Services or PWS is the place to go. That’s run.pivotal.io. There’s a 60-day free trial. You don’t have to enter your credit card when you sign up for the free trial. You can have a bit of an experiment and see how you go. Hopefully you’ll be able to make something pretty cool and until then, talk to you later, and keep on building.

Speaker 1:

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Uncategorized

With $15M, Sauce Labs wants to make software testing faster

5 Feb , 2015  

In an agile world where developers are expected to churn out new application features on what can often times be a weekly basis, it can be really hard for engineers to create testing environments on the fly. Sauce Labs, a cloud-based testing startup, thinks it has […]

With $15M, Sauce Labs wants to make software testing faster originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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CloudFoundry

Why Services are Essential to Your Platform as a Service

27 Gen , 2015  

For most organizations, there is a constant battle between the need to rapidly develop and deploy software while effectively managing the environment and deployment process. As a developer, you struggle with the ability to move new applications to production, and regular provisioning of support services can take weeks, if not months. IT operations, on the other hand, is balancing the backlog of new services requests with the need to keep all the existing (growing) services up and patched. Each side is challenged with meeting the needs of an ever-changing business.

What are Services?

Service is defined as “an act of helpful activity; help, aid.” A Service should make your life easier. Pivotal believes that Platform as a Service (PaaS) should make administrator’s and developer’s lives easier, not harder. Services available through the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform allow resources to be easily provisioned on-demand. These services are typically middleware, frameworks, and other “components” used by developers when creating their applications.

Services extend a PaaS to become a flexible platform for all types of applications. Services can be as unique as an organization or an application requires. They can bind applications to databases or allow the integration of continuous delivery tools into a platform. Services, especially user-provided services, can also wrap other applications, like a company’s ERP back-end or a package tracking API. The accessibility of Services through a single platform ensures developers and IT operators can truly be agile.

Extensibility Through a Services-Enabled Platform

The availability of Services within the platform are one of the most powerful and extensible features of Pivotal Cloud Foundry. A broad ecosystem of software can run and be managed from within the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform, and this ensures that enterprises get the functionality they need.

Robust functionality from a single source reduces the time spent on configuration and monitoring. It also has the added benefit of improving scalability and time-to-production. Services allow administrators to provide pre-defined database and middleware services, and this gives developers the ability to rapidly deploy a software product from a menu of options without the typical slow and manual provisioning process. This is also done in a consistent and supportable way.

Managed Services Ensure Simple Provisioning

One of the features that sets Pivotal Cloud Foundry apart from other platforms is the extent of the integration of Managed Services. These Services are managed and operated ‘as a Service,’ and this means they are automatically configured upon request. The provisioning process also incorporates full lifecycle management support, like software updates and patching.

Automation removes the overhead from developers, who are often saddled with service configuration responsibility. It makes administrators’ lives easier and addresses security risks by standardizing how services are configured and used—no more one-off weirdness in configuration. The result is true self-provisioning.

A few of the Pivotal Services, like RabbitMQ, are provided in a highly available capacity. This means that when the Service is provisioned it is automatically clustered to provide high availability. This relieves much of the administrative overhead of deploying and managing database and middleware Services, as well as the significant effort of correctly configuring a cluster.

Broad Accessibility With User-Provided Services

In addition to the integrated and Managed Services, Pivotal Cloud Foundry supports a broad range of User-Provided Services. User-Provided Services are services that are currently not available through the Services Marketplace, meaning the Services are managed externally from the platform, but are still accessible by the applications.

The User-Provided Services are completely accessible by the application, but are created outside of the platform. This Service extension enables database Services, like Oracle and DB2 Mainframe, to be easily bound to an application, guaranteeing access to all the Services needed by applications.

Flexible Integration Model

Access to all services, both managed and user-provided, is handled via the Service Broker API within the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform. This module provides a flexible, RESTful API and allows service authors (those that create the services) to provide self-provisioning services to developers.

The Service Broker is not opinionated. It can be crafted to suit the unique needs of the environment and organization. The Service Broker functionality ensures the extensibility of the platform and also allows administrators to create a framework that developers can operate within, supporting agile deployments. This framework provides consistency and reproducibility within the platform. It also has the added benefit of limiting code changes required by applications as they move through the development lifecycle.

As an example of the customization capabilities, a customer created a Service Broker that not only adjusts the network topology when an application is deployed to an environment, it also adjusts the security attributes. An application could have fairly open access to an organization’s raw market material, but access to a core billing system would be limited and privileged.

Security Integrated into Each Service

The Service Broker gives administrators the ability to define access control of services. Service-level access control ensures developers and applications only have access to the environment and service necessary. When a Service is fully managed, credentials are encapsulated in the Service Broker. The result is that passwords no longer need to be passed across different teams and resources, but instead are managed by a single administrator.

Finally, the Service Broker provides full auditing of all services. Auditing simply keeps track of what Services have been created or changed, all through the API. This type of audit trail is great if you are an administrator and trying to figure out who last made changes to a critical database service.

Self-Service for the Masses

Managed Services are available for download from Pivotal Network, and are added by an administrator to the platform. All Services available within the platform are accessible to developers via the Marketplace. The Marketplace allows self-provisioning of software as it is needed by developers and applications.

Services from Pivotal like RabbitMQ, Redis, and Pivotal Tracker, as well as popular third-party software, like Jenkins Enterprise by CloudBees and Datastax Enterprise Cassandra, are available immediately. The Marketplace provides a complete self-service catalog, speeding up the development cycle.

Services

Services View in Pivotal Network

The breadth and availability of Services ensures that operators provide development teams access to the resources that they need, when they need them. A developer, who is writing a new application that requires a MySQL database, can easily select and provision MySQL from the Marketplace. The platform then creates the unique credentials for the database and applies those to the application.

Rapid Time to Market with Mobile Services

The expansive Services catalog extends to the Pivotal Mobile Services, announced in August 2014. These mobile backend services allow organizations to rapidly develop and deploy mobile applications. The accessibility of mobile backend services through the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform ensures that developers are able to easily build new mobile applications leveraging capabilities such as push notifications and data sync.

Essentials of a Services-Enabled Platform

Developers want to quickly deploy a database or middleware service, without a slow and manual provisioning process. IT operators want to be able to quickly meet the growing requests for new services, while also securely managing a complex environment. Provisioning Services through a PaaS is the natural solution to balancing the needs of the developers and IT operators, all while meeting the needs of the business.

A PaaS should provide simple access to full lifecycle management for services—from click-through provisioning to patch management and high availability. At Pivotal we have seen tremendous success with the release of services based on CloudBees and DataStax. The Pivotal Services ecosystem continues to grow, as does the growing capabilities of the Service Broker. This growth ensures the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform will continue to meet the needs of organizations.

Recommended Reading:

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APIs

How APIs are Enabling Unique Business Partnerships

28 Dic , 2014  

Partnerships leveraging open APIs have become an integral component for tech business strategy. Enterprises now see the value in joining the API world because it allows 3rd party developers to create new services that extend a company’s brand to entirely new ecosystems. Smaller organizations or individual developers are agile, allowing creativity and new user experiences involving a company’s brand to flourish.

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Uncategorized

Apprenda Partners with Piston to Boost OpenStack Integration with Enterprise Platform as a Service

23 Dic , 2014  

Apprenda-Piston-Partnership

We’ve long been fans of OpenStack, the open-source cloud computing platform. OpenStack is maturing quickly and is ready for its moment to shine in the enterprise. And so, we’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Piston Cloud Computing, the web-scale infrastructure orchestration and automation company that offers both Piston CloudOS and Piston OpenStack.

Together, Apprenda and Piston will deliver a tightly integrated solution that enables agile software development teams to build Java and .NET cloud applications and microservices faster in a true hybrid cloud environment. With more enterprise developers turning to both PaaS and OpenStack solutions than ever before, it makes sense to deliver a powerful joint solution.

Piston’s software delivers compute, storage, networking and management through self-service interfaces and APIs, while Apprenda offers an enterprise-grade PaaS that greatly speeds up app and microservices development. Basically, Piston provides the infrastructure, while Apprenda provides a software layer that transforms that infrastructure into a policy-driven, hybrid cloud application platform.

“Apprenda’s integration with Piston allows developers to have policy based access to OpenStack APIs to quickly manage infrastructure,” Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller said.

Additionally, Piston’s turn-key web-scale infrastructure solution enables Apprenda’s customers to deploy a hands-free, scalable, secure, and production-ready private cloud environment in a single day. Once you have set up an Apprenda and Piston environment, developers can quickly and easily build new (or modernize existing) on-premise applications for SaaS-based consumption. This flexibility allows for rapid updates to web software and scalable configurations that simplify the pre-cloud setup process.

“From day one, Piston set out to build a product that would eliminate the complexity associated with managing and deploying a traditional on-premise environment,” Piston CEO Jim Morrisroe said. “And together with Apprenda, we provide customers additional freedom from datacenter complexity by delivering a scalable turn-key IaaS and PaaS solution, out of the box.”

For more information on what Apprenda and Piston can do for your business, visit http://apprenda.com/partners/integrations/piston/.

The post Apprenda Partners with Piston to Boost OpenStack Integration with Enterprise Platform as a Service appeared first on Platform as a Service Magazine.

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APIs

ConnectWise Embraces Agile Development And REST API Design

20 Nov , 2014  

To meet the standards of the evolving web API industry, ConnectWise has introduced a RESTful API framework. This release replaces their SOAP APIs that Jeannine Edwards, Director of the ConnectWise Platform, realizes have become outdated.

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