DevOps Environment Architecture – My Thoughts

After writing about my thoughts on how application architecture might look like in the future, I have been now thinking about how CTOs would want to remodel their DevOps Environment to cater to the whole new multi-cloud ecosystem with completely new Jargons flying around… Lemme illustrate: Cloud Native / 12 Factor Applications, Multi-Cloud, Hybrid–Cloud, Micro-Segmentation, Containers, ChatOps, NoOps, PaaS, FaaS, Serverless, TDD, BDD, CI/CD, Blue-Green, A/B, Canary … You get the picture right…. All these were alien terms in the old Waterfall Model of Application Development but are now the new reality but retrofitting the waterfall style of governance on this ecosystem is a sure recipe for disaster!

So how can we approach this?

I see two dimensions by which we should approach the new estate

  1. The Environmental State Dimension – In this dimension we look from the context of the state of the work item in terms of modern agile Life-Cycle
  2. The Application Life-Cycle State Dimension – From this perspective we see the work item from a user experience impact perspective….

Let’s Explore the State Dimension…

I see four clear states that the code ultimately will go through in a multi-cloud CI/CD environment

Developer Station

  1. This is the environment that the developer uses to write, perform local tests, branch and sync with multiple developers’ s work
  2. This can range from a completely unmanaged BYOD environment to a hyper secured VDI Client
  3. A few Options in increasing order of IT Control I can think of are as below:
    1. BYOD Laptop/Desktop with Developer’s own tools and environment
    2. IT provided Laptop/Desktop/Workstation with mix of IT and Developer installed tools
    3. Virtual App based IT supplied Environment on Developers Device
    4. VDI Client Accessible from Developer Device

Test Zone

  1. This would be the zone where the code gets committed for Integration Tests and Compliance Tests against the bigger SOA / MicroServices Environment
  2. This typically would be cloud based to minimize cost as the load would vary significantly based on working slots of developers and commit levels based of application change loads
  3. Automation is inevitable and manual intervention is not advisable considering the maturity of testing tools automation available in the market

Staging Zone

  1. This zone would be a small scale replica of the Production zone in terms of Multi-Cloud Architecture, Storage distribution, Networking and Security
  2. The Aim would be to Test the Application in terms of Performance, UX and Resilience on multiple Cloud Failure Scenarios. 100% Automation is Possible and hence manual intervention should be avoided
  3. Observability Assurance would be another important goal post in this environment… Though I personally have doubts on maturity of automation capability… Unless Developer Adheres to Corporate Standards, Observability would not be possible for the given code and automation of this is doubtful and imo may need manual intervention in certain scenarios…

Production Zone

  1. I don’t think this zone needs any introduction
  2. This is where the whole ITIL/IT4IT comes to play from a governance and management perspective
  3. This also would be the zone where multiple clouds thrive in an interconnected, secured and 100% IT Governed manner

 

Now to the other dimension…

Application Life-cycle

I have already talked about this in a previous blog (Digital {{Dev}} Lifecycle) …

But overtime I believe there is more needed in an ever changing multi-modal enterprise environment… But that I leave for the next post … Till then bye!

How Could Future Apps Look Like?

I’ve been looking at entries in my diary I had made during college days and some interesting ideas popped up in terms of how future enterprise apps could look like. But first lets start from where we are right now

The Past

It is believed in common parlance that all enterprise apps are monoliths. This however is not true and many orgs that I happened to work with in the start of my career (early 2000s) had already split their software stack into layers and modules irrespective of whether the interconnection mechanism was SOAP or just plain old file transfer! However the individual application services were still carefully managed in dedicated servers.

The Present

Virtualisation fuelled with the Boom in Web Standards has now made the concept of Services Oriented Architecture a norm rather than an exception. Now the services are being maintained in dedicated environments but can be easily moved around (relatively) fast with minimal downtime. Cloud and PaaS have further made it relatively easy to distribute the services across geographies and service providers. Server-less is the latest buzzword which works great for IOT boom and uni-kernel infrastructure architectures that are slowly but steady being implemented by service providers.

The Future (IMHO)

I believe that the next trend would be to make the services themselves to be self aware, universally discover-able and self portable! Let me explain these one by one:

Self-Aware

The Applications will be built to know their life and need in the system. They would also have security systems in place to let them realise if they are operating in the right location or not -AND- if they are servicing the correct service/humans. They would also have a distributed block-chain inspired credit system that will be used to decide if they need to remain active or self-destruct!

Universally Discover-able

The Security Standards already are being redesigned to be universal instead of being perimeter limited. The same will extend to make the services themselves to be discover-able much in the same way we humans are slowly moving into using National-ID Card systems. It goes without saying that they would have some mechanism to disappear and replicate without causing confusion in the system as well! Bottom line if I create a software service and it needs a service then it would be able to discover and setup a contract to perform the service.

Self Portable

My Service would have compute credits that would be shared with the service I call to perform my services! Once Credits are over my service would self-destruct! But during its lifetime it would move across “certified” Cloud Domains and make itself available where necessary and leaving replicas to ensure distributed services.

This is not new ideas really, but just a bad actor being used for good purposes…. I’m referring to the lightweight viruses that for decades have been travelling and replicating across computers including mine two decades ago wiping out my programs… AaaaaW how I hate viruses!

Anyway they gave me some ideas to write about this week… Lets see if these come true!

Best explaination of Kerberos so far

 

http://www.roguelynn.com/words/explain-like-im-5-kerberos/