This week, DZone published its 165th Refcard. The Deployment Automation Patterns Refcard covers 7 patterns for software deployment, and was authored by James Betteley, who is an active member of the DevOps community. He took a few minutes to respond to some questions regarding the authorship of the card and the future of the DevOps community. Hope you enjoy.
DZone: How would you summarize the content of this Refcard in one sentence?
James Betteley: This Refcard is a collection of “dos” and “don’ts” for reaching that automated deployment Nirvana we all strive for.
DZone: What are the most important issues facing the DevOps community today?
James Betteley: DevOps is all about cultural change and adopting proven “good practices” from the developer world. Adopting some of the tools and practices is proving to be the easy part, the biggest challenge is breaking down the cultural barriers. DevOps aims to challenge the traditional perception of Operations and Development being two separate (and sometimes almost polar opposite) entities, and encourage teamwork and collaboration. There are now plenty of tools which can help us be more “dev-like” with regards to scripting and automation, but the challenge for us now is to topple those remaining cultural barriers, and oddly enough, a new breed of DevOps tool could be the answer.
DZone: Where do you see deployment automation and DevOps going in the future?
James Betteley: There’s a lot of room for standardizing software deployments using frameworks. The “Convention over Configuration” model has worked well for developer and build tools but there’s still room for more tooling of this sort when it comes to deployment automation. Most web apps follow the same steps for deployment, and there’s no reason why we can’t build our bespoke apps to a standard deployment architecture – all we need to do then is plug in to our favorite convention-over-configuration deploy tool and we’re away! These tools are becoming increasingly popular, but they still tend to be platform specific right now. Infrastructure deployment automation is moving at a great pace – the likes of Puppet and Chef have brought a fresh impetus in this area. They work very nicely with VMs and the cloud, which can only help secure their future. The Windows world is somewhat lagging behind but Chef/Puppet support for Windows is increasing as we speak.
As for DevOps in general, I see a bright future! We need to emphasise the role that DevOps can play in breaking down the established cultural barriers between ops and the rest of the business. DevOps really is more than just treating infrastructure as code!
DZone: We went through a lot of edits to get this card to its final version - what else do you wish we could have included?
James Betteley: Yes, we pulled the part about torrent deployments, which was a pity because although they’re not terribly popular, they’re pretty damn cool! There’s nothing in there about database deployments either – it’s fairly well established these days that db deployments should be scripted and versioned but it’s still an omission.