Welcome!

Java Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Trevor Parsons, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

IT Chaos Theory: The PeopleSoft Effect

#cloud #devops A robust integration ecosystem is critical to prevent the PeopleSoft effect within the network

it chaos theory

quote-badgeIn chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.

-- Wikipedia, Butterfly Effect

Many may not recognize the field of IT chaos theory (because technically I made it up for this post) but its premise is similar in nature to that of chaos theory. The big difference is that while Chaos Theory has a butterfly effect, IT Chaos Theory has a PeopleSoft effect.

In IT Chaos Theory, the PeopleSoft effect is the sensitive dependence on initial integrations between operational components where a small change in one place results in large amounts of technical debt when any single component is upgraded. This name was chosen due to the history of PeopleSoft implementations in which even small customizations of one version generally leads to increasing amounts of time and effort being expended to reproduce after upgrades which obliterated the original customizations.

Lest you think I jest with respect to the heartache caused by PeopleSoft in the past, consider this excerpt from an article on PeopleSoft Planet regarding customization of the software:

quote-badgeAlthough you are currently succeeding in resisting the temptation to customize the software, your excuse of “let’s get the routine established first” is losing ground.  Experienced users can imagine countless ways to “tweak” the system to do everything the previous solution did, plus take advantage of all the features that were why you purchased this software originally. In truth, you have already made a few customizations, but those you had to do. Nagging you is the persistent worry that once you customize, that your options to upgrade will be seriously jeopardized, or at least the prospect of a relatively simple, smooth, even seamless upgrade is reduced to a myth. How can you guarantee that when you upgrade, your customizations will not be lost? That days of productivity will not be compromised? Yet, if you do not make a few more concessions, how many man hours will be spent, attempting to recreate the solutions you had previously?

There is a reason there is an entire sub-market of PeopleSoft developers within the larger development community. There are legions of folks out there who focus solely on PeopleSoft and whose daily grind is, in fact, to maintain and continually update new versions of PeopleSoft. If you’ve worked within an enterprise you will recognize these dedicated teams as a reality.

These are the kinds of situations and realities we want to – nay, must – avoid within operations. While integration of infrastructure with automation frameworks and orchestration systems is critical to the successful implementation of cloud computing models, we must be sensitive to the impact of customization and integration downstream. adminstress

The reason for this is the technical debt incurred by each small change grows non-linearly over time. As this becomes reality, rigidity begins to take hold and agility begins to rapidly decline as operations becomes increasingly aggressive towards changes in the underlying integrations. Rigidity of the systems takes root in the slowness or outright refusal to enact change in the system by those reluctant to take on the task of identifying the impact across an ever broadening set of integrated systems.

AVOIDING the PEOPLESOFT EFFECT: A ROBUST INTEGRATION ECOSYSTEM

One of the ways in which IT can avoid the PeopleSoft effect is to take advantage of existing integration ecosystems whenever possible so as to minimize the amount of custom integrations that must be managed.

One of the benefits of automation and orchestration – of cloud computing, really – is to reduce the burden on manual procedures and processes. Which in turn reduces the already high burden on IT operations – on admins. A recent GFI stress survey found that IT admins are a particularly stressed-out lot already, and anything that can be done to reduce this burden should be viewed as a positive step. Automation and orchestration enhances the scalability of the processes as well as the speed with which they can be executed, and has additional benefits in the form of reducing the potential for human error to cause delays or outages. And perhaps it’s the thing that ensures those 67% of admins considering switching careers due to job stress don’t actually follow through.

A mixture of pre-packaged integration for automation purposes affords operations the ability to focus on process codification via orchestration engines, and not on writing or tweaking code to fit APIs and SDKs. Codification of customization should occur as much as possible in the processes and policies that govern automation, not in the integration layer that interconnects the systems and environments being controlled. Taking advantage of pre-existing integrations with automation frameworks and provisioning systems enables IT to alleviate the potential PeopleSoft effect that occurs when APIs, SDKs or frameworks invariably change.

Cloud is ultimately built on an ecosystem: a robust integration ecosystem wherein the focus lies on process engineering and policy development as a means to create repeatable deployment processes and automation objects that form the foundation for IT as a Service.

When evaluating infrastructure, in particular, pay careful attention to the integration available with frameworks and orchestration engines and in particular those upon which you may have or may be considering standardizing:

Popular frameworks and orchestration managers include:

integrations

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some customization is always necessary, but application integration nightmares involving integration have taught us that minimizing the amount of customization is the best strategy for minimizing the potential impact of changes later on. This is especially true for cloud computing environments, where integration and the processes orchestrated atop it may start out simple, but rapidly grow more complex in terms of interdependencies and interrelationships. The more intertwined this systems become, the more likely it is that a small change in one part of the system will have a dramatic impact on another later on.


Connect with Lori: Connect with F5:
o_linkedin[1] google  o_rss[1] o_twitter[1]   o_facebook[1] o_twitter[1] o_slideshare[1] o_youtube[1] google

Related blogs & articles:


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.