|By Pete Pickerill||
|March 26, 2014 12:00 PM EDT||
In the final post in this series about bringing DevOps patterns to database change management, we’re going to discuss the Third Way. Here’s a refresher on the Third Way from the introductory post in this series:
The Third Way: Culture of Continual Experimentation & Learning – This way emphasizes the benefits that can be realized through embracing experimentation, risk-taking, and learning from failure. By adopting this kind of attitude, experimentation and risk-taking lead to innovation and improvement while embracing failure allows the organization to produce more resilient products and sharpen skills that allow teams to recover more quickly from unexpected failure when it does occur.
The Third Way is by far the most intriguing of the “The Ways” to me. I’ve spent the lion’s share of my career in early stage start-ups where cycles of experimentation, learning, and failure are the norm. When bringing a new product or service to market, your latest release is never your last. It may not even be the last release this week. You are constantly experimenting with new workflows and technology, learning about your target market, and getting more valuable information from your early failures than your early successes. The Third Way is crucial to the success of an early stage company.
While the benefits of the Third Way still apply to more established companies and product lines, practicing it becomes more difficult. The potential negatives of experimentation and risk-taking are much harder to stomach when you have a large base of paying customers with SLAs. This aversion to risk is most acute when you’re talking about your data platform where outages, performance problems and data loss are not an option. Complicating matters further is how difficult it can be to unwind the database changes that were affected to support a specific version of your app. Application code can usually be uninstalled and replaced with the previous working version fairly simply should problems arise. Reverting the database changes that support that version of the application is more akin to defusing a bomb. Database changes must be reverted delicately and meticulously to avoid errors and omissions that could negatively impact your data platform.
What DBAs and release managers need to facilitate experimentation and risk taking on the data platform is a special combination of tools and process. This combination should make it easy to identify the root cause of issues, quickly remediate problems caused by application schema structure, and revert to a previous version of the schema safely. When we started Datical, we spent several hours in conversation and at white boards exploring these unique needs and hammering out a path to usher the Third Way into regular database activity.
A Rollback Designed With Every Change
The biggest problem with experimentation in the data platform is how difficult it is to move backward and forward through your schema’s version history. We feel the best way to bring more flexibility to the process of upgrading and reverting schema is an attitude shift. Your rollback strategy for each database change must become as important as the change itself. The best time to craft your rollback strategy is when the change itself is being designed. When the motivation for the change is fresh in your mind and the dependencies of the object being created, dropped or altered are clearly mapped out, a developer or DBA can better craft a rollback strategy for which every contingency has been considered. This leads to a stronger safety net and makes your application schema as agile and easily managed as your application code. The database is no longer preventing you from being bold but quickly and safely moving between versions to accommodate experimentation.
The Richness of Model Based Comparison & Remediation
I’m a native Texan, born and raised in Austin. I know the jokes about how proud and vocal Texans can be about their home state. That being said, I spend more time telling people about the model based approach Datical has applied to Database Change Management than I do telling them how wonderful it is that I was fortunate enough to be born in the best state in the country. The advantages of the model based approach really shine through when it comes to experimentation and troubleshooting. The model allows you to annotate all objects and modifications to your application’s schema with the business reason that prompted them. This detailed history is invaluable when designing new changes or refactoring your schema as part of an experimental exercise. You immediately know what objects are most crucial, what your dependencies are, what areas you need to tread lightly in, and what areas are ripe for experimentation due to the changing needs of your business. Designing intelligently eliminates risk.
Troubleshooting with models is also dramatically faster and more reliable than other methods. Programmatically comparing models allows you to determine the differences between two databases much more quickly than manually comparing diagrams or SQL scripts. You know with certainty exactly what has changed and what is missing in a fraction of the time that human review takes.
Once you have identified the differences, remediation is as simple plugging one, some or all of the determined differences into the model and deploying those changes to the non-compliant instance.
Flexible Quick Rollback
If you’ve taken our advice to implement your rollback strategy when you implement a change, recovering from disaster becomes testable, fast, and simple. Before going to production or a sensitive environment, you should always test your rollback steps in dev, test and staging. This will allow you to make any tweaks or changes to your rollback strategy before you are in a pinch. Think of it like testing your smoke alarm. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it’s nice to know that it’ll work if you do.
Let’s say the worst happens. You deploy a new set of database changes and the application performance degrades or errors are logged. The decision is made to revert the entire installation to the previous version. Because you have carefully designed, tested and refined your rollback strategy, rolling back the database changes becomes a push button operation or a single invocation of a command line tool. No more running disparate SQL scripts or undoing changes on the fly. You can be confident that your database has been returned to the same state it was in before the upgrade.
The database has long been handled with kid gloves and for good reason. Data is a precious resource for consumers and businesses. Consumers provide data to businesses and trust that it will be kept safe and used to offer them better products and services. Businesses rely on data to strategize, grow, and become more efficient and profitable. It is the lifeblood of our economy. As our ability to collect and process data becomes greater and greater, the rate at which an enterprise must move on what is learned from that data becomes linearly faster. Data must be kept safe, but the database must become more agile to accommodate the growing pressure for faster value realization of business intelligence initiatives. DevOps patterns hold the key to this necessary agility while maintaining or improving the security and integrity of data stores. The database and DBAs need to be brought into the application design process earlier and must be treated as the first class stakeholder and commodity that they are. Companies that acknowledge this and move to adopt DevOps patterns and include their database teams will be at a distinct competitive advantage to those that don’t. Don’t miss the boat!
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
Jul. 7, 2015 06:00 PM EDT
"We have seen the evolution of WebRTC right from the starting point to what it has become today, that people are using in real applications," noted Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President and Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy and Ecosystem at GENBAND, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 7, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 723
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
Jul. 7, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,243
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Jul. 7, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,268
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Jul. 7, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,948
"In the IoT space we are helping customers, mostly enterprises and industry verticals where time-to-value is critical, and we help them with the ability to do faster insights and actions using our platform so they can transform their business operations," explained Venkat Eswara, VP of Marketing at Vitria, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 7, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 943
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
Jul. 7, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,962
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Jul. 7, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,804
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
Jul. 7, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,176
Connected things, systems and people can provide information to other things, systems and people and initiate actions for each other that result in new service possibilities. By taking a look at the impact of Internet of Things when it transitions to a highly connected services marketplace we can understand how connecting the right “things” and leveraging the right partners can provide enormous impact to your business’ growth and success. In her general session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, discussed how this exciting emergence of layers of...
Jul. 7, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,788
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Jul. 7, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,995
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is corr...
Jul. 7, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,041
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Jul. 7, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,728
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 7, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,018
SYS-CON Events announced today that kintone has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. kintone promotes cloud-based workgroup productivity, transparency and profitability with a seamless collaboration space, build your own business application (BYOA) platform, and workflow automation system.
Jul. 7, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,263
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Jul. 7, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,828
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 7, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,001
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and high availability solutions, leveraging the cloud and the benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS...
Jul. 7, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,090
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Jul. 7, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,524
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
Jul. 7, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,217