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The MacVittie-Roberts Wall of DOOM | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

DevOps isn't just about getting an application to production faster

The MacVittie-Roberts Wall of DOOM

Performance. Speed. Velocity. Quality of experience.

No matter what particular turn of phrase we use to describe it, the reality is that we'll try a whole lot of things if it promises to improve application performance. Entire markets have been dedicated to this overriding unqualified principle: faster is better.

That implies, however, that we know what faster means. Faster is relative to some baseline; some measurement that's been taken either on our applications or our competitors. Faster means improving existing performance, which necessarily implies that at some point we've actually measured that performance.

betting on performance

Unfortunately, as much as we chide developers for just throwing applications over the wall to operations, all too often operations just tosses that same application environment over another wall to the end user. And leaves it there.

This is something that fostered conversation a few months ago on Twitter thanks to the revelation from a study sponsored by Germain Software, LLC.indicating that "43% of mission-critical apps experience performance issues once a week."

wall of doom

Now while we kidding around about naming this wall the "MacVittie-Roberts wall of DOOM", we weren't kidding about the need for better performance monitoring in production.

After all, to definitely say that application performance is faster requires that we've measured performance after some change.

You might notice that various forms of "measure" are bold. I could also italicize them, if it makes it would more clearly emphasize that measuring performance is critical to both improving and maintaining it.

That means measuring before and after measures are put in place to improve performance to ensure you didn't possible, oh I don't know, degrade performance.

DevOps isn't just about getting an application to production faster. Oh, that's a big driver right now and the value inherent in doing so can absolutely justify an investment in going "DevOps" on your operational status quo. But just as important is the ability for DevOps to adjust, to tweak, to tune, to fix issues that arise in production in a more efficient manner.

To do that requires awareness that there exists a problem, and when it comes to performance that means monitoring (measuring) performance in post-deployment (production) environments.

Performance remains a top line concern, and therefore we should be mindful of ensuring that the applications which we are tasked with deploying are as fast as they possibly can be. But we can't do that unless we know how different settings, devices and services are impacting performance. Which means continuous measurement.

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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.

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Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app security and encryption-related solutions. 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, and is an O'Reilly author.
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ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of computational needs for many industries. Their solutions provide benefits across many environments, such as datacenter deployment, HPC, workstations, storage networks and standalone server installations. ICC has been in business for over 23 years and their phenomenal range of clients include multinational corporations, universities, and small businesses.
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