F5 On DevOps and WordPress Outages

Lori MacVittie has written a very interesting post on the F5 blog entitled “Devops: Controlling Application Release Cycles to Avoid the WordPress Effect.”

In it, she analyzes a recent WordPress outage and how “feathered” releases can help mitigate impact in multitenant environments.  And specifically talks about how DevOps is one of the keys to accomplishing these kinds of schemes that require apps and systems both to honor them.

Organizations that encourage the development of a devops role and discipline will inevitably realize greater benefits from virtualization and cloud computing because the discipline encourages a broader view of applications, extending the demesne of application architecture to include the application delivery tier.

Nice!  In my previous shop we didn’t use F5s, we used Netscalers, but there was the same interesting divide in that though they were an integral part of the application, they were seen as “Infrastructure’s thing.”  Apps weren’t cognizant of them and whenever functionality needed to be written against them (like cache invalidation when new content was published) it fell to us, the ops team.  And to be honest we discouraged devs from messing with them, because they always wanted some ill-advised new configuration applied when they did. “Can’t we just set all the timeouts to 30 minutes?”

But in the newer friendlier world of DevOps coordination, traditionally “infrastructure” tools like app delivery stuff, monitoring, provisioning, etc. need to be a collaboration area, where code needs to touch them (though in a way Ops can support…)  Anyway, a great article, go check it out.

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