Let me start with, I’ve been there. I know what that is like. I’m Edward, and I’ve spent the better half of my life in DevOps and cloud engineering. If you feel happy for me, you’re not in DevOps. If you feel sad for me, I feel for you too. The reason I put it this way is that DevOps has infamously become a sinkhole for all the efforts of COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) applications. These apps may come in a few different forms, from full VM workloads to containerized applications.
And then the hammer drops, they need monitoring, logging, lifecycle, security, policy, network, and more. Suddenly we’re rewriting our infrastructure to support these applications. Enter Open Source.
Open-Source software has in the past had little traction in the way of enterprise workloads. Many considered open source to be a cheap cop-out to using “traditional” enterprise tools. That landscape has changed drastically over the years. Open-Source software has paved the way for supporting these “enterprise solutions.” Terraform builds infrastructure from scratch, ansible configures our workloads to be ready to serve, GitOps became a thing. Kubernetes became a thing. And our way of life changed.
So how did these tools change our bread recipe? Well for starters, being able to plan the steps needed is truly an underappreciated technique. Rather than showing up and trying to type a series of commands, we can now just let the script we wrote beforehand take off. What about logging? Instead of creating watchers, we can hook right in and pull logging data where it’s important and read through them with full text searching for relative ease. Heck, now we don’t even generally need to know what the workload is, if we can figure out where to put it, it’s a minor detail in our automation.
We also see great effects in our ability to support at scale. Automated scripts can be templates, and these now allow us to modularize and replicate our environments at ease. Reconfigure them in code, deploy them in clouds, and suddenly what used to take days-weeks takes minutes.
We all think about it sometimes, as DevOps folks, “When will automation reach the point where even I am not needed?”. And honestly, I couldn’t tell you, but for now, I’m happy to see open-source initiatives drive these landscapes to make our lives easier, our work more valuable, and hopefully we’ll all be sipping mai tais in the Bahamas before we’ve made ourselves obsolete. I joke, there is only more work. But hey, working smarter is the mantra, and open-source paves the way to dealing with those crusty enterprise workloads. (You know which ones I’m talking about).