Ready to "Dive into DevOps"? Quali will be in San Francisco next week November 13-15 at the DevOps Enterprise Summit . We will showcase our latest DevOps integrations with Atlassian's Jira, Jenkins, CA Blazemeter, Microsoft VSTS, AWS codepipeline and many others.
Since I've covered details on our Jira, Jenkins and Blazemeter integrations in previous blogs, I wanted to introduce the two new kids on the block:
If you're going to be around, make sure you visit us at booth #15, to learn how you can accelerate your application release and scale your DevOps automation with CloudShell Dynamic Environments. You'll also have a chance to win one of these handy $100 Amazon gift cards (right before Christmas as it turns out) and bring home tons of colorful giveaways.
I am also looking forward to meet many of our technology partners who will also be attending the event such as JFrog, CA, and Atlassian.
Quali is pleased to announce that we just released CloudShell version 8.1 in General availability.
This version provides several features that provide a better experience and performance for both the administrator , blueprint designers and end users many of them were contributed by our great community feedback and suggestions
Let's go over the main features delivered in CloudShell 8.1 and their benefits:
Orchestration is a first class citizen in CloudShell, so we've simplified and enhanced the orchestration capabilities for your blueprints.
We have created a standard approach for users to extend the setup and tear-down flows. By separating the orchestration into built in stages and events, the CloudShell user now has better control and visibility to the orchestration process.\
We've also separated the different functionality into packages to allow more simplified and better structured flows for the developer.
We have made various enhancements to Apps and CloudShell’s virtualization capabilities, such as allowing tracking the application setup process , passing dynamic attributes to the configuration management.
CloudShell 8.1 now supports vCenter 6.5 and Azure Managed disks and premium storage features
To enhance the visibility of what's going on during the lifespan of a Sandbox for all the users , CloudShell now allows a regular user to focus on a specific activity of any component in their sandbox and view detailed error information directly from the activity pane.
Administrator can now edit any resources from the inventory of the CloudShell web portal including Address, Attributes, Location, as well as the capability to exclude/include resources.
To allow uninterrupted automation process and prevent any error during the setup stage, the sandbox will be in a “read only” mode.
Blueprint editors using abstract resource can now select attribute values from a drop down list with existing values, this shortens and eases the creation process and reduces problems during abstract creation
A new view allows administrators to track the commands queued for execution.
The Sandbox list view now displays live status icons for sandbox components and allows remote connections to devices and virtual machines using QualiX.
Additional REST API functions have been added to allow better control over Sandbox consumption.
In addition, version 8.1 rolls out support for Ranorex 7.0 and HP ALM 12.x integration.
Providing more out-of-the-box Shells speeds up time to value with CloudShell. The 8.1 list includes Ixia Traffic Generators, OpenDayLight Lithium , Polatis L1, Breaking Point, Junos Firewall, and many more shells that were migrated to 2nd generation.
See you all in CloudShell 8.2 :)
In the devOps grand scheme of things, troubleshooting and support automation often get the short end of the stick, giving up the limelight to their more glorious pipeline, deployment and build cousins. However, when we consider the real world implication to implement these processes and "automate everything", this space deserves some scrutiny.
In this integration we address a painful problem that happens all too often in the lab: a user who needs to complete a test or certification reserves an environment, but one device or equipment fails to respond. Unlike most data center production environments, there is rarely a streamlined process to address lab issues: the user calls the IT administrator about the problem, then gets an uncommitted time if at all when the problem will be fixed, and in some cases never hears back again. It might take escalation and lots of delays to eventually get things done.
When operating at scale on highly sensitive projects or PoCs, organizations expect a streamlined process to address these issues. Support of mission critical testing infrastructure should be aligned to SLAs and downtime should be kept to a minimum.
So what does it take to make it happen?
The intent of the integration plugin between Quali's CloudShell Sandbox platform and Atlassian Jira's industry leading issue tracking system is quite simple: eliminate all the friction points that would slow down a device or application certification cycle in the event of a failure. It provides an effective and optimal way to manage and troubleshoot device failures in Sandboxes with built in automation for both end user and the support engineer.
The process goes as follow:
Phase 1: A user reserves a blueprint in CloudShell, and the sandbox setup orchestration detects a faulty device (health check function).
This in turn generates a warning message for the user to terminate the sandbox due to a failed equipment. The user is also prompted to relaunch a new sandbox, since the abstracted component in the blueprint will now pick a new device, which hopefully will pass the healthcheck test.
The device at fault is then retired out of the pool of available end user equipment a put into a quarantine usage domain. In the process a ticket is opened in Jira with the device information, and the description and context of the detected failure.
Phase 2: Once a Support Engineer is ready to work on the equipment, they can just open the Jira ticket and from there, directly create a sandbox with the faulty device. That provides them console access through CloudShell and other automation functions if needed to perform standard root cause analysis and attempt to solve the problem. Once they close the ticket, the device is automatically returned to the user domain pools for consumption in sandboxes.
To sum it all up, combining the power of CloudShell Sandbox orchestration and Jira help desk platform, this simple end to end process provides a predictable way to save time and improve productivity for the end user by removing the friction points and automating key transitions to streamline the process for the support engineer.
Several practices of webscale companies are now penetrating mainstream enterprise organizations. The practice of DevOps is perhaps one of the most important. Driven by the adoption of cloud and modernization of application architectures, DevOps practices are quickly gaining ground in companies that are interested in moving fast – with software eating everything - between “write code and throw it across the wall” to creating more pragmatic mechanisms that induce and maintain operational rigor. The intent behind DevOps (and DevSecOps) is quite noble and excellent in theory.
Where it breaks down is in practice. Greenfield deployments remain innocent. Starting out with a clean slate is always relatively easy. Preserving or integrating legacy in brownfield environments is where it becomes both challenging and interesting. For the next several years that’s where the action is.
Enterprises that have invested in technology over the past few decades suddenly find that they can now actually create tremendous legacy inertia to move forward. So, while many have adopted DevOps practices, it has begun in pockets across the organization.
Being focused on the area of Cloud and DevOps Automation, over the last two years Quali has conducted an annual survey that captures the trends at a high level from different vantage points.
Our 2016 Annual DevOps survey yielded 2045 responses to our questions and brought us several insights. Many of these are consistent with our customers’ experiences during the course of our business. Other insights continue to surprise us.
The results of our survey are published in this press release.
It is remarkable that many enterprises continue to be dependent on infrastructure to make applications move faster. Infrastructure continues to be a bottleneck, particularly in on-premise environments. Software defined architectures and NFV have taken root, but the solutions are still scratching the surface. Adoption of automation, blueprinting and environments-as-a-service are happening and greasing the skids, but clearly these need to happen at a faster pace.
The survey also demonstrated some clear patterns on the top barriers inhibiting the rapid adoption of DevOps practices. The rankings were published in this infographic:
Organizations that are planning to accelerate their DevOps initiatives in 2017 should heed these barriers and set up a clear plan to overcome them.
So, how do you grease the skids for DevOps? We’re sharing some of these insights and more in an upcoming webinar on March 22nd that will discuss these barriers in a greater amount of detail. You can register for the webinar here.
Finally, our 2017 DevOps and Cloud Survey is underway. Please consider answering the survey; if you do you may win a $100 Amazon gift card.
The summer of 2016 has been a hectic one for Quali, with our new website coming up, multiple big tradeshows and several customer engagements as we scale our go-to-market to enterprises worldwide.
This week we are participating at VMworld a very key player in the private cloud space, the king of all things virtualization and making strong inroads into network virtualization, software defined data centers and hybrid clouds in general.
Team Quali had a strong presence here with our booth getting strong foot traffic and resulting in numerous conversations on how we could help solve what's today a really big problem in the industry around automating the "first mile" of DevOps on making the Dev/Test cycles more agile and efficient. This is where Quali's cloud sandboxes kick-in saving cost and accelerating time to market - automating the workflow for the full-stack including physical and virtual infrastructure as well as applications and data modeling. Customers around the world - public cloud providers, service providers, technology vendors to enterprises are deriving benefits of this solution, as they abstract complexity and simplify their workflows.
Recognizing this, Quali was selected for the Best of VMworld Finalist Award in the category of Agility and Automation. With every enterprise adapting to the pace of change, agility with automation is becoming a practical way to achieve competitive differentiation. We feel this recognition at VMworld amongst hundreds of vendors exhibiting is a great validation of the innovation and value proposition that Quali brings to the table.
Best of VMworld - Finalist award for Agility and Automation
Quali booth get swamped - "What is the cloud sandbox. How can it automate the workflow for my Dev/Test environment ?" is the most common question asked. Customers were also interested in how Quali could help scale BizOps use-cases - Demos, PoCs, Training Labs. Quali sandboxes are very malleable. So we asked them "What do you want your sandbox to be?".
We're keeping busy the rest of the year and dialing up the momentum. Quali will be at Jenkins World in two weeks. My comrade Hans Ashlock gives you a sneak peek of what we're up to there.
And if you're a DevOps enthusiast, please join us in this webinar - Demystifying DevOps - on Sept 14th. It'll be a great educational experience with the formidable duo of Joan Wrabetz and Edan Evantal joining me as I host the session. Click to Register here.