The one where all the deployments stall


In the first episode of the DevOps story, DChip CEO Phoebe gave Chandler an ultimatum to move out of AWS into their datacenter on OpenStack. Does Chandler succeed?

Fast forward two weeks past that fateful night. Chandler is preparing for yet another leadership call. It’s deja vu all over again. Only this time he knew the problems all too well. So he sat bleary-eyed and prepared what to say.

Time to face the music

The meeting involved the usual suspects. Phoebe, Monica dialed in from the US along with the sales and marketing VPs and Janice the VP of Finance.

Strangely, or maybe it was the late hour of the night, Chandler felt calm as he spoke:

“I want to bring everyone up to speed on the progress to shut down AWS and move to OpenStack in our datacenter. We have bad news. Enogo engineers were not able to migrate workloads to OpenStack smoothly. The problem is such that they have not managed to release a single update, and the release schedule has started to slip.”

Both Rachel and Joey eyed him sharply. He wasn’t going to back down from the truth now, so he continued: “Engineering sprints are delayed because of this. The real problem is the OpenStack environment. It’s not mature. Most IT operations engineers are still learning to configure it, and there are many environment issues. I understand, everyone is going to hit panic mode. Which is why, I say, we keep AWS Cloud to return to business as usual.”

Soon as Chandler finished, the finger-pointing began.

“Enogo engineers used CloudFormation templates in AWS for dev/test/staging deployments. Those templates, however, don’t work in OpenStack because Heat is not set up properly,” said Rachel, adding, “We sent the templates to the Ops team, but they never got back to us.”

“Well, when the templates are not written correctly by the developers,” countered Monica, who headed the OpenStack implementation, “we have to rewrite them from scratch in Heat. That’s not going to happen overnight, is it?”

All the while, Phoebe, who’d hardly said a word knew that Chandler was right. The 3-month transition plan to OpenStack was too aggressive and just not practical. If more and more developers choose AWS cloud, why not join forces if we are to help them succeed?

As a leader, you have to know when you’re wrong and correct course. So she did. “Chandler is right. We should go back to AWS to avoid schedule slippages and get the release back on track. I will discuss a longer term plan with Chandler.”

We need a solution

After everyone except Chandler had dropped off the video call, Phoebe said: “Look, we f*****d up. We can’t go through another f***k up and face this kind of deployment shutdown. We need a solution and fast. What do you say Chandler?

“I can’t agree more. To minimize business risks and integrate both company systems, we need a hybrid solution that supports deploying to both AWS and OpenStack clouds. It’s not enough to simply solve for the template problem of today. It should scale for future projects. We need a solution that offers a single point of management for both clouds. The Enogo team should be able to deploy with the same speed and ease of AWS in OpenStack and not rely on IT Ops to hand-hold them.

“Bingo,” said Phoebe at last smiling.

The next morning as Chandler stirred his coffee trying to awaken his still asleep brain, he read this email from Rachel:
“Hey Chandler, a couple of engineers have already written a bunch of scripts to automate deployments in AWS. I say, we devote a few more engineers and build an org-wide solution that will enable us to build and deploy in both clouds. What do you think?”

How timely, thought Chandler. So Rachel, the Enogo engineering manager wants to build the solution in-house with her team of engineers. She wants five engineers and six months to do it. This project will no doubt widen her impact and visibility in the company. Good for her!

Chandler sent a brief, “Why don’t we discuss in person tomorrow,” reply. In walked Rachel the following afternoon. The minute she saw Chandler’s face, her enthusiasm took a dive. He doesn’t look amused, she thought. His steely gaze sent a chill up her spine.

Wait to see what happens in the next installment of the DevOps story from ElasticBox.

Categories: AWS, Cloud Application Management, DevOps, Nerd Culture, OpenStack
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