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Hybrid DevOps: Union of Configuration, Orchestration and Composability


Guest Post: Rob Hirschfeld, Founder & CEO, RackN

I've been staging, discussing and demonstrating Hybrid DevOps lately.  With the topic so much on my mind, I had that sudden "there's a picture for that!" moment that often helps clarify the concept.

Hybrid DevOps extends configuration management automation with a focus on composability and orchestration. Where those three areas intersect, we enable multi-platform automation.


Before I dive into the Venn chart above, it's important to point out that I've combined configuration and service management into a single item.  Managing services is not traditionally combined with configuration; however, we need to recognize that ops management must interweave both services and configuration.

Why are all three needed for Hybrid DevOps?  It's about translating functional programming concepts into ops automation.

They each bring a critical value to the operational environment.

  1. Management provides programmatic control which is critical to automation.  So far, DevOps has mainly focused on this aspect deployment and provisioning.  Programmable configuration is the fundamental building block of DevOps.
  2. Composability means turning those scripts into functional units instead of procedural blocks that look like 1970s BASIC code.  Functional programming means that each step is highly isolated with clear inputs and outputs.  While that enables portability, reuse and parallelism, it does not achieve it without a supporting infrastructure.
  3. Orchestration ensures that we respect the sequential nature of provisioning and upgrade.  For successful orchestration, we need reliable programmability and small units of work.  Beyond just sequence, we also rely on orchestration to keep track of dependencies between steps.  That configuration aspect of orchestration ensures composable units get the right information.

Between these three pillars of Hybrid DevOps, RackN enables critical business value for operators who need portable, reusable tooling to maintain cluster platforms like Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Ceph and OpenStack.

I believe that combining management, composability and orchestration unlocks a new level of automation capabilities.

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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