Tom Peruzzi's thoughts on digital, innovation, IT and operations

Borders for prod. environment

Posted in startup failures, technical by opstakes on December 3, 2009

A good developer will potentially never be a good operator and vice versa. But there is a grey area of work behind, mostly within transition from development to production environment, technically speaking the test, validation and pre/near-live environment.

The question is, who is responsible for that environment and why and at what level?

Traditionally development feels capable or resonsible for that equipment arguing that it is their effort to get it running. I would bring in another party/role named Quality Assurance (QA). Those should run at minimum the test environment and the associated tests (functional, integrational, scenarios, plans, procedures, acceptance criteria ….)

Next is the load test which is the gate to the production environment. As it is the last border it is top prio fo operations to be responsible for that system and test. If it passes, it is live. Who runs the live system? Ops, so they must do their loadtest job too. Otherwise they will get software live and they never had chance before to put an eye on it.

And – don’t forget – being responsible for it does not mean doing the whole job, the loadtest itself can be potentially run by QA – adviced by operations. But the establishing of the near live env, the evaluation of the result, and the sign-off should always be part of operations – no qa, no dev.

Another reason why ops should do so: If you do your loadtest on a near live, you will be able to get a bunch of numbers which should show your overall requests by system as a benchmark for capacity planing of the live environment. As we know those numbers change release by release (more functions coming in, complexity decrease/increase …). So not being responsible for those tests and letting dev things done means not being proactive in terms of environmental capacity.As a result you will put reactive forces on the live environment all time, binding resources and not fulfilling the goal of a good operations framework.

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