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Kris Buytaert banner.jpg Buytaert is an accomplished open source jedi master, based in Europe, who is currently working for Inuits.  He has a deep history with the DevOps movement. [Curiously, I don't find he's all that well known in the states but he should (and eventually will) be.]


You can follow him on twitter (@KrisBuytaert).


He has a great sense of humor. Btw, the opening snippet which occurred very early in the podcast itself, is a tweak on Kris' "tagline" that "everything is a freaky DNS problem".


As usual, the format is: we work out a list of questions to run through in advance. This is designed to promote an open and planned discussion of DevOps issues with the leading minds on the topic. After we agree to a set of questions, Tom -- our official BMC podcast host -- goes through the list. Sometimes it is a testament to Tom's professionalism that he can segue from one question to the next...


So Tom spent some time and had a chat with Kris. This is my first excerpt from the transcript of that podcast. More to come!


[NB: The podcast interview with Kris Buytaert will be published separately. Last I checked, it's in the queue and should be available in a week or so. I will provide a link to it here.]











Tom:  Today, I’m talking to Kris Buytaert, co-founder of one of the leading open source consultancy groups in Europe.  He’s also one of the original instigators of the DevOps movement and the author of over 25 papers, articles and books.


Kris:  (interrupts Tom) So I have a question for you.  Do you know what DNS stands for?



Tom:   Domain Naming Service.



Kris:  No, actually, that’s wrong.  It means DevOps Needs Sushi.



Tom:   Oh, you got me there.  Of course, it would be DevOps, right. 



Kris:  Yes.





Tom:   You did that on purpose, didn’t you?



Kris:  I did that on purpose.




Tom:  So Kris, where do you see DevOps going over the next two, three years?



Kris:   So in order to see where it’s going, I think you first need to look at where it’s standing now.  And if I look at where DevOps is today, it reminds me a lot of when I started doing open source consultancy over a decade ago. 



There was a lot of grassroots people doing it.  There was a lot of people talking about it.  It was a really cool thing to do.  But there weren’t that many organizations that were actually implementing it, except for the really original ones. 



It’s to me, kind of that – well, what do you call it, on the edge of going really mainstream?



Tom:   Yes. 



Kris:  Where the big consultancy groups, the big analysts.  They’ve all started writing about it.  And you feel there’s a lot of people doing stuff around it. And you also feel that it’s – it’s grown beyond the initial couple hundred people that were talking about it. It’s grown to a level where there’s now new, bigger organizations saying, “Hey.  This is cool.  We’re doing this too.”



And it’s also grown to a point where, just like open source six or seven years ago, people are abusing it as a marketing terminology.  So they try to attach the DevOps terminology to everything they sell and hope it’s going to help them in visibility in markets.



So it’s – it’s to the point where it’s becoming really interesting. 



If I look where it’s going, it’s going to grow.  It’s going to grow fast.  I’m already hearing of customers thinking about spending multi-million dollar in euro projects on improving their DevOps ideas in their organizations.  But I also think it’s going to be a commonality in a couple of years.  Basically, DevOps is – it’s nothing new. 


It’s just a lot of things that lots of us people have been doing already.  It’s common sense.  It’s being good at your job.  So it’s not really something that’s going to be standing out like everybody’s going to talk about this DevOps thing.  But it’s going to be there. 



Tom:   Yes.  Well. So I have a classic question. I've asked some of the other DevOps guys this kind of thing in variousways.  I'm real curious how you answerit.  If all developers were sysadmins and all the sysadmins were developers, would we even have a need for DevOps at this point?



Kris:  Well, it's not just sysadmins.  It's much more whole organizations.  It's about breaking down barriers and tearing down walls between different departments.



Tom:   Yes.



Kris:  And developers as far as operations, that's where probably most visible. Those are the traditional types that are talking to the developers and they write so-called code. 



But it's also about guys with DBAs. It's about marketing people versus project management – the product managers.  And it's about an organization improving itself and increasing the level of communication between the different groups and basically breaking down all the walls so that when you go to market, when you go to production, everybody in the organization is looking in the same direction, knowing which metric they are talking about. And they have common topics to discuss. 



So it's not just developers versus operations.  It's much more. But not everybody can be good at all things. 



So it wouldn't be just developers doing also operations work and operations people doing also something good at development, then we'd be lacking stuff like graphical people. We'd be missing out on the security and the network people. 



It's about everybody communicating with each other.  Not just developers and operations.



Tom:   Yes.  Yes. That makes sense.  All right.  So let's step back for a little bit.  How old is DevOps?



Kris:  Pretty old.  I think it's really old.  The name of course, DevOps I think – the DevOps name, which started getting popular I guess somewhere back in – summer in 2009, when Patrick announced DevOps Days as a conference and when the word was being used by people like Charles Fall and Andrew Clay Schafer and John Willis was talking about it. 



And then the name was out there. But basically it was already before that.  I've been doing DevOps-like stuff for probably somewhere 2003, 4, 5.  So that's probably almost 10 years. 



And the actual ideas – if you look at one of my slides in my presentations, I give a set of values.  And it's page full of key ideas, how organizations should work.  And it's also stuff we've already been discussing of DevOps Days on how the philosophy should work.  It could be looked at as the DevOps manifesto.  And I trick people into thinking that.  And it's actually a summary of out of the classic book written by Deming somewhere in 1986. 



So that's – that's ages ago. That's decades ago.  There's really nothing new.  But with the terminology DevOps coming into mainstream, it now gives us a common place and a common denominator to talk about the topics we care about.  About how do you do deployments.  How do you care about operations.  How do you scale environments.  Those topics now have a common name to tackle.  So we now have an umbrella under which we can talk about lots of those technologies and lots of things culturaland ideas. 



So the name itself?  About three years, going on four.  .  .





Coming up next is our second excerpt from the podcast with Kris, he talks about Infrastructure as Code, Monitoring, and DevOps Resonance.


Other related on-line materials:

When the Kris Buytaert podcast is published, it will be here.


Excerpt A: DevOps Needs Sushi & Mainstream DevOps

Excerpt B: Infrastructure as Code, Monitoring, and Resonance

Excerpt C: Packaging Religious Wars, Maturity & the End of Tradition