Automation: The Road Out of the Application Release Swamp

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    -by Robert Reeves, Chief Architect for Application Release, BMC Software, and Jody Hunt, Lead Solution Manager for Application Operations, BMC Software


    Every day, all over the world, systems administrators are stuck in conference rooms trying to figure out what went wrong with the latest deployment of an important application. After a seemingly routine and minor change, the application failed and nobody knows why or seems to be able to fix it. Someone knocks on the door, and a well-dressed senior manager walks in and wants to know when they’ll fix the problem. The answer should be “We’re fixing it now,” but it rarely is.


    That’s because most organizations don’t believe it is possible to automatically and correctly deploy the many, fast-changing components required of a modern, Web-based, multi-tier application. Throwing more people at the problem is not only too expensive (if you can find that many skilled people) but also can result in more errors. With applications becoming more complex, and changing more rapidly, the future holds more of those morning-after deployment meetings where you are scrambling for answers.


    The path forward is to automate application deployment to reduce configuration errors and enable higher application uptime, more consistent deployments, higher compliance rates, and lower administration costs. This article focuses on application release management, which causes many of the biggest headaches in application management, and discusses how automation can help.


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