What is the price of designing for failure ?

Having spent a fair amount of my IT career in operations I love the fact that working in the cloud space does actually free up first line support investment purely because I have designed for failure in the first place.

The problem with  driving forward with efficiencies which moving to the cloud does give you is that it will inevitably cause concern with regards to what roles people now play.

With designing for failure you by necessity build in resilience and auto healing features which means that the normal day to day babysitting of services is not as resource intensive as it used to be.

Automation and configuration management is actually now affordable hence why the SME’s have been the ones to embrace the cloud  and all that it offers  so whole heartedly . They do not have legacy Data centres, lots of kit, an army of support personnel  and loads of money to spend .

In a nutshell  it means you end up investing in less staff but more highly skilled staff as the support team now have to deal with more complex problems then just rebooting a server.  In theory the call out rate should be  a lot lower than with a traditional deployment. I think the onus is  now really on the developers to  have written totally rocking code Smile as at long last the operational team have sophistication and reproducibility to help them but this does come at a price.

That price is to realise that you will need at least one highly skilled hybrid team player to support these cloud deployments . ‘Turn it off and on again ‘ is no longer the  initial response of the support team as decoupled highly scalable systems are easily achieved and the configuration and deployment of the platform now starts been dealt with like the development of code.

Personally I think this is a good thing as the operations team in my opinion have always been under valued but with the evolution of SuperOps/ DevOps or whatever tag you want they should be treated with a little bit of respect as they are needed in this fluffy new world of the cloud and in return hopefully they’ll be stepping up to the plate.


One comment

  1. yossidahan · July 29, 2011

    Spot on Grace! asyou know I’ve been an advocate for ‘the onus is now really on the developers to have written totally rocking code’ for a long time, and I agree that the cloud makes it even more important.

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