22 November 2013

Notes on Mark Burgess' talk about Uncertainty in IT

Very much enjoyed listening to Mark Burgess (@markburgess_OSL) at the Cloudstack Collaboration Conference Europe in Amsterdam. Some of my takeaways:

  • Need for interoperability of infrastructures
  • Infrastructures -> pervasive & decentralized
  • The cloud is more than the cloud - think about the various other bits and pieces that you depend upon
  • What are the promises that we can keep?
  • The system's environment  pokes and prods at systems from the outside - things fail
  • Systems are grown in captivity and then thrown out into the wild
  • Systems thinking: Dynamics (what do systems do?) & Semantics (what is intended, the purpose, the human part)
  • We miss the causes of failure if we ignore the environment
  • DevOps: Dev = semantics (intent) & Ops = Dynamics (behaviour)
  • We have to understand both in a balanced way
  • Continuous delivery requires continuous automation (analogy: storm drain that prevents flooding)
  • No such thing as an immutable system (no intended change is not the same as no change at all)
  • An operating system is a city
  • Failures are semantic; processes are dynamic
  • Talk to business executives about IF THEN MAYBE in terms of risks and gambling 
  • Uncertainties in IT (see photo)