Riddle me this: How do you run a platform, with hundreds of developers per operator, while the platform itself may have nine updates in a 30 day window? If this sounds like a math problem, you're not far off. The missing variable is time per update. And if you're a platform operator, that time is your time. Use it wisely.
What have PCF operators at Allstate, Express Scripts, Ford, and Verizon done to save time? All are using Concourse to automate platform upgrades:
- In 2016, Matt Curry from Allstate described how stemcell upgrades have gone from 10 hours down to zero hours of work.
- Last June, Manu Pasari from Ford described how Ford now does PCF upgrades during business hours.
- Last December, Rich Ruedin from Express Scripts described how patching PCF has gone from 45 days to 5 days per patch.
- At SpringOne Platform, Brian Kirkland of Verizon described how the DevOps team has gone from patching every six months to weekly. And he gets to watch Monday Night Football again, despite "Maintenance Mondays" at Verizon.
Needless to say, word is getting out that Concourse is one of the PCF operators' secret weapons. Whether you are just starting out as a platform operator, or getting more sophisticated with security and multi-site requirements, there are several sessions at CF Summit in Boston later this month to check out. This blog highlights five sessions for platform operators using Concourse. It starts with the most basic overviews and progresses to more sophisticated use cases.
1) Where to start: "Cloud Foundry Platform Automation with Concourse"
“Learn about Concourse best practices to manage the lifecycle of Cloud Foundry environments to maximize your deployment pace.”
This talk by Dennis Groß, Platform Engineer at Anynines, appears to be the broad-based introduction that anyone starting out should see. If you're new to PCF on the ops side, make sure to attend this session.
2) Core APIs to know: "Platform Automation the Pivotal Way: How I Learned to Stop Typing and Love the Operations Manager"
“...how a chance encounter with the Ops Manager API led to some deep dives and a new way of thinking about CI/CD in the platform space.”
If you're going to be deploying and upgrading many PCF, it's good to know your way around the Pivotal Network and Operations Manager documentation. Updates landing on PivNet are key triggers for PCF operations pipelines. This looks like another foundational session for PCF Operators on how to use Concourse.
3) Easy start: "Automate Your Life with BOSH Bootloader"
“...how to bootstrap Cloud Foundry with [BOSH Bootloader] and Concourse.”
BOSH Bootloader is a complimentary secret weapon to Concourse. In this session, Pivotal's Genevieve L'Esperance and Evan Farrar will cover how to use these tools together. Just like algebra, you need to follow the correct order of operations!
4) Getting creative: "Operating PCF via Concourse. Or, How to Sleep More and Worry Less"
“...using Concourse to install, upgrade, and manage disaster recovery on CF…”
Building on the basics, Therese Stowell and Ryan Pei of Pivotal, with Yuri Litvinovich of Scotiabank, add the disaster recovery dimension. Check out this session for reference architectures for managing multiple PCF foundations.
5) Getting secure: "Ensuring Platform Security with Windows Bosh Add-ons and Runtime-Config at Boeing"
“Under immense time pressure, we found a way…”
Take the math problem laid out above, and add variables for security compliance requirements. The calculus just got harder. In this talk, James Coppock and Sheryl Maris share lessons learned from operating the platform with stringent security requirements at Boeing.
Cloud Foundry Summit North America 2018 is happening in Boston from April 18-20. You can register here and use CFNA18DREWITZ for a 20% discount on your attendee registration. Looking forward to seeing you there!
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