Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

October 09 2012

Six themes from Velocity Europe

By Steve Souders and John Allspaw

More than 700 performance and operations engineers were in London last week for Velocity Europe 2012. Below, Velocity co-chairs Steve Souders and John Allspaw note high-level themes from across the various tracks (especially the hallway track) that are emerging for the WPO and DevOps communities.

Velocity Europe 2012 in LondonVelocity Europe 2012 in London

Performance themes from Steve Souders

I was in awe of the speaker and exhibitor lineup going into Velocity Europe. It was filled with knowledgeable gurus and industry leaders. As Velocity Europe unfolded a few themes kept recurring, and I wanted to share those with you.

Performance matters more — The places and ways that web performance matters keeps growing. The talks at Velocity covered desktop, mobile (native, web, and hybrid), tablet, TV, DSL, cable, FiOS, 3G, 4G, LTE, and WiMAX across social, financial, ecommerce, media, games, sports, video, search, analytics, advertising, and enterprise. Although all of the speakers were technical, they talked about how the focus on performance extends to other departments in their companies as well as the impact performance has on their users. Web performance has permeated all aspects of the web and has become a primary focus for web companies.

Organizational challenges are the hardestLonely Planet and SoundCloud talked about how the challenges in shifting their organizational culture to focus on performance were more difficult than the technical work required to actually improve performance. During the hallway track, myself and a few other speakers were asked about ways to initiate this culture shift. There’s growing interest in figuring out how to change a company’s culture to value and invest in performance. This reminded me of our theme from Velocity 2009, the impact of performance and operations on the bottom line, where we brought in case studies that described the benefits of web performance using the vocabulary of the business. In 2013 I predict we’ll see a heavier emphasis on case studies and best practices for making performance a priority for the organization using a slightly different vocabulary, with terms like “culture,” “buy-in” and “DNA.”

The community is huge — As of today there are 42 web performance meetup groups totaling nearly 15,000 members worldwide: 15,000 members just over three years! In addition to meetup groups, Aaron Kulick and Stephen Thair organized the inaugural WebPerfDays events in Santa Clara, Calif. and London (respectively). WebPerfDays, modelled after DevOpsDays, is an unconference for the web performance community organized by the web performance community. Although these two events coincided with Velocity, the intent is that anyone in the world can use the resources (templates, website, Twitter handle, etc.) to organize their own WebPerfDays. A growing web performance community means more projects, events, analyses, etc. reaching more people. I encourage you to attend your local web performance meetup group. If there isn’t one, then organize it. And consider organizing your own WebPerfDays as a one-day mini-Velocity in your own backyard.

Operations themes from John Allspaw

As if it was an extension of what we saw at Velocity U.S., there were a number of talks that underscored the importance of the human factor in web operations. I gave a tutorial called “Escalating Scenarios: A Deep Dive Into Outage Pitfalls” that mostly centered around the situations when ops teams find themselves responding to complex failure scenarios. Stephen Nelson-Smith gave a whirlwind tour of patterns and anti-patterns on workflows and getting things done in an engineering and operations context.

Gene Kim, Damon Edwards, John Willis, and Patrick Debois looked at the fundamentals surrounding development and operations cooperation and collaboration, in “DevOps Patterns Distilled.” Mike Rembetsy and Patrick McDonnell followed up with the implementation of those fundamentals at Etsy over a four-year period.

Theo Schlossnagle, ever the “dig deep” engineer, spoke on monitoring and observability. He gave some pretty surgical techniques for peering into production infrastructure in order to get an idea of what’s going on under the hood, with DTrace and tcpdump.

A number of talks covered handling large-scale growth:

These are just a few of the highlights we saw at Velocity Europe in London. As usual, half the fun was the hallway track: engineers trading stories, details, and approaches over food and drink. A fun and educational time was had by all.

June 06 2012

A crazy awesome gaming infrastructure

In this Velocity Podcast, I had a conversation with Sarah Novotny (@sarahnovotny), CIO of Meteor Entertainment. This conversation centers mostly on building a high-performance gaming infrastructure and bridging the gap between IT and business. Sarah has some great insights into building an environment for human performance that goes along with your quest for more reliable, scalable, tolerant, and secure web properties.

Our conversation lasted 00:15:44 and if you want to pinpoint any particular topic, you can find the specific timing below. Sarah provides some of her background and experience as well as what she is currently doing at Meteor here. The full conversation is outlined below.

  • As a CIO, how do you bridge the gap between technology and business? 00:02:28

  • How do you educate corporate stakeholders about the importance of DevOps and the impact it can have on IT? 00:03:26

  • How does someone set up best practices in an organization? 00:05:24

  • Are there signals that DevOps is actually happening where development and operations are merging? 00:08:31

  • How do you measure performance and make large changes in an online game without disrupting players? 00:09:59

  • How do you prepare for scaling your crazy awesome infrastructure needed for game play? 00:12:28

  • Have you gathered metrics on public and private clouds and do you know which ones to scale to when needed? 00:14:03

In addition to her work at Meteor, Sarah is co-chair of OSCON 2012 (being held July 16-20 in Portland, Ore.). We hope to see you there. You can also read Sarah's blog for more insights into what she's up to.

Velocity 2012: Web Operations & Performance — The smartest minds in web operations and performance are coming together for the Velocity Conference, being held June 25-27 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20


May 02 2012

Velocity Profile: Sergey Chernyshev

This is part of the Velocity Profiles series, which highlights the work and knowledge of web ops and performance experts.

Sergey ChernyshevSergey Chernyshev
Director of web systems and applications, truTV
Organizer, New York Web Performance Meetup
@sergeyche, @perfplanet

How did you get into web operations and performance?

I've been doing web development and operations since 1996. Before there were different people running websites, one person was responsible for everything. So in addition to adding features, I was making sure websites were running and running fast. In 2007, I heard Steve Souders and Teni Thurer present their first findings at the Web 2.0 Expo, and after that, I was converted to the church of web performance optimization (WPO).

What is your most memorable project?

The most memorable are the two projects I'm most active on: Show Slow and running the New York Web Performance Meetup.

What's the toughest problem you've had to solve?

The toughest is to make people believe that WPO is important and change perspectives on how to approach performance. It's far from solved, but I hope I helped by kick-starting a local community movement — we now have 16 active groups across the globe with more than 5,000 members.

What tools and techniques do you rely on most?

Show Slow and WebPageTest.

Who do you follow in the web operations and performance world?

I run the @perfplanet account on Twitter where I follow a bunch of people and re-tweet WPO-related tweets. You can see my list here.

In addition, Brad Fitzpatrick of LiveJournal fame isn't doing much of this work these days, but he's behind many great technologies, including Memcached, Gearman and more.

Velocity 2012: Web Operations & Performance — The smartest minds in web operations and performance are coming together for the Velocity Conference, being held June 25-27 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20


Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!