SFD19: DellEMC Does DevOps

What does DevOps mean to you? Maybe, you think it’s a set of practices, or you are convinced just a buzzword.  What’s not up for debate, though, is Dell presented a DevOps titled session at Tech Field Day’s #SFD19.

Let’s delve into a few things I found interesting in this presentation.

#1 The #AutomateAllThings Trend Continues

Reasons for Rise of Need for DevOps Tools
Screenshot from TechField Day: “The Evolution of Applications and the Need for Better Tools with Dell EMC.”

Nothing controversial, there, but here’s the super interesting fact:  IDC predicts that by 2023 the Infrastructure automation market is going $10.5 billion.  I can’t find that figure exactly, but I do see $9.6 billion listed as a figure on an abstract for the IDC report.

Does this growing automation market continue the hardware commoditization trend? I’d love to delve into this, but not enough to pay $4000 for the IDC report. This is another way to abstract the hardware away, right?  Hardware remains important enough to spend a lot of money automating it away.  Lots of solutions within this Infrastructure Automation have taken off in the past few years: Terraform, Ansible, Chef.  And, Kubernetes.

#2 Forget Silos, Teams are Evolving

The Culture Shifts in Enterprise IT
Screenshot from TechField Day: “The Evolution of Applications and the Need for Better Tools with Dell EMC.”

I know that some people opine that DevOps is a dumpster fire. But, silos can be way worse.  I discovered my soapbox style stance about this topic during a Web Administrator position. They told me that role would rely on Virtual Administrators and Storage Administrators to help troubleshoot web server availability issues.  No read-only access to vCenter. No read-only access to the Storage Virtual Machine.  Umm, no thank you.

While there are niche cases where you need specialists, most environments don’t fall into this category. Silos can create Single Point of Failure teams and limit opportunities for an individual’s professional growth.  You don’t have to know the entire stack, but the more you understand, the better off you’ll be in that role and long-term.

What are the toughest silos to blend? Dev and Ops!  Having been on Dev Teams and also Ops Teams, I know these two sides often feel like diametrically opposed forces.  Dev wants things quick, and slow-moving Ops wants to plan and determine what the changes mean for the entire environment.  Hello, this is why there is Shadow IT!

Ugh, silos create “us vs. them” cultures.  It also leads to people promoting agendas and not focusing on what’s best for the business.  It dehumanizes people.  Part of the beauty of DevOps style teams is that it unifies people from different backgrounds and gets them all working towards the same goal.  Also, as Brene Brown says, “it’s hard to hate people up close.”  DevOps teams can be a unifying force in your organization.

#3 Ansible for all

Okay, so this is my most practical takeaway from Dell EMC’s DevOp’s presentation. I love that DellEMC has come out with Ansible Playbooks to unify the “configuration, deployment, and orchestration.”

One of the challenges that Dell EMC has been a broad portfolio with a series of disparate storage arrays with differing management interfaces. Forget all of that single pane of glass talk for management.  While SPOG still matters,  Dell EMC has worked on creating Ansible Playbooks for Isilon, PowerMax, and a myriad of other Dell platforms. You can the Playbbooks on GitHub.


Okay, that wraps up some of my takeaways and thoughts about DellEMC’s DevOps presentations  If you are interested in learning more, Find Dell EMC DevOps-centric posts from fellow delegates and watch the Tech Field Day videos here:



Disclaimer: As Storage Field Day 19 delegate, GestaltIT paid for my hotel, airfare, and meals. With this invitation cames no obligation to blog about or endorse any the presenting vendors or GestaltIT.  Any content that I’ve written or opinions I’ve expressed are solely mine.