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The Proper Way to Build Infrastructure Pipelines

Oct 19, 2021 5:00:00 AM By All Day DevOps

IT infrastructure is in the midst of an explosion of complexity. As more tools are created in the cloud, they are simultaneously creating more silos. It essentially comes down to the Jevons Paradox, according to Rob Hirschfeld, CEO and co-founder of RackN. The challenge is that we’re not building the right systems to handle the complexity. So what's next? The solution, says Rob, is infrastructure pipelines. 

Rob knows a thing or two about the cloud - he practically invented it back in 2001. But with his deep cloud infrastructure experience and with further development in this space, he experienced frustration with the state of automation in the industry. According to Rob, people were often reinventing the wheel when they didn’t necessarily have to, with many operators ending up with code and configuration silos instead of an integrated system. 

A leader in physical and hybrid DevOps software, Rob has been in the cloud and infrastructure space for nearly 15 years, from working with early ESX Betas to serving four terms on the OpenStack Foundation Board and becoming an executive at Dell. He will be speaking at this year's All Day DevOps (ADDO), the world's largest DevOps conference, which will be streaming live for 24 hours starting at 3 a.m. ET on October 28, 2021. 

Automation isn’t an end on its own

“Complexity isn’t bad, but it is important to be deliberate about tackling it. Why is it so hard to make a pipeline? While there are different kinds of automation, people don’t think about automation having different layers and types,” says Rob.

And while different tools and processes are becoming more and more automated, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are properly integrated. It is essential to consider building systems that are designed to work together. “Automation isn’t an end on its own,” he says. “Just because you’ve automated something doesn’t mean you’ve connected it to anything else.”

At All Day DevOps, Rob will discuss the need for chaining automated processes together to create an integrated pipeline. 

Companies like Thoughtworks or Gartner have focused their attention on the need for infrastructure pipelines in the market. But what hasn’t been determined is how to build those infrastructure pipelines. How do you create an infrastructure pipeline -- instead of infrastructure silos -- that connect that data?,” says Rob. 

According to Hirschfeld, these are essentially CI/CD pipelines but for infrastructure. These pipelines are being used in other parts of the industry and are now moving into the DevOps space. 

So who will benefit from hearing Rob live at All Day DevOps 2021?

Rob’s talk will benefit those platform engineers who are trying to implement automation across their company. The ideal attendee is anyone who is trying to create reusable automation within their company, including those working on security, devSecOps or cyber security platforms. 

Why the infrastructure pipeline is different & other takeaways:

Within the DevOps framework, collaboration is one of the keys, especially when collaborating across teams and organizations to help people work better together and break down silos. The other critical aspect is tooling, but tools typically keep work siloed. From this session attendees will learn: 

  • Approaches to manage complexity
  • How to connect all these pieces together. 
  • How components can be made reusable and how to do the work. 
  • Why CI/CD pipelines are different from infrastructure pipelines. 
  • The benefits (and challenges) to making it portal and change resilient
  • How this works in practice with a multi-cloud demo blending Terraform, Ansible and Digital Rebar.

The virtual event gathers more than 25,000 DevOps professionals for free, hands-on education from 180+ speakers, along with peer-to-peer insights and networking with professionals worldwide. View the speaker line up, including six different tracks, and register to attend October 28.