“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change ”– Heraclitus
A long way back, a Greek philosopher said something about change being the only constant. The guy was right, but he would have made a horrible IT project manager. It’s a true statement, but at the same time forecasts an ever changing landscape that is hard to pin down and stay on top of.
The rate of change is always about the same, as fast as possible, but the directions have shifted back on itself. Twenty years ago, when I was starting out in IT, the focus was to move off the centralized computing platform with terminal interfaces in favor of multiple servers and client access. Of course back then, it was mainframes and terminals versus today being the cloud and devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc). I suppose with the promise of high mobile bandwidth that makes sense.
I think in the next 10 years, probably more like 5, containers are going to push out Virtual Machines. Less to manage, easier to spin up, and can use Orchestrators like Kubernetes to manage the systems. Why trouble shoot a failed system, if you can just quickly replace it? I also think it’ll be an easy way to horizontally scale SQL Availability Groups, run one write node and a cluster of readable secondaries. Toss a load balancer in the mix….and suddenly you’re not not as constrained on reads. The only problem to solve is that of licensing. Of course, if it’s a write heavy application than you may still need the power of a traditional node.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
IaC is the next move forward in the infrastructure space. Why? Because why should we be sitting around clicking next when we can define a server or application with declarative code and it takes care of the build? Oh ya, and then with source control, the config file is maintained and documented. I don’t know why anyone would fight this, except those who felt threatened. Plus, look at this way when Azure has a sale and you have to move your entire organization over from AWS, or vice versa, it’ll be a lot less work the second time.
The downside here is, I think for those coming up in the ranks are going to lose some valuable troubleshooting skills. Although I say that, I can’t remember the last time I’ve thought about if a comm issue was related to an IRQ or Memory address. It is good for trivia when you ask the younger crowd what the difference is between the different comm ports are.
I honestly don’t know why it has taken so long for Source Control to catch on outside of development. I mean I get it, there’s a bit of a learning curve and branching isn’t something I have completely figured out yet. But dammit, it makes working on the same piece of code so much easier just for me between my different computers. With my team at work finally embracing it, I’m looking forward to seeing how it helps us.
I think the 20’s are going to be the decade of DevOps. And by that, I mean on 12/31/29, DevOps will be how things have been done for years. Spinning up servers by hand will a rare exception, but more like a novelty. And all of the previous things I listed are a small component of DevOps anyway. See, it’s already happening.
Change is Change
Change can be either good or bad, but I think it depends on how you see the change. Regardless of how you view it, it’s going to happen. Perhaps instead of fighting it, embrace it…..use the new decade as a launch platform to retool your skill set, embrace new technology, geek out and have some fun learning.