We started working on our spin-off from gocept a few weeks ago and I find myself now thinking harder about our business model than I did ever before. Today, I'd like to share a few of my thoughts.
The Flying Circus started back in 2007 when we felt more and more overwhelmed by the tasks we had to do to keep the few applications we ran for customers operable. We considered whether we should stop doing any day-to-day management of our customers' applications or whether we should do it more seriously. We looked around for options that we might choose to pass customers to, but none of the models were attractive to us: root servers, VPSes, IaaS, PaaS, ... they all felt lacking.
Looking back, we could not put an exact word on it and "DevOps" did not exist yet as a term. However, we also do not think that it makes any sense to "sell" DevOps.
Today, we find that application developers would like to both stay in control of their applications' operations but need to cut down the effort needed. They want to focus but also be involved when needed and necessary. They want to have comrades that know about their issues on the application level.
The models we see out there today talk a lot about DevOps. In our perspective we need to measure their success by looking at the CAMS-Values that are usually referred to when thinking Devops: culture, automation, measurement, and sharing. We see a lot of vendors and products that started picking up those values, but we think we need to go further: we want automation to drive value, measurements to support understanding, sharing and culture to perform operations much more closely together instead of separated than ever before.
The Flying Circus wants to overcome purely technological improvements and put the inherent social and organisational issues to work: we want to have meaningful conversations between customers, developers, and operators. We want to acknowledge that working closely together means appreciating that today's open, complex systems can't be run in silos. And we do not want a DevOps silo either. We want to work more closely together and we want to appreciate the grey areas and use them for our benefit.
We need operations to move out of their comfort zone of operating systems, and servers, and data centers, and fixed-size containers. We need operations to care for every application that runs under their control. We need operations to move closer to the application to integrate the work of developers and operations much more closely.
If you develop web applications - we'd love to hear from you: What works for you on Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and other offers that make it easier to access resources? What do you wish was different? Who do you talk to when having troubles with your application? What effort do you still have to put in that you wish you would not have to?
We're here and we're listening. Let's talk. Let's move closer together.
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Flying Circus Internet Operations GmbH
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Christian Theune, Christian Zagrodnick
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