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Development Testing Authors: Gary Kaiser, Dynatrace Blog, Plutora Blog, Elizabeth White, Tim Hinds

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Still Spending the Night on the Phone? | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps

Avoiding the dread of 'release nights' - precautions to reduce the likelihood of unforeseen issues during deployments

"Release night" is something of a norm in many development organizations. Not because it takes so long to deploy the software, but because there are so many unforeseen problems that need to be addressed right away.

Sometimes there isn't a way to roll back easily: database issues, third-party services that only have a limited window to apply changes, etc. Everyone ends up scrambling to fix whatever they can before daylight, while under pressure from triage calls, anxious emails and the occasional foot traffic to your desk.

Who wants to constantly live in fire-fighting mode? Well, you don't have to. It is possible to be confident when deploying your software products.

Monitoring your applications and your environments is a proactive strategy to protect your productivity (case study). Monitoring is not about shifting blame; it is an opportunity to detect problems before they embarrass you in front of your customers.

In recent years, the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) market has solidified. New entrants have emerged, offering different monitoring methodologies, features, and drastically different pricing strategies. Here are some of the questions I consider when refining a client's Proof of Concept (PoC) criteria:

  • Are they a candidate for real-time monitoring, or will synthetic monitoring be adequate?
  • When does it make sense to purchase an on-premise instead of a cloud-based product?
  • Must physical hardware be provisioned in addition to acquiring a solution?
  • How do you translate physical requirements if you have a virtualized environment?
  • What are the weak points of various vendors (i.e. professional services are almost always required, heavy customization, quality of support staff, etc.)

Data points abound; without careful selection, people will be desensitized to the "white noise." They start creating rules to automatically filter those emails from their inbox without even looking at them. Clarifying your goals will ensure that only actionable alerts are sent to your team, so that you can launch to production with confidence.

More Stories By Kareen Kircher

Kareen Kircher is a passionate technologist with over 15 years of experience, a problem-solver, and fan of efficiency and automation. Founder: www.devopsadvisors.com Blogger at www.kareenkircher.com/blog Writer, Speaker featured on WNYC TV, www.cmcrossroads.com, SYS-CON Media, and Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference.