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Need faster load testing? How does 9x’s faster sound? Look no further than HP StormRunner Load

HP LoadRunner and Performance Center Blog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 19:52

Would you put up with a tool that wastes your time? I can’t imagine why you would.iStock_000021187110Medium.jpg


I have a zero-tolerance policy for slow tools, because tools are supposed to make me faster, and as you know, speed counts. In application delivery it’s all about who can release faster without compromising the experience for the end user.


Keep reading to see how fast you can really go.

Categories: Companies

Appium Bootcamp – Chapter 8: Additional Information + Resources

Sauce Labs - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 17:30

appium_logoThis is the eighth and final post in a series called Appium Bootcamp by noted Selenium expert Dave Haeffner. 

Read:  Chapter 1 Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7

Dave recently immersed himself in the open source Appium project and collaborated with leading Appium contributor Matthew Edwards to bring us this material. Appium Bootcamp is for those who are brand new to mobile test automation with Appium. No familiarity with Selenium is required, although it may be useful. 

Now that you’re up and running with Appium locally, in the cloud, and on a CI solution, it’s best to show you where you can find more information. Below is a collection of some great resources to help you find your way when it comes to mobile testing.

Community Support

These are the official tutorials for the Appium project for Android and iOS. They served as inspiration and a base for this getting started series. They are great follow-on material since they cover various topics in more depth, and include Java examples as well.

If you have an issue or a question, this is a great place to turn to. Before posting an issue, be sure to read through the Appium Troubleshooting docs and search the group to see if your question has already been asked/answered.

In addition to the Google Discussion Group, you can hop on the Appium HipChat chat room and ask questions from others in the Appium community.

This is a follow-up post answering loads of questions from a webinar from just after thet Appium 1.0 release. It’s chocked full of a lot of great information.

In this video, Jonathan Lipps (Appium’s Chief Architect) explains mobile automation with Appium.

This is an open-source book that is a work in progress; authored by Jonathan Lipps. It’s working title is “Appium: Mobile Automation Made Awesome”.

Some Android Specific Resources

These links (a video, Q&A, and a blog post) cover how Google approaches Android testing.

uiautomator is a crucial component of Android test automation. In this video, the engineers behind it talk about it’s future.

This video is a walk through Google’s newest Android testing framework. This isn’t directly related to Appium, but it contains some useful information.

Some iOS Specific Resources

Appium relies on Apple’s UI Automation support, and these are some solid resources for understanding it better.

Professional Support

If you are a Sauce customer and encounter an issue when using their platform with Appium, be sure to open a support ticket.

If you’re using Appium and you think you’ve found a bug specific to either Android or iOS, then let Google and/or Apple know. In either case it’s best to make sure that the bug is not an Appium issue before filing an issue.

For Google, file an issue here.

For Apple, file an issue here. Apple keeps all bugs private, so it’s worth also filing a duplicate issue here.

Straight To The Source

These are great instructions on how to search through the Appium source code to find more information.

Some Other Resources

There are over 600 Appium questions posted on Stack Overflow for you to peruse.

Xamarin has a free cheat sheet comparing popular mobile app controls. Definitely worth a look.


Now you’re ready, armed with all the information you need to continue your mobile testing journey.

Happy Testing!

Read:  Chapter 1 Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7

About Dave Haeffner: Dave is a recent Appium convert and the author of Elemental Selenium (a free, once weekly Selenium tip newsletter that is read by thousands of testing professionals) as well as The Selenium Guidebook (a step-by-step guide on how to use Selenium Successfully). He is also the creator and maintainer of ChemistryKit (an open-source Selenium framework). He has helped numerous companies successfully implement automated acceptance testing; including The Motley Fool, ManTech International, Sittercity, and Animoto. He is a founder and co-organizer of the Selenium Hangout and has spoken at numerous conferences and meetups about acceptance testing.

Follow Dave on Twitter - @tourdedave

Categories: Companies

Building Resilient Jenkins Infrastructure

This is part of a series of blog posts in which various CloudBees technical experts have summarized presentations from the Jenkins User Conferences (JUC). This post is written by Harpreet Singh, VP product management, CloudBees about a presentation given by Kohsuke Kawaguchi from CloudBees at JUC Boston.

A talk by Kohsuke Kawaguchi is always exciting. It gets triply exciting when his talk bundles three in one. 
Scaling Jenkins horizontallyKohsuke outlined the case on how organizations scale, either vertically or organically (numerous Jenkins masters abound in the organization). He made the case that the way forward is to scale horizontally. In this approach a Jenkins Operations Center by CloudBees master manages multiple Jenkins in the organizations. This approach helps organizations share resources (slaves) and have a unified security model through roles-based access control plugin from CloudBees. 
Jenkins Operations Center by CloudBees
This architecture lets administrators maintain a few big Jenkins masters that can be managed by the operations center. This effectively builds an infrastructure that fails less and recovers from failures faster.

Right sized Jenkins mastersBursting to the cloud (through CloudBees DEV@cloud)He then switched gear to address a use case where teams can start using cloud resources when they run out of build capacity on their local build farm. He walked through the underlying technological pieces built at CloudBees using LXC. 
CloudBursting: Supported by LXC containers on CloudBees
The neat thing with the above technology piece is that we have used it to offer OSX build slaves in the cloud. We have an article [2] highlights on how to use cloud bursting with CloudBees. The key advantage is that users pay for builds-by-the-minute.
TraceabilityOrganizations are looking at continuous delivery to deliver software often. They often use Jenkins to build binaries and use tools such as Puppet and Chef to deploy these binaries in production. However, if something does go wrong in production environment, it is quite a challenge to tie these back to the commit that caused issues. The traceability work in Jenkins ties this loose end. So post deployment, Puppet/Chef notifies a Jenkins plugin and Jenkins calculates its finger print and maintains it in the internal database. This fingerprint can be used to track where the commits have landed and help diagnose failures faster. We have an article [3] that describes how to set this up with Puppet.

Finger prints flow through Jenkins, Puppet and Chef
[1] Jenkins Operations Center by CloudBees[2] Bursting to the cloud
[3] Traceability example
-- Harpreet
Harpreet is vice president of product management at CloudBees. 
Follow Harpreet on Twitter

Categories: Companies

Webinar recap: Top tactics to reduce your open source security risk

Kloctalk - Klocwork - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 15:00

The current state of open source software (OSS) security may surprise you – with over 13 billion OSS component requests annually, a surprising 60% of organizations do not track security vulnerabilities in their code. This is a big reason why open source vulnerabilities such as Heartbleed and the recent PHP flaw affecting WordPress and Drupal sites are catching organizations unaware.

In our recent webinar, Top Tactics to Reduce Your Open Source Security Risk, we discussed our current open source security culture (or lack, thereof) and explained several ways in which organizations can reduce their risk of attack and liability. You can watch the recording here. Two methods we discussed are (you can fast forward to these times in the recording):

• Create an acquisition process (10:40) – know where your OSS is coming from
• Track open source usage (24:20) – know who is using OSS and how it’s being used

These and the other methods discussed built up a plan of attack for organizations to characterize their open source environment, educate their employees, and apply some discipline to better prevent security risks. We also explained how these methods help triage and solve open source issues in many other areas such as maintenance, technical support, license liability, and protecting intellectual property protection.

While the state of the industry is well known, we thought we’d learn a little more about our attendees. Here are the results of two polls we conducted:

Does your OSS policy include security elements?

Yes – 54%
No – 46%

How long did it take your organization to identify and remediate systems affected by Heartbleed?

More than one month – 8%
Approximately one week – 15%
Approximately one month – 31%
Not affected by Heartbleed – 46%

The first result reflects the industry trend of a large number of organizations not having an OSS security policy in place. They should be asking themselves two questions:

1) Do I know if I’m at risk right now?
2) Do I know what to do when a security threat occurs?

The second result just goes to show that even a simple flaw within a well-known, widely-used software package (not to mention, widely-tested!) can incur significant costs to fix.

All our webinar recipients were given this link to start protecting their organization by understanding their open source usage – the next step to developing a comprehensive and maintainable OSS policy:

Categories: Companies

TestRail Hosted unplanned outage

Gurock Software Blog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 14:24

We are currently experiencing an unplanned outage of our TestRail Hosted infrastructure unfortunately and are working on getting the affected TestRail Hosted accounts up and running as soon as possible. We will post an update on this page and notify customers with open tickets as soon as this issue has been resolved. We are very sorry about this issue and we understand that customers with affected accounts are blocked from getting work done and we are doing everything to get this resolved as soon as possible.

Update 18:29 GMT: All affected TestRail accounts are available again and customers can access and use TestRail again. We are currently notifying all affected customers separately. We will post more information about today’s server outage separately and our priority right now is to notify customers. Thanks for your understanding as we work with affected customers. – Dennis

Categories: Companies

Tips for Becoming an Expert Video Game Tester

Software Testing Zone - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:18

"Recently I came to know from a friend about career in video game testing and it sounds too good to be true; doing what I enjoy doing most (playing video games) and getting paid for the same sounds awesome. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that someone can actually get to play the latest video games all the time and get paid good salary for... uh... playing games! I think I already have the basic traits to become a good video game tester and I have love and passion for video games. What's the requirement for video game testers? What are a video game tester's main responsibilities? Can you please give me some instructions on becoming an expert game tester?"  --A Video Game Tester Wannabe
If you are also wondering if you should start a career in video game testing industry, this article is for you. The gaming industry itself has come a long way in the past decade and as the modern day games like top casino games at Red Flush and latest cutting edge games from EA are evolving and becoming more interactive, feature-rich, faster and complex the need for good gaming tester who can push the limits of these games also has increased.
What is Video Game Testing?

Like any other testing related activities, video game testing has an important role in the video game development. Testing begins while the game is still in development phase ("alpha" or early versions of the game) and when finished, the game testers go a final end-to-end testing to ensure that gamers have a good experience out of it. Like software testers, video game testers perform video game testing to find mistakes, defects, bugs and other issues that could frustrate or turn off the end user (gamers) if not fixed.
Video Game Testing; Not as Easy as It Sounds!But do not let the word 'game' in the job description fool you. Video game testing is a complex job and involves meticulous planning, can be tedious at times and requires an structural, disciplined approach to product testing, which in this case is a 'video game'. A good game tester is required to have a good pair of eye for detail, out-of-the box critical thinking and the ability to remain focused while on the job.
What are the Qualities of an Excellent Video Game Tester?Some of the fundamental qualities and skills that video game studios look for in a good game tester are:

Computer/Game Skills: Prior experience with games and game play, basic know-how of computer programming and fundamental understanding of computer hardware components. To become successful in this area, hone your video game skills, learn about various genres like puzzle games, FPS (first person shooters), arcades, multiplayer games, online games, mobile games, console games  etc. Keeping up-to-date on latest gaming trends will help you in this career.
Attention to Details: A good tester needs to be very meticulous and must have excellent attention span. If you get bored of a game after you’ve been testing it for a while, then this job is not for you. To become successful in this area, beta test new video games that you can find. Game studios often release beta versions of their upcoming games to get user feedback and you can use that to hone your testing skills.
A Good Bug Hunter: A good tester needs to be able to detect bugs, find reliable ways to make them happen easily, and document the shortest steps so the development team can replicate and fix those bugs. To become successful in this area, use beta release games to find bugs and glitches and write them up in a nice bug report. When you contact the game studio with your report, try to be as detailed as you can and who knows they might give you a job if they think you are good at it!
Communication Skills: Both verbal as well as written communication skills are the key here. A game tester needs to constantly communicate with the programming team and fellow testers to inform them about the bugs and other issues that they find. So the ability to document your bugs precisely and concisely in the bug tracking tool, to explain it to the dev. team if the need arises and to inform other testers about it so they are also aware of the existing problems are going to help.
Soft Skills: Other soft skills like good attitude, being a team player and getting along with co-workers will be an added advantage. And yes, testing is hard work and can often be tedious and extremely frustrating at times. So keeping a cool head in those circumstances is a big plus.Word of Caution! But before you make up your mind and decide to become a video game tester, keep this in mind! These days the field of video game testing has come under serious criticism for being excessively strenuous and lack of much rewards, both financially and emotionally. But if you think you're passionate about video games and want to make a career out of it, this is probably for you.
If you are someone who expects to just play video games all day and get paid then you will be hugely disappointed. But testers who realize that video game testing is a serious job and hone their skills accordingly will be much more successful.
Categories: Blogs

Webinar: Application Testing Challenges – Theories, Tools, and Technology

Ranorex - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:00
We are proud to announce a Co-Webinar by Ranorex and Polarion Software titled "Application Testing Challenges: Theories, Tools, and Technology".

In this one-hour web seminar the presenters will explore real-world examples of highly tested products – Mozilla and Xbox – that serve as telescopes into the continuing evolution of test practices: agile testing, requirements-based testing, testing as a service, and crowdsource testing.

Join the presenters for this web seminar to be held on August 21, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST addressing notable testing challenges and potential solutions including:
  • Lack of mature testing tools for new technologies and practices
  • Test automation challenges that continue to plague the industry
  • Failure to address security testing needs
  • Performance and load testing late in development – or worse, in production
Reserve your seat now!
Categories: Companies

Exploring Responsibility

Hiccupps - James Thomas - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:10
 A friend, talking about running a project, said to me last week "it's like the partially-sighted leading the blind".

Ian Jack, talking about his dad, wrote in the Guardian at the weekend: "[As a child] I had no idea how new this was ... I imagined he had always known how to do these things ... of course he had to teach himself, listening to the helpful hints of [others] and reading books"

Yep, implementation in an environment where tasks are not simply rote reproductions is often like this, exploratory. You'll feel your way, based on what advice, experiment, evidence, research, intuition and experience you have. If you're sensible, and able, you'll set up feedback systems to help you know when you're going off track (and hopefully you'll know what on-track looks like).

When leading others through it too, I find that I want to be up front about the extent to which I feel like I know what I'm doing and be prepared to outline the alternatives I've rejected and why, and what kinds of success criteria and warning signs I'm looking for.

Away from the office I've just built some monkey bars out of tubes and joints from The Metal Store (great service there, by the way). It's a one-off. There's no prototype. I've never built anything like this before. I designed it on paper to fit the space I have and the desires of my kids at a price that works for us. My wife and kids were willing helpers for short periods of time and they just wanted to be told what to do at each step, and when it'd be finished.

I took on the initial research project - what is commercially available to fit the constraints I have? What alternatives can I find or think of? Who can I ask for advice? Struggling to find anything that suited our needs, I wondered whether I could do something with scaffolding. I spoke to a local scaffolding firm who couldn't help me, but suggested the materials I eventually used.

I took the final decision on the design - based on other monkey bars we'd seen and measured and what we thought might work, and on advice from the people who quoted us for materials about the relative strengths, capacities and so on for the parts and the design. I rejected some of the advice I received on various grounds, including aesthetics.

I took the decision on the order to do things, on how and where to put it together, to make it easiest to get together and into the holes, given how heavy it is and that I'd be doing most of it by myself.

I took the decision on how deep to dig the holes and how much concrete to put into them - based on what I'd read about installing fence posts. And when we'd dug the holes and put the frame in it, I left it standing there for a while so that I could visualise it in use. Then I took the decision to dig a bit deeper because it didn't look or feel in proportion and because in my thought experiments the poles were effectively massive levers that pulled themselves out of the ground when the kids hung or swung on the frame.

I took the decision on where and how to fix a swing - eventually drilling through the frame rather than attaching to it. I also fabricated some rubber seals out of an old inner tube to keep rainwater out of the holes. Who knows whether that will work or was even necessary?

I took what action I could to give myself confidence that things were right before irrevocable steps were taken. I measured everything before I started. I offered up the parts up against the ground and the holes. I asked my kids to climb on the individual bits as I put them together. I chose materials that give me some reconfigurability options.

And, while I'm happy I've done the best I can in those areas given that it was all new, I think the most important thing that I took was this: responsibility.

It was my idea, my plan, they were my decisions, my checks, my measurements, my estimates. If there was a question, it was to me, and I answered it. If it's not square or not level or if it falls over after some violent swinging or because 10 children jumped on it at once, that's on me. If the kids get bored of it or the dimensions don't suit them or it rusts in a year, that's on me too. If anything at all goes wrong, or needs changing, that's on me and I'll need to fix it.
Categories: Blogs

Australia’s Attitude toward Website and Application Monitoring – she’ll be right mate

I recently attended the Online Retailer Conference in Sydney, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to survey the audience.  I recalled a conversation I had with a journalist a few months ago, who said ‘I don’t think anyone monitors apps in Australia.  The developers build them; then they just throw them over the fence’. He […]

The post Australia’s Attitude toward Website and Application Monitoring – she’ll be right mate appeared first on Compuware APM Blog.

Categories: Companies

Make Fast IT work for you

Assembla - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 21:27

Fast IT projects are Web sites, mobile apps, digital marketing, SaaS integrations, and other projects that need monthly or weekly planning.  We find a lot of these projects on Assembla.  The Fast IT concept has been helpful for our customers who are trying to manage these projects with increasing professionalism.  We are shaping the Assembla roadmap to help Fast IT work more smoothly. 


Who cares about Fast IT? Fast IT Managers who are already handling the Fast IT projects in their organizations.  This could be you!  We have seen customers that have refined their “business model”, expanded their capacity, and done amazing things.  The Fast IT model gives them space to work in, and a community to learn from. People who do digital marketing.  Digital marketing is the biggest consumer of Fast IT, for Web sites, mobile apps, campaigns, and analytics.  Gartner made waves by predicting that in 2017, the CMO – the fast IT buyer - will have a bigger budget than the CIO – the core IT buyer.  I believe it. Fast IT is growing rapidly. We want to help you grow your career with it.

Agencies, outsourcers, and other service providers.  These are the Fast IT specialists.  Positioning around Fast IT can help them make more money by making it easier to start and deliver projects, and then get recurring revenue for continuous improvement. 

The Picture


In the picture above, I compare Fast IT to “Core IT”.  Fast IT has a mission to be fast and responsive and discover opportunities.  Core IT has a mission to provide secure, reliable systems and services.  Their employers and colleagues need these services every day, and they value reliability and stability.  Core IT providers often get annual budgets, and they have a long term perspective.  So, the people that run Core IT often try to slow down Fast IT projects and add some layers of planning and security that aren’t appropriate.  The Fast IT model resolves this conflict.  It’s a simple model that separates Core IT from Fast IT.  Then, the core people can be reliable, and the fast people can be fast.

How will Assembla help you with Fast IT? 

First, we’re learning and sharing.  We’re looking for great Fast IT practitioners who will share secrets of success.  We’ll organize meetings where you can advance your  knowledge and contacts.  We’ll be posting information on the blog, in Webinars, an in our product.

Our Fast IT customers often call Assembla a “system of record.”  They appreciate the all-in-one design that collects code, discussions, and documentation, all in one place.  Fast IT generates a lot of these assets for a lot of different projets, and these assets need to be maintained over time.  That’s where Assembla comes in.  An Assembla workspace is not just a project management hub.  It’s also a repository for all of the code, discussion, documentation, and team relationships that will allow you to maintain your assets over time.

Fast IT projects start fast.  Assembla helps you get started fast by providing one place where you can add team permissions and start communication.

Fast IT projects need daily or weekly attention.  Assembla makes it easy to see all project activity and resolve needs and obstacles.

Finally, we are adding features to our Enterprise package that will help customers who are tracking a lot of different deliverables, and  trying to deliver them on time.

Categories: Companies

Live From CAST 2014: uTest Interview With Jessica Nickel

uTest - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 21:10

Jessica Nickel is a Test Lead with Doran Jones, a software testing consultancy based in NYC, the host city of CAST 2014. uTest had an off-the-cuff discussion with Jessica on what sets CAST apart from other conferences and what the biggest threat to testers is today.

uTest will be interviewing attendees and speakers all week from CAST in NYC, and live tweeting @uTest using the #CAST2014 official hashtag. Check out the interview with Jessica below.

Categories: Companies

Testing on the Toilet: Web Testing Made Easier: Debug IDs

Google Testing Blog - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 19:58
by Ruslan Khamitov 

This article was adapted from a Google Testing on the Toilet (TotT) episode. You can download a printer-friendly version of this TotT episode and post it in your office.

Adding ID attributes to elements can make it much easier to write tests that interact with the DOM (e.g., WebDriver tests). Consider the following DOM with two buttons that differ only by inner text:
Save buttonEdit button
<div class="button">Save</div>
<div class="button">Edit</div>

How would you tell WebDriver to interact with the “Save” button in this case? You have several options. One option is to interact with the button using a CSS selector:

However, this approach is not sufficient to identify a particular button, and there is no mechanism to filter by text in CSS. Another option would be to write an XPath, which is generally fragile and discouraged:
//div[@class='button' and text()='Save']

Your best option is to add unique hierarchical IDs where each widget is passed a base ID that it prepends to the ID of each of its children. The IDs for each button will be:

In GWT you can accomplish this by overriding onEnsureDebugId()on your widgets. Doing so allows you to create custom logic for applying debug IDs to the sub-elements that make up a custom widget:
@Override protected void onEnsureDebugId(String baseId) {
saveButton.ensureDebugId(baseId + ".save-button");
editButton.ensureDebugId(baseId + ".edit-button");

Consider another example. Let’s set IDs for repeated UI elements in Angular using ng-repeat. Setting an index can help differentiate between repeated instances of each element:
<tr id="feedback-{{$index}}" class="feedback" ng-repeat="feedback in ctrl.feedbacks" >

In GWT you can do this with ensureDebugId(). Let’s set an ID for each of the table cells:
@UiField FlexTable table;
UIObject.ensureDebugId(table.getCellFormatter().getElement(rowIndex, columnIndex),
baseID + colIndex + "-" + rowIndex);

Take-away: Debug IDs are easy to set and make a huge difference for testing. Please add them early.

Categories: Blogs

Re-Blog: Building Markdown-Based Developer Docs

Sauce Labs - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 17:30

Sauce Labs developer Chris Wren and his team have been working tirelessly to improve our documentation system, so we thought we’d share what they’ve been up to. Says Chris:

“Recently at Sauce Labs we decided to retool our documentation system. This decision came after accumulating docs in a number of template systems and repos which were difficult to standardize and maintain. The result of this effort was a new markdown-based docs site available at”

For all the details, be sure to check out Chris’ post – just click the image below to view.

Building markdown-based developer docs

Want to contribute to Sauce Labs’ documentation? In the spirit of open source, we’ve housed them in GitHub. Submit away.

Categories: Companies

Live From CAST 2014: uTest Interview With Hilary Weaver

uTest - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 17:25

Hilary Weaver is a QA Engineer that bills herself as a “prolific swearer.” She kindly agreed to dial it down for this uTest interview just this once.

We interviewed Hilary in between CAST 2014 sessions this morning to discuss some key takeaways from her Tuesday session on the rift between testers and developers, and what testers can do to improve the relationship. We even take time to discuss her love for Star Wars — the title of her session was a quote from the film (“He doesn’t like you! I don’t like you either!”).

uTest will be interviewing attendees and speakers all week from CAST in NYC, and live tweeting @uTest using the #CAST2014 official hashtag. Check out the interview with Hilary below, and be sure to view all of the video interviews from CAST 2014.

Categories: Companies

Part 2 – [ ________ ] is the Best Policy

Sonatype Blog - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 16:28
In Part 1, ‘[ ________ ] is the Best Policy, we looked at some of the common aspects of an open source policy and discussed how our recent survey discovered that 41% of people think that policies are not enforced. Now in Part 2, we will look at how effective policies are when considering security...

To read more, visit our blog at
Categories: Companies

Live From CAST 2014: uTest Interview With Martin Folkoff

uTest - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:34

Day 2, the final of CAST 2014, is just underway, and we took the opportunity to talk briefly with another CAST attendee in between sessions.

Tester Martin Folkoff hails from Washington, DC, and shares his thoughts on why CAST is exciting and why testers should bring a development mindset to the table. uTest will be interviewing attendees and speakers all week from CAST in NYC, and live tweeting @uTest using the #CAST2014 official hashtag.

Categories: Companies

HPC no longer limited to enterprises

Kloctalk - Klocwork - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 15:00

High performance computing has evolved significantly in recent years. With increased power and flexibility, HPC solutions are now used by organizations for a tremendous range of purposes. Yet despite this progress, many still think of this technology as solely the province of major enterprises and advanced research organizations.

HPC use has evolved far beyond that and modern tools have reduced barriers to entry. As Midsize Insider contributor Marissa Tejada recently highlighted, HPC tools are now invaluable resources for midsize firms.

HPC for midsize companies
According to Tejada, the utility of HPC solutions for midsize firms is not dependent on these companies modifying their operations. On the contrary, HPC manufacturers are increasingly developing systems specifically designed to be used by midsize companies. Of particular note is the high performance data analysis market segment. Tejada noted that by leveraging these options, midsize firms can take on complicated analytics problems that were previously beyond their scope.

Critically, these HPC solutions are now available to companies at a modest price, making them viable options for a large number of businesses, Tejada explained.

"With the help of trusted HPC vendors, IT professionals at midsize firms can incorporate HPC without big investments or complicated hardware to manage," Tejada wrote. "With limited resources but the need to optimize their IT, midsize firms have found HPC to be a valuable and affordable tool that can deliver the right business results."

Gaining steam
Tejada noted that the HPC market in general and HPDA market in particular have grown incredibly quickly. This creates both opportunities and challenges for midsize companies. The opportunities are more obvious: By leveraging HPC solutions, these firms can improve their internal processes, becoming more efficient and more innovative. The more data available to and created by companies around the globe further increases the value of high-powered computing tools.

The challenging side of this trend is the fact that as these solutions become more popular, the pressure to adopt will grow. In the near future, midsize companies without robust, high-quality HPC tools in place may struggle to compete within their given industries as more of their rivals utilize these resources. Similarly, companies will likely need to upgrade their HPC toolchain frequently to keep pace with the evolving HPC market.

To highlight this point, a recent IDC report noted that 33,577 HPC systems were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of this year, THE Journal reported. This represented a modest increase relative to the same period in 2013, yet also resulted in a nearly 10 percent drop in year-over-year revenue. The reason for this seemingly counterintuitive combination is that the market for low-end HPC systems, such as those used by smaller organizations, grew significantly while fewer firms ordered high-end HPC solutions. Systems that cost less than $100,000 saw a 11.4 percent increase in revenue, while $100,000 to $249,000 systems' revenue was unchanged. Among high-end HPC systems, though, revenue dropped by 32.7 percent relative to Q1 2013.

"HPC technical server revenues are expected to grow at a healthy rate because of the crucial role they play in economic competitiveness as well as scientific progress," said Earl Joseph, program vice president for technical computing at IDC, the news source reported. "As the global race toward exascale computing fuels the high end of the market, more small and medium-sized businesses and research organizations are exploiting HPC servers for advanced simulations and high performance data analysis."

Ultimately, IDC predicted annual HPC revenue to experience annual growth of 7.4 percent, reaching $14.7 billion by 2018.

Categories: Companies

The DevOps Team Myth

James Betteley's Release Management Blog - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:57

Should “DevOps” be a job title? Are DevOps teams an anti-pattern? Can you do DevOps within a single team? Were the moon landings staged in the Arizona desert? These are the sort of questions you’re never more than 5 feet away from at any DevOps conference or meetup. The answers, of course, are:

  • Yes
  • Yes and no
  • Maybe
  • Don’t be silly

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the whole “DevOps Team/Job Title” question, and I’m no different, except my opinion is this:

I passionately don’t care

Let me explain:

If you have a devops team, and their job is to encourage and develop a devops culture within the organisation, then that’s perfectly fine, surely? If that team is successful and a devops culture blossoms, then you’re definitely winning. Maybe that team could subsequently change its name, but that just seems a bit pointless and overly hung-up on semantics. In this case, I don’t care what the team is called, because it doesn’t matter.

If you have a devops team, and they don’t encourage or foster a devops culture within the organisation, then you’re doing devops wrong, as simple as that. If you’re doing devops wrong then it doesn’t matter what you call a team, you’re still doing it wrong. In this case, I don’t care what the team is called, because it doesn’t matter. 

I do understand the opinions of the anti-pattern crowd. Setting up a separate silo responsible for “doing devops” is completely wrong. It discourages other teams and individuals from adopting a devops attitude, as they’ll see it as someone else’s responsibility. But the problem isn’t with the existence of the team, the problem is the purpose of the team and the fact that whoever decided the team should “do DevOps” clearly doesn’t understand what DevOps is.

At the very core of the issue is an understanding of what DevOps actually is. If your CTO, (or Head of Technology or whoever calls the shots within the technology division) thinks that DevOps just means automating builds and deployments, treating Infrastructure as Code, or adopting Continuous Delivery, etc then you’ve already got a problem. DevOps is about these things (and more), sure, but it’s about everyone understanding the importance of them, and absorbing them into their culture.

I’ve previously posted about the dangers of having an obsession with Ownership and Responsibility and I think these factors can also contribute to a failed adoption of devops. Drawing up clear lines of ownership and responsibility is risky – if you get it wrong, you’re going to struggle. For instance, if you draw a clear line of ownership around “devops” and place it firmly in the domain of the devops team, then you’re not going to do devops. A single team cannot own and be responsible for a culture, it just doesn’t work like that. The lines of ownership need to be blurred or wiped out entirely. Nobody and everybody should be “responsible for” and “own” the devops culture.

Conclusions On The DevOps Team

Anyone who thinks that you can get something ingrained into an organisation’s culture by setting up an isolated group of people who are solely responsible for doing those things, is flying in the face of conventional wisdom. Even my experience suggests that this doesn’t work (and I always fly in the face of conventional wisdom, coz I’m stooopid). By all means create a DevOps Team, but don’t make them responsible for “doing devops”, that’s just wrong. Instead, give them the challenge of spreading the DevOps gospel, evangelising DevOps within the organisation and training everyone on the benefits of devops, as well as some of the tricks of the trade.

On The DevOps Job Title

Everyone’s a devops engineer these days. I’m a devops engineer, my wife’s a devops engineer, even my dog’s a devops engineer. It’s a booming industry and everyone wants a piece of it. I’m afraid we don’t have any control over this anymore, we’ve created a beast and it’s consuming everything!! Luckily it’s not the end of the world. Sure, sysadmins the world over are now rebranding themselves as devops engineers, but does it make any difference at the end of the day? If you’re hiring, you don’t just hire someone on the strength of their previous job title do you? No, you actually read their CV and interview the candidate. Good candidates will always shine through. Working out if someone’s a sysadmin or a build engineer is just a bit more hassle for recruitment agents, that’s all!

My dog, the DevOps Engineer

My dog, the DevOps Engineer

In a way I’m thankful for the devops job title. I honestly think it has helped to make the whole devops thing more popular and opened it up to a wider audience.

Should there really be such a thing as a “DevOps Engineer”? Probably not, but we’re far too late to stop it, and trying to stop it seems a bit of a waste of energy to me. Eventually “DevOps Engineer” will come to mean something more specific, but for now we’re just going to have to read a few more lines on CVs.



Categories: Blogs

Official Jenkins LTS docker image

(This is a guest post from Michael Neale)

Recently at the Docker Conference (DockerCon) the Docker Hub was announced.

The hub (which includes their image building and storage service) also provides some "official" images (sometimes they call them repositories - they are really just sets of images).

So after talking with all sorts of people we decided to create an official Jenkins image - which is hosted by the docker hub simply as "jenkins".

So when you run "docker pull jenkins" - it will be grabbing this image. This is based on the current LTS (and will be kept up to date with the LTS) - but does not include the weekly releases (yet). Having a jenkins image that is fairly basic (it includes enough to run some basic builds, as well as jenkins itself) built on the LTS, on the latest LTS of Ubuntu seemed quite convenient - and easy to maintain using the official Ubuntu/Debian packaging of Jenkins.

Docker is a great way to try and use server based systems - it brings all the dependencies needed and the images actually are portable (ie anywhere docker runs you can run docker images). There are official images for many popular server platforms (redis, mysql, all the linux distros and so on) so it seemed crazy to not include Jenkins along with this list.
"docker run -p 8080:8080 jenkins" is all you need to get going with LTS Jenkins now.
You can also use "docker run jenkins:1.554" to get the latest of that lineage of LTS releases, or pick a specific one: "docker run jenkins:1.554.3" if you like. Leaving off a version assumes the latest. Check the tags page to see what is available.

You can read more and see how you can use it here.

There has been some questions and discussions on how to make use of Jenkins with the docker hub for creating new and interesting docker image based workflows for deployment.
In fact, Jenkins featured in one of the first slides of the first keynote of docker con:

To make this dream a reality some additional plugins had to be created - but this leaves the possibility of working with the docker hub (builds, stores images) and Jenkins (workflow, testing, deployment) to build out some kind of a continuous pipeline for handling docker based apps. I attempted to describe this more here.

This image is maintained in this github repo and the official images are build by the "stackbrew" system. (We may move this repo to the jenkinsci github group shortly so keep an eye out).

It will be interesting to watch this grow and change.

Categories: Open Source

Jenkins User Meet-up in London

As I was alluding to earlier, I was hoping to have a meetup of Jenkins users in London for a while. I'm happy to report that the agenda is final and RSVP is open! The date is September 8th.

I'll talk about my recent chef/puppet integration work in Jenkins. Sven from Perforce will talk about how to leverage Perforce features from Jenkins, and then James Nord will talk about workflow. It will be a worthy 2 hours.

If the line up of talks will not be enough to sway you, you should also know that I will bring some Jenkins give-aways!

I'm not sure how many people to expect, but there's a cap at 80 people, so if you are thinking about coming, be sure to RSVP. Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Finally, if you are in London, the usual suspects (CloudBees, PuppetLabs, XebiaLabs, MidVision, SOASTA, et al) are doing a free event titled "How To Accelerate Innovation with Continuous Delivery" that you might also be interested in.

Categories: Open Source

Knowledge Sharing

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