Monday tech roundupFacebook has finally done it. In one day the social network managed to log 1 billion users. It’s hard to wrap your head around that many people and all the bytes of data and server power needed to make such a feat possible. Also last week, we got a little preview of what the new iPhone is going to be all about and finally we take a glimpse of the new world of DevOps.

Facebook – over 1 billion served

Facebook is officially far more than a passing fad (as if there was any doubt). One week ago today Facebook clocked in with a record 1 billion users! Yes that’s pretty insane. It isn’t just the monster number of users, but the fact that so many spend so much time on the social network.

What is so amazing about the Facebook feat is that earth is home to about 7 billion people, which means one of seven went to the site on that day.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke the news in a Facebook post saying:

“’I’m so proud of our community for the progress we’ve made. Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world.” He continues saying that a more open and connected world is a better world because it brings about stronger relationships with the ones you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values.

Facebook numbers reveal that at least once a month there are 1.5 billion users on the network. Last week, two thirds of them decided to hit the site on the same day.

New iPhone set for Sept 9

It used to be that thousands waited in line overnight to get the newest product from Apple, and one wonders how many will be in line at the launch of the iPhone 6S since it the phone is rumored to be more of an enhancement rather than a radical change.

Here’s what we think we know.

There seems to be no big departures as far as size goes and most likely there will be two models – either 4.7 or 5.5 inch screens just like what is available today. Performance predictions are pretty easy to make as resolution and processor speed steadily increase. On the photography side, the camera is expected to rise to a full 12 megapixels for some pretty sharp (and large) images. All very incremental upgrades.

Finally, the iPhone may get a feature from the Apple Watch. Called Force Touch, it measures your finger’s pressure. Push down hard and you’ll get a larger range of option compared to what you get with a modest tap.

DevOps convo part 1

DevOps is a hot relatively new term being bandied about in the IT world. The idea is to have greater interaction between developers and operations, and greater efficiency as a result.

One way to achieve this is through Platform as a Service (PaaS) where developers can write their code in the code. That means operations spends less time handling the infrastructure for development projects.

ZDNet, one of the favorite IT news sites with some of my favorite old pals doing the writing, interviewed a DevOps guru to get the real skinny.

Apparently Gene Kim, founder of TripWire, is the go to guy for all things DevOps. According to Kim, part of the magic is automation. “For operations, instead of doing work that comes out of ticketing machines, instead of being involved only at the last stage of the project, we create the automation required to make these environments on-demand. Automation helps developers be productive.”

Kim continued by explaining how an organization can achieve its goals in a more efficient manner whether it’s looking at delivering new features to customers, increasing the reliability and stability of its products, or passing audits.

Kim says DevOps was designed to get rid of silos and speed development and implementation. On one hand you have developments who wants to produce new features and get them to market quickly and on the other you have operations who want stability which means they are happier making no changes whatsoever. “When you take those two diametric opposite goals and put them next to each other in the org chart, terrible things happen. So DevOps is about organization, culture, cultural norms, governance, policies, and most importantly how we can get it to work,” Kim explained.

DevOps convo part 2 – what is DevOps really?

As a recent term, DevOps is not as clearly understood as CIO or sysadmin. In fact, there is still a lot of confusion and various definitions being tossed about.

Gleanster Research, on behalf of Delphix Corp. interviewed two thousand of DevOps pros and found an array of definitions. Gleanster Research said there was a lack of consistency between definitions and lists them as follows:

  • “Developers and system administrators collaborating to ease the transition between development and production (listed by 84 percent of respondents).
  • Using infrastructure automation to facilitate self-service provisioning of infrastructure by development teams (69 percent).
  • Evolving operations to meet the demands of agile software development teams (60 percent).
  • Developers taking full responsibility for all operations tasks (42 percent).
  • Increasing frequency of deployments to uncover defects earlier in the development lifecycle (35 percent).”

No matter how you frame it, DevOps has serious economic benefits especially when it comes to the impact of time. Those replying to the survey said they spent an average of 40% of their day re-coding due to bugs, indicating that they have to spend an average of 2 hours to reset an environment and then go through the test cycle.

Fortunately, the 2015 Annual State of DevOps survey has managed to finalist its DevOps definition.

“DevOps is more than just the close collaboration of two departments (development and operations) within IT, it is more than just managing infrastructure with Chef or Puppet, and DevOps is much more than a specific collection of tools and techniques used to automate deployments and manage infrastructure,” the researchers wrote.

So the term “DevOps” refers to the transformation of the IT experience which enables cross-functional teams to develop and deliver software. It is a new style of IT management placing emphasis on automation and iterative delivery of software whilst empowering developers to manage portions of the software delivery process that were previously inaccessible due to specialization within IT.