Author: Paul Fischer


Background

I have worked in the IT industry for over twenty years with most of that time been spent in dark data centres with the whirring fans of infrastructure and the cold blast of the data centre CRAC units. I have been exposed to most brands of servers, switches, routers, storage arrays, load balancers and firewalls. A true “infrastructure” guy. For many years I loved it. I loved walking around the DC floor and admiring the blinking of blue, green LED lights and the ping of alarm when encountering red ones. Configuration and deployment of all that gear was done through ticketing systems, build guides and manually configured via a CLI or GUI. It was very slow, error prone and costly.

Industry Shifts

In the age of cloud the knowledge around data centre infrastructure is becoming less important……some would say irrelevant. I have seen this before with technology and it can be a career limiting move for those who cling to a technology or process and not see the wave of change that will inevitably push things forward. Something I always like to remember about infrastructure is that it is not what an end user really cares about. You need it, of course, like you need the foundation for a house but it is not what drives consumers to a business. The value is what runs on top of that infrastructure, which is applications or services to the end customers. Virtualization and containers abstract and decouple the application from the platform that it runs on. These kinds of abstraction do not bode well for the true “infrastructure guy”.

Epiphany

Changing the angle at which you look at things can be life changing and really those moments can be like a ray of light in the clouds. I had one such moment when I attended an AWS conference in 2015. I had heard the Infrastructure as code term used before but did not realize its power until that conference. It was truly eye opening. Could this work? Would it be better? How can I automate absolutely everything in the data centre? What open source systems would best for this?

The New Way

I began to dig into containers and more importantly the world of Kubernetes. A declarative system that can be completely controlled by code through its API. It is more efficient and elegant than virtual machine hypervisors and the build, configuration and deployment could be easily controlled from git repos and a CI/CD pipeline. Wow, this is how infrastructure should be built and consumed. This is the way that things should work!

The real trouble with a data centre and all that infrastructure in them is the sunk cost and the complexity. How do you go from that static monolithic world of manual configuration and box deployment to this new world of cloud and code? It is a culture change. It is a technology change. It is a process change. It can be a resource change as well if teams are not willing to adapt.

Embrace Change

This is what drew me to Arctiq. This is what they do. This is what they excel at. Infrastructure as code and rapidly changing the way it is built, deployed and serviced. I needed in!

So I jumped.

The Future

I have moved from an enormous telecommunications company to Arctiq and I could not be happier. Fantastic folks all driven to make an impact and really help businesses navigate this tricky change. I am super excited to be working with them and wake up ready to codify and automate the planet.

I feel like I have made a jump to light speed…..no more like ridiculous speed ……or in fact, in the immortal words of Dark Helmet!

Ludicrous speed go!!!

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