Continuous Learning for the Curious Team by David Pintor

Automation LogicBusiness Blog

At Automation Logic we are truly passionate about learning, so we recently launched an internal Mentoring Program that allows us to provide everyone in the organisation with an additional resource to maximise their learning. The mentees are given the opportunity to regularly spend time with a senior in the organisation who has the knowledge or the […]

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Blue-Green Deployment with Route53 and CloudFormation by Yufang Zhang

AutomationAWSCloudcontinuous deliveryDevops

Having an automated deployment process, or Continuous Delivery can hugely speed up the time to get a “done” software released. Blue-Green Deployment, as one of the techniques being used in it, can reduce downtime by having two identical production environments. Only one of the two environments have live traffic going in at any time. For […]

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Scalable Governance on AWS by Xavier Thomas

AWSBusiness Blog

Most of us are familiar with the usual hierarchal organisation set up by an IT department, where an individual developer is at the bottom of the totem pole and has to escalate upwards to get any issues resolved. Something as simple as being able to create a Dev environment to test one’s work has to […]

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Experiencing the AWS Partner Migration Workshop (held 03/10) by Matt Peperell

AWSBusiness Blog

Earlier this month a colleague and I attended the Partner Migration Workshop at Amazon’s Holborn (London) office. The format of this event was a showcase of AWS and chosen third-party products likely to be of use to firms undertaking a migration to the public cloud, followed by post-event socialisation. Around 30 people went along, so […]

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My first week at Automation Logic by David Pintor, Consulting Engineer

Business Blog

It’s been over a week since I started a new job at Automation Logic as a Consulting Engineer. I have to say I could not be happier with what I’ve seen so far! Just to set the context, I left a relatively comfortable position in a big corporation, where I had been for almost ten […]

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Avoid the Myths of Hybrid-Cloud and Go Multi-Cloud! Post 1 of 3 – Public/Private Cloud By AL Co-Founder, Kris Saxton

Business Blog

 

CGBT

Automation Logic were delighted to present with our Client, David Rogers from the Ministry of Justice, this week at the Central Government Business and Technology event (CGBT). CGBT is the UK’s leading event dedicated to sharing best practice, emerging trends and innovations across the Civil Service.

MOJ have been an early adopter of public cloud technology within government and have partnered with us at Automation Logic to build and operate the cloud platform on which they run their new digital services. To learn more about our work with the MOJ, check out our case study.

Our CGBT presentation Hybrid Clouds. How to go slow and haemorrhage money doing it” centred around expelling the false promises associated with hybrid-cloud.  In the first of a three part blog, we’ll explore these themes in more detail.  We’ll introduce the two main types of hybrid cloud, and where the interest in hybrid cloud stems from.  We will then expose the reality of hybrid cloud to be a combination of mis-marketing and over-engineering, and show how a much simpler strategy (which we call ‘multi-cloud’) conveys all the benefits that hybrid cloud fails to deliver, and does so with greater speed and in a shorter time.  We’ll conclude by describing how a  collaborative, multi-cloud strategy is working really well for Automation Logic and the MOJ.

Our first type of Hybrid Cloud which we call ‘Private/Public’ can be defined as a mix of private (i.e. on premises) and public cloud hosted resources, combined and consumed as a single, unified service.

Many organisations opt for this type of hybrid cloud believing it will enable them to support different workloads depending on factors such as data sensitivity, data sovereignty, compute architecture, service architecture.

Our experience, having successfully delivered cloud engagements to clients across Central Government, Banking, Retail and beyond, tell us that the arguments for hybrid cloud just don’t stack up.

For Private/Public hybrid clouds, where the Private side is based on existing infrastructure*, it is almost never worthy of the term cloud.  Not to say these on premises systems are not genuinely useful, they are, but they are typically only virtual machine provisioning platforms, albeit with some advanced automation.  They are almost always missing several of the key characteristics that would warrant the term ‘cloud’, e.g. usage based billing, massive elasticity, limitless scalability or direct API access. In practical terms, you can’t spin up 1000 machines in 5 mins, destroy them and only pay for what you’ve used.  Whilst it may be unfair to hold these systems up to these kind of standards (they were never designed for that) it’s also disingenuous to call them clouds.

So what you really have with a Private/Public hybrid cloud is public cloud attached to something that you’re calling private cloud, but it is not really a cloud at all….

Why is this important, after all, what’s in a name?

Apart from the disappointment of buying into a set of expectations and finding yourself short changed, adopting hybrid cloud as a strategy sets a precedence within your organisation that there is parity of capability between the Private and Public elements when, as we have just discussed, that is rarely the case (particularly if we’re talking about private infrastructure that is more than a few years old).  

Framed in this way, hybrid cloud as a mix of aging (not very cloudy at all) infrastructure and public cloud.  Well, that’s not a strategy, that’s a half-finished transformation.

Hybrid Cloud is not a strategy, it’s a predicament.

thisisfine2

An argument for hybrid cloud is an argument against greater public cloud adoption and a drag on your transformation to modern hosting and digital services.

In the next part of this blog series, we’ll examine the other type of hybrid cloud that we frequently encounter: the broker or abstraction layer.  We’ll also introduce the possibility of a simpler way to attain the benefits that hybrid cloud fails to deliver, an approach we call multi-cloud, and how this is working well at the MOJ.

Today’s blog was written by Automation Logic Co-Founder Kris Saxton.

To discover more about Multi-Cloud, read on or get in touch.

Contact us today – Info@AutomationLogic.com

*Although there are still some edge cases for private clouds, anyone (is there anyone?) seriously considering building private clouds in 2017 must have *very* strong business reasons for doing it.  Reasons that would trump the higher costs, lower operational resilience and weaker security that come with running your own  infrastructure without a multi-billion dollar company at your back.

Automation Logic’s purpose is to deliver an automated world where people are free to realise their creative potential. We deliver technology-enabled transformation, helping our customers adopt emerging business practices and IT. Our portfolio of services span consulting, implementation and operational management solutions for DevOps, Cloud and Automation.

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Avoid the Myths of Hybrid-Cloud and Go Multi-Cloud! Post 2 of 3 – broker-based Hybrid Cloud By AL Co-Founder, Kris Saxton

Business Blog

Following our recent presentation showcasing Automation Logic’s collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, the first of our three part blog series explored Hybrid Cloud as a mixture of private and public cloud and framed this more as a predicament than a strategy.  Now, in our second post, we’ll explore the other main type of Hybrid Cloud: the broker or abstraction layer, which we’ll refer to as ‘broker-based Hybrid Cloud’.  We’ll expose this as an over-engineered fantasy that delivers perpetually reduced choice and introduce our simpler alternative: Multi-Cloud.

Broker-based Hybrid Clouds, attempt to give you the ability to dynamically choose between cloud providers, depending on certain criteria such as cost and performance.

A common (almost hackneyed now) example nearly always quoted is the checking of spot prices for compute resource between two cloud providers at the time of deployment and deploying to the least expensive.

In practical terms, the broker-based Hybrid Cloud has an engineer design a service for an abstraction layer or send a request for a service to a broker.  The broker/abstraction layer then chooses which cloud provider to target and translates the request into language understood by the chosen cloud provider, before orchestrating the deployment.

Organisations who pursue this type of Hybrid Cloud strategy do so in hope of avoiding lock in to any one provider.  Lock in is a measure for how difficult and expensive it would be to move from one supplier to another (for technical or commercial reasons).

Having delivered over 55 cloud and automation platforms to top-tier clients (including  a couple of ill-fated broker-based Hybrid Clouds), our experience tell us that the theoretical benefits of Hybrid Cloud are just not realised in practice.

The main problem with a broker-based model is one of industry maturity.  Today there is no single common denominator, standard or shared language for any cloud resource, no matter how simple (not even compute).  Cloud providers call their components different things, they behave in subtly different ways and have differing capabilities.

So any organisation seeking to implement Hybrid Cloud not only has to build this common language (the abstraction layers, data models, interfaces, APIs, orchestration layers and decision logic that can gracefully handle differences in capabilities between cloud providers), they need to support and maintain it at the ever-accelerating pace dictated by cloud providers.

Builders of Hybrid Cloud are not just attempting to build a product, but to get ahead of and effectively corral an industry comprised of some of world’s largest tech companies who are all investing billions of dollars annually in moving as fast as they can, releasing as many new cloud services as is humanly possible and with no interest for building a standard way of consuming cloud resources.

The net effect of this intractable problem is that a broker-based Hybrid Cloud will deliver greatly reduced choice in terms of the cloud services it can offer to users.

It’s also worth reconsidering that one of the original goals of adopting Hybrid Cloud is the avoidance of lock in.  But with their esoteric abstraction layers and languages, Hybrid Cloud actually make the lock in problem worse, locking you into an obscure abstraction layer rather than a well understood public cloud provider.  

As the cloud industry moves away from building walled gardens and as organisations mature in their ability to understand and operate safely in the cloud, no doubt standards for ways of describing and consuming cloud resources will emerge, and at that time building Hybrid Clouds will start to make more sense.  Until then, anyone considering a Hybrid Cloud approach should be prepared to wait a long time and spend a lot of money essentially funding R&D efforts in an attempt to realise benefits that can be attained far more simply and quickly in other ways.

We’ve now identified and explored the many problems and inconsistencies with Hybrid Cloud and in our next and final post in this series, we’ll introduce an alternative to Hybrid Cloud which we call simply Multi-Cloud. We’ll describe how this strategy is working very well within several AL customers and focus in on our ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Justice.

Todays blog was written by Automation Logic Co-Founder, Kris Saxton.

To discover more about Multi-Cloud, get in touch.

Contact us today – Info@AutomationLogic.com

Automation Logic’s purpose is to deliver an automated world where people are free to realise their creative potential. We deliver technology-enabled transformation, helping our customers adopt emerging business practices and IT. Our portfolio of services span consulting, implementation and operational management solutions for DevOps, Cloud and Automation.

 

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Engaging Our Workforce – The Annual AL Zeitgeist

Business Blog

ValuesIn our recent blog – ‘Strength in Diversity’, we shared our pride at Automation Logic’s inclusive and diverse culture. Our people embody our company values; Curiosity, Humility and Integrity and building a great place to work is top of AL’s agenda to support happy employees, motivated and inspired to deliver best-in-class solutions to our Clients.

We understand the power of listening to our employees and, to that end, we run an annual ‘Zeitgeist’ survey to capture and respond to the views of our Team, driving improvements and ensuring we continue to embrace our unique company culture as we grow and expand.

AL has experienced significant growth over the last year and in 2017 our business has already nearly doubled in size! Our aspiration is to continue our growth journey with a focus on;

  • Being recognised as a fantastic place to work
  • Sustained delivery excellence for our current and future clients
  • Providing creative thought leadership across cloud, automation and DevOps that shapes our solutions.

This year’s Zeitgeist survey achieved a 100% response rate, indicating we have fully engaged employees keen to share their perspectives. This fantastic rate of response has enabled us to compare year on year results for greater insight into our performance.

The survey covered a variety of topics including; company, leadership, managers, personal growth, team/colleagues, well-being, pay, perks and benefits and specifically what makes AL a great place to work.

We have spent time analysing the results and have picked out some key insight which highlights areas of exceptional performance, examples of where the hardwork of our HR and Leadership Team has paid of by delivering year on year improvements and areas to work on going forward.

  • In both 2016 & 2017 100% of Zeitgeist respondents were ‘inspired by Automation Logic’s Leaders’ and believe that ‘people treat each other with respect at Automation Logic’.
  • zeitgeistKey words that stood out across survey results included; ‘freedom’, ‘approachable’, ‘happy’, autonomy’, and ‘dynamic’.
  • In the last quarter AL have launched a new flexible benefits scheme, based on employee feedback, giving employees the chance to opt for benefits including; private health care, cycle to work, gym membership and much more. AL also have a pension scheme available for all team members to enrol.
  • Over the coming days and beyond, AL plans to continue making improvements around effectively communicating organisational goals, rolling out leadership, technical and commercial training, managing workloads and providing greater clarity around career paths.
  • One quote, of many fantastic contributions in the 2017 survey, summarises life at AL; “supportive, collaborative, open environment where everyone is made to feel valued. Strongly encouraged to learn, be curious and help each other. A special place to be in’.

AL believes the impact of high employee engagement and satisfaction directly relates to productivity and maintaining a high performing workforce. Investing in our people’s well-being and personal and professional development will remain a priority as our business continues to thrive. Our people will continue to be our greatest source of pride.

 

To discover more about Automation Logic, get in touch.

Contact us today – Info@AutomationLogic.com

Automation Logic’s purpose is to deliver an automated world where people are free to realise their creative potential. We deliver technology-enabled transformation, helping our customers adopt emerging business practices and IT. Our portfolio of services span consulting, implementation and operational management solutions for DevOps, Cloud and Automation.

 

 

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DOES17 – Go Multi Cloud!

Business Blog

Looking for a fresh perspective on Hybrid-Cloud? Check out the below video of Automation Logic’s Founding Partner Kris Saxton, presenting alongside our valued client the Ministry of Justice at 2017’s DevOps Enterprise Summit.

To explore further, read Kris’s recent blog posts published HERE or download the presentation > Automation Logic_MoJ Multi Cloud Presentation

Contact us at info@www.automationlogic.com to engage our team of experts and enrich your cloud journey.

Automation Logic’s purpose is to deliver an automated world where people are free to realise their creative potential. We deliver technology-enabled transformation, helping our customers adopt emerging business practices and IT. Our portfolio of services span consulting, implementation and operational management solutions for DevOps, Cloud and Automation.

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Oktoberfest Comes to Automation Logic!

Business Blog

This week we decided to have our official “office warming” party. In truth we’ve been in our new office since the spring but with schedules so tight and project deadlines to meet it’s only now that we’ve got around to  taking a breather and having a bit of a celebration. It’s a big milestone for us, so we didn’t want it to pass by unmarked. Of course, the timing gave us a perfect opportunity for an “Oktoberfest” theme, and so we ran with it – liederhosen and all! Not sure how our retro gaming “arcade” fit the theme, but hey, we couldn’t resist!  Thanks so much for coming along to celebrate along with us if you were there, and if not, here are a few pictures to give you a flavour of the evening.

Prost!

p.s. the props team made a bit of “school boy error”. Can you spot it?

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