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CA World

Last week, the kaizenOps team attended CA World.  For those of you who don’t know, CA Technologies has been a leading provider of enterprise software for 40 years.  It’s amazing that this multi-billion dollar company made its start by providing a superior sort program for mainframes.  Yes, sort!  CA Sort competed with IBM provided utilities and made enough money to launch a company.

(Interestingly enough, CA Sort is still available to help address your more pressing mainframe data sorting and reporting needs.)

Learnings

CA World was illuminating.  A highlight of the show was Todd Palino’s presentation on SRE at LinkedIn.  I found it fascinating since normally presentations discuss tools and technology but Todd’s focused on how much of SRE success depends on culture and interactions between organizations.  We couldn’t agree more!

In talking with them at CA World, it’s evident that enterprises are becoming more interested in the modern practice of site reliability engineering.  Most CA customers are Fortune 2000 enterprises whose challenges are quite a bit different than the startups and small companies that kaizenOps has spoken with over the past several months.  

One clear difference between enterprises and our SRE design partners are the organizational challenges owing to their size.  For example, due to the complexity of their environments, enterprise IT departments have strict controls over who is allowed to operate which systems.  Normally, this is a good thing because it keeps people who don’t know anything about a system from accidentally making mistakes.  However, in production crisis situations, these controls hamper efforts to restore service since they require more coordination between people than would otherwise be necessary.  

Making SREs happy

We had the opportunity to sit down with Todd Palino for a thirty-minute interview to discuss SRE practices at LinkedIn – we’ll post the transcript in a future blog.  CA World was a great opportunity to talk to enterprises, learn their challenges, and understand how they relate to the challenges of SREs in smaller organizations.  We are closing in on the features that we believe will help SREs across the board – if you are an SRE, we want to buy you dinner and hear your story!  

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