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Pull, don’t push: Architectures for monitoring and configuration in a microservices era

Applications today are increasingly being designed using a share-nothing, microservices architecture that is resilient to the failure of individual components, even when built atop cloud infrastructure that can suffer infrequent-but-massive outages. Yet we still see many supporting tools for application monitoring, observability, configuration management and release management using a centralized “orchestration” approach that depends on pushing changes to unreliable distributed systems.

In this talk we’ll give you a primer about promise theory and the autonomous actor model that underlies the design of products like Sensu and Habitat, why it leads to not only higher overall system reliability but human comprehension for easier operations. We’ll argue that you should consider designing all of your applications and supporting systems in this way. We may even show a demo or two to illustrate how inverting the design radically changes the notion of “application release orchestration”, so that you can retain orchestration-type semantics even with an eventually-consistent system design.

Julian Dunn

Director of Product Marketing, Chef Software Inc.

Julian is director of product marketing at Chef. He has been with the company since 2013 in a variety of roles: professional services, engineering, and most recently, product management, where he helped to launch InSpec, Habitat and Chef Automate 2. Before joining Chef, he was a system administrator and software engineer at large and small companies across such diverse sectors as advertising, broadcasting, and Internet security. Julian holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Toronto.

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