LeaseWeb Blog http://blog.leaseweb.com LeaseWeb is a quality hosting provider and operator of a first-class worldwide network. Thu, 21 Jul 2016 14:57:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What does your cloud cost? http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/21/what-does-your-cloud-cost/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/21/what-does-your-cloud-cost/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:31:25 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=5008 Third-party cloud solutions offer a truly transformational cost advantages over traditional on-premise hosting – but you’re not going to capture most of them with a rudimentary, “back of the envelope” analysis. That’s the lesson of our latest white paper, “Developing a cloud sourcing strategy: Two steps to calculate the total cost of ownership of your […]

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StartUps_01_CostThird-party cloud solutions offer a truly transformational cost advantages over traditional on-premise hosting – but you’re not going to capture most of them with a rudimentary, “back of the envelope” analysis. That’s the lesson of our latest white paper, “Developing a cloud sourcing strategy: Two steps to calculate the total cost of ownership of your cloud,” which lays out the key steps to take when considering the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a move to the cloud.

For starters, let’s assume your cloud strategy is properly conceived. (If not, contact us now to resolve your first issue.) Using a realistic example in the white paper, we make the case that moving to a cloud-based solution can result in a TCO reduction of between 30 and 60 percent, as long as the solution is focused on “enabling business velocity”:

Business velocity, in simplest terms, is the ability to quickly meet the shifting needs of the business. Practical examples … include accelerating time to market, responsiveness to marketing campaigns and the ability to integrate mergers and acquisitions …

In a nutshell, business velocity is the difference between a “solution that works” and a “solution that truly jumpstarts your business.” When helping clients develop the solution that best meets their needs, we look at:LSW0264_00_WhPaperVisual

  1. Revenue growth – Identifying and capturing revenue streams, improving customer engagement and rapidly leveraging new market conditions to support growth.
  2. Cost reduction – Continuously capturing opportunities to improve operations, reducing cost relative to revenue and improving project time cycles.
  3. Brand reputation/risk – Adapting to threats or business restraints and mitigating business-impacting events.

In all three areas, a scalable, OPEX-based model can help drive value.

The next step is a complete analysis that goes beyond upfront financial costs to include staffing, migration, compliance and security. On-site hosting increases staffing costs, capital investments and maintenance. Third-party hosting smooths the costs over the length of a contract. Hosting in a certified third-party data center also generally increases uptime and future scalability.

And remember, any analysis you complete today will be a point-in-time activity. Organizations should revisit their cloud strategies annually to take advantage of future technologies, processes and innovation.

Read the white paper now to find out more and as always, please contact LeaseWeb to see how our solutions can help accelerate your business velocity!

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How DJ Hardwell uses cloud to get 22,000 fans on stage http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/19/5002/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/19/5002/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 11:10:07 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=5002 VR is hot hot hot! As the technology is becoming widely available, we see more and more customers picking it up. For example, LeaseWeb recently teamed up with Hardwell – the world’s #1 DJ – and technology partners Littlstar and VBR to pull off the first 360-degree, VR live stream of an EDM performance. Using our private cloud, CDN, […]

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AdServing_01_FlexibilityVR is hot hot hot! As the technology is becoming widely available, we see more and more customers picking it up. For example, LeaseWeb recently teamed up with Hardwell – the world’s #1 DJ – and technology partners Littlstar and VBR to pull off the first 360-degree, VR live stream of an EDM performance.

Using our private cloud, CDN, and datacenters in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, the world’s #1 DJ was able to broadcast his show to thousands of viewers in more than 25 countries. LeaseWeb served over 20 Terabytes of total traffic and accommodated 12 gigabit bandwidth spikes.

So we sent a camera team was on-site at the Miami Beach stop of Hardwell’s Revealed tour. Check out the video below to see how it all came together! And afterwards, check our 360-degree tour of one of our data centers!

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Setting up Leaseweb CDN on WordPress http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/12/setting-leaseweb-cdn-wordpress/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/12/setting-leaseweb-cdn-wordpress/#respond Tue, 12 Jul 2016 14:29:29 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4989 Setting up WordPress on LeaseWeb CDN is very easy, as you’ll see. A couple of assumptions before we start: WordPress is installed on the origin server WP Super Cache or similar is installed within WordPress An “Origin” that points to your WordPress installation is already defined within your LeaseWeb CDN control panel. Configuring the zone itself […]

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cdn graphSetting up WordPress on LeaseWeb CDN is very easy, as you’ll see. A couple of assumptions before we start:

  • WordPress is installed on the origin server
  • WP Super Cache or similar is installed within WordPress
  • An “Origin” that points to your WordPress installation is already defined within your LeaseWeb CDN control panel.

Configuring the zone itself

First thing you want to do is to configure a Pull Zone. Do this by going to “Manage Zones” -> “Pull Zones” and click the “Add” button.

 

image1

When you click the “Add” button you’ll need to choose one of four “zones”. Since we’ll mainly serve static files (such as images, CSS and JavaScript files) from our WordPress website, choose the “Small files” zone for the best performance.

Now configure your new zone. Start by filling in your CNAME and choose your “Origin” that’s already been created.

This will generate a “Target”. This is what we’re going to use for WordPress to serve static files on. You can also add the CNAME itself to your DNS, pointing to the target generated.

Under “Advanced settings” you can add additional CNAMES. This might be beneficial if you want to increase the concurrent connections your site may use to download static resources. In general between one and three domains is recommended but test it for your specific site because it might differ a bit. Next, go to “Edge settings” and activate “Ignore Cookies” as well as “Cache query string” as below:

 

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Scroll down and click the “Save” button. Then wait 1-2 minutes for the zone to become fully active on the CDN.

 

Configure WordPress to make use of Leaseweb CDN

The next step is to actually tell WordPress to make use of the CDN to serve static files.

You can proceed with either installing a plugin called WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache or CDN linker.

In this post we’ll use WP Super Cache as an example. You go into WP Super Cache, which can be found under “Settings” -> “WP Super Cache”. Set Caching to “On”:

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After this you go to the “CDN”-section within WP Super Cache, and check the checkbox “Enable CDN Support” as well as putting the CDN url http://.lswcdn.net in the “Off-site URL” input field you see, and then scroll down and click “Save”.

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The final step is to go to the frontend of your WordPress website and check the page source. You’ll see images, CSS and Javascript are loaded from the Leaseweb CDN.

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Congratulations! Now you’re in business.

 

 

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Security precaution: update your passwords http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/08/security-precaution-update-passwords/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/08/security-precaution-update-passwords/#respond Fri, 08 Jul 2016 13:49:04 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4984 The only way to stay safe on the internet is by helping each other minimize security risks. So as a precaution, I want to make you aware of a situation that could possibly affect you. There are currently several databases available on the internet containing personal data such as e-mail addresses, user names and associated passwords. […]

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secureThe only way to stay safe on the internet is by helping each other minimize security risks. So as a precaution, I want to make you aware of a situation that could possibly affect you.

There are currently several databases available on the internet containing personal data such as e-mail addresses, user names and associated passwords. Lately, our security teams have noticed an increase in attacks attempted by unauthorized parties using this data.

In order to protect yourself, we recommend everyone to take the following actions if you haven’t done so already:

  1. Check if your e-mail address appears in a leaked database: https://haveibeenpwned.com
  2. Update the associated password(s)
  3. If you share passwords across services and haven’t updated them recently, you should do so immediately

Even if you don’t appear in any database it’s still advisable to change your passwords regularly.

Stay safe and help spread the word. For more security best practices, I recommend watching this presentation:

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LeaseWeb: A product portfolio that meets online gaming’s many different needs http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/07/leaseweb-a-product-portfolio-that-meets-gamings-many-different-needs/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/07/leaseweb-a-product-portfolio-that-meets-gamings-many-different-needs/#respond Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:00:34 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4623 Because gaming companies have so many different performance and scalability requirements for online games, it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all infrastructure for them. Different platforms (mobile/tablet, PC and console) and different business models (Pay-to-Play, Free-to-Play, etc) mean that every gaming company has different needs when it comes to technology, scalability and performance. This is why […]

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AdServing_01_FlexibilityBecause gaming companies have so many different performance and scalability requirements for online games, it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all infrastructure for them. Different platforms (mobile/tablet, PC and console) and different business models (Pay-to-Play, Free-to-Play, etc) mean that every gaming company has different needs when it comes to technology, scalability and performance. This is why LeaseWeb has a targeted approach towards the gaming industry and offers a full portfolio of tailored solutions in datacenters around the globe to customers including Ubisoft, Capcom, Crytek, Hi-Rez Studios and Creative Assembly. Our approach helps gaming companies balance risks and costs in order to capitalize quickly on a successful game.

Pay-to-Play gaming companies can relatively easily predict how many people will play a game at any given time. They usually show steady growth and can therefore buy their own hardware or co-locate. To support them even more, LeaseWeb can provide a managed network so they will not have to invest in expensive networking hardware to be able to scale up or down when they need to. They can also use additional services, such as scaling with Bare Metal or add-on Cloud Services and a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

LSW_Gaming_XL

Example of advanced gaming infrastructure

Free-to-Play games are becoming increasingly popular with users and gaming companies. Gamers can spend what they want on a game, trying it out beforehand. Gaming companies can reach a much wider audience this way. The catch for Free-to-Play companies lies in the fact that it can be difficult to know how many people will play, how long they will stay and how much money they will spend at any given time. These gaming companies run great risks upfront and will look for a scalable, flexible and cost effective model to meet market demands. Since LeaseWeb is a large, privately owned provider, we can easily offer the economy of scale and attractive pricing they need.

Different platforms require different performance levels in Free-to-Play gaming. Mobile gaming continues to rise but the technical requirements are limited – the graphics are usually relatively lightweight. The scalability requirements however are enormous and Free-to-Play mobile gaming companies therefore look for an extremely flexible solution.

MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) PC games, on the other hand, have huge performance requirements on the CPU level. It is absolutely imperative that MMO games have good performance: maximum uptime and low latency, especially when playing a First Person Shooter (FPS). A distributed and shared cloud solution can cause lags in the games, which no gamer would be happy with. This means that for an MMO FPS, you need bare metal processing power with servers located around the world.

It goes without saying that uptime is extremely important in the gaming industry, since no one will make money from an online game if it is down. LeaseWeb has redundant networks and redundant routers from different A-class vendors to make sure services will be online 24/7 while staying flexible, agile and cost-efficient at the same time.

Last but not least, companies can take advantage of our Pay-as-you-go model for handling launch peaks or big events for their online game. They can scale their platform by adding bare-metal servers on demand and only pay for the time they are actually used.

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Abstractions over Scale – interview with Docker http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/05/abstractions-scale-interview-docker/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/07/05/abstractions-scale-interview-docker/#respond Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:34:24 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4979 Aanand Prasad, an engineer from Docker, spoke about Abstractions Over Scale and Docker’s open-source software suite at LeaseWeb’s TechSummit in Amsterdam: We wanted to get a little more insight into how tools like these are affecting the traditional ways of scaling technology: LeaseWeb: A lot of times you see a gap between the engineers who […]

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Aanand Prasad, an engineer from Docker, spoke about Abstractions Over Scale and Docker’s open-source software suite at LeaseWeb’s TechSummit in Amsterdam:

We wanted to get a little more insight into how tools like these are affecting the traditional ways of scaling technology:

LeaseWeb: A lot of times you see a gap between the engineers who manage servers and the developers who write the code. Why do you think this issue continues to exist and what are the common problems people face trying to fit two different environments?

Aanand: I think the reason it persists is two-fold: firstly they are dramatically different environments and there are very different problems with completely different concerns, at least underneath. My quixotic endeavor is to make the case that they don’t need to be. Which is an uphill struggle, because usually the job of getting something running in production and the job of getting something running in development are done by completely different people, completely different teams even who might not spend much time talking to each other. It’s nonetheless my hope that with tools like Docker and with abstractions like containers and networks and volumes, we can get to the point where the differences between those environments are minimized.

I think that it could, given time, lead to completely different organizational styles within companies. There’s a lot of momentum behind the idea that developing software and deploying software need to be two different jobs. But as the underlying technology in both environments becomes more and more similar, the reasons for separating the jobs become fewer and fewer, and so that momentum will slow.

LSW: Do you think that this kind of abstraction can cause complications?

A: I think it is almost inevitable that when you bring in a new abstraction you’re not going to design it brilliantly from the start. That means that that abstraction is sometimes going to get in the way between the developer and their job (developing software), and between the operations person and their job (deploying software). It’s going to paper over things that just can’t be papered over. I think the solution to that is very boring, it just involves an incremental process of design wherein you improve upon the abstractions you have, you talk to people who are struggling with the abstractions that you’ve given them, and also there is going to be some degree of software coming the other way to sort of meet in the middle.

“Abstraction is sometimes going to get in the way between the developer and their job”

LSW: How would you recommend a company adopt a container-based approach”? By starting with one service or component to dip their toes in and moving on from there?

A: This is what we did at the startup I was at before we got acquired by Docker. That’s exactly how we embraced Docker, one thing at a time. At first we did it by, ‘we’ve got this one web process, let’s put it in a container.‘ So a few things changed; we’re no longer keeping a Python version up to date on a server somewhere, instead we’ve got Docker. We’re not installing a ton of Python packages on that server anymore because we’ve got Docker and the init script for the web process no longer says python it says docker run python. That’s a very small change. Other than that you have a process that behaves exactly the same and you take it from there. So, that’s a very very small step, it’s minimally disruptive and you can do that and then bring in Docker for another service and for another service and you can eventually get to a point where ‘ok, we’ve got quite a few services running on Docker now, do we really need the same infrastructure that we had before for deploying them or can we switch to using something like Docker Compose that will do all of that at once for us and keep all of the architecture and configuration in one version controlled place?’

LSW: Have you seen real world companies talking about how they’ve been able to grow faster using this technology and that they’ve found it helps them with their scaling issues?

A: Every week or couple of weeks I hear about a company that has embraced some or all of the Docker toolkit. Of course they’re using Engine, they might be using Compose, they might be using Swarm, they might be using Compose just for development or they might be using Compose with Swarm to deploy an app on a cluster. The overwhelming feeling is that ‘we love it.’

LSW: So they’ve been able to face growth challenges that they weren’t able to as easily overcome?

A: The main thing it’s enabled them to do is move faster. My feeling is that it’s not necessarily enabled people to scale up beyond what they had before – because I don’t think Docker is there to enable larger scale than you had before. When it comes to growing your app there’s the simple fact of ‘how is your software going to scale, how is your software going to work at scale, how is your database going to behave when you replicate it or cluster it or shard it, how is your load balancer going to behave?’ And those are problems that Docker does not solve because Docker does not dictate what your software is or does but what it does do is make it an order of magnitude easier to manage.

 

Watch all the TechSummit talks on Youtube.

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Protecting patient data with LeaseWeb http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/29/protecting-patient-data/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/29/protecting-patient-data/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:56:23 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4962 In a study released this week by the Ponemon Institute, a U.S. privacy research group, almost 90 percent of surveyed healthcare organizations reported they had at least one data breach involving patient data in the last two years; 45 percent reported more than five breaches. Healthcare records are a prime target for hackers because they are such a […]

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In secure a study released this week by the Ponemon Institute, a U.S. privacy research group, almost 90 percent of surveyed healthcare organizations reported they had at least one data breach involving patient data in the last two years; 45 percent reported more than five breaches.

Healthcare records are a prime target for hackers because they are such a rich source of information. Stolen credit card numbers expire quickly once the patterns of misuse are discovered. Personal identity information is far more persistent.

In the U.S., healthcare organizations and their business associates are governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA. This law sets our specific requirements for how patient data must be protected, stored and used.

HIPAA Ready

LeaseWeb’s data center in Manassas, VA – in the DC capital area – was recently recognized as being HIPAA-ready by independent auditor EY. EY noted that LeaseWeb USA’s HIPAA-compliant hosting environment meets all the applicable standards for logical and physical security, operational resilience, incident management, service deployment and change management.

This third-party statement of recognition allows customers in the United States to make the LeaseWeb platform part of their overall HIPAA compliance process, while also providing international customers with the assurance that their data will be well protected.

As the future of healthcare will be very technology-driven, protecting patient data becomes even more important. Medical information doesn’t just live in doctors’ offices anymore. Long-distance “telehealth” allows doctors in urban centers to treat patients far from their facilities. Connected apps or devices – part of the Internet of things – is monitoring everything from glucose levels to heart rhythms. Medical data protection is no longer the exclusive domain of pure healthcare professionals.

Once these innovators get to a certain scale, they face threats beyond just prying hackers looking for data. As the Ponemon study notes, “ransomware, malware, and denial-of-service (DOS) attacks” were cited by healthcare organizations as their top cyber threats.

For an Internet-based business, uptime is money. That’s why LeaseWeb offers a built-in security service that allows cloud-based businesses to easily respond to threats, mitigate attacks (like DDOS) and monitor suspicious traffic to prevent data breaches. A configurable, cloud-based dashboard adjusts customers’ security situations, monitors suspicious traffic and always responds to threats. LeaseWeb Application Security can even be used as a standalone by non-LeaseWeb customers!

If you would like to learn more about how LeaseWeb can help meet your Health IT needs, please contact us today.

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Scaling Our Engineering Department (part 2) http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/28/scaling-engineering-department-part-2/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/28/scaling-engineering-department-part-2/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:52:45 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4951 This is the second part in a 2-part series. Read part 1. In my last post I gave an overview of how we started the process of changing the way we do agile development at LeaseWeb by setting goals, engaging our engineering teams, and developing a maturity model to get everyone working to the same […]

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Techsummit by leaseweb in Berlin, 13.4.2016 at Kulturbrauerei. Copyright Raum11/Jan Zappner

This is the second part in a 2-part series. Read part 1.

In my last post I gave an overview of how we started the process of changing the way we do agile development at LeaseWeb by setting goals, engaging our engineering teams, and developing a maturity model to get everyone working to the same standard. In this post I’m going to talk about how we set up our scrum teams, how we get all levels of the business involved in the development process, and how we calculate the cost to provide the most value for the company.

Our current Scrum teams are set up as follows:

  • Product Owner – defines the priorities of the team; responsible for the order in which features are built.
  • Scrum Master – in charge of the scrum process (coach): making sure the team does retrospectives, sprint planning, refinement, coordinating meetings.
  • DevOps – Development and Operations in one team of about 5-8 people.

The first step to creating the teams was to train the scrum masters and product owners. We did this with the help of a company called Prowareness who helped us to develop solid agile principles. Once we had those in place we went on to train the stakeholders outside the engineering department on what scrum is and why we are using it and what parts are needed by different groups to participate. This included not only departments such as sales and support but also the board of directors. This was important to get everyone on the same page and using the same processes. We started 2016 with the sprint counters reset to zero so we could begin our first two-week sprint at 01.

Predictable Development
Our next challenge was prioritizing based on the company’s needs. Instead of just talking about ideas we wanted to write them down so that we could compare and calculate them. To do this we introduced business cases which are ideas from a department that needs a product or service. The department writes the business case itself which includes the value to the company while the cost is calculated by engineering.
Once there is a business case the next step is to develop a roadmap. We do this once every sprint. To accomplish this we set up a meeting to do the following:Scrum-cloud2 250

  • Invite all of the stakeholders to collaborate and discuss the business case and get different perspectives.
  • Get all of the ideas on sticky notes to evaluate and group.
  • Define a Minimal Viable Product; strip away excess features until you have the core.
  • Find dependencies on other teams; decide what features require support from which team to gather resources.
  • Find the priority of the (refined) business case; this is determined by the value vs. the cost. Ranking determined by which gives the most value to the company.

After the stakeholders have shared their ideas and a minimal viable product has been defined along with team dependencies and project priority has been determined the next step is refinement. The only team involved in this part of the process is the development team who meets at least twice a week for an hour. They take the ideas from the sticky notes and turn them into user stories.These user stories focus on the technical details and each one is assigned story points. The number of points is based solely on the complexity of the story and does not specify a time as to when the work will be completed. Complexity is not only determined by the service or product request but also the definition of done. The story isn’t done until the definition is met. Once complexity has been determined the team is asked to assign a number based on that complexity and then the highest and lowest are used to find a median on which to base the user story.

Now that the complexity is known the team can move on to determine the definition of ready. We do this with our INVEST checklist so that we ensure the user story is:

  • Independent – can it be built without other dependencies? It should be small enough to be delivered on its own.
  • Negotiable – can you still discuss with engineers what it should be and how it should look?
  • Valuable – if it isn’t valuable it shouldn’t be built.
  • Estimable – can you estimate how long it will take to build.
  • Small – is it small enough to fit into one sprint? Don’t work on a user story that doesn’t fit into one sprint. If it doesn’t fit break it down into smaller pieces.
  • Testable – at the end of the story can something testable be delivered?

Priorities Based on Value
With our refined user story done the next thing we want to figure out is our team velocity. Team velocity is the amount of story points that can be built during a normal sprint. Once a team has worked a few sprints we can determine on average how many story points can be burned by a team during a sprint. With this information we can calculate the how long it will take a team to do a business case. From there we can figure out the cost of the business case with the following equation: story points of business case / team velocity = # of sprints. The cost of development is the number of sprints multiplied by the number of engineers. Using these data we take estimated value of the business case and subtract the development cost to determine the priority.

Another key goal was to have a responsive organization based on market needs. To achieve this we have product managers who handle all of the non-development tasks. They work to identify trends in the market and write business cases to respond those trends as well as develop strategies, procure new hardware, and determine profit and loss.

The last step before development starts is to present the project to our product steering committee which includes our board of directors. The product owners present their roadmap for what will be done over the next four sprints and commit to that deadline. The committee can veto but this requires a good argument for why they don’t want to go forward. Once approval has been given the teams start development. If there are no new business cases to present, then this meeting is used as an update for the ongoing business cases.

Hybrid_lego_2Transparency
All of the previous goals help us achieve our final goal of transparency. Looking at the business cases per team we can determine which teams deliver the most value and we can see how we need to scale engineering. If there is no business cases for a team to work on then resources may need to be deployed differently. If a team is overloaded with work then it may need to be scaled up.

At the end of each sprint the teams demo their newly released products at an event for the whole company so that we can celebrate our successes. This is also the official handover from development to the team that requested the product or feature so they can then engage with customers.

We also do a retrospective at the end of each sprint to discuss a variety of issues. What went well or didn’t go well? What should change in the next sprint and did we over- or under-commit? Was there any friction within the team? This is the time for everyone to speak up. We also send out an anonymous happiness measurement to each team member before the retrospective and ask them to let us which team they’re from and tell us how they’re feeling, how they like working for the team and whether there are issues. This measurement provides us with an overview to determine trouble spots on teams and address any problems to help teams evolve.

Validate the Feature/Product
After all of the hard work is done and the product has been turned over, how do we determine its actual value to the company? During the development process we add measurements such as counters or logging in order to determine how often the new feature or product is used and how much time or money was saved. Based on these results we can decide whether the user story should be developed further or if we should go in a different direction.

Although we’ve reached our goals to become more agile, we still have a lot of work to do and our process is maturing as we go. We’ve found with this model that not only do teams help each other along and benefit each other with their achievements but that they also have fun reaching a new level of success which in turn helps the entire company grow.

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Looking back at TechSummit Amsterdam 2016 http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/21/amsterdam-techsummit-2016/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/21/amsterdam-techsummit-2016/#respond Tue, 21 Jun 2016 08:30:25 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4941 LeaseWeb’s annual Amsterdam TechSummit took place on June 2 at the Pakhuis de Zwijger, an old warehouse converted to a high-tech multimedia event center. The summit was sold out with over 315 attendees who came to hear a variety of presentations from professionals focusing on this year’s theme: Designing for Scalability. Those who attended were […]

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20160602-155855-IMG_9652- Bibi VethLeaseWeb’s annual Amsterdam TechSummit took place on June 2 at the Pakhuis de Zwijger, an old warehouse converted to a high-tech multimedia event center. The summit was sold out with over 315 attendees who came to hear a variety of presentations from professionals focusing on this year’s theme: Designing for Scalability.

Those who attended were a diverse assortment of software developers, operations engineers, and managers from companies both large and small. Many of the attendees were local but a good percentage of them had traveled from other countries including Germany, Spain, and even as far as Liberia. All of them were looking to learn about ways to help them grow not only from a technology perspective but how to scale up their engineering teams and how to anticipate and deal with the issues that result from that growth. The summit also provided a good opportunity to network with peers and learn about the challenges they face and what they’ve learned from past mistakes.

The TechSummit opened with a presentation from LeaseWeb’s Head of Product Engineering, Joshua Hoffman, who gave a talk entitled the ‘Seven Deadly Sins of Web Scale’ which drew on his past experience with scaling and the lessons he learned. Many attendees found this talk useful because it provided them with good examples on how to recognize certain ways of approaching problems that can cause issues when growth is needed in the future.

Another presentation that proved to be a highlight for those in attendance was that given by Jorge Salamero Sanz of Server Density called War Games. Jorge talked about the human element of web scale and how properly training engineering teams to react in an efficient manner when outages happen can impact growth. Many who watched said they were looking forward to trying out his recommendations in their own workplaces. These included implementing a checklist for when things go wrong and having developers purposely break things in order to learn how to troubleshoot more efficiently and to be prepared for when people make mistakes.

Reliability was a topic covered by Adam Surák of Algolia who spoke about who is responsible for availability, the importance of monitoring with both internal and external tools to ensure everything is working as expected for both provider and customer, and being aware of dependencies out of your control such as power and network in a data center. He also emphasized the importance of spreading out resources and using multiple vendors in order to mitigate outside issues that can cause downtime.

Recent technologies that are helping companies to scale such as linux containers were discussed in talks by Terrence Ryan of Google and Aanand Prasad of Docker. Aanand spoke about using Docker tools to help engineers streamline their environments in order to narrow the gap between production and development. Terrence covered Kubernetes, a container management system that can help those who have made the switch to containers manage them easily and redundantly at large scale.

20160602-164004-_MG_0680- Bibi VethAttendees looking to find ways to keep their environments secure attended presentations by Daan Keuper of Pine Digital Security and Jessy Irwin of 1Password. Daan talked about how engineers can learn to think like hackers in order to anticipate and prevent breaches of their infrastructure and covered some of the different techniques hackers use to break in. Jessy spoke not only on general good security practices such as strong passwords and encryption but also a variety of tools developers can use to safely communicate and collaborate while writing software to prevent their code and data from being accessed by third parties.

Whether attending to learn about new tools and approaches to building and managing technology at scale, acquiring information on how to maintain a more secure environment, gathering ideas for future growth, or simply looking for confirmation that they are on the right path, LeaseWeb’s TechSummit 2016 Amsterdam provided a venue for technology professionals to come together and share knowledge.

Want to watch any of the talks? Check them out on Youtube!

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Diving deeper into Kubernetes with Google’s Terrence Ryan http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/14/interview-googles-terrence-ryan-amsterdam-techsummit-2016/ http://blog.leaseweb.com/2016/06/14/interview-googles-terrence-ryan-amsterdam-techsummit-2016/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2016 09:50:10 +0000 http://blog.leaseweb.com/?p=4931 Terrence Ryan, a developer advocate at Google, gave a talk entitled Containing Chaos With Kubernetes at LeaseWeb’s TechSummit in Amsterdam on June 2nd. We sat down to find out a little bit more about his thoughts on the topic. Interviewer: What issues are facing engineering departments who have just moved to containers? Terrence: One of […]

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20160602-135618-_MG_0513- Bibi VethTerrence Ryan, a developer advocate at Google, gave a talk entitled Containing Chaos With Kubernetes at LeaseWeb’s TechSummit in Amsterdam on June 2nd. We sat down to find out a little bit more about his thoughts on the topic.

Interviewer: What issues are facing engineering departments who have just moved to containers?
Terrence: One of the large issues I’ve seen is how you manage and keep track of them all. Containers are ephemeral, so there is the switching over to the dev practices that supports that.

Having applications and architecture that is fault tolerant in the sense that these containers go away and that should be ok because the data is stored persistently somewhere else. All the app is doing is computing stuff and sending it back to the users. One of the big challenges we’ve seen and one that Kubernetes tends to solve is, “I have all of these containers, how do I keep track of them?” Those are the two problems we see come up. Kubernetes solves the management of the containers.

I: What are some things people are trying that doesn’t work and how does Kubernetes address these issues in terms managing containers?
T: Whenever you move to a new medium – there’s a lot of examples of this in mass media.
Radio was big and then radio switched to television and the same people who were working in radio were now working in television. So then you had tv shows that were just like radio shows but we just added the one camera visual of the performers. Same thing with movies.

I: So, trying to implement old technology in new mindset or framework?
T: Yes. That is the problem; someone is trying to run on Kubernetes exactly like they ran VMs. You can do it but you’re not getting the big benefits. If you’re just doing a radio show you don’t get the benefit of a closeup. So in this case if you’re running a big monolithic application in Kubernetes you’re not getting the advantages of micro services which is very fast deployments, being able to change things without affecting the entire system, all those sorts of things. That, I think, is the big problem and that’s just technological growing pains.

I: How long has Kubernetes been available and have you received feedback from users who have implemented it in production?
T: Kubernetes as a project has been publicly available for two years. We’re still very much in the outreach stage but many users have said that it delivers as promised. I think it’s gotten very exciting in the last nine months or so. A lot of the feature sets that people have been asking for  have been implemented and it’s really taken off.

I: Going forward, do you think container management systems and containers themselves are going to be a more common way of consideration for building out infrastructure?
T: I am of the firm belief that containers will be where VMs were five years ago. Everyone is doing them, it’s just the way to solve most sets of problems. Because that’s the only way you’re able to deal with that much scale is when you can eke out every single cycle from every single processor.

I: Thanks for sitting down to talk with us, Terrence.
T: Thank you.

Want to see the other talks at the TechSummit? You can check them out here.

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