At Red Hat’s AnsibleFest, the company revealed that it's expanding its Ansible enterprise package to help admins better automate IT provisioning. View in browser »
The New Stack Update

ISSUE 186: Chaos by the Dashboard Lights

Talk Talk Talk

Complexity kills productivity.”

Red Hat Partner Engineer Jake Jackson, AnsibleFest 2019.
Add It Up
Security integration and confidence in security posture

The journey to DevSecOps maturity does not neatly shift left along a software development life cycle (SLDC). Companies start adding security into the testing phase and then usually integrate security as they deploy applications into production. The nearly 3,000 technical professionals and executives surveyed for the “2019 State of DevOps Report” believe these steps positively impact a company’s security posture. Yet, adding “security” to testing and deployment also increases friction between security and developer teams.

Unsurprisingly, only 38% of respondents that do not integrate security at all say security policies or processes improve their company’s security posture. The report, from PuppetCircleCI and Splunk, uses the number of SDLC phases involved with security to gauge the level of integration. The testing and deployment are the two phases that are most likely to be integrated with security. Just doing this has a positive impact. Build is usually the next phase to be integrated. Overall, 74% of those reporting integration of at least three phases noted a positive impact on their company’s security posture. The requirements and design phase are most likely to deal with security at companies that integrate all five of the stages of software development.

What's Happening

At GitLab Commit, GitLab’s first user conference that took place last week in Brooklyn, GitLab announced that it has received $268 million in funding, valuing the company at $2.75 billion dollars. For this latest episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, GitLab CEO and co-founder Sid Sijbrandij, candidly discussed what the next steps are for GitLab.

GitLab’s Growth — Deep Transparency Makes a Difference

Chaos by the Dashboard Lights

This week at Red Hat’s AnsibleFest in Atlanta, the company revealed that it's expanding its Ansible enterprise package to help admins better automate IT provisioning. The ways that Ansible is being used to provision and update IT resources is expanding and deepening in scope. 

One of the new features for the platform is analytics, a set of dashboards displaying how specific automation actions performed in detail, including statistics and data around modules and resources. Conference attendees packed a Wednesday technical session, led by Red Hat Architect John Wadleigh, explaining what these analytics capabilities would provide. Users could view aggregated deployment metrics across multiple Ansible Tower (Red Hat’s “enterprise” Ansible) clusters, or by the organization, or even by individual tasks. Users, for instance, can compare the usage across different organizations. “You can use this data to show how organizations are using automation to improve business performance over time,” Wadleigh said. 

The dashboards were pretty snazzy, but they opened up a veritable Pandora’s Box of user expectations for Red Hat. When the Q&A portion of the presentation came around, attendees asked about support on an almost bewildering wide array of other metrics that would help them in their own operations. Could it do health monitoring? Can you break up jobs between those that failed and those that were successful?  Wadleigh’s answer to most of these queries was to thank the questioner for the feedback and say that Red Hat would consider that for a future edition. 

The Analytics Team, while having a hit on their hands, also has a lot of more work to do now, it would seem.’s Charity Majors has long warned us about the limitations of dashboards. Meaningful views of distributed computing are getting so difficult to capture that no set of dashboards, however exhaustive, could help answer the next question someone would have about the data. 

Perhaps the Ansible team could take a cue from New Relic, which last week opened up its own analytics platform to programmability.  Like Ansible, New Relic captures all user’s performance data on its own servers, and offers dashboards as a service. But with New Relic’s programmability, the users can slice and dice the data in the ways that best fit their requirements. 

We asked Wadleigh if Ansible would consider offering its own “build-your-dashboard” capability at one point, and he had replied that it could be a possibility down the road, if users expressed an interest. But, given the onslaught of requests for new dashboards coming in already — and the analytics won’t even be ready for existing customers until November — we suspect that that feature might be bumped up on the to-do list sooner rather than later.

New Relic Expands Observability Platform with New Logging, Tracing and Metrics

Platform: IT systems monitoring service provider New Relic is expanding its flagship New Relic One observability platform to include new capabilities in logging, traces and metrics. In addition, the company has also unrolled the ability for end users to build their own applications on top of New Relic One.

Red Hat’s New Linux Distro Brings CentOS Closer to RHEL

CentOS Stream is a new upstream development platform for ecosystem developers that serves as a single stream of content which is updated several times a day. These updates in CentOS will encompass the latest and greatest from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux codebase, to give ecosystem developers a firsthand view into what the next version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux will look like.

Dark, a New Programming Language for ‘Deployless’ Deployments

A new language, editor and infrastructure from a startup called Dark are tightly integrated to work together to simplify the deployment of code into production. It’s described as “deployless,” a term coined by Jessie Frazelle, a Bay Area engineer. Just as there are servers in serverless, there are deployments in deployless, you just don’t have to think about it.

Party On

A New Relic crew! Neil Heassler, Gayle Fitzpatrick and Lira Razak get ready for the big event at FutureStack.

The Jasons of Intellyx: President Jason Bloomberg (right) and principal analyst and CMO Jason English, where, at FutureStack in NYC, we asked them all sorts of questions about their domain of expertise and digital transformation.

Talking shop at FutureStack with (left to right) Susan Schwartz of Johnson & Johnson and Mia Isaacson of New Relic.

IOpipe's Erica Windisch and New Relic's Jemiah Sius have a chat about all things serverless, integrations and more at FutureStack in NYC!

New Relic CEO Lew Cirne, here at FutureStack in New York City, is a man of boundless energies, it would seem.

On The Road


SAP TechEd

SAP TechEd is coming right up. SAP has a rich developer community and Barcelona is where they’ll be as SAP brings its rich history into the world of cloud-native technologies and their growing communities. Hope to see you in Barcelona. Register now!

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Technologists building and managing new stack architectures join us for short conversations at conferences out on the tech conference circuit. These are the people defining how applications are developed and managed at scale.
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