The concepts of files, folders and directories can be a useful heuristic, one easily understandable. Time will tell if it survives into the digital ageView in browser »
The New Stack Update

ISSUE 285: Throw Out the File Cabinet

Talk Talk Talk

“I see a deterioration in quality over time with these containers, because nobody has thought about the lifecycle of containers.”

Matthias Eckermann, SUSE’s director of product management for Linux Platforms. “Linux at 30: Its Impact on Kubernetes, Cloud and Edge
Add It Up
Google on the DevOps ‘Elite’ and Everyone Else

After two waves of DevOps adoption, companies that have fully embraced DevOps best practices are achieving better software delivery and operational performance metrics than their peers. Most other companies are hitting a performance plateau. In this year's "Accelerate State of DevOps 2021" report, 26% of survey respondents are classified as "elite," up from 20% in 2019 and 7% in 2018. The median elite organization is definitely high performing. It delivers software on demand, deploying code to production or releasing it to users multiple times a day. Perhaps this capability is underutilized, but it is possible it also takes less than an hour to go from a commit to actually running code in production. That's an improvement from 2019 when the median elite DevOps performer needed a day's lead time for changes. In addition, 15% or fewer of these changes fail, which would mean a hotfix, rollback, patch or some other type of remediation is required. Finally, it takes less than an hour for a median elite organization to restore service after an incident, outage, or perhaps a serious security vulnerability is identified.

That's great news for the "elite," but what about the 68% of organizations that mainstream that fit into the "high" and "medium" categories in the study? Just looking at the median respondent, these groups have regressed since 2019. Previously, even the non-elite regularly deployed at least weekly, but now that has dropped to between weekly and monthly. What's changed?

What's Happening

Database giant Oracle added a container-native continuous integration/ continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform to its cloud portfolio when it purchased Wercker in 2017. Since the acquisition, Wercker’s founder, Micha Hernandez van Leuffen, started Fiberplane, for which he is the CEO.

In this latest episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, van Leuffen discusses the different aspects of the development of the Wercker and how that has parlayed into his work at Fiberplane, which offers collaborative notebooks for resolving incidents. Alana Anderson, founder and managing partner of base case capital, offered input from an investment capital firm perspective as well.

Alex Williams, founder and publisher of The New Stack, and Joab Jackson, TNS editor-in-chief, hosted this podcast.

Fiberplane’s Collaborative Notebooks for Incident Management

Throw Out the File Cabinet

Like many things in computing, the idea of “files” and “directories” are but metaphors to help humans understand how computers work. But in this modern age, where there are fewer actual files — bundles of papers stuffed into manilla folders which in turn are stored inside metal file cabinets — could the metaphors themselves be outdated?

This appears to be the case, at least according to a fascinating article on The Verge by Monica Chin. She describes how multiple college instructors have found that students are having difficulty navigating their computers’ own storage directories because they’re not familiar with the very concept of a directory! She found that many educators “came to the same realization” over the past four years, namely that “the concept of file folders and directories, essential to previous generations’ understanding of computers, is gibberish to many modern students.”

Part of the blame, states the Verge, goes to both Google and Apple, technologies that the current generation of college students grew up on that both try to downplay the file/folder skeuomorphism. The ability to find anything with Google search lessens the reliance on understanding any sort of hierarchy needed to get at that information (although increases our reliance on Google itself). And while the iPhone does offer the ability to file photos into different folders, most users just keep everything in a giant photo bucket, backed up in the cloud.

Something similar seems to be happening in backend IT infrastructure as well.

A few months back, we wrote about how the development team at WebAssembly System Interface (WASI) wanted to remove the need for developers to make calls to the file system. The project wants devs to be able to write programs that run across multiple hardware platforms — including those built on ARM processors. Reading a file, especially from another machine, requires serialization and deserialization, a timely process. Instead, WASI wants to eliminate the idea of the file in favor of a more fluid concept of streaming a set of data across different platforms.

“There are no intermediate serialization and deserialization steps here, and no heavyweight calls to the kernel or inter-process communication,” said Lin Clark, a senior principal engineer at the edge services platform Fastly, as well as a co-founder of the WASI Bytecode Alliance, at QCon conference.

Also taking aim at the file system are object storage vendors, such as Red Hat or Minio, who also see file storage as an outdated concept when dealing with cloud native data. Instead, they prefer the idea of a specific string of data that is addressable as “an object” that can reside anywhere.

Even with the limitations they pose to fast computing, the concepts of files, folders and directories can be a useful heuristic for cataloging all the information in your life, one easily understandable at a human scale. Time will tell if it survives into the digital age, however.

Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform Beats Complexity Through Automation

Kubermatic has released the latest version of its Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform (KKP), which it says is the biggest release to date. KKP 2.18 offers a number of new features to layer on day two and day three operations and provide its target audience — Kubernetes users with a high level of complexity — an automated and integrated Kubernetes environment.

The Power of Prototyping in User Experience Design

Without prototyping, you run the risk of over-designing or under-designing your product. Prototyping  reveals the hidden defects and gives way to perfection. In this contributed post, George Abraham, director of user experience at Infragistics, walks us through the different types of prototyping for user interfaces, and how to best use them to make the most of your application.

With Java 17, Oracle Steps up Cadence of Long Term Support Releases

With the general availability of Java 17, Oracle not only delivered the latest version of the popular programming language and development platform, but the company also provided developers with the latest long-term support (LTS) release under Java’s six-month release cadence

Party On

How are organizations using the edge for processing now? Sheraline Barthalmy (top right then clockwise), Ron Lev, and Chetan Venkatesh of Cox Edge talk to TNS' Features Editor Heather Joslyn about the topic in an upcoming podcast.

On The Road
Pancake & Podcast Live w/TNS //OCT. 6 // VIRTUAL @ 12 PM PDT VMworld Virtual


VMworld Virtual Pancake & Podcast Live w/TNS

Join us live for a short stack with The New Stack @ VMworld 2021! A panel of experts will weigh in on the future of multicloud technology, providing a view into the innovations VMware is driving at the intersection of clouds and apps. Bring your questions! Register now!

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