It’s the wetware.
This blog post is brought to you by a triptych of three events and a dose of reality.
First: There was some talk around the office regarding a 404 page that someone somewhere had. It was ‘cool’ apparently. Some members of my team where aghast that anyone was spending any time talking about it. In many ways they were right, as professionals its our job to focus on activities that bring the shining light of goodness that is F5 technology to the wider world, not fuss about a .gif. However, we are human and many of our actions are determined emotionally and not logically. That’s probably not a good way to determine our IT strategy. Knowing we tend to do this and seeing it when it happens is important.
Second: An interesting blog post called “You’re not going to do Microservices”. I’m honestly not familiar with the author and so I’m not endorsing anything here, but the post makes some good points: microservices are NOT for everyone – despite the fact that it’s the new hotness. There are prerequisites that are based on organizational structures that are hard to change, because they (again) involve people. People don’t like to change the hierarchy, we are a social species and we like to know how how our community is organized.
Third: We hosted a great webinar on the findings of our report “The State of Application Delivery in 2015”. The results from the survey are interesting, but the headline news for me isn’t that surprising. Availability and security are the most important factors, although I think the fact that availability was number one surprised a few people. I’m not sure that it makes logical sense – are you better having a hacked or compromised application than no application at all? Is it more damaging to a business to have a service (temporarily) unavailable or to be letting thousands of customers know that you are responsible for their details being for sale on the seedier parts of the internet? It’s probably not a sentiment based on pure logic. We deal with immediate problems well, but less obvious ones pretty badly. A site down is hard to ignore – but a system that needs patching, involving disruption and service risk, hmm – maybe we can wait until the next big maintenance window.
It’s clear to me that many IT decisions are determined by our own human operating system. That’s not a perfect situation, but one we can deal with, if we recognize it when it happens. What this means for F5 is that we need to work with our customers to help them analyze the benefits and pitfalls of any IT decisions and try and see then through the twin lenses of logic and humanity – becuase the they both have a big part to play in the success of any organization.