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DevOps Journal: Article

An Exclusive DevOps Interview With Qubell

Qubell Co-Founder and CTO Stan Klimoff Addresses the Wide World of DevOps

Qubell CTO: "IT Should Be Fluid, Service-Oriented, JIT"

Qubell is staking out its territory in DevOps, with a collection of components, connectors and starter kits that are "self-deployable composite applications and blueprints that showcase a complete technical solution to a common business problem," in the words of the company.

Starter kits include the Java Pet Clinic, a sample Spring application; the Oracle ATG Sandbox, described as the fastest way to develop ATG/Endeca applications; Behavioral Analytics, a Hadoop-based ecommerce recommendation engine; and Broadleaf eCommerce, a Java-based platform with SolrCloud.

Learn More About Qubell
Read Stan Klimoff's Latest Blog Post

We posed a few questions for Qubell founder and CTO Stan Klimoff (pictured below), and this is what he had to say:

DevOps Journal: Qubell is a relatively new company, having been founded in June 2013. Please describe the company's mission for our audience.

Stan Klimoff: Well, if I were to describe it in broad strokes, our mission is to remove the friction between the businesses and the information technology that serves them.

We believe that future IT should be fluid, service-oriented and just-in-time. Qubell was created to enable that vision.

Today, the technology is often locked within IT departments and remains largely inaccessible to its consumers. Think about all the times you needed to wait on a support ticket or to call in a change review board just to unblock your project. There are valid reasons for that-compliance, skills,
processes, culture. However, we believe that there is a better way of managing technology, that does not incur unnecessary overhead.

DevOps Journal: And the background that led to this mission?

Stan: Our background is in grid and utility computing, the kind of environments where the technology should be accessible to the ever-changing requirements of scientists and mathematicians.

Not so long ago, only largest institutions could afford investing into that kind of platforms. Today, technology is being democratized on an ever-increasing pace. Being able to receive infrastructure and support as needed, with zero turnaround time, is no longer a luxury item.

DevOps Journal: You take a broad approach to such things as language, platform, environment, etc. What sorts of complexity do you expect to find in your customer base?

Stan: We did a lot of service engagements in this space before starting Qubell. If there is anything common in the technology stack of our customers, it's the somber fact that no two are alike.

You might have a solution that covers eighty percent of their technology base, but if you cannot build a bridge to the remaining twenty, you are just creating yet another silo. This is why we designed our product as an open system.

DevOps Journal: And by open, you mean...

Stan: People often confuse "open" with "open-source," and we are not providing a open-source product-we are providing a software service.
Open for us is being able to bridge a gap between a cutting-edge node.js environment and a legacy mainframe. Open is being able to integrate your favorite server management framework. Open is being able to integrate with in-house inventory system and use it for server provisioning as if it was a cloud account.

Simply put, open is being transparent and playing nice with the rest of the ecosystem. This is both a strategic advantage and a part of our culture.

This is why we're saying: bring your languages, bring your legacy platforms, bring your existing tools-we will treat and respect them as first-class citizens.

DevOps Journal:
DevOps seems inevitable to any company that needs to keep an innovative edge in a competitive market. That said, to what degree do you think enterprises are and will be embracing DevOps, versus trying to resist and maintain the old ways of developing apps and functionality?

Stan: Personally, I do not think that there will be a strong resistance to DevOps as a brand.

Yet once DevOps becomes a trendy name, there will be vendors that would claim to give you "DevOps" for a small price, with no effort from your side. There will be enterprises that will implement a single practice, or buy a certain product and then claim that they now do "DevOps."

We've already seen that happen with "Agile." But how many enterprise-agile teams do you know that are actually cross-functional, including ops, and have user champions as an integral part of the team? If that was the case, we would not need the DevOps movement today.

DevOps Journal: So the trend to DevOps is strong.

Stan: I believe that the market will give preference to the companies that adopt DevOps practices, since they do make the companies more efficient, raise the quality bar and, surprisingly, also make the company in question a more pleasant environment to work in.

The need to go DevOps is not new, strictly speaking, but only recently we've reached the point where we have a stable technology foundation that enables us doing that.

I explore some of the drivers behind DevOps in one of my recent blog posts.

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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