The IT Philharmonic: How Out of Tune Are Your Operations?

John Willis (Enstratius), Damon Edwards (DTO Solutions)
Average rating: ****.
(4.43, 14 ratings)

It’s all too common for IT organizations to become compartmentalized. Each segment of the organization develops tunnel vision around their particular tasks and biases around their own tooling. For today’s fast-paced web businesses, the inability to effectively orchestrate all of it’s increasingly dynamic parts leads to slow and unreliable operations.

This presentation will examine, through examples of actual high performing organizations, what “well orchestrated operations” means and what it takes to achieve. We’ll examine both the cultural and tooling requirements as well as the necessary measurements for success.

1. What do we mean by “orchestration”.

  • The Philharmonic example (good)
  • The IT examples (bad)

2. What exactly are the boundaries of “Operations”?

  • Rolls up to a single business process spanning all the way from requirements to production
  • “Hey everyone, we are on the same team!” (and all supporting the same business)

3. Set a culture of orchestration: “You can’t incentivize what you can’t measure”.

  • Examples of how poor performing companies improperly measure performance and disincentivize well orchestrated operations
  • Examples of how high performing companies measure performance in order to incentivize well orchestrated operations

4. Tooling and automation brings orchestration to life

  • Examples of how high performing companies use tooling to achieve orchestration, including (with emphasis on the integration between the tools):
  • Requirements traceability
  • Build Automation
  • Automated Provisioning
  • Configuration Management
  • Test Automation
  • Monitoring

5. A survey of current trends that are promoting orchestration:

  • DevOps
  • Agile Operations
  • Infrastructure as Code
  • ITSM monitoring
  • Test-Driven Operations
  • Continuous Deployment
Photo of John Willis

John Willis


John Willis has worked in the IT management industry for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Enstratius, Willis was the VP of Solutions for DTO Solutions where he led the transition to a new suite of automated infrastructure and DevOps solutions. Prior to DTO Solutions. Willis was the VP of Training & Services at Opscode where he formalized the training, evangelism, and professional services functions at the firm. Willis also founded Gulf Breeze Software, an award winning IBM business partner, which specializes in deploying Tivoli technology for the enterprise. Willis has authored six IBM Redbooks for IBM on enterprise systems management and was the founder and chief architect at Chain Bridge Systems.

Photo of Damon Edwards

Damon Edwards

DTO Solutions

President of DTO Solutions. Editor of

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Robert Schanafelt
Robert Schanafelt
07/22/2010 4:30am PDT

Great presentation. Will you make the slides available?

Ron Alvey
07/22/2010 4:22am PDT

Awesome presentation and talk. I will definately be checking out the podcasts.

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