Roll Back: The Impossible Dream

James Turnbull (Glitch)
Operations Mission City B1
Average rating: ***..
(3.79, 19 ratings)

Roll back doesn’t exist. It’s not real. It’s a fantasy, a dream, a
delusion. Any vendor who tells you they have a roll back capability is
lying to you. And lying to you in a downright dangerous way that will
come back to haunt you at 4am in a war room when someone says:

“We can’t fix this. Let’s roll back the deployment.”

This talk is designed to explain and demonstrate to Operations staff:

  • Why roll back is a fantasy and explained with a dash of Werner Heisenberg
  • Why it is dangerous and how you can recognize when you’re about to get trapped
  • How you can avoid falling into that trap of considering it an appropriate compensating control.

It’ll also explain what you can actually do operationally instead of “rolling back”. This will cover other alternative compensating controls that can help you get running again and resolve your outage whilst still allowing you to find root cause.

Photo of James Turnbull

James Turnbull


James is an author and open source geek. James authored the two books about Puppet (Pro Puppet and the earlier book about Puppet. He is also the author of three other books including Pro Linux System Administration, Pro Nagios 2.0, and Hardening Linux.

For a real job, James is VP of Tech Ops for Puppet Labs. He likes food, wine, books, photography and cats. He is not overly keen on long walks on the beach and holding hands.


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