Using feature flags and observability for service migrations


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Change is inevitable, and that’s a very good factor, particularly in relation to software program improvement, the place it means delivering new and progressive options that enhance consumer expertise and high quality of life. Moreover, within the case of service migration, change can imply improved efficiency and decrease prices. However creating change reliably isn’t any straightforward job, significantly relating to evolving architectures that make up right now’s fashionable cloud environments, that are deeply complicated and unpredictable.

In case your platform goes down, your enterprise suffers and your reliability comes into query, doubtlessly tarnishing your repute. Subsequently, when approaching main architectural modifications, devops groups ought to all the time ask themselves: How a lot work is concerned in making this alteration? Is it value it? 

Enterprise know-how corporations are tasked with sustaining each pace and reliability, requiring high-performance engineering practices. To enhance software high quality and efficiency for purchasers, the platforms and providers these corporations ship mustn’t ever expertise diminished efficiency. All software program distributors should rise to the problem of constantly optimizing or threat being left behind for different extra performant providers. 

Annually, main cloud service suppliers launch dozens, if not tons of, of product updates and enhancements – placing the onus on engineering groups to decipher which configuration optimizes cloud and software efficiency. But when there’s even one challenge in migrating to the brand new structure, the probability of disruption will increase dramatically.

Given the excessive stakes of those service migrations, engineering groups should meticulously plan their strikes. So as to add to the excessive stakes of those migrations, the annual cadence of cloud function releases is trigger for concern, with over 90% of IT professionals and executives reporting they’re apprehensive in regards to the price of innovation among the many high cloud suppliers and their skill to maintain tempo with it.

To maintain up, organizations have applied progressive approaches to service migrations – with one devops observe, function administration, gaining vital traction. In going through comparable challenges to constantly enhance our platform and interfaces, software program builders have turned to function administration to constantly ship and launch code, whereas sustaining stringent controls that enable for real-time experimentation, canary releases, and speedy code rollbacks ought to a bug trigger points.

For years, we have now utilized the function administration platform LaunchDarkly to experiment, handle, and optimize software program supply; enabling a sooner tempo of innovation with out compromising software reliability. Serverless features make service migrations a snap, since altering which model of a perform is invoked is solely a configuration change.

Experimentation however with the guardrails of observability & function flags

Using function administration, enterprise know-how corporations will likely be outfitted to convey the identical capabilities to their cloud optimization initiatives. The performance of function flags allows capabilities that may improve the tempo of experimentation and testing, and permit enterprise know-how corporations to scale cloud structure on the flip of a swap.  

By experimentation, groups can troubleshoot points – corresponding to non-optimized code – that might end in delayed execution instances. With function flags, these releases will be rapidly rolled again to revive regular habits for customers. With this quantity of precision and management, groups can restrict the length and publicity of experiments, mitigating detrimental impression and serving to to tell extra cautious rollouts. Groups can then conduct follow-up experiments to make sure reliability and efficiency, whereas additionally using steady profiling to assist troubleshoot the problem of their code. 

The management, pace and scale of those checks are solely doable with function administration and observability. With function flags, groups achieve higher management to direct visitors to check environments, analyze efficiency, and rapidly restore the unique setting with no disruptions or downtime. In high-stakes conditions corresponding to these, engineering groups require options that may take the nerves out of their work and supply them with the capabilities they should help steady enchancment initiatives and optimize their infrastructure.

Extra confidence to innovate

Characteristic flags and observability are for organizations massive and small, conventional and cloud-native. At present, doing issues the old school means typically means doing it the onerous means and, finally, slows innovation. By embracing devops methods throughout software program improvement and cloud engineering groups, organizations can take dangers with the boldness crucial to really innovate.

Pushing platforms to new heights typically takes a concerted effort that in any other case can be inconceivable with out the assurances that function flags and observability present. In adopting function administration for cloud optimization and migration initiatives, groups will be each quick and dependable, whereas additionally enabling a tradition of fixed experimentation and innovation.

Embracing new applied sciences and methods to quicken the tempo at which organizations can experiment, take a look at and deploy new code or architectures is proving to be invaluable throughout industries. It’s time that high-stakes processes, corresponding to deploying code in manufacturing and optimizing cloud infrastructure, turn into sooner and simpler – not only for our engineers, but additionally for purchasers who deserve the utmost in efficiency and reliability.

Liz Fong-Jones is Principal Developer Advocate at Honeycomb.

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