published on 10 December 2013

We caught up with site engineer Jonathan Thurman about his "Five Unsung Tools of DevOps," wherein he highlights some of the lesser known tools in use at New Relic. The tools he uses every day include:

  • MUltihost SSH Wrapper: Distributed SSH to send commands to multiple hosts either in sequence or parallel.
  • Cacti: A long-term trending and statistics graphing tool for network equipment.
  • lldpd: Uses the Link Layer Discovery Protocol to help you determine which port a server is plugged into on your network.
  • IPerf: A network testing tool designed to identify faulty links or to see if your provider is delivering your anticipated bandwidth.
  • RANCID: Stands for the "Really Awesome New Cisco confIg Differ" and which downloads config fields and metadata information from all of your network equipment so that you can store configurations in revision control.

Some of the other tools brought up in the discussion include NetDisco and ClusterSSH.

The thing these tools all have in common is that they allow developers to get better access to their systems so they can get access to machines, get logs and run any relevant processes.

Thurman talks about how New Relic handles the boundaries between operations and development, since the lines are becoming more diffuse over time, and how DevOps culture and practices are more about working together. He also talks about how New Relic uses configuration management tools like Puppet in its toolchain. Finally, he sees the next big movement of DevOps as moving tools like Puppet down into the developer's workflow for even more collaboration between operations and developers.

For more information, be sure check out more details in Thurman's Unsung Tools of DevOps presentation slides from OSCON.

Thurman also recently converted this presentation into a free ebook from O'Reilly, which you can download from here.

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