Practical Operations Podcast

A pragmatic podcast discussing Systems, Operations and Scaling with a focus on real world use cases and solutions to common problems.

Hosted by Breandan Dezendorf, Breandan Dezendorf has 20 years of operations experience, a degree in Journalism and has managed monitoring and alerting systems for every company he's ever worked for. Ken Mink, Ken Mink has spent 30 years as a Unix Administrator and Developer. He started out on AIX and HP-UX in the early '90s. Ken finally started using Linux in 1994 while working at Gateway. Since then he's bounced between doing development, administration, later HPC administration, and now DevOps. While Ken has recently spent time handling very large HPC and database clusters, he really enjoys small SBCs. Ken is also a long time user of MythTV. Jack Neely, Jack Neely has been in operations for close to 20 years and finds solutions through code. Experience in configuration management, time series based metrics, and automating platform deployments for large companies. and Jarod Watkins. Jarod Watkins has over 12 years experience in operations at small companies and startups. Automation and infrastructure as code are his specialty.

Practical Operations is a pragmatic podcast about the difference between running your IT organization the "Right Way" and the Practical Way. Your hosts talk about the theory of small to web scale operations and DevOps and then discuss how to get the most out of these tools in practice.

Your hosts Breandan Dezendorf, Ken Mink, Jack Neely, and Jarod Watkins have over 70 years of IT experience. Practical experience in small companies and research groups of only a handful of people to large multinational technology companies, cloud providers, and major universities. We practice operations.

Episode 104 - Bootstrapping a Career with Evan Bloom

December 4, 2020

Where we talk with Evan Bloom about getting started in this industry, coming from a very different world of music. This includes where to get started with linux, programming and generally how to look at the careers we talk about on this podcast.

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Episode 103 - Pet Peeves

November 20, 2020

Where we talk about our pet peeves - technical red flags that tell you something about an environment isn’t right.

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Episode 102 - The Lies We Tell Ourselves

November 6, 2020

Where we talk about the many lies we tell ourselves, even when we know better.

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Episode 101 - Long Term Configuration Management

October 23, 2020

Where we talk about some mergers and aquisitions in the configuration management space and discuss somewhat about where the industry is headed.

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Episode 100 - DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering, Revisited

October 9, 2020

Where we revisit our first episode, The Culture of DevOps, and talk about what’s changed in the last 5 years, including the growth of the Site Reliability Engineering movement to implement DevOps, and some thoughts about the next 5 years.

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Episode 99 - Elasticsearch Distributions

September 25, 2020

Where we discuss Elasticsearch’s X-Pack as compared to the OpenDistro For Elasticsearch, and talk a little bit about being a good citizen for open source projects.

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Episode 98 - Histograms and Service Level Objectives

September 11, 2020

Where we talk about what Service Level Objectives actually are and why they are so important in the field of Site Reliability Engineering. We cover the definition of an SLO, how they relate to error budgets, and take a look at various implementations of time series databases’ support for calculating accurate percentiles.

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Episode 97 - Threat Modeling with Greg Harris

August 28, 2020

Where we interview Greg Harris, Principal Security Engineer at Fitbit. We cover security issues around BeyondCorp, VPNs, Docker, and vulnerability scanning. With Greg we learn how to stop reacting to security incidents and instead focus on building threat models for your software and company to forecast and prevent them.

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Episode 96 - ARM and the Future of Computing

August 12, 2020

Where we discuss the possible rise of ARM on the desktop as a replacement or challenge to the supremecy of Intel’s venerable x86_64 instruction set.

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Episode 95 - Being Cloud Agnostic

July 31, 2020

Where we talk about being multi-cloud, along with the reasons and challenges of doing so, and talk about if it is really worth it.

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