Review: Cloud Native Infrastructure

If you thought cloud native infrastructure was a product you could buy or a cloud provider where you could run your servers, we are sorry to disappoint. It is not something you can benefit from without adopting the practices and changing how you build and maintain infrastructure.

So begins the final chapter of Cloud Native Infrastructure by Justin Garrison and Kris Nova. It may seem odd to have such a statement close to the end of a technical book, but it works well for the intended audience. O’Reilly books have long been known as excellent resources for both the IT professional new to a topic and the specialist in need of a reference on a subject. The reader may start at any point in the book depending on their need.

Digital business transformation uses technology, including cloud-based services, as a tool to build connections and drive change in a competitive global market. It’s not unusual for businesses of all sizes and maturity levels use to rely on fragile or inappropriate resources in their rush to market. Garrison and Nova have experience bridging both the chasm between business and IT and the gap between development and operations in implementing solutions.

This book is a guide to the cultural and operational changes at the foundation of effective use of cloud services at scale. The authors draw on relevant case studies to create a map that is independent on any specific provider or technology, making their work resilient to changes in the cloud service environment. The result is an accessible, engaging, relevant resource for IT operations staff, technology managers, and business leadership.

I appreciated the authors’ repeated acknowledgement that moving to a cloud native approach to technology is in a different domain than traditional technology provisioning and can be detrimental to a business. A measured, tactical approach like that used by Box is key to success. Principles and examples of technology provisioning, from changes to the development pipeline to building in security and resilience, were plentiful and easy to tailor to an environment.

Cloud Native Infrastructure is a strong addition to O-Reilly’s outstanding line of resources for IT professionals. It is likely to remain relevant and fresh without major revisions through foreseeable changes in the cloud service space. If your organization hasn’t completely outsourced IT operations, check it out. It’s worth the time.

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