How StackStorm “Stacks” Against The Competiton

November 3, 2014

by Evan Powell

StackStorm connects events to actions you might want to take; and it does so through simple abstractions that allow you to reuse your approaches to managing events and to taking actions, including filtering events and applying rules and workflows. We call this sharing your operational patterns.

The approach of connecting events to actions is extremely extensible as events ranging from Nagios alerts to direct human interactions and actions from closing a ticket to interacting via our flavor of Hubot (“Stackbot”) can be tied together transparently, so they are easy to share, to manage and to control. Because of this flexibility, StackStorm solves many different problems for users, from helping with CI/CD through troubleshooting and remediation. And so StackStorm capabilities overlap to some extent with existing solutions. While we compare StackStorm to a number of such tools, StackStorm embraces the tool chain approach of DevOps operators.


[Press Release] StackStorm To Present Demo On Smart Automation At OpenStack Summit Paris

October 29, 2014

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–StackStorm, a software company leading the third wave of operations automation, today announced it will present on “Automating OpenStack/AWS Environments without Technical Debt” in the Sponsor Demo Theater at OpenStack Summit Paris on November 4. During the demo, Evan Powell, co-founder and CEO of StackStorm, will explore how to leverage StackStorm automation software in OpenStack and AWS environments.

“If you are not careful, the automation you write to speed things up can become technical debt that slows you down,” said Powell. “The StackStorm software we are open sourcing and demoing helps users better integrate, author, manage and scale their automation. This enables them to avoid the creation of technical debt and experience the benefits of a highly automated environment in CI/CD, troubleshooting, remediation, security event management and more.”


Event Observations From DevOps Enterprise and Bank Of America / Merrill Lynch Technology Innovation Summit

October 24, 2014

by Evan Powell

This week’s DevOps Enterprise Summit 2014 (#DOES14) and Bank of America / Merrill Lynch Technology Innovation Summit (#BofAMLTech) have both been great experiences for StackStorm. In this blog I’d like to share a couple of observations that may be of broad interest.

1. Soft stuff being addressed:

DevOps is about much more than tools. It is fundamentally about a better way of designing, building and operating technology. It all comes down to people working better together as a team. That much we all know.

So I was not surprised when many speakers mentioned the above points. I was, however, somewhat surprised that Bank of America, Barclay’s, Target and many other organizations said they are successfully addressing both the quality of their teams in terms of training and expertise and the ways that they are being convinced or at least encouraged to adopt a better way of working. In the case of Barclay’s, Owen Gardner did a great job speaking about the need to get thousands of teams working in a more agile, DevOps friendly way and how this ruled out a just incremental approach since if you trained 50 teams a week you’d never get there. In their case they engineered an ingenious process to basically “infect” (my summation) the teams with DevOps.


OpenStack Automation Meetup: Impressions

October 15, 2014

by Evan Powell

Last night StackStorm hosted a San Francisco / Silicon Valley OpenStack Meetup at our offices in Palo Alto. Our CTO and co-founder Dmitri Zimine – who is one of the world’s experts at operations automation – led the group through a review of twenty OpenStack projects that have to do with operations automation.

I won’t walk you through all the content. You can see some of it in his recent series of articles for for example here.

A few highlights if you did not make it:


“Don’t Call It A Comeback!” [Part 2]

October 8, 2014

by Evan Powell

In part one of this blog series we discussed the first and second waves of operations automation and how they’ve paved the way for the emerging third wave. In part two, we’ll discuss the importance and impact of the third wave.

Why do we need another wave, and why is it like the first? 

Across many domains in IT you see waves such as those we are witnessing in the automation space today. A few important changes that are forcing change on many pieces of IT include:

1. Abstraction is powerful, but “too much” is bad

We hear this all the time from our DevOps users. They want to be able to achieve the benefits of automation – and to improve the lives of their operators, developers and especially their end users.


“Don’t Call It A Comeback!” [Part 1]

October 7, 2014

by Evan Powell

The third wave of operations automation – what’s the same, what’s different, and what’s next?

I’m a bit uncomfortable referencing a cultural meme to kick off a weighty subject mostly interesting to the “data center intelligencia.”1 While Ben Horowitz has made it cool to refer to rap lyrics, he is a best-selling author and a billionaire and, conversely, I am decidedly neither.

Still, when I look at the wave of automation sweeping data centers and specifically hyperscale data centers, we face some questions not dissimilar from those that confronted LL Cool J so many years ago. So maybe I’m not totally crazy when those lyrics come to mind.  What’s new?  What’s rehashed?

We’ll begin by rolling the tape back to an era before DevOps, before AWS, and before VMware – even then time was already too short and systems were already too complex for humans alone to be left to our own devices.


Why StackStorm Is Sponsoring DevOps Enterprise

October 1, 2014

by Evan Powell

We’re looking forward to both attending and sponsoring the DevOps Enterprise Summit, which will take place on October 21-23 in San Francisco, CA.

While our product is currently in beta, sponsoring such a show is beneficial for a number of reasons:

1. Enterprise automation focus

StackStorm is working towards a vision of self-driving data centers, and in November we’ll be releasing our open source software that will bring users closer to that goal.

A majority of our current beta users are enterprises that are seeking to connect their existing pockets of automation in a DevOps-friendly way. As an example, this means they hope to extend the benefits of automation from continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) – the domain of DevOps Enterprise prime sponsor ElectricCloud – into every piece of building and operating software.

We believe a vast number of enterprises are struggling with pockets of automation and are faced with real challenges in managing, extending, and controlling their automation environments. Given that many of these enterprises will be attending the event, we expect great conversations to unfold.


OpenStack Day Two Operations Tools

September 26, 2014

by Dmitri Zimine

This post originally appeared September 26, 2014 on

This is the third part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. In part two, I covered workload deployment tools. Today, we’ll look at tools for day two operations.

Day two operations automation is all about maintaining and managing the cloud infrastructure and workload to keep it running.


[Press Release] StackStorm And Red Hat Collaborate On OpenStack Distributions

September 24, 2014

StackStorm joins Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–StackStorm, a software company leading the third wave of operations automation, today announced a collaboration with Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. StackStorm and Red Hat will work together to provide interoperability of their solutions as part of the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network.

“We’re pleased to have StackStorm join us in the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network,” said Mike Werner, senior director, Global Ecosystems, Red Hat. “To help customers get the most out of Red Hat’s OpenStack offerings and our open hybrid cloud solutions, we work closely with technology companies like StackStorm that provide powerful and complementary solutions. We look forward to continued collaboration with StackStorm as a key member of Red Hat’s OpenStack ecosystem.”


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