DevOps: Transforming Black Boxes into Instruments of Science

The new data and computer driven research is changing the roles of the systems administrators and engineers in Science. These once aloof machine operators are now taking roles very similar to that of the laboratory technician, that is they make the complicated things go so that Science happens. They have become much more openly one of the many enablers of science.

Just as with laboratory technicians, there is a risk that a SysAdmin will produce a Black Box, into which Inputs go and from which outputs come, but this is not science. If the box can not be replicated, nor can the results, and if your results can not be replicated, what science have you really achieved?

The remainder of the presentation will discuss how computerised black boxes can be managed, and will include detailed use of the Developer Operations (DevOps) tools to document, develop, and replicate computer systems. Transforming the black box back into an instrument of science.

eResearch NZ 2013 session type: 

Symposium: 

Submitted by Tim McNamara on