Data is my only pet, everything else is cattle


Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

I have seen an uptick in the Pets vs Cattle arena of late and wanted to add to the discussion.  As a technologist, I am not religious about any one tool, product, operating system or vendor – I will always chose the right platform based on system requirements.  To take an independent stance in that regard you have to first accept that no vendor has a product that meets the demands of every possible business scenario.  Not only do I not care about all those things I mentioned above, I don’t care about my servers or virtual servers (and whatever platform they are running on).

So, what do I care about then? Data.  Step out of your role for a second and ask what people, what your organization, your CEO really cares about – its not server up time, although server up time plays a roll, whether you are using containers or whether you are “DevOps” – again your CEO to your office manager could care less if you have organized around the characteristics/tenants/culture of DevOps.  What they care about is that they have access to the data they need to do their job.  All of the other things we do is simply a means to provide access to that data.

The goal is to engineer an environment where data is protected and accessible according to all of your business requirements so that people can do their jobs.  Hopefully your organization has purchased or built the applications that deliver that data in such a way that allow you to simply treat them like cattle – a web or application server not responding, no worries delete it and spin up a new one – just make sure you are treating your data like a pet!

Data is my only pet, everything else is cattle