So after some beers… well actually it was more like gracious quantities of bourbon with some friends, colleagues, compatriots, etc., I believe that all individuals that work in technology just talk about work when we convene. And the more alcohol we imbibe the more passionate our debates get. And I wanted to share some of this with the world in the hopes that whoever reads this will ponder these time honored questions like we ponder life, death, and the meaning of happiness.

We found ourselves debating the time honored buzz words (by time honored I mean 5 Years) DevOps Engineer & SysOps Engineer. I myself am a DevOps Engineer by title but I often wish that my title could be something like Junior Ballon Matrix Engineer or something that really has nothing to do with what I actually do. I find those two words to be overly bloated and more of a philosophical belief system of how you approach Operations.

When we looked at the philosophical side of the two terms there were some distinct similarities amongst the two, but we also agreed that there were distinct differences from what is cared about and prioritized. There were also differences in backgrounds of the individuals. So no matter what everyone seems to be universally concerned about automating everything and configuration management. So we will leave that out of this. So we settled on 8 things that we could all agree upon and ranked them from 1 to 8 with 1 being the highest priority and 8 the lowest.

Things We Care About DevOps SysOps
Application Performance Metrics 1 5
DB Server SQL Performance 2 7
DB Server System Performance 3 2
Immutable Infrastructure 5 6
Log Correlation 4 4
Server Performance Metrics 7 1
Service Monitoring 6 3
Security 8 8

What was evident amongst the group is that those of us that are DevOps care more about the software applications stacks while the SysOps gaggle was more passionate about the system and server stacks.

There were also a variety in choice of tools and software preferences. DevOps prefer ubuntu while SysOps likes CentOS, Puppet and Chef Vs. Ansible, Mac Vs. Linux for preferred workstation, and the list can go on.

So ask yourself where do your beliefs and priorities lie? Maybe you just might have the wrong job title for the position. But in the end it is all just Operations no matter how you slice it and dice it. Whatever approach and tools are used are unique to each team and organization.

So I will leave you with this mathematical proof that says it’s all just operations.

If Development + Operations = DevOps


Systems + Operations = SysOps


Development * Systems = Operations