RFC Octopus Data Center Manager

I’ve been using Octopus Deploy since early 2014. Around version 2.2 or 2.3 is when I started investigating Octopus and then implementing it in an enterprise scale environment. It’s been over a three year long journey for myself. A ton of changes have been made to Octopus during that time and it’s not without a sense of appreciation and respect that I have for the folks at Octopus Deploy in part due to fact that: it’s simply awesome very easy to use and understand it keeps getting Continue reading →

The Zen of Deployment Automation Retrospective

Every now and then, I’m asked by one of our Octopus users: “Sometimes we need to change one or two files. Can I just deploy one or two files?” It’s at this point, I place my elbows on my desk and put my head in my hands. And I thought I was bad at letting go. Let me backtrack a little. Several weeks ago, we had a team meeting as we were inundated with numerous requests and it’s been one of our operations sore spots. When you Continue reading →

Setting up continuous deployments with Octopus Deploy and TFS

One reader asked in my Octo.exe deep dive if I had published how to setup continuous deployments. I had mentioned it in the deep dive and while I’d rather do a comprehensive piece to see how many different ways we could set up a continuous deployment, a simple post on how to setup continuous deployments in TFS is just as effective for the mean time. Let’s jump right in. Whether you’re using your own TFS 2013 server or Visual Studio online (VSO), you can use the octo.exe to Continue reading →

The Octo.exe – your utility knife for automation

If you’ve started using Octopus Deploy and want to fully maximize it’s potential via automation but you don’t know where to start, you need to begin investigating the Octo.exe. The Octo.exe is a neat little utility that allows you, through the command-line (and by extension, PowerShell) to interact with your Octopus Server without using the web interface. There’s a number of functions that the Octo.exe serves but from a high-level, it’s all about interacting with your projects. Whether it’s deleting an old release to creating a new release Continue reading →

The Zen of Deployment Automation

I work with a lot of users using our Octopus Deploy server on a daily basis. It seems that not all, but many of our users don’t fully grasp the philosophy behind automated deployments so I thought a rant was in order. If you’re using Octopus Deploy or even thinking about implementing it, Octopus is indeed a great first step into automation – but that’s it. It’s the first step – not the final step. Simply using Octopus Deploy doesn’t mean you’re automating your deployments. How so? I find Continue reading →

Backing up projects on Octopus Tentacles? Think twice

I’ve noticed many of our Octopus teams use the File System – Backup Directory step template from the library to implement a backup step. Unfortunately, I’ve seen minimal prudence from said teams implementing backups. Many of these teams simply backup their project across most if not all of their environments while having no rollback steps whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Octopus Step library, but the backup directory step (or similar steps) are seldom worth implementing. It’s very tempting to use them and I can understand the appeal. Backups seem like Continue reading →

Octopus Deploy Series Conclusion

Over the past few months, I’ve tried to show how Octopus Deploy works, how the design choices that the Octopus team made affect you and why these choices are beneficial. In retrospect, deployments should have evolved in parallel to the technology at hand, but history does not support that thesis. Deployments can be unique and complex and considering the wide range of components involved it’s easy to see why so little progress has been made. From operating systems, databases, patches, updates, configuration settings, network addresses, ports, firewalls, services, Continue reading →

Octopus Deployment Basics

For the past few months, I’ve been analyzing Octopus Deploy in terms of it’s components, architectural design and benefits of said design decisions. In this article, we’re going to bring everything together to see the sum of all the parts. Everything starts with NuGet. Octopus works with your applications as NuGet packages and distributes them to the appropriate server. PowerShell is equally important as it’s the glue that makes all customization for our deployment process possible. And whatever isn’t built into Octopus can be slapped onto Continue reading →

Minor change in plans for Octopus Deploy Series

My current Octopus Deploy Series so far has been more focused at a high/conceptual level. They’ve been a lot of fun to write and to piece together how Octopus’s components and mechanisms complement one another for both the developers’ and users’ benefit. I originally intended to do a deeper dive into Octopus Deploy and I think my initial estimates of time were underestimated. I think the detail requires much more attention and research than my previous articles which would inevitably require more time and testing (and possibly videos). That said, Continue reading →