When Graphiant set out to change the networking industry, we recognized that we could not do it using the norms that had shaped the industry to date. Custom software built upon custom hardware managed by legacy protocols and systems would not provide the scale, security, or agility needed. Traditional network infrastructure and software are rigid and fragile. Network changes are costly, slow, cumbersome, and often highly error-prone due to human error and impact. As a result, changes are feared, and innovation grinds to a halt.
For Graphiant to build a service with the characteristics of the most scalable SaaS offerings of today, we needed to attack the network in the same approach. One would attack a hyper-scale application that can grow to any size, at any speed, with continuous changes demanded by ever-evolving customer needs. From day one, we had to orient ourselves with a DevOps mindset. Scale, speed, and agility required that we build our software with operations at the forefront and construct all things so that we could automate everything everywhere. We had to hire the right developers. Developers understood that building and running is a single mindset, and each discrete service is only as good as the system. Success was predicated on how effectively we brought a DevOps mindset and culture to every build we undertook.
My favorite definition is probably from Amazon; it reads:
What is DevOps?
“DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products faster than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.”
This embodies the approach we’ve taken at Graphiant. As a newly formed service, Graphiant had a distinct advantage in that we inherited no technical debt. Today’s networking marketplace is cluttered with companies with insurmountable technical debt. Despite their extraordinary efforts and intentions, they cannot eradicate nor even overcome this debt. The price points, scale, and flexibility of today’s customer demand are not achievable as their technology anchors them down. They can package, discount, and wrap the old in shiny managed services, but at the core, it remains old code built the old way. They will forever be limited by scale, change, or agility, and will always be expensive by comparison.
We had no constraints that limited our choices. We tackled our cloud applications, databases, infrastructure, platform software, and tooling based upon its ability to be scaled, changed, and managed with little to no human engagement. DevOps wasn’t just lingo we tossed about in the office – it was our DNA. Every component of our solution had to meet three unwavering requirements – unlimited scale, simple to change/modify, and manageable by the system itself. The result is the most scalable, secure, reliable, available, and inexpensive full-featured network solution.