Operational Excellence Means Automation

People use the term “operational excellence” in a lot of different ways. In its vaguest sense, it means continuous improvement as applied to operations. But you’re interested in what it means in the context of technology operations. And I’m here to tell you that it means automation. Operational Excellence is one of the five pillars of the AWS Well-architected Framework. The AWS whitepaper lists six design principles for achieving operational excellence.

Using AWS Systems Manager to Upgrade WordPress

After years of manually upgrading my self-hosted WordPress installation, I decided it was finally time to apply some devops principles (namely automation) to this process. This site runs on an EC2 instance on AWS, so I decided to use AWS Systems Manager (aka SSM). I started out by creating the following Command Document (which happens to be in YAML format because JSON is ugly): --- schemaVersion: "2.2" description: "Download and install WordPress"