Scripting and the last mile problem

From Bruce Payette’s book Windows PowerShell in Action:

Why do we care about command-line management and automation? Because it helps to solve the Information Technology professional’s version of the last mile problem. The last mile problem is a classical problem that comes from the telecommunications industry. It goes like this: the telecom industry can effectively amortize its infrastructure costs across all its customers until it gets to the last mile where the service is finally run to an individual location. … In the Information Technology (IT) industry, the last mile problem is figuring out how to manage each IT installation effectively and economically.

To manage this infrastructure you need a toolkit. Why not use the same toolkit for operations that was used for development?

This toolkit cannot merely be the same tools used to develop the overall infrastructure as the level of detail required is too great. Instead, you need a set of tools with a higher level of abstraction.

Related post:

Programming the last mile
Comparing the Unix and PowerShell pipelines

4 thoughts on “Scripting and the last mile problem

  1. Great book and excellent writing by Bruce Payette.

    He distills the notion, PowerShell is super glue, as “[…] what led to the creation of PowerShell, the need for command-line automation in a distributed object-based operating environment.”

  2. The last mile problem in this context is discussed in Vol 1 of Thoughtworks Anthology.

    I’m using that as a reference to build out a migration path involving multiple sqlite3 databases which need schema work. Using sql scripts and Ruby for the implementation, driving it out with rspec and maybe cucumber.

    I got here searching for “last mile.”

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