MDB Weekly is a multi-format, weekly summary of information from the past week in Modern Digital Business. It's available as an article, a podcast, or an email newsletter. It will be published weekly on Mondays.

Welcome to my first issue of Modern Digital Business Weekly! This is a new format that I’m experimenting with. MDB Weekly will focus on articles, interviews, and events of note I’ve released this last week, along with any announcements of new courses and books I’ve released. Additionally, it will contain timely industry news and other information I think you may be interested in.

My focus is to make this available in a variety of easy-to-consume formats. It will be available in written format as an article on my site along with an email newsletter. It will also be available in audio format on my Modern Digital Business podcast. You can read or listen in whatever format or location is easiest for you. If this is successful, I will experiment with other formats as well, including video.

Each format will be the same content, optimized for that particular platform.

A new edition will be released every week on Mondays.

First up, an announcement

My next O’Reilly book, Overcoming IT Complexity, has been released and is available for purchase on all major platforms, including The ebook version is available immediately, with the print version scheduled to ship later in January 2023.

Last week’s top story: Reducing infrastructure complexity

Infrastructures are hugely complex. Often, they are initially created via a series of one-off decisions. Each component added to the system is different from the component next to it. One server is different from the next. One network switch is different from the next. As the application grows, so does the number of one-off decisions that make up the application’s infrastructure.

This leads to a highly complex infrastructure architecture that is difficult to manage. This complexity means fragility in the infrastructure. Seemingly minor problems can end up becoming significant issues. A lack of shared understanding by those involved in maintaining the infrastructure means simple changes end up causing mistakes that lead to errors, bottlenecks, and, ultimately, outages.

Even when there is the possibility of reusability of components (such as a series of servers working in a single fleet to operate an application or service), there are often individual differences that are created between each server, making each of them unique. Sometimes these changes are minimal. Sometimes they are nearly invisible. But sometimes they are critical to keeping the server operational.

These subtle differences mean that if you need to replace a component, recreating that component and its configuration can be difficult.
Infrastructure as code (IaC) simplifies this issue because it encourages reuse and reusable patterns.

With IaC, for example, you can repeatedly use a single server template for each server in a fleet. All your servers used for a particular purpose are set up and configured identically.

IaC can reduce errors and problems, but can it reduce infrastructure complexity? In my recent Container Journal article, I give you four ways IaC can reduce an infrastructure’s complexity: 4 Ways to Reduce Infrastructure Complexity (Container Journal).

Photo by John Barkiple on Unsplash

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Modern Digital Business weekly. If you enjoyed this, check out other formats available, including online article, email, and audio podcast. All versions are released weekly on Mondays.