It’s finally time to talk about System Initiative. Since early December 2021, I’ve had the privilege and honor of working alongside one of the best software teams on the planet to handcraft foundational technology for ushering in the second wave of DevOps.
Today, we are talking about System Initiative publicly for the first time, and in the coming months, we will be open sourcing the System Initiative software. Let’s get into it.
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What we’ve built has not only been an endeavor of passion for all of us at System Initiative, but, for me, it’s the direct answer to everything that I’ve seen in my career thus far.
Before I had written my first line of non-trivial code in university, I was introduced to the world of software via Linux. Tinkering with desktop computer hardware and tweaking desktop environments in Linux VMs in my teenage years set the stage for what was to come. Everything from my first stint in academic research working with Docker containers to writing infrastructure software for Kubernetes in my prior professional endeavors has led to this.
Yet, despite repeated successes witnessed both firsthand and within the industry, the excellent tools we had individually built never met their aspirations in the aggregate. Customers, hobbyists, academics, and developers loved what had been built in vacuums, but rarely carried over those sentiments when the pieces interlocked. The interlocking and frustrations have only increased since I entered the industry. From my first boot of a Linux VM to now, I’ve been embroiled in the first wave of DevOps.
In the fall of 2021, Adam and I discussed what I wanted to do next in my career. We talked about everything, including becoming a founder, woes in the DevOps space, and, of course, System Initiative. When Adam showed me a prototype of System Initiative, everything halted and our conversations converged on it. It was exactly what our industry needed then and what our industry needs now, more than ever. Even if I was hellbent on becoming a founder then, I knew that I would need to build the same thing. Thus, I joined in December 2021 as the fifth person in the company and have not looked back.
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Enter System Initiative. It’s a real-time, multiplayer, multi-modal reinvention of DevOps tooling. It’s a power tool that re-imagines the user experience by delivering a near real-time, visual modeling system that uses digital twins to give users the power and control they need.
You can collaborate with colleagues across the world at the same time and with immediate feedback. Every change is validated and qualified immediately, so you can ensure your configuration is viable. You can reconcile individually or in batches and decide what you want to do with your model. Collaboration for software-defined infrastructure is back.
Speaking of reconciliation choices, the days of “declarative-only” infrastructure are over. No more individual infrastructure as code files sprawling into several repositories. System Initiative provides bi-directional reconciliation of the simulation with the real system to give you the choices you need to manage your infrastructure.
It’s not oversimplified either. Configuration can be inferred through the relationships between models. Changing a value at the source cascades throughout all the dependent models, making complex configurations easy to express. The system will automatically generate code as needed. System Initiative is explicitly a power tool that removes papercuts experienced throughout the first wave of DevOps. You can leverage the intelligence system to tackle your most complex infrastructure stacks.
The best part? It’s all customizable. You can publish modules to our open source module index to enable other users to use full-fidelity models in their systems. You can create your own functions and edit existing ones. You can change how code is generated. You’re liberated to craft the infrastructure you need.
We’re only scratching the surface of what System Initiative can do, and I can’t wait for you to try it. Before that, let’s talk about what’s under the hood.
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System Initiative isn’t an addition to an existing stack or platform, it’s a bespoke design powered by breaking the rules and learning from DevOps builders. It’s powered by Rust, TypeScript, Vue 3, PostgreSQL and many other state-of-the-art technologies that you’ll be able to get your hands on soon.
The majority of the System Initiative software is powered by Rust. We make extensive use of the tokio ecosystem, communicate over NATS and heavily use PostgreSQL for a robust backend stack. Vue 3 and TypeScript lead the way for the user interface, which is snappy and responsive to your monitor’s native refresh rate. The software is built with Buck2, a cutting-edge build system, with our own, custom prelude.
Our developers use the best tools for the job and measuring “best” does not just include implementation details, but also maintainability and joy. That philosophy is baked into System Initiative. It’s not only a joy to develop, it’s a joy to use!
Not only will you be able to try out the System Initiative software soon, but you can join us in getting there now.
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The System Initiative software will be open sourced in the coming months. Between now and then, we’ll give you peeks into what we are up to and the road there. More importantly, you’ll be able to join us on this journey in a few places:
- In our Discord server, the community for all DevOps builders ready for the second wave. We’ll be providing weekly updates, gathering feedback, giving you all sneak peeks on what’s to come and just plain ole hanging out!
- On systeminit.com as there will be press release(s), podcasts, articles and many other forms of content to let you know what we are up to. We’re going in guns blazing.
- On social media, where Adam, myself, the company and the team will be talking to about System Initiative with open arms.
- On YouTube, by watching and sharing the demo on YouTube and catch the first ever, public look at System Initiative. Be sure to subscribe as more videos are coming!
Welcome to the second wave of DevOps. I can’t wait for you all to take a look at and try out the System Initiative software soon. See you in the Discord server!