Adopting DevOps

Adopting DevOps

DevOps is an enterprise capability for continuous software delivery that enables organizations to seize market opportunities and reduce time to customer feedback. The most forward thinking companies are establishing a DevOps approach in order to reduce time to customer feedback, improve governance, and balance quality and cost.

They can do this with greater lean and agile processes that expand across a fully automated lifecycle, which includes customers, LOB/business owners, development, test, and operations teams, all focused on achieving:

  Accelerated software delivery

  Reduced time to gather and analyze customer feedback

  Improved governance across the lifecycle

●  Retaining the balance of quality, cost, and speed

A full adoption of DevOps allows teams to create releases quickly and deploy these updates more frequently. To achieve the benefits of Agile and keep up with market trends, businesses need to adopt a DevOps approach. But that requires organizations to make changes that extend across the people, processes, and tools involved in the application’s lifecycle.

Align teams

Teamwork is vital to making continuous release and deployment work. Traditionally, a “wall” separated the development and operations teams. Due to conflicting professional responsi- bilities, teams often did not truly understand each other’s work. For instance, a development team’s responsibilities include implementing changes to applications and adding features. Operations teams are responsible for keeping the system running and deploying applications to production.

In order for both teams to do their jobs effectively, they must communicate early in the application lifecycle to achieve an overall goal, which is to meet business demands. Developers need to inform operations of new applications in development and involve them early in architecture decision-making.

With so many tools and so many steps in the release process, how do enterprises integrate everything?

How can they orchestrate the necessary steps across all tools in the pipeline and create end-to-end automation?

Small teams often initially start to link simple pipelines together using basic chained jobs or builds in their Continuous Integration tool, like Jenkins. But in enterprise environments, which involve many independent teams and countless applications, these basic attempts quickly turn into a jungle of scripts that must be built and maintained by highly skilled and expensive experts. Companies need a dedicated solution to manage their release pipelines and provide broader effciency gains, scalability, operational controls and process insight. They need a tool and processes that are exible, powerful and scalable enough to meet the needs of diverse teams and large organizations.

Build a consistent process

Inconsistencies and environmental differences result in release failures and costly downtime, but a carefully planned deployment process can ensure that releases run smoothly. A successful adoption will consist of a holistic process with end-to-end visibility. To ensure visibility across environments, stakeholders should share a single promotion process across the software delivery lifecycle. If the same deployment process is used in all environments, it will have been used dozens of times before it actually runs in production, and thus will be a thoroughly tested process. By offering a common process, operations teams can control it and maintain integrity of the build.

Pipeline

The easiest way to create a holistic process with end-to-end visibility is to examine the process in the production environment. The reason teams should start with the production environment is that it is where a successful deployment matters most. Once teams design the process for the production environment, teams should use the same process in earlier environments in the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). Doing so will allow teams to practice the process well before it is performed in production.

Create an automated culture

Automation is an important practice for companies to utilize, not only for DevOps adoption, but also for business best practices. Automation can provide operations teams with a visible, reportable, and secure means of deploying applications to production environments. In addition, automation removes the possibility of human error in the deployment.

Manual and half-scripted steps invite human error, causing release failures and potential outages. Because of these risks, operations teams are reluctant to introduce change. Automation minimizes the possibility of human error, lowering the risk involved with frequent deployments. In turn, operations teams become more willing to deploy changes, thus enabling IT teams to respond to business demands.

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