Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: XebiaLabs Blog, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, SmartBear Blog, Rishi Bhargava

Blog Feed Post

Excuse Me Ms. Shannon-Solomon, But DevOps Is Great For Enterprises

On May 13th, Rachel Shannon-Solomon wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal section entitled “DevOps Is Great for Startups, but for Enterprises It Won’t Work-Yet.” In this piece, Ms. Shannon-Solomon implies that DevOps—a loosely-defined IT initiative oriented toward creating higher quality and more resilient systems—currently faces too many hurdles to see broad-spectrum adoption. Unfortunately, this assertion is incorrect and based on some rudimentary mistakes individuals make about what defines DevOps and what is required to be successful with DevOps adoption.

First, I will address Ms. Shannon-Solomon’s premise and then propose alternative thinking from other industries that will work well for enterprises. Ms. Shannon-Solomon’s initial point that silod-structures and organizational change are necessary to institute DevOps is an area of debate and contention among many leading the DevOps charge. There is an entire school of DevOps influencers that do not believe silos are the enemy and, indeed, serve a purpose in large IT organizations for ensuring focus and a level of specialization needed to ensure that the prime operational mission—keeping the systems available and secure—is met. The issue Ms. Shannon-Solomon uncovered relates to organizations that have been indoctrinated into the school of thought that DevOps requires cultural change. One of her later points in the piece explicitly states that the hurdle many DevOps tools vendors are running into is related to attempts to sell this cultural revolution.

This entire line of thinking is spurred by the perspective that DevOps fosters greater collaboration between various facets of IT that need to work more closely to ensure successful completion of the tasks. Moreover, the cultural change is not revolutionary, but evolutionary, with regard to instituting accountability for the availability and security of the corporate assets across all of IT. The outcome being reduced finger-pointing, reduced outages and faster recovery times in cases where outages do occur (and they will).

Ms. Shannon-Solomon’s points around build vs. buy illustrates another common misunderstanding regarding DevOps, which is that tools are an essential element of adoption. It is true that a key element of DevOps is automation as it provides consistency and reduces configuration drift—the issue where application and infrastructure configuration changes are instituted with loose control leading, a leading cause of outages—and increases productivity through the reduction of time spent on repetitive tasks. However, there are a bevy of tools already deployed in enterprise environments that can be used to drive an end-to-end design-build-test-stage-deploy-operate process. Indeed, I, and other DevOps throught-leaders, have indicated caution with regard to tools adoption around DevOps as it can lead to new IT silos and a significant increase in code and scripts that require their own architecture and maintenance lifecycles.

Finally, with regard to her point about return on investment, Ms. Shannon-Solomon addresses, anecdotally, one aspect of the DevOps process focused on engineering and development. Specifically, she addresses a lack of ROI with regard to agile development projects, when it’s important to examine and measure impact on all facets of application delivery including those that touch security, network operations, data center operations and help desk, as would be expected of an effective enterprise DevOps strategy. However, the real value to any business in successfully adopting DevOps is the increase in focus on depleting backlog and supporting innovation that is currently lost to just keeping the lights on. As with cloud computing, the greatest value proposition to the business is increased agility.

Where I agree with Ms. Shannon-Solomon is that the same tactics used to institute DevOps in a startup will not work in an enterprise setting. These are very different environments with extremely different goals and requirements. She is correct in her assessment of enterprise as resistant to change and stymied by organizational structure. However, requiring a “rip-n-replace” approach has never been popular in enterprise settings and tearing down the silos to gain efficiencies or achieve IT modernization are simply utopian follies.

Interestingly, an answer to this problem domain can be found in military strategy. Armies are simply a group of individualized regiments each with a specific responsibility toward an overarching mission. Within each regiment, the commanding officers institute rules and procedures based on military guidelines and the specific situation on the ground. Each regiment carries out its assignment based on a specific timeline as part of a bigger plan that leads to completion of a whole mission. In this scenario, DevOps comprises the military guidelines plus the individual commander’s input.

The real hurdle that lies in front of enterprises is the lack of well-understood missions as defined by the executive office. Often when speaking with IT management I will ask, what are the top 3 initiatives of the CIO and CEO for this year and next. Quite often, the answer to this question is unknown or unclear. In some cases, they just haven’t been clearly laid out by the CEO, in other cases, the information does not get disseminated beyond a certain point of management. In lieu of of mission directives, the regiments will aimlessly execute the last known set of tasks. To those who have experience in enterprise IT organizations, this can easily be translated into, “because it’s the way we’ve always done it!,” which is a curse of death for adoption of well-intentioned DevOps initiatives.

Ms. Shannon-Solomon’s perspective is greatly skewed by her association with those attempting to sell DevOps; those is attempt to implement change through the introduction of new tools and cultural revolution. This approach is akin to Woodstock. It produced great music, raised awareness of what was happening in Vietnam, but did little to dramatically change the lives of the majority of individuals living in the United States. Impact on the scale of the enterprise occurs through accountability, incentive, and management directives. The cultural change is one of constant improvement. DevOps initiatives approached with this as a goal and following something akin to the regiment model can achieve great strides in delivering on the larger mission and obtaining the known benefits of agility.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By JP Morgenthal

JP Morgenthal is a veteran IT solutions executive and Distinguished Engineer with CSC. He has been delivering IT services to business leaders for the past 30 years and is a recognized thought-leader in applying emerging technology for business growth and innovation. JP's strengths center around transformation and modernization leveraging next generation platforms and technologies. He has held technical executive roles in multiple businesses including: CTO, Chief Architect and Founder/CEO. Areas of expertise for JP include strategy, architecture, application development, infrastructure and operations, cloud computing, DevOps, and integration. JP is a published author with four trade publications with his most recent being “Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks”. JP holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organizations must focus on what is most relevant to deliver value, reduce IT complexity, create more repeatable...
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to monitor and adjust functions like performance, capacity, caching, security, optimization, uptime and se...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web.
On Dice.com, the number of job postings asking for skill in Amazon Web Services increased 76 percent between June 2015 and June 2016. Salesforce.com saw its own skill mentions increase 37 percent, while DevOps and Cloud rose 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Even as they expand their presence in the cloud, companies are also looking for tech professionals who can manage projects, crunch data, and figure out how to make systems run more autonomously. Mentions of ‘data science’ as a skill rose 13 percent, followed by automation with 11 percent and program management with 10 percent.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Alex Lovell-Troy, Director of Solutions Engineering at Pythian, presented a roadmap that can be leve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Deploying applications in hybrid cloud environments is hard work. Your team spends most of the time maintaining your infrastructure, configuring dev/test and production environments, and deploying applications across environments – which can be both time consuming and error prone. But what if you could automate provisioning and deployment to deliver error free environments faster? What could you do with your free time?
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between what is available in the public cloud and the early private clouds?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks. In today’s connected world, cybercriminals want to gain trusted status and remain undetected, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintaining applications using Kubernetes.
StackIQ has announced the release of Stacki 3.2. Stacki is an easy-to-use Linux server provisioning tool. Stacki 3.2 delivers new capabilities that simplify the automation and integration of site-specific requirements. StackIQ is the commercial entity behind this open source bare metal provisioning tool. Since the release of Stacki in June of 2015, the Stacki core team has been focused on making the Community Edition meet the needs of members of the community, adding features and value, while maintaining the StackIQ supported Pro and Enterprise editions. This release returns some focus to th...
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is correlated with 20% faster time-to-market, 22% improvement in qua...
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extremely low latency (under 10ms). He is working at Jet.com as a Director of Software Engineering leadi...
As companies gain momentum, the need to maintain high quality products can outstrip their development team’s bandwidth for QA. Building out a large QA team (whether in-house or outsourced) can slow down development and significantly increases costs. This eBook takes QA profiles from 5 companies who successfully scaled up production without building a large QA team and includes: What to consider when choosing CI/CD tools How culture and communication can make or break implementation
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously. Products have rebranded from content management, asset management, CRM, social media, analytics .....