Welcome!

DevOps Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Mike Kavis, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: DevOps Journal, Java, Linux, Cloud Expo, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

DevOps Journal: Article

DevOps – Getting the Most From It

So exactly how do you kick start a DevOps strategy?

So exactly how do you kick start a DevOps strategy? For example, say your organization is tied down to a very sequential, but cumbersome Waterfall approach to software development that is wasting precious dollars and hindering productivity? In the following we’ve outlined some strategy tips that every business leader will need to consider as they start down the path of DevOps adoption.

devops pic 4

Get Executive Buy-In
Whatever steps your organization takes on the DevOps path of rolling out software faster and more effectively and deployment will require the support of your senior level management team. Explain the advantages of DevOps to the executive team in terms that they can easily understand. Provide an outline of how DevOps and cloud computing can save on ROI and get your new mobile application into the hands of the customer faster and more effectively with higher quality.

devops pic 5

Bring together business owners of Development and Operations together and setup a demonstration of some cloud-based testing and automation tools that can show cost savings. This can and probably should involve a series of meetings. Create several weekly lunch and learns for the executive team. Be creative but ensure that the message gets across that DevOps is about saving the organization time and money!

Build a DevOps RoadMap
In order to implement DevOps effectively, you’ll need to organize your strategy and outline the scope and approach. In the process, ask yourself what is the endgame, what do you want to achieve in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years? Obviously, you want to produce higher quality products and services faster and more efficiently, but you’ll need to wrap some context around that. To monitor your progress on the path to DevOps, pay attention to these KPIs:

  • Time to set up an environment
  • Time from change request to release
  • Number of deployments per week or month
  • Mean time to resolution

As you organize your roadmap document, keep an eye on use cases of what other organizations have done. Also keep in mind that your roadmap is going to relate to people, process, and technology working in unison and harmony. It’s meant to be a dynamic document, not a static one written in stone. Keep it updated and iterate often as you and your team develop new insights.

devops pic 6

Transforming the Culture
DevOps is not just about technology but it’s about people and process. It’s about effective collaboration and communication across the organization. All of this gets at the importance of culture and cultural practices. Old habits die hard and if your organization is steeped in long-standing, traditional enterprise approaches to software development, then moving the needle on efficiency will obviously take longer.

As one source has well said, “You can’t directly change culture. But you can change behavior, and behavior becomes culture.” Start by creating an environment in which innovation and brainstorming are welcomed practices. Reward people for their ideas. Host a monthly innovation contest by providing a free lunch or $50 gift certificate to whoever finds the best solution to a manual, time-consuming process.

devops pic 7

Automate, Automate, Automate!
The benefit of automating the testing and deployment process hardly needs explanation. With just a few clicks a continuous integration tool will run a series of unit tests, deploy the code to a new server, and then carry out a series of integration tests. The obvious takeaway is that continuous integration automation reduces cost and increases efficiency so that developers can spend their time writing code instead of tracking and fixing bugs.

Developing the ability to automate an organization’s infrastructure may seem like the most daunting of tasks, and it’s at this point that companies usually become their own worst enemy. However, there are a significant number of automation tools on the market now that can help make your build, test, monitoring, and deployment process efficient and effective. A tool like Monitis can give your organization a jump start on your DevOps strategy by providing continual performance, testing, and monitoring updates for your infrastructure.

Realize DevOps takes Time
There is no quick fix solution to creating a DevOps environment; it takes time to get key stakeholders onboard and to change policies and practices. Be persistent though and the dividends will pay off!

devops pic 8

DevOps is an epic transformation in the world of IT that is creating a host of new opportunities for businesses to become more agile and efficient in the delivery of their products and services. If followed through, the foregoing strategies can dramatically save your organization significant amounts of time and money while boosting efficiency at all levels. The DevOps train is leaving the station, but it’s not too late to get onboard. Get started today to see the differences DevOps can make in the level and quality of your business practices.

More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Monitis, he served as General Manager and Director of Development at prominent web portal Lycos Europe, where he grew the Lycos Armenia group from 30 people to over 200, making it the company's largest development center. Prior to Lycos, Avoyan was VP of Technology at Brience, Inc. (based in San Francisco and acquired by Syniverse), which delivered mobile internet content solutions to companies like Cisco, Ingram Micro, Washington Mutual, Wyndham Hotels , T-Mobile , and CNN. Prior to that, he served as the founder and CEO of CEDIT ltd., which was acquired by Brience. A 24 year veteran of the software industry, he also runs Sourcio cjsc, an IT consulting company and startup incubator specializing in web 2.0 products and open-source technologies.

Hovhannes is a senior lecturer at the American Univeristy of Armenia and has been a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Bertelsmann University.

Latest Stories from DevOps Journal
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option through September. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during special offer. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, DevOps Summit sessions at Cloud Expo, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Registration page is located at the DevOps Summit site. Your DevOps Summit registration will also allow access to @ThingsExpo sessions and exhibits. Register For DevOps Summit "FREE" (limited time) ▸ Here
The old monolithic style of building enterprise applications just isn't cutting it any more. It results in applications and teams both that are complex, inefficient, and inflexible, with considerable communication overhead and long change cycles. Microservices architectures, while they've been around for a while, are now gaining serious traction with software organizations, and for good reasons: they enable small targeted teams, rapid continuous deployment, independent updates, true polyglot languages and persistence layers, and a host of other benefits. But truly adopting a microservices architecture requires dramatic changes across the entire organization, and a DevOps culture is absolutely essential.
High performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems are ready for use – getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time – bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of Enterprise SQA? Does the SQA function become redundant?
Achieve continuous delivery of applications by leveraging ElasticBox and Jenkins. In his session at DevOps Summit, Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, will demonstrate how you can achieve the following using ElasticBox and the ElasticBox Jenkins Plugin: Create consistency across dev, staging, and production environments Continuous delivery across multiple clouds to handle high loads Ensure consistent policy management across environments: tagging, admin boxes, traceability Spin up machines and environments quickly Deploy applications to any cloud Enable real-time collaboration between developers and operations
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their smaller footprint, shorter boot times, and higher consolidation factors, they also bring a lot of new features and use cases that were not possible with classical virtual machines.
WaveMaker CEO Samir Ghosh is taking a new pass at aPaas, and leveraging the increasingly popular Docker open-source platform, with the announcement of WaveMaker Enterprise. The new version of the company's eponymous software “enables instant, end-to-end custom web app creation and management by professional and non-professional developers (alike) and development teams,” according to the company. We asked Samir a few questions about this, and here's what he had to say: Cloud Computing Journal: You've mentioned the previous challenge of business-side developers making that jump from design to deployment. What sort of learning curve will they still face with Wavemaker Enterprise? Samir Ghosh: “Business-side developers” can include non-programming business users or professional developers under tight schedules or with limited mobile or front-end programming expertise. Both can use WaveMaker to meet their app development needs, but may have different deployment needs. I think business users just want their app to run as easily as possible. In WaveMaker, they can literally click a button and their application will run, either on our public cloud or on the enterprise’s private...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additionally, the school sought a partner to provide OpenStack infrastructure deployment and operations expertise. They ultimately selected Blue Box’s Private Cloud as a Service, powered by OpenStack, leveraging Blue Box's Zurich, Switzerland data center.
In a world of ever-accelerating business cycles and fast-changing client expectations, the cloud increasingly serves as a growth engine and a path to new business models. Dynamic clouds enable businesses to continuously reinvent themselves, adapting their business processes, their service and software delivery and their operations to achieve speed-to-market and quick response to customer feedback. As the cloud evolves, the industry has multiple competing cloud technologies, offering on-premises and off-premises cloud platforms for both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). In parallel, cloud standards are also evolving, including community standards like OpenStack and CloudFoundry. Most organizations who are adopting the Cloud today are ending up adopting it in complex ‘dynamic-hybrid’ environments. There is physical infrastructure that now co-exists along with the new dynamic-hybrid on-premises and off-premises Cloud hosted environments.
This story came in from Joseph – one of our fellow dynaTrace users and a performance engineer at a large fleet management service company. Their fleet management software runs on .NET, is developed in-house, is load tested with JMeter and monitored in Production with dynaTrace. A usage and configuration change of their dependency injection library turned out to dramatically impact CPU and memory usage while not yet impacting end user experience. Lessons learned: resource usage monitoring is as important as response time and throughput. On Wednesday, July 3, Joseph’s ops team deployed the latest version into their production environment. Load (=throughput) and response time are two key application health measures the application owner team has on their production dashboards.
The recent trends like cloud computing, social, mobile and Internet of Things are forcing enterprises to modernize in order to compete in the competitive globalized markets. However, enterprises are approaching newer technologies with a more silo-ed way, gaining only sub optimal benefits. The Modern Enterprise model is presented as a newer way to think of enterprise IT, which takes a more holistic approach to embracing modern technologies. This model makes use of Composable Enterprise framework put forward by Jonathan Murray of WMG.