DevOps: the panacea for all that’s wrong with enterprise IT. Where siloed teams who keep information close to
their chest are replaced by agile, transparent relationships between developers and operations and fast and
stable workflows that improve IT efficiency significantly and very visibly.
It’s a wonderful thing.
Organizations that incorporate DevOps practices experience continuous service delivery, fewer errors, faster
problem resolution, and more. They deploy 200 times more frequently and with 2,555 faster
lead times than those who don’t deploy DevOps. They spend 50% less time remediating security issues and 22%
less time is spent on unplanned work and rework.
Yet DevOps is not without its challenges. Legacy IT is historically complex and heterogeneous. Your systems still
need tending, even in the DevOps world. They must be monitored for compliance and availability, secured and
scaled, load balanced and configured, all without interruption to the enterprise.
Pre-DevOps Behaviors Hinder Success
And that’s where the problems start and the promise of DevOps starts to unravel.
With a limited set of clear leaders in the DevOps tools and architectures space, and a team mainly focused on
development, making the move to DevOps becomes a challenging and risky endeavor for any CIO. If they take that
risk, many of the time-consuming and manual pre-DevOps processes get carried over. For example, if there’s a
glitch with release management or a broken disaster recovery process, these problems are dealt with as they
occur, or not at all, until they reach a point of critical mass.
The promise of DevOps is somewhat broken, instead of agility, speed, and rapid service delivery, you’re once
again dealing with a manual, repetitive, and time-consuming process.
So what are your options?
Infrastructure Management in the Age of DevOps
We believe it’s time for the forward-thinking enterprise to put DevOps management front and center. This means
that mission-critical IT functions, such as back up and disaster recovery, must be streamlined, standardized,
and unified. Only then will organizations save money, and ensure essential business continuity while embracing
But IT infrastructures are intricate and unique. Re-architecting what’s already there is risky, painful, and
expensive. Yet the marketplace isn’t coming up with any answers. A lack of repeatable, standardized,
off-the-shelf solutions for infrastructure-level problems leaves you with few options.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. A number of technology trends are emerging that aim to address the problem of
infrastructure management in a DevOps environment. Each has their benefits, but we’re not confident that any of
them, alone, represents the holy grail. Let’s take a look:
- Cluster Management Software
Apache Mesos, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, and other cluster management software are becoming an important
and required part of DevOps architecture – all work well with cloud technologies (but aren’t contingent
Cluster management works by abstracting out everyday software operational tasks, such as backups, and
introduces much-needed efficiencies into complex environments and management tasks through
orchestration. Unfortunately, cluster software can be notoriously difficult to set-up for use in
production. Cluster management software is designed to help developers manage many aspects of this
complexity. And while it may be a significant part of the solution, rarely is it a complete
solution in and of itself.
- Containerization and PaaS: Manage DevOps with an SaaS-like Experience
Flexibility and reduced time-to-market, who doesn’t want that? Thanks to the convergence of IaaS, PaaS, and
SaaS, new DevOps approaches are evolving to meet this need.
For example, one approach sees the combination of containerization technology and PaaS to deliver SaaS
characteristics for custom software. This delivers capabilities such as fast service delivery,
out-of-the-box production quality, reliability, security, disaster recovery, and so on.
Since less expertise is needed for over-arching DevOps workflows, this SaaS/PaaS cluster management approach
relieves the pressure on DevOps teams, it also checks off the need for out-of-the-box functionality. Not
only is the need for custom software eliminated, maintenance costs are lowered, complex processes are
streamlined, and automation is introduced – across the board.
Take Action Before It’s Too Late
While these trends have their benefits, there are no quick fixes or a one-size fits all answer. Both cluster
management software and containerization differ wildly in their capabilities and are often incompatible with
older/legacy software. The task of integrating each with existing back-end systems and ensuring compatibility
with existing environments is a perpetual challenge in hybrid deployments where everything must work together
for seamless DevOps.
But it’s important that CIOs recognize the problem of infrastructure management in a DevOps environment, before
it’s too late. As you explore DevOps, consider how its concepts and challenges can fit in your organization:
- How can repeatable cycles be eliminated?
- How can you strike a balance between the demands of the business and the need to operate in a compliant,
stable, and secure environment?
By addressing these challenges early on, you’ll ensure that each of these co-interdependencies is manageable.
Before processes break down and critical systems are out of sync.
Unify and Simplify DevOps Infrastructure Management
While there’s no standardized, one-size-fits-all fix here, in our experience, as discussed above, each of these
options presents unique issues that prevent them from becoming standard for our projects.
Instead, we recommend that you seek out a solution that combines best practices with modern open source DevOps
containerization and cloud technologies to unify and simplify DevOps infrastructure management. Only PaaS
provides the extensible and ready-to-use pluggable infrastructure services needed to easily configure new
services, introduce development efficiencies, and take care of many of the operational concerns of getting to
DevOps that we discussed above. DevOps automation and cluster management technologies also augment cloud
strategy and multiply its benefits by an order of magnitude.
The result is a powerful platform for robust, production quality, elastic, scalable infrastructure services, such
as security, backup, disaster recovery, logging and monitoring, continuous delivery, and more.
Boost your DevOps Efforts
By streamlining custom software development and delivery, while giving your IT team the freedom to develop great
software and drive business value, the gulf between the promise of DevOps and the reality of infrastructure
management in a DevOps environment is diminished.
Furthermore, because the cloud and open source are intrinsically flexible, you can seamlessly boost your DevOps
automation with the addition of pre-packaged, production-ready, open source software components. Everything from
identity management and single sign-on, to business intelligence and analytics – all can easily be integrated
into your existing infrastructure.
The impact of DevOps to the IT enterprise and business as a whole is important and, as the data points at the top
of this article reveal, highly measurable. But success requires forethought and planning. Only then will the
promise of DevOps be realized and the walls that stall application roll-out will crumble. Collaboration will
become the new norm, and your products and services will reach the hands of your customers, while your
competitors are still stuck in testing mode.
To learn how EastBanc Technologies’ DevOps experts can help your organization thrive,
Jill DaSilva | Director of Sales Operations | firstname.lastname@example.org