DevOps must be Developer-first, not Operations

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The rise of social enterprise tools intended to facilitate workplace collaboration have naturally impacted the software application development function in terms of user interconnectivity and integration.

Specifically here we see the popularised term "DevOps" coming to the fore. Used to express the orchestration of both the 'developer' and the 'operations' functions responsible for the building and subsequent deployment of software as it is.

DevOps itself has (arguably) come of age given the push for rapid roll out of web applications, the push for rapid roll out of mobile applications and the increasingly widespread use of Agile software development methodologies.

The programming landscape is getting faster and the applications themselves are getting more and more complex, so DevOps has some claim in terms of being able to provide an anchoring effect.

So as vendors in this space now gain wider acceptance for their technology proposition it is time to analyse to balance inside the DevOps algorithm. Should DevOps be a 50:40 Dev and Ops split? Or should one outweigh the other?

Electric Cloud's Ashish Kuthiala spoke on this subject at this year's JavaOne conference and exhibition on this subject.

Kuthiala points out that a single application release leads to several deployments spanning the development, QA, staging and production phases. But in the last mile, production deployments often lag in clearing the final key hurdles because of a disconnect between Dev and Ops teams.

Kuthiala explains the DevOps state of the nation as follows:

"To solve this problem [of this disconnect], DevOps has become an increasingly popular technique for shepherding software from the design phase through development and testing all the way into production."

"The business value of DevOps is quite profound: DevOps reduces software delivery times, improves application quality, and enhances the productivity of the development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams. Most importantly, DevOps reduces the complexity, errors and risk of application deployment failures in production, the most important stage of the application delivery pipeline.

"However, the Dev and Ops teams have fundamentally different goals and incentives. Dev is paid to create change and keep the business moving forward whereas Ops is paid to keep the lights on."

"As most downtime happens due to change, change is feared and resisted by Ops. Many organisations are co-locating Dev and Ops teams to address the gap. However, this isn't enough. The cultural and technology divide between these two teams still prevent them from producing change from a customer and market centric approach. Organisations must take a Dev-centric approach to address this gulf."

So DevOps round one goes to the development team according to Electric Cloud... let the debate continue.

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2 Comments

A lot of companies easily have 5-10 developers for every system admin. Virtualization and cloud computing have made it very easy to setup new servers. Devops is a great trend, but I think a lot of companies have leaned on their developers for a long time to deploy and support their apps. I think it is more of a trend in larger companies who have always had very rigid dev and ops teams.

I think it is important to get the developers more visibility to the production environments so they can be more involved and do a better job of application support. In so many companies the developers have no visibility to the servers after their software is deployed. It is really difficult to troubleshoot application problems if you can't see log files, config files, errors, deployment files, etc. Developers need to be more involved in application support type operations. This is the big need of Devops. I founded Stackify to solve this problem.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Adrian Bridgwater published on November 22, 2012 5:47 AM.

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