DevOps has become one of the defining differentiators in business today. Organisations that do it well are able to drive innovation, accelerate speed to market and, potentially, disrupt industries. Those that fail to leverage its value or do it poorly, run the risk of lagging behind their competitors.
As DevOps practices and methodologies become more widely deployed, the challenges of scale, security and organisation-wide integration become more vital to success. Here are seven of the most important ways that DevOps teams can leverage modern cloud solutions and IT resources to deliver added value to the organisation:
- Reducing Costs
Most DevOps teams lack individuals with expertise in managing costs. The central IT team is typically more focused on managing cloud costs and aware of where it has pricing leverage based on the organisation’s overall cloud use and relationships with cloud providers. It can be more adept at ensuring you are getting the performance and capacity you need without running into out-of-control costs. IT teams can also add transparency, detailing precisely what you’re getting for your money. Additionally, they can leverage automation and orchestration capabilities to help DevOps teams understand, plan and optimise its own costs.
- Scaling Architecture
Building an application for a proof of concept or pilot project is one thing; building it to handle a massive volume of users and traffic is quite another. The challenge is to start fast but, at the same time, make decisions and deploy tools and technologies that let you adjust agilely as the application evolves. This means developing applications quickly and developing applications that address non-functional requirements that will ultimately determine business success, typically encapsulating issues around scale, security, reliability and availability.
- Reducing Complexity
One simple way is to use common, optionally open source tools that unify policy across multiple clouds’ various physical infrastructures, orchestration systems, DevOps tooling, virtualisation runtimes and operating systems. There are also traps to avoid to reduce complexity. One is to go stackless or serverless in the public cloud. This can make things faster in the short term but be self-defeating in the long term if you get locked in a web of proprietary cloud services…
- Avoiding Vendor Lock-In
One way is to work closely with the centralised IT team to identify tools that can be used commonly across the entire organisation, so the tools you are using are compatible with those being used by other DevOps teams or individual lines of business. This also gives IT a way to standardise on a common tool set, which will simplify life for you in the future. Another important way to avoid vendor lock-in, is to work only with software and infrastructure providers that support open source solutions, so that the APIs don’t change regardless of which cloud you are using or whether it is private or public.
- Improving Security
One of the ways to significantly improve security protections is to leverage modern tools and processes to facilitate what is commonly referred to as a “shift left,” which propels security and other infrastructure considerations earlier down the pipeline, into coding, architecture and pre-production systems. By collaborating earlier with security professionals and leveraging tools that facilitate security automation, DevOps teams can avoid security problems that may not be apparent until production and deployment cycles.
- Leveraging Modern Infrastructure
Just as DevOps teams can benefit significantly by the shift left in security, they can similarly benefit from a shift left in infrastructure, particularly in network infrastructure. Beyond the clear role of networking between multiple clouds, NetDevOps, or cloud-native networking, has the potential to be a breakthrough for microservices architectures. While a microservices architecture isn’t fool proof, it’s the best option today for the speed and agility of frequent or continuous deployment.
- Using Advanced Intelligence
Solutions are now available that leverage big data analytics and machine learning to automate cloud operations with real-time visibility, predictive analytics and real-time orchestration and optimisation capabilities. By using telemetry, advanced analytics and machine learning in real time across all aspects of shared infrastructure, DevOps teams can associate resource consumption with containers and virtual machines. This enables teams to control and visualise how infrastructure resources are used by workloads, in order to plan for and provide the capacity needed for smooth application performance.
In less than a decade, DevOps has emerged as a critical set of practices, policies and technologies that organisations use to empower digital transformation, speed to market and innovation. Today’s cloud environments provide the framework to address these issues, but it is critical for DevOps teams to work closely with the larger IT organisation and individual lines of business. Applications must be able to scale and are not locked into proprietary architectures and limited options.
By choosing the right solutions and partners, DevOps can embrace open, scale-out, software-defined hybrid cloud architectures that maximise automation and orchestration to support speed, agility and reliability. We partner with Juniper Networks to provide automated, scalable and secure network solutions that offer agility, performance and value.
‘7 Steps to DevOps Success’ taken from TechTarget® and Juniper ebook ‘A guide to Improving DevOps in the Hybrid Cloud’.