DevOps is a key methodology that brings developers and operations together, reducing friction and increasing velocity. It relies heavily on increased communication, collaboration and innovation, so can also be a catalyst for cultural change.
While the benefits of continuous delivery for web companies like Amazon and Google are well known, other industries can benefit from DevOps, especially those with the following characteristics:
- Progressive softwarisation of the tools
- A lean operational model
- Repetitive processes that can be automated
The problem for organisations is how to gain the necessary agility while working in an environment that has traditionally been hardware-centric. And typically, with fixed data centres, connections, and routers, as well as standalone network appliances and software. There are also proprietary systems and applications, as well as siloed organisations to contend with. This all adds up to slow time-to-market for new services and enhancements to existing ones.
Organisations best placed to take advantage of DevOps are those who have adopted progressive technologies such as NFV and SDN. These introduce a flexible architecture that applies simplification, automation, and analytics to achieve operational benefits by reducing the costs associated with complex, manual processes. With everything software-based (or at least software-managed), organisations can re-write and fully automate many of their existing business processes, helping them gain a competitive edge.
Legacy waterfall development focuses on defining and then delivering all the requirements of an application. It involves discrete stages, each completed sequentially, and highly defined roles. Development is extremely lengthy and, often, by the time applications are delivered, customer requirements have changed and the market has moved on.
Additionally, the traditional plan-build-operate service life cycle followed takes too long. This is due to the need for time-consuming development and testing over a complex infrastructure. Moving towards a DevOps methodology and open platforms for service delivery will help accelerate the launch of new services and innovation cycles.
DevOps is an agile methodology that delivers features incrementally. Because it involves developers and operational professionals working side-by-side, ideas are quickly shared. Decisions are made and actions taken. Problems are corrected, and functionality is delivered much faster than traditional methods, leading to a significantly shorter time-to-market. New services can be created and offered in days, perhaps even minutes, rather than months and years.
And because the methodology has constant user feedback at its heart, it provides continuous improvements, and consistently delivers functionality that meets user requirements, as opposed to phasing user feedback into releases that take six to nine months to appear.
Such is the power of DevOps that it is becoming widely adopted around the globe. Organisations that have, realise benefits such as higher customer satisfaction and sales and lower infrastructure spend and downtime.
Transforming the legacy infrastructure and addressing the large hardware infrastructure business will require a more sophisticated operating model that balances old and new. And this won’t be easy. The foundational elements needed to implement DevOps include an infrastructure that enables the adoption of virtualisation; open APIs across multiple layers; analytics for quick feedback; programming skills and a culture that embraces risk taking and collaboration.
We partner with Juniper Networks to provide automated, scalable and secure network solutions that offer agility, performance and value.
‘Driving Agility with DevOps’ taken from Juniper whitepaper ‘DevOps for Communications Service Providers: Driving agility, efficiency, and higher revenue growth’.
Web companies such as Amazon Web Services and Google are well known for using continuous delivery to innovate faster and provide their customers with enhanced products in a timely manner. The need to push out new features with minimal manual intervention is growing increasingly important to non-web companies as well, with continuous delivery gaining ground in all sectors. Find out more by downloading the whitepaper.