What is DevOps and Why Do I Need it?

True or False: There is a six letter solution to making software development and deployment processes much easier for your IT Team, increasing the competitiveness of your business. If you chose true, then you’ve likely heard of DevOps before. But is the solution really so simple? And what is DevOps anyways?

DevOps is a portmanteau of two key IT roles – the Developer and the Operations Administrator, but refers less to a specific job title (although DevOps Engineers remain in high demand) and more to a set of cultural and managerial behaviors. The goal of DevOps is to create an approach to software development and delivery that emphasizes big picture thinking and synchronicity. The end goal is to maximize quality production value, and allow companies to quickly update software for customers, clients and within internal systems.

How DevOps can help

Combining the ‘Dev’ and ‘Ops’ roles does more than create a catchy moniker, it reflects how the practice itself integrates the tasks and goals of both teams and encourages Development and Operations to sync to the same pace of output. The success of DevOps is measured by the ability to erode the traditional ‘evolving vs. stability’ tensions between Devs, who want to create new features and make changes to the product and Ops who want to see the product run and avoid performance issues. In ideal conditions for a DevOps environment, Developers will not create a couple of builds a day, and then waiting up to a week for their release. Instead, production and distribution are synchronized to meet target metrics of weekly, or even daily deployments (sometimes hundreds or thousands a day).

There is no single ‘DevOps tool’ that can improve collaboration across an organisation, for a standalone ‘DevOps tool’ will not cure any organisational pains. Automation, or infrastructure as code (IAC) may be just part of a DevOps solution. Selecting the correct tools for the tasks at hand in your organisation is absolutely key. DevOps improves processes by creating new cultural rules around internal communication and feedback, in addition to implementing tools which are designed to provide incremental benefits.

How businesses are using DevOps

For one major online entertainment service, streaming over a billion hours of video to customers every week requires engineers to deploy code thousands of times a day; providing reliable streams to this many global customers is challenging- so in response, the company’s Developers created a tool that renders their operating environment unpredictable, automatically creating server failures as code is written. This adjustment to the development process is unique, and challenges the team to anticipate failure conditions and produce a different level of code quality as a result.

When done correctly, the right DevOps tools and practices can be transformational and create a huge amount of business value. A correctly managed environment that can deploy better code, faster will be miles ahead of their competition in meeting the needs of customers, and entering new markets.

Prolifics takes a 4 step approach to DevOps services, beginning with a consultation where we assess your current level of DevOps maturity. Following this, we advise on which tools best meet your organisations’ needs and finally, transfer the skills and processes to allow your team to shorten the development lifecycle and provide high quality, continuous delivery.

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