Three essential elements to maximize business value with DevOps

DevOps is fast becoming the winning strategy needed to accelerate the continuous delivery of exceptional software without sacrificing quality and cost efficiency. With its focus on better communication, collaboration and feedback within and across development and IT operations, DevOps is gaining many fans – even in the business, where performance is seen as being directly attributable to its adoption. I’d be the first to agree that buzz plus a liberal dash of hype follows any new tech trend. We’re seeing this big time with DevOps. Already it’s one of the most Googled tech trends. Many vendors are washing and making ready their ‘DevOps products,’ while the #DevOps noise is shall we say, trending – we just love disruptive technology.  If you have read the Puppet Labs 2014 State Of DevOps survey, organizationswith high performing DevOps teams were 2.5x more likely to exceed profitability, market share and productivity goals, and had ...

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Removing the Wall Between Dev and Ops

Welcome to the new DevOps.com Q&A series on Enterprise DevOps. In the first post in this series, I answered five key concerns for adopting a DevOps approach in a large enterprise. Now, I want to address a more specific question from an admin at a large enterprise about the silos and barriers between dev and ops … Q. How do you work with customers to remove the imaginary wall between dev and ops to create that DevOps environment? This is perhaps the core of a DevOps transformation – dev and ops teams working closely together toward common goals, rather than in isolated silos. I have seen several methods have substantive impacts on these entrenched silos, so I will take you through some of the more effective approaches. Familiarization In many organizations, dev and ops barely know each other – a huge barrier to the empathy at the centre of devops. ...

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DevOps.com sponsors FlowCon

DevOps.com is happy to be a media sponsor of FlowCon this year. FlowCon is a popular event held in San Francisco that focuses on lean product development, continuous delivery, lean UX, and (our favorite) DevOps. From the show producers: FlowCon brings together technologists and industry leaders passionate about innovation through lean product development, continuous delivery, lean ux, and devops. We’ll be exploring the role of culture, technology and design in growing organizations that thrive in an environment of continual change. We will provide inspiring and actionable information for key decision makers responsible for products and services that depend on software. Our full program includes speakers from Google, Netflix, Heroku, Nordstrom, Soundcloud, Macy’s, HP, Joyent, ThoughtWorks, and IBM. The second day features an open space unconference, and workshops from Don Reinertsen, Mary and Tom Poppendieck, Whitney Johnson, and Sarah B Nelson. This conference is especially relevant for our audience because of the ...

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The Continuous Delivery Pipeline — What it is and Why it’s so Important in Developing Software

Continuous Delivery (CD) is a software strategy that enables organizations to deliver new features to users as fast and efficiently as possible. The core idea of CD is to create a repeatable, reliable and incrementally improving process for taking software from concept to customer. The goal of Continuous Delivery is to enable a constant flow of changes into production via an automated software production line. The Continuous Delivery pipeline is what makes it all happen. The pipeline breaks down the software delivery process into stages. Each stage is aimed at verifying the quality of new features from a different angle to validate the new functionality and prevent errors from affecting your users. The pipeline should provide feedback to the team and visibility into the flow of changes to everyone involved in delivering the new feature/s. There is no such thing as The Standard Pipeline, but a typical CD pipeline will ...

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How to Find Your Continuous Delivery Rhythm

This article is a part of a series of pieces on digital innovation, accelerating change and the rise of the coded business from innovators in the Chef community. In this article we present an interview with Jez Humble, Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks, on digital innovation. Focusing on speed and scale allows you to respond more rapidly to weak signals in the market, and to arbitrage those opportunities quickly. This is different from the way it used to be. In the past, we’d only respond to the strong signals in the marketplace. But now, with the lower cost of investment in product development, and the resulting optionality in that process, we can service subtle market signals effectively. Here’s an example of this. A company noticed that when people searched for bird-cages online, very few entries came up. So, to fill the void, the company began making bird-cages. And now this business has created ...

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Revolving door of IT employment threatens continuous delivery

As the IT job market heats up following a long lull, enterprises will increasingly need to cope with the difficulty of maintaining operational continuity in the face of personnel churn. Whether the revolving door agitates the employee pool for developers or operations staff, the length of time necessary to off-board departing IT staffers and on-board new ones can particularly endanger the fast-paced routine of continuous delivery and DevOps practices. Fortunately, the documentation and automation principles inherent to DevOps could actually also prove to be the very answer to a problem that threatens DevOps sustainability as job churn increases. “DevOps is not just a tools play, it’s a human play–how people eventually work has a very big impact on how well DevOps is put into place,” says Aater Suleman, CEO of Flux7 Labs and a professor in computer systems design and architecture at the University of Texas. “We have an immense ...

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DevOps: Getting Past Audit

New business processes (and technologies) too often throw auditors into a tailspin. It’s no one’s fault, really: the decision making on what IT and process controls that need to be in place moves slow – and it is the tail to the rapidly moving technology dog. In fact, while there is no way a standard or regulatory body can predict technological change from year to year, there are ways to help ease the relationship between auditors and organizations embracing DevOps and continuous deployment practices. “DevOps audit is an interesting problem,” says David Mortman, distinguished engineer at Dell (formerly Entratius). “Audit is something you just can’t avoid, especially in any industry that’s regulatory controlled. And auditors are a lot like security people, in my experience, which is to say that they have a lot of responsibility and they are justifiably concerned about things they don’t understand,” Mortman says. And concern their ...

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Continuous integration for better security

One of the big advantages to smaller deploys and continuous integration is that it can make it easier to provide more proactive security. In short, continuous integration (and the associated automated testing it enables) makes it easier to focus your security team on analyzing areas where the security risk is higher. If the notion of rapid development, rapid deployment, and continuous integration make your security team nervous you may be able to get them engaged by sharing proven ideas from companies who’ve made this approach work well in the real world.   For example, I was recently flipping through a presentation from Etsy on SlideShare, and discovered a clear explanation of how continuous integration enables better security. At right, you see slide 34 from this (very long but clear) deck. this is the first in a series of slides that talks about how you can identify high-risk areas of code, ...

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DevOps Needs a Tsunami To Jump The Chasm

All start up business endeavors must go through the phase of crossing the chasm.  Most of those business endeavors usually fall prey to the chasm. The chasm is this black hole that everyone claims to understand but no one truly does. We have all seen businesses cross the chasm or fail to cross the chasm and fall into the black hole. But no one seems to understand why and how that crossing happens. The bestselling book by Geoffrey A. Moore titled “Crossing the Chasm,” is all about the heart and soul required to get early stage technology across the chasm, from early adopters to mainstream customers. There is a big difference between people who are enthusiastic to try leading edge technologies and the rest of the inhabitants, who tend to be much more conservative. The reasons that people spend time trying to figure out how to cross or jump, if ...

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My DevOps Bookshelf

Aside from the many technical manuals on our bookshelves, I bet everyone has a few that are more process or philosophically oriented which hold a special place in our hearts.   To me, these are the ones we continue to go back to and that have helped develop us as engineers, software, operations, quality assurance or otherwise.  In no particular order, the following are the top four, not strictly technical, books in my library. Web Operations by John Allspaw and Jesse Robbins Allspaw and Robbins cover many topics in this text ranging from monitoring and metrics to databases and operations development relations.  I appreciate this one so much it is required reading material for anyone who joins my operations teams.  In my opinion, it illustrates many best practices for an operations organization. Continuous Delivery by Dave Farley and Jez Humble This book bridges the gap between good software development practices and ...

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