Moving Security To the Left In a DevOps World

Moving security to the left has become a coined phrase meant to describe the process of getting the security team involved earlier in a process.  Most typically, the phrase is used in conjunction with IT or software development projects. One of the top suggestions for ensuring security in a DevOps world is to move security to the left in the process tool chain. But what exactly or how exactly can you move security to the left? Grab that Open Seat The new DevOps process pipeline created an opening for a seat at the table for security. Prior to DevOps, the development team owned the entire pipeline from plan to release.  The Ops team would historically receive the release from over the wall and then be responsible for the deployment and operating the software inside the production environment.  With the Ops team joining forces with Development in the process pipeline, that ...

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Enterprising DevOps in Banking sector

“Shift left” is common in project life cycle management where the risks are mitigated early in the cycle by involving QA team early in the planning & development phase. In the  IT support systems, shift left empowers support staffs with enough tools, processes & knowledge base so that the issues get resolved at a point closest to the customer. The purpose of this process is to create a leaner organization and increase customer satisfaction. DevOps is a continuous shift left that helps in high velocity product delivery and enhance the quality of the deliverables. Why DevOps is crucial to Banking Sector? a.       Multi-channel delivery Traditionally banks have been offering products & services that were physically distributed through branches/ATMs in a brick-and-mortar fashion. But with the rapid increase in the use of smartphones & tablets, the banks are challenged to transform their distribution channels and trend towards drive-to-digital. The study from eMarketer.com shows the ...

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My Little Operations: DevOps is Magic

Bear with me, it will all make sense in the end.   If you aren’t familiar with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (because you don’t have a child who watches it over and over and … well, over)  let me sum up for you: There’s a pony who knows something horrible is coming. She wants to stop it. She’s instead sent by management to make friends, which seems to her to be ridiculous in the face of a looming catastrophe. When that catastrophe happens, she and her new “friends” (her coworkers) set off to find the elements of harmony – the only thing that can save the world. But lo and behold, evil destroys the elements. Or so it appears. See, it turns out that the friends are the embodiment of the elements of harmony and through their friendship they create the most powerful element of them all: magic. Together, ...

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Collaboration in Progress: Making DevOps a Reality

Everything on your company’s DevOps checklist is accounted for. It’s got the vision and the talent. It’s identified the problems and mapped out a solution. It’s got a culture that allows the flexibility that such a plan requires. Now’s the time to put the plan into action and let the benefits begin. The truth is that it may not be that simple. A great plan won’t mean anything unless everyone understands how to achieve it. And whatever a company’s DevOps strategy consists of, collaboration is the key to making it a reality. Collaboration is at the heart of DevOps. It’s even conveyed in the phrase itself. No matter the size of your company, this new process of teamwork and transparency relies on combining strengths between Development and Operations to achieve goals that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Breaking Silos with a Full-Circle Approach With one department responsible for writing code and ...

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Provisioning versus Configuration Example

A few weeks back I wrote about the difference between configuration and provisioning noting, primarily, that there are differences between the two tasks. It remains an important distinction to make because it’s really where the rubber meets the road (or the app meets the network) where it becomes important. As the infrastructure/network side of the house is where we’re concentrating our efforts to apply DevOps, it’s necessary to dig a bit deeper on this topic. So today we’ll examine  couple of concrete examples of the difference – and why it’s important. Your application is being deployed and it needs, wonder of wonders, a load balancer. Cause, elasticity. Scale. You know, cloudy type stuffs. So you grab that golden image and launch that virtual machine with Whatever Your Favorite Load Balancing Thing might be (HA Proxy, Nginx, F5, etc…). Voila! You’re ready to go, right? Not by a long shot. You’ve provisioned a load balancing ...

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The DevOps Litmus Test: Is Your Company’s Culture Ready to Get Agile?

New ideas don’t come to those who are afraid of breaking the rules. Improving something usually means you’ll have to push the status quo aside and try something that hasn’t been done before. What may be a standard operating procedure will have to make way for a brand-new approach with its own set of rules and goals. This applies directly to DevOps, which requires changes in how departments operate, how employees interact and how problems get solved. DevOps may be an idea your company is considering, but if the culture isn’t compatible with it, DevOps will never become an active part of your day-to-day operations. If DevOps Is the Engine, Culture Is the Fuel Let’s say two employees who don’t normally work together wind up taking an unprecedented approach to solving a problem. To their surprise, this new way of working together is incredibly efficient and a big improvement over ...

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Specialists vs. Generalists for Enterprise DevOps

Welcome back to the DevOps.com series, ‘Enterprise DevOps Q&A.’ I have a backlog of Q&A in store, but don’t let that stop you sending in more! If I can’t answer them myself, I will try to find someone who can. For this post, I was recently asked about the challenge that large enterprises are facing over whether to use generalists or specialists to drive their DevOps transformation… Q. Does a DevOps environment prefer generalists or specialists to succeed? This question has ricocheted for a while. Google CIO Ben Fried – who spent 14 years in IT at a large enterprise (Morgan Stanley) – spoke as long ago as 2011 about how ‘Generalists, Not Specialists, Will Scale the Web.’ Some webscale businesses like Netflix even espouse a singular ‘NoOps‘ skillset, although they continued to have separate specialists … and maybe still do. However, in large enterprises, I have seen DevOps work ...

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Keep Calm and Refactor Operations

Developers have been refactoring forever to gain efficiencies and avoid mistakes. Let’s apply more than just theory to ops to do the same. There’s about a million articles, blogs, tweets and infographics available today that bespeak of DevOps as this or that or the other thing. But one core truth remains: DevOps in part attempts to apply methodologies like agile to operations in order to gain efficiencies and avoid mistakes. We need the efficiencies because the number of apps that need to be deployed, updated, migrated, and maintained is increasing, not decreasing, and there simply isn’t enough time in the day (or during the monthly change window) to get it all done. We need to eliminate mistakes because they are, according to data from initialstate, very costly. It takes 30x longer to fix one bug (an error) than it does to write one line of code. Anyone who has ever ...

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DevOps cuts out the unnecessary middle-man

How many IT people does it take to produce an application? Actually, let me rephrase that. How many IT people does it take to produce an application effectively and efficiently? For many organizations, the answer to the second question is less than the answer to the first because the traditional IT hierarchy includes layers of middle-manager decision makers that weigh everything down. One of the things that DevOps helps companies accomplish is to eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles so the people trying to get things done can just do what they know how to do. The traditional IT model reminds me a little of putting a police officer in the middle of an intersection to direct traffic when there are already stoplights or stop signs present. Every licensed driver already knows the proper protocols and procedures for driving collaboratively and sharing the road so that everyone gets safely through the intersection. ...

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The DevOps Diet (Getting Lean)

IT has gotten fat – fat silos, fat processes, fat procedures.  Adopting DevOps is a great opportunity to look at some of our unhealthy habits and identify where we can eliminate unproductive waste from our process diets.  DevOps will ultimately teach IT how to exercise more with less effort, trim the fat and get lean. According to lean principles, the seven main areas of waste are: Defects –  variations from requirements that result in interruptions and re-work Overproduction – delivering something more or before it is required Inventory  –  carrying excess raw materials, work in progress (WIP) or finished goods Over-processing – doing more work than is required Motion – moving people or equipment more than is required Transportation – moving products from one location to another Waiting – doing nothing or moving slowly while waiting on a previous step What are the greatest sources of waste in your IT organization?  Are defects being regularly passed downstream? Are ...

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