2nd Watch today launched a managed DevOps service based on the continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) platform from GitLab that it will operate on behalf of customers in addition to coaching them on how to adopt best DevOps practices.
Stefana Muller, a senior product manager, said the 2nd Watch Managed DevOps service combines the managed and professional services capabilities of 2nd Watch into a single offering. That approach is required because when it comes to DevOps most organizations need as much help transitioning their culture as they will operating their CI/CD environment, she said.
One of the major challenges organizations face when trying to embrace DevOps is they typically spend a lot of money upfront only to see those efforts flounder when changing the internal culture of the organization becomes too difficult, Muller said. As part of an effort to smooth that transition, 2nd Watch DevOps experts will assess an organization’s readiness to adopt DevOps tools and processes and then train internal teams on DevOps fundamentals such as managing infrastructure as code and Git principles. The assessment is based on a Culture, Automation, Lean Practices, Measurement and Sharing (CALMS) methodology.
The 2nd Watch service is built around an on-premises edition of the GitLab CI/CD platform that it will host and upgrade on behalf of a customer on either an Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft public cloud platform. The DevOps service will focus on enabling organizations to build both monolithic and microservices-based applications faster because no organization today has fully transitioned to microservices. The company already provides a managed Kubernetes service for building and deploying applications based on a microservices architecture.
2nd Watch chose to partner with GitLab because of the completeness of that CI/CD platform, which among other things includes integrated security modules that can be employed to advance DevSecOps practices as well, Muller said, noting that longer-term, 2nd Watch is planning to layer a more robust set of managed DevSecOps services on top of the GitLab platform.
Managed DevOps offerings are starting to proliferate as the number of services providers that have attained certifications from multiple IT vendors has increased. It’s not clear to what degree organizations will prefer to rely on these services just yet. However, it’s is apparent many organizations are trying to shift as much of their limited resources to building application code versus managing IT infrastructure. It’s also possible that as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic becomes more widespread many organizations will need to rely on external service providers to manage their DevOps environments.
Regardless of the motivation, organizations that are at the beginning of their DevOps journey clearly will need more help than those that are further along the DevOps maturity curve. The decision most organizations will need to make is to what degree will they rely on a managed DevOps service to accelerate their transition versus opting to rely permanently on an external IT service provider to manage one of their most critical IT environments.