DevOps enables companies to move faster—but moving faster is not a worthy goal in and of itself. Organizations have to be able to develop and deploy solutions that are effective as well as expedient. It’s important to be able to monitor and respond to events in real time to ensure everything is running optimally, and to be able to create and implement fixes as quickly as possible when it’s not.
At its AppSphere 2014 conference held in Las Vegas earlier this month, AppDynamics announced the latest release of the AppDynamics Application Intelligence platform—which is designed to help make application intelligence available so businesses can run faster, leaner, and more efficient. One unique element of the latest release is a new DevOps Virtual War Room.
An AppDynamics press release describes the DevOps Virtual War Room. “It enables IT operations, development teams and business users to see and resolve problems together in a shared virtual space. The new release also enables scheduled, auto-delivered reports, and adds a new iOS app that sends push notifications to team members when system alerts are triggered.”
Unless you can get all parties in one room, reviewing the same information, and discussing the issues and potential solutions, troubleshooting can easily devolve into chaos. Mixing various forms of communication—phone calls, emails, instant messaging, face-to-face, etc.—results in a modern day business form of the children’s game “telephone”. Statements get twisted, and bits and pieces of information get lost in translation as various parties attempt to work together.
The DevOps Virtual War Room strives to change that dynamic by giving teams—even geographically separated teams—a single virtual space where all parties can come together to collaborate. Everyone sees the same data, and the individuals can discuss options and make changes to application settings and configurations together in real-time.
Another benefit of the DevOps Virtual War Room is that it maintains a log of the communications and the changes that have been made. Valuable information about the root cause of the issue, the troubleshooting process, and the changes made to implement an effective solution are captured so that there is an audit trail to refer to if additional problems arise, as well as a historical archive that can server as a reference for future issues. The data collected from the DevOps Virtual War Room can be captured and indexed in knowledge management systems in order to streamline access in the future.
“We’ve all seen the tremendously positive impact the DevOps phenomenon has had. With our new Virtual War Room and the other tools introduced today, we are catalyzing DevOps collaboration for troubleshooting, as well as application development, in ways that no other APM platform can do,” explained AppDynamics CEO Jyoti Bansal. “Performance isn’t just about technology, as critical as that is—it’s also very much about people working together closely to get things done faster and more effectively.”
To be fair, there are a variety of other ways to accomplish a similar goal. Any number of Web conferencing or virtual whiteboard tools—including things like Skype for Business or Google Hangouts—could serve as a virtual meeting places where developers, operations, business stakeholders, and others could “meet” virtually to get things done. One aspect that makes the AppDynamics DevOps Virtual War Room different—if not better—is that it also brings the relevant data and information to the table, and presents it in a way that enables the individuals to analyze the problem and devise a solution.