Don’t apply Agile principles to DevOps. That’s not how it works.
We in the west often celebrate the new year with a promise to do more or less of something in the coming year. While these promises are often broken, they can occasionally be transformational.
And it’s time your organization had a transformational one: More DevOps, less Agile++.
It is still a pervasive issue that people look at the successes of Agile development and attempt to apply them to the operations side. That’s not how it works. Really. There is a fundamental difference between DEVops and devOPS that means what is perfect for one is terribly imperfect for the other.
While having a developer who specializes in the language du jour is important for a DevOps project—just like having a systems administrator that is proficient in given platform X—that really is where the similarity ends.
Operations is a daily thing. It takes specialized knowledge and uses it to keep systems purring along on the chosen platform with vendor X, Y and Z. For a lot of organizations, storage has moved to the cloud. For a lot more it has not, and there is a difference there. But in the end, management of that massive blob of storage falls on your storage specialists. If your environment is internal, they’re worried about hardware and software both, but even if you’ve taken a massive leap to the cloud they have access and backup and hierarchy concerns.
And given our worry about virtualization sprawl, a large number of organizations seem to have pitched that out the window when cloud and DevOps came along. Those instances still need monitoring and management, even if some of it is automated. In fact, the growth in numbers pretty much negates the automation goodness.
So take a close look at the devOPS side of your operation. Think about it. Include it in DevOps from the start, rather than applying Agile principles to a group that it just doesn’t fit well. We’ve (mostly) gotten past the “Developer is Kingmaker” mentality, and have started to reintroduce standards so that we don’t have 50 different database products to support. But far too many have yet to truly approach DevOps as an integrated whole that relies on the wisdom of operations—even though operations is going to be involved with this project far longer and more intimately than development.
And they are disparate functions. DevOps makes getting to market and maintaining the application far more streamlined, but when it comes down to it, 90-plus percent of you aren’t keeping a java developer watching an application for life. They’re moving on to the next project, and operations is left with more of development’s input and advice than previously, but all of the responsibility.
So step up, apply DevOps in the manner it makes sense for a given bit. If you are running DevOps on VMware, operations input will be different than if it is on physical servers or public cloud or private cloud. Take that input and develop around it. Personally, I’m a fan of application release automation (ARA) for achieving the melding, but however you do it, don’t say, “We’re DevOps,” and mean, “We’re going to wedge Agile into the entire org,” anymore.
And have a great year! Here’s to more apps, more responsiveness and more security!