Business increasingly is global, so DevOps has become global as well. In fact, for many enterprises, DevOps entails collaboration between development, test/QA and ops teams across multiple continents.
This is in part due to the economics of IT labor and in part because applications for global enterprises have to be deployed globally.
Unfortunately, enterprises executing DevOps globally must confront the physical realities of global code distribution. And those physical realities impose a “wait-time tax” that fatally undermines Agile processes and culture.
But they don’t have to. There’s a tax-free way to share large volumes of code across globally dispersed DevOps teams.
The Wait of the World
Every time you ship a massive build worldwide, you have to wait. Assume, for example, that you’re sending a 10GB build to five different locations over a 10Mbps MPLS connection. If a couple of your remote locations have 5Mbps connections, it will take them five hours to get each build. But if you have three locations with only 2Mbps connections (as is likely the case in Asia), they will have to wait 12.5 hours.
That wasn’t a problem when you iterated your builds with limited frequency. But as you try to become more aggressive about highly iterative Agile development and testing, this “time tax” becomes punishing.
For one thing, you lose productivity as your overseas developers and test teams wait idly for new artifacts. And these chronic wait times fundamentally undermine the Agile culture you’re trying so hard to build across your organization.
In fact, if your current model for distributing code globally remains as-is, you’ll never achieve the speed and iterative frequency your business needs. And you’ll certainly never come anywhere close to continuous delivery.
Faster Cycles from Dublin to Dubai
Fortunately, you can eliminate DevOps wait times, regardless of how globally dispersed your teams are and how thin their connections to your enterprise network may be.
The solution entails a hub-and-spoke model that:
- Lets you maintain a “gold copy” of your current codebase(s) in the cloud;
- Provides all your remote locations with their own local codebase copies that get continuously and automatically updated with any incremental changes as they occur; and
- Leverages each location’s high-throughput internet connection.
The combination of small, incremental code updates and high internet bandwidth dramatically changes the rules of the global DevOps game, allowing even the most geographically dispersed teams to work with even the largest codebases extremely iteratively and without delay.
It’s difficult enough to sync dev and test teams on different continents. And the pressures on your organization to respond immediately to ever-changing market and regulatory demands will only intensify. So now’s the time to consider abandoning your obsolete approach to global code distribution and adopt a model that better enables you to be fast, super-iterative and global.