I was working on an e-book recently about the state of the market for certain DevOps toolsets, and got really interested in how standardized organizations are becoming. We have been on this roller coaster of changing technology and different teams making different choices in language, libraries, platforms and toolchains. We all knew that couldn’t go on forever, but I started to really get into the idea of “How much standardization is being introduced?” While talking with vendors about their experience, it seems that enterprises are finally attempting to standardize, at least in the platform and toolchain areas.
Not the type of “technology by edict” standardization we used to see, but a checklist of “If your project fits these criteria, use this platform. If it fits those criteria, use this toolset for your build chain.” Which is a good compromise between the days of “We’re a Cisco shop” or “We’re an Oracle shop,” and the days of “Yeah, first developer on a project chooses the language, database, etc.” You limit the amount of technical debt and vendor/OSS project dependency, while offering teams options for how best to get the job done.
I’m excited about the change, and it is one of the things driving much-needed consolidation in core DevOps markets. I won’t go beyond that, as you’re supposed to read the e-book when it gets released, but it’s an exciting time to be in DevOps. We’re getting more and more tools, better integrations and even some full lifecycle toolsets starting to become clear.
Our shop is small, and we’ve exercised standards all along, just because we don’t have the time for everyone to train on five different CI products, so we use one. But for larger organizations with more diverse needs, standardization will offer savings in both maintenance and cross-training.
Consider that at one point there was no standardization on vehicles–everything from tires to engine oil was custom to the brand you owned. Now, it is quite often the case that the engine in your vehicle is the same engine as in a competitors’ vehicle (VW using Saab engines for years is a good example), and that means maintenance is streamlined. Tooling with onboard computers makes maintenance even faster, much like tooling monitoring/reporting is doing for the DevOps iteration. It’s a good time to be in the field, watching as things unfold.
Stay aware of what your vendors are doing, and what their competitors are doing. One of the reasons DevOps exploded is because tools and processes became static and weren’t as productive as they could have been. Don’t repeat that mistake, keep an eye on rapidly changing developments and adopt what suits your organization. You’re rocking it now, take a bit of time to make sure it stays that way.
And consider standardizing some of your toolset. The fewer tools to maintain, the more time to work on productive issues. And the fewer toolchains a DevOps team member has to know to be productive on multiple projects, the more productive they can be. Agility applies here also.