What is DevOps, anyway?

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In today’s quickly changing technology, many buzz words creep up on us. DevOps didn’t stand out to me at first. In fact I didn’t even pay much attention to it, because it sounded like something very obvious or common sense. All that changed when I was at Rational’s Innovate 2013 in Orlando, FL. Along with big data, the DevOps stream probably had the most sessions, material and even labs and I attended several of those. I suggest readers take a look at some of the session videos posted from Innovate (requires a registration to access presentations).

So is DevOps something new? Something cool someone invented? Yes and No. While the concepts of fully automating and integration development and deployment are well known, some of the underlying technologies to enable them are relatively new. DevOps is an attempt to mitigate a problem area that has always been around with software delivery—lack of agility.

(Related: What is IBM Codename: BlueMix?)

I’ll simply point out some of the following aspects of DevOps that intrigue me, and I look forward to your comments:

  • DevOps is not doing more (or adding new features). It is actually doing less. Do what is needed for the business to respond as quickly as possible to changes in the market.
  • Born on the cloud applications and businesses are changing the game. They tend to respond to market events in such a rapid fashion that traditional enterprise solution based businesses simply have no choice but to adopt DevOps and become more agile. Or they can choose to close shop.
    • I do want to add that a DevOps solution is quite possible in a traditional enterprise, but a cloud-to-cloud solution is the best fit. It’s easy to keep environments consistent (dev-test-prod).
  • DevOps is as much a culture change, as technical and process changes. Solution providers have to think about business value for anything they do or deliver, period! If something is being done that doesn’t add to the business, that activity needs to stop (goes back to doing less). IT should become more aligned and closer to the business (and IT strategy should align with business strategy, not the other way around).

I’ll blog more about my experiences and thoughts about what IBM is doing and can do better in this space in the coming weeks.

Catch me on twitter @suniljoshi100.

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