Moving from the transformation laboratory to production

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DevOps automationDigital transformation is fueled by near-ubiquitous access to the cloud and accelerated by DevOps automation. This powerful combination sounds simple—but realizing true transformation can feel much more complex.

The reality of digital transformation means that you need to lift, extend and refactor applications into cloud architectures one piece at a time. Traditional applications are inherently comprised of interconnected components such as application servers, queues and databases. Microservice architectures increase the variability and scale of these components. It’s common to find new microservice application components connected to traditional applications or middleware with each running on-premises or in private or public clouds.

This model of connected components is a true hybrid model. Developers can leverage new cloud architectures and DevOps practices to increase velocity, but the overall complexity of transforming application increases.

How do smart companies manage this complexity to realize greater velocity?

A laboratory for fueling transformation

IBM Cloud Private helps companies create an environment to fuel transformation. IBM middleware and runtimes and open source offerings are containerized for rapid deployment, scaling, and resiliency, and can be easily attached to new, polyglot microservices. Common services such as logging, monitoring, and security consolidate management so that developers are free to spend more time on application logic.

IBM Cloud Private can serve as a secure transformation laboratory where applications can make their way to the cloud. You can create hybrid microservice and traditional applications and then extend and test them. Suites of application microservices can be continuously integrated and deployed. And you can move components to other public or private clouds for production usage over time.

In this transformation laboratory, DevOps automation simplifies the complexity of the microservices model, freeing developers to focus on their specific services.

From the laboratory to production

Applications developed in the laboratory can face significant organizational and configuration challenges when promoted into staging and/or production environments:

  • Applications services, such as message queues and databases, need to be retargeted to their production counterparts. They may require integration with various management tools, and might run in different environments.
  • Application components like microservices may need to be hosted in different clouds and connected to on-premises applications or across clouds where production data resides.
  • Traditional applications and databases may need to be concurrently updated to support API or database schema. Service fabrics may have to be configured to support multiple concurrent versions.
  • Businesses need to govern the authority to promote applications and ensure that the microservice versions promoted were properly tested and validated.

How can you meet these requirements while maintaining the promise of DevOps velocity?

IBM UrbanCode Deploy (UCD) provides an answer. UCD extends DevOps automation and control to multicloud hybrid environments, including existing on-premises applications.

Conventionally used to automate deployment of traditional middleware and applications, UCD also supports containers and Kubernetes deployments in IBM Cloud Private. It supports traditional runtime environments as well as cloud hosting on IBM Cloud and other popular cloud platforms.  So now you can press a single button to deploy containers to multiple clouds at once while also updating traditional middleware with consistent orchestration.

UCD supports multiple target environments such as development, test, QA, staging and production with specific configurations for each. It plugs into common testing, security and tracking systems. UCD also supports different component build mechanisms, such as Jenkins. It can track applications, components, microservices and configuration versions, providing you with complete visibility.

UCD supports organizational policy, such as separation of duties between development and production, with fine-grained access controls to determine who can trigger deployments. Approvals and quality gates mean applications can be promoted across differing environments in compliance with policy.

This is hybrid DevOps at scale, with complete production control.

The promise of transformation: Velocity and control

Digital transformation requires a clear strategy that challenges many conventions of traditional thinking about architecture and DevOps. This strategy may seem more complex—especially in the short term. The combination of IBM Cloud Private and UrbanCode can help you realize the promise of transformation by arming you with the automation and control required to succeed at any stage of the transformation journey.

Ready to learn how you can use DevOps automation at your business? Join our upcoming webinar on January 24.

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