DevOps and Software Defined Environments accelerate social and mobile delivery! Part 1
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I am writing this blog post are part of a series where I am exploring open cloud-inspired approaches, such as OpenStack, DevOps and open standards. The idea is look at how these approaches can enable IT adapt to the shift to user and customer engagement through social and mobile applications.
Agile delivery demands a new perspective to challenge existing processes and practices. My observation is that IT organizations have optimized themselves to manage complex technologies by evolving into discrete specialism’s, which are good for reducing departmental costs but limiting in terms of IT flexibility and agility. Integration is required across these IT domains to address the need for agility and overall IT cost reduction, including lifetime application maintenance costs. Similar to younger born-on-the-cloud organizations, an integrated cloud-enabled approach to application delivery and lifecycle management (ALM) is required across development and operations.
For many clients I work with, the handovers between specialists are manual and slow. A virtual machine (VM) can be provisioned in 15 minutes, but the process of standing up an environment can still take weeks. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud built on an application programming interface (API)-enabled infrastructure platform like OpenStack provides the foundation to programmatically automate hand-offs and integrate across the application delivery landscape, reducing weeks to hours or minutes.
Software Defined Infrastructure, needs direction if the business is to benefit from the agility inherent in its key features: flexibility and programmatic API control. If IT does not deliver the ability to rapidly deliver new functional, the credit card comes out. A point I discussed in my earlier post “The tectonic impact of social and mobile on IT.”
These tools perform deployment of environments and application components through the stages of the delivery pipeline, from development and test environments to production. The IBM solution is based on UrbanCode Deploy. Illustrated by the lifecycle arrow in the figure, lifetime application maintenance is also enabled by automation of the delivery pipeline. The adoption of deployment automation reduces the time and effort required to deliver and retest application updates, middleware patches, version changes and infrastructure renewal.
SDE brings OpenStack-based Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) together with the application patterns that I covered in my previous post. It provides application-aware environment provisioning to tailor the IT infrastructure to the workload being deployed and run-time workload optimization.
In the upcoming blog post I will take a deeper look at deployment automation and Software Defined Environments.