Back in my early programming days, every team had their "script guy" (or gal). There was always the need to automate some task, whether it was backups to tape or a cron job to check for a new file to FTP. The sys-admin community was always the go-to group that had long ago figured out that a good script was worth its weight in gold. I was fortunate to work for a DoD-aerospace company on a secret project right out of college. The amount of process and governance that we were under was tremendous now that I look back (I thought it was normal back then, yea right). We created a truly continuous delivery environment, albeit some of the steps were manual. Each night, all of the change sets for all of the finished change requests were examined. Each file that was changed was checked to insure that there were no other changes that it depended on that were not on the completed change request list. Using VAX logicals, we were able to have code at different deployment levels (DEV, INT, QA, STAGING, PROD) and use the same build mechanism.
Fast forward 25 years. The challenges and demands for DevOps are the same, yet the size and breadth of "common" everyday IT applications today is comparable to the Air Force project I was on 25 years ago. And if you look at the current DevOps solutions out there today, you see the same script guy mentality all balled up in the open source solutions and niche players being increasingly utilized. Hudson, Jenkins, Chef, Puppet, etc. are all the result of a group of smart "script guys" that needed a way to get something done without having to stay late or come in on weekends.
DevOps is a very big and wide buzz word today getting lots of traction. And like other groundswells, it got its start as a grassroots effort by "script guys." But some new factors have caused DevOps to be embraced by enterprise companies like IBM. Cloud computing is a dream come true for the DevOps community. To not only be able to continuously build and deploy but also provision without the 6 month lead time to procure hardware, we now have a much more flexible and dynamic environment to answer the more than often asked question. "Can we quickly stand up an environment to fix <insert problem here>?" Without a cloud solution, this often meant out-prioritizing other efforts to steal their hardware.
The IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery solution encompasses all of these good things in one product. Out of the box is the SmartCloud Provisioning solution as well as Rational Team Concert for a nice and robust build engine. If you want to plug in your open source solution like Jenkins or Hudson, feel free. You can also take advantage of IBM Rational Build Forge and Rational Automation Framework if you choose. Want to use IBM Workload Deployer or IBM Pure Systems, be my guest.
But don't look now. A quick search on Google shows a slew of open source cloud solutions. Stay tuned for more DevOps fun.