DevOps as the next frontier in IT operations

The DevOps approach draws wide circles and is becoming more and more popular. But is it a tool, is it a new nerd culture or just a job title? 

In addition to the integration of operational and development skills in order to achieve a better overall product, the concept of site reliability engineering is the mainstay for the successful automation of the integration and deployment processes within the framework of the DevOps approach.

Tradition meets modern

Classic IT architectures are designed for stability, reliability and security. They were developed so that companies can keep their traditional enterprise applications permanently available through a central infrastructure. Over the years, numerous components such as hardware and virtualization components have been installed that are not only outdated today, but also no longer meet the current requirements for scalability, performance and agility.

The new generation of digital IT and platform operations requires an innovative, flexible infrastructure that is based on the latest standards in cloud architectures. In addition to micro services and automation tools, on the organizational side it is primarily agile DevOps concepts that are the essential prerequisites for real-time monitoring and management in order to successfully provide a digital platform for companies or customers. 

DevOps is more than a link between development and IT operations

One of the most important IT trend topics is currently DevOps. The term is made up of the prefix “Dev” by software developer (developer) and the suffix “Ops” by IT operation (operations). The combination of words symbolizes the close cooperation between the two business areas of software development and IT operations – but is not limited to these two teams. Characterized by principles of agility and open source, the concept also describes a new programming and organizational philosophy that considers the acceleration and optimization of software and product development. 

On the one hand, the error rate in software development can be significantly reduced using the DevOps approach, and on the other hand the clock rate for innovations and new releases can be increased significantly. Since faster time-to-market is a key success factor in the digital world, DevOps is currently spreading in more and more companies. This concept and the inclusion of a comprehensive open source culture can strengthen software development in its role as an engine for increasing efficiency. Not only can new functions and services be provided faster and more flexibly, but automation and iterative development can also provide them more securely and better in terms of quality requirements. With DevOps, companies come into a flow that also enables them to modernize classic IT infrastructures.

Although it is not easy to formulate a clear definition for DevOps, the concept envisages the complete integration and automation of all development, testing and IT operating processes in a holistic approach. The guidelines in the context of DevOps can be outlined as follows:

Efficient collaboration: Developers, test engineers, IT administrators and product owners communicate efficiently across department and company boundaries in order to be able to work together quickly and confidently. This requires a uniform level of information (“Single Source of Truth”) and transparency for all internal and external parties with regard to code repositories, system management and monitoring tools. The documentation is largely “code-based” and the essential logs and vital functions of the systems are available and can be analyzed at any time in real time.

Automation: While manual handover and commissioning of new “builds” into productive operation still takes place after testing, the DevOps approach provides for a holistic optimization towards CI / CD. The automated creation, testing and deployment of applications and processes, which are correspondingly standardized, procedurally defined and in code, not only ensures time, but also productivity and quality.

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE): Site Reliability Engineering is an emerging paradigm in the cloud-native era, which was created by Ben Treynor Sloss, VP Engineering at Google. The focus here is on operation, monitoring and orchestration, but above all the system design as a prerequisite for feasibility. SRE forms the basis for reliability and automation and combines various processes that ensure operation.

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The DevOps approach has quickly spread and developed since the term became established in 2009. The increasing automation and toolchain approach, which is supported by better monitoring and delivery tools, the need for agile processes and the collaboration of developers, as well as the failure of extensive implementations of ITSM / ITIL, has brought together different levels and has continued to develop to this day. This article is written by Rock ark works as an analyst for the IT research and Foio3 proAction dairy Farm management software company in Canada. His main focus is on mobile technologies, coworking and data-based business models.

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