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I Feel the Need for Speed—Evolving From a Loris to a Peregrine. How to Get Started With DevOps

Level 10

In the IT industry, you’ll hear “I’ll sell you a DevOps; how much is it worth?” But the joke’s on you because you can’t sell (or buy) DevOps, as it is, in fact, an intangible entity. It’s a business process combining software development (Dev) and IT management processes (Ops) with the aim of helping teams understand what goes into making and maintaining applications and business processes. All this happens while working as a team to improve the overall performance and stability of said apps and processes rather than “chucking it over the fence” once your department’s piece of the puzzle is finished.

DevOps is often referred to as a journey, and you probably need to pass several milestones before you could consider your company a DevOps house. Several of the major milestones stem from the idea of adopting a blue/green method of deployment, in which you deploy a new version of your code (blue) running alongside the current version (green) and slowly move production traffic over to the new blue deployment while monitoring the application to see if improvements have been made. Once all the traffic is running on the blue version, you can stage the next change on the green environment. If the blue deployment is a detriment to the application, it’s backed out and all traffic reverts to the current green version.

A key part of the above blue/green deployment is a methodology of continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), whereby minor improvements are always being undertaken with the goal of optimizing the software and the hardware it runs on. To get to this point you need to make sure you have a system in place to continuously deploy to production, as well as a platform for continual testing. Your QA processes need to tackle everything from user integration to vulnerability testing and change management, and since you don’t want to have to be hunting around finding IP addresses or resource pools to run it on, automation is going to be key.

As you move towards CI/CD adoption rather than separate coding and testing phases, you begin to test as the code is being written. In turn, you’ll start to automate this testing and eventual movement into production, which is referred to as a deployment pipeline. Finally, you’ll also need a more detailed way of performance monitoring, hardware monitoring, software monitoring, and logging. With performance monitoring, it’s no longer good enough to look at network latency—you need to have a way to understand the performance process, including the IO to an application stack, the amount of code commits and bugs identified, the vulnerabilities being handled, and the environment’s health status. With so many moving parts, you’ll also need something to ingest the logs and give you greater insights and analysis to your environment.

But for all this to be undertaken, the first and possibly most major hurdle you’ll have to clear is the cultural shift within the organization. Willingness to cooperate truthfully and honestly as well as making failure less expensive is at the core of this shift. This cultural move must be led from the top down within the company. Making IT ops, software development, and security stop pointing the finger at each other and understand they all have a shared responsibility in the other departments’ undertaking can be a challenge, but if they’re properly incentivized and understand the overall goal, this shift can be a smoother process for an organization.

This building of the correct foundation as per the above milestones allows you thus to move from getting started into the five stages of DevOps evolution: Normalization, Standardization, Expansion, Automated Infrastructure Delivery, and Self-Service. Companies moving into the Normalization stage adhere to true agile methods, and the speed at which they invoke changes begins to increase, so with time they’re no longer hanging around like a loris, taking days or weeks to patch critical vulnerabilities, but move and adapt with the speed of a peregrine falcon.

In the recent Puppet 2019 State of DevOps report, they try to raise the idea of improving your security stance by moving through the five stages of evolution so you can adapt quickly to vulnerabilities. For instance, about 7% of those surveyed can respond within an hour. Those organizations with fully integrated security practices have the highest levels of DevOps evolution. This evolution, in turn, will let you soar through the clouds.

12 Comments
Level 13

Thanks for the article

Level 14

Thanks for the article.

Level 8

thanks for the awesome article..

MVP
MVP

Nice article.

Level 13

Thanks for the post.  Still waiting for this to bear fruit for us.  We've had a couple of teams working on it but they are extremely young/inexperienced and mostly seem to think CI/CD is daily pushes while basically ignoring unit testing, so most of the pushes are merely fixing messes that should never have been deployed to begin with.  Thankfully the stuff they are working on isn't that important. 

Level 10

Hopefuly they start to automate testing soon into the process and good luck.

Level 12

Nice summary. As usual, it sounds like this is a good idea that will only work with significant management effort to get people to really comply.

Here's hoping Moore's Law kicks in to make the transition more swift and affordable than the millions of years of evolution it actually took to create a Loris and a Peregrine Falcon from a common ancestor.

pastedImage_0.png --->   pastedImage_1.png

Level 10

For those companys that see it as effort they will be behind if they ever make the transition. for those that understand it as a challenge and accept that they need to change then they with thrive in due course thanks to this undertaking

Level 11

Thanks for the article.

Level 14

Most people I see working as DevOps are really just scripting the starters and leavers processes.  To be fair, that does save us a lot of time and effort and allow us to get on with the slightly less mundane stuff.

Image result for suzuki hayabusa

That's a real Peregrine Falcon (Hyabusa in Japanese)

Level 10

NICE BIKE!! Scripting is just the first step and you start looking at things like terraforming you will wonder how did we not do this before now? 2020 will see more people start to look at their infrastructure as code or possibly move towards this as it will allow the flexibility and speed for their business to grow. start small and see how to bring more control and standardisation to your infrastructure.