DevOps Adoption Enhances Agility and Innovation

By Bob Violino  |  Posted 2016-03-29 Email Print this article Print

Companies that adopt DevOps tools and practices enhance collaboration, speed processes, are more responsive to customers and increase the rate of innovation.

Major DevOps trends and key DevOps challenges focus on security and compliance, "especially now that we are part of one of the largest retailers in the world," Cabanski says. "We're still learning how to deal with all that when it comes to sharing responsibility for deployment and infrastructure between developers, infrastructure and operations engineers. We're constantly tempted to solve these problems with handoffs, but we work hard to avoid that."

DevOps Adoption Drives Internal Operations

Another organization that's benefiting from DevOps is Holberton School, an institution that uses project- and peer-based learning to train software engineers. The school relies on DevOps for internal operations and as part of its curriculum.

"DevOps philosophy has been within Holberton School since day one," says Sylvain Kalache, co-founder. The school is using a set of tools so that developers can securely and easily ship code to Holberton School Websites.

"We are a Ruby shop, so most of our code is written in Ruby or Ruby on Rails," Kalache explains. "When code is pushed to our GitHub repository on a specific branch, our code is automatically tested via RSpec.

"If tests fail, then the developer is alerted and can fix whatever issue was found. If tests pass, then a Docker image is built with the code in it, and it's then pushed to our Docker registry."

The next step is to use an Amazon Web Services' Elastic Beanstalk platform-as-a-service offering to automatically grab the new Docker container and push it to Holberton's staging infrastructure. "We then perform additional manual tests, if needed," Kalache says.

"If everything looks good, the Docker container is pushed to the production Elastic Beanstalk infrastructure. This last part is manual, as we want to make sure that the person deploying code is actually behind the computer in case something goes wrong."

This process is used both for the Holberton School's official Website and the school's intranet.

"This enable developers to push code easily," Kalache says. "It also allows any staff or student who is less comfortable with the code base to push code without the fear of breaking code in production."

The drivers for deploying DevOps include a need for speed and reliability. "We are a startup, so we need to iterate and move fast," Kalache points out. "Having an unoptimized [or] slow deploying process was not an option.

"We also focus on quality. We would look quite bad if our Websites didn't work. DevOps is a way of making the operation and development of a Website smoother."

With DevOps, "there is no segregation between developers and non-developers," Kalache adds. "We work as one team toward the same goal and using the same tools."

Forrester's Bittner predicts that DevOps "will become the way that organizations work five years from now. The benefits are too compelling—and the risks and costs of not changing are too high—not to adopt DevOps practices across entire organizations."


Bob Violino, a Baseline contributor, is a freelance writer and the editorial director at Victory Business Communications.


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