ITSM and DevOps: Part technology, part culture

Posted by Christian Franklin

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3/31/12 8:41 AM

As the disciplines of IT Service Management continue to evolve, the buzz around DevOps has tapered off.  But that doesn't mean the conversation is no longer relevant - particularly with continued maturation of virtualization platforms, prepackaged, 'off the shelf' dynamic infrastructures and advances application delivery controller (ADC) capabilities. Our opinion is that IBM's pending Expert Integrated Systems announcement has some intriguing capabilities on this front but we'll know more on April 11 (IBM NGP Troy is also a common reference).

But let's be real, the goal of DevOps - bringing the development and operations teams closer together to improve application delivery speed and quality - is more about culture than it is about technology.

Don't get me wrong, technology clearly plays its part but the real challenge is getting the developers to feel like they are part of the larger team for them to pay attention to a DevOps initiative. The hitch is that most developers are more concerned with knocking out awesome code and cool apps. Moreover, they get as annoyed as business users with network issues, server resource and storage capacity constraints which makes them even less inclined to want to be part of the larger team.

Therefore, it is up to management to methodically move development closer to operations. Here are a few items to consider:

  • Mandate that all testing occur on the OS that will ultimately host the application. The maturity of virtualization today makes this nearly trivial.

  • Have the developement team put resources on, and actively participate in the deployment. Virtualization and ADC capabilities provide the technology underpinnings to do this efficiently.

  • Remind everyone that an application's success is directly proportional to the user's experience. Testing and deployment play a large role here.

The days of developing in a vacuum are over and it's time to remove one of the last artifacts of the past: the disconnect between development and operations.

Topics: Optimization, Agile