What’s All This Hype About DevOps?

Jan 22 2014 | by Alex Wexler

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OR: Why DevOps are sought after by the world’s top companies?

DevOps -Who are they?
It’s not just a job

Looking to define DevOps as a job is a costly mistake of mega proportions. Devops is not just a position– it’s a movement and a culture that manifests itself among these highly talented, motivated and unique personalities. Surprisingly, the picture that emerges while studying these techno geeks is quite fascinating and intriguing. How did this movement come about? What are their responsibilities? How does the cloud play into all of this?

Before DevOps: A world of internal strife
A difficult jigsaw puzzle

To understand the purpose of Devops, we need to take a look at the challenges that created the need for their existence. Before DevOps, the IT staff can be likened to a difficult jigsaw puzzle—
worked fine biggesta challenge that takes many hours of piecing together dissimilar parts to make a seamless unit. The IT staff, like the jigsaw puzzle, needs to work as a seamless unit, yet is made up of dissimilar groups called the development and operation teams.

These teams differ in their goals, tools and procedures. They might even be located in two different geographic locations with limited communication. However, unlike a jigsaw puzzle, no enterprise has the ability to be inefficient by wasting time on petty disputes and miscommunications. Unfortunately, these two groups don’t see themselves as one unit, and when things go wrong, there is a lot of finger pointing, without either team taking responsibility.

DevOps: Leaders of a technological revolution
The Cloud enables agile development

To describe DevOps as the guys who facilitate communication and corroboration would only be the start of the story. As the world changed, so did DevOps.grafiti

When was the last time you went to Blockbuster to rent a movie? Is most of your banking done on your smartphone?

Institutions are no longer judged by their beautiful buildings and smiling clerks. Operability, functionality, deliverability are the new standards of excellence. On top of that, consumers expect continuous updates.

Agile development is the answer to the quick paced world of instant gratification. The following definition captures DevOps in its fullest sense. DevOps is a software development approach which synthesizes development and operations to enable agility.

DevOps completely blurs the once glaring distinction between development and operations. It actually succeeds in incorporating operations into development. No longer do developers hand over the application to operations, but rather they are also responsible for the infrastructure. All this could only be achieved because of the cloud. As James Urquhart, Vice President of Product Strategy at Enstratius, points out that with the advent of the cloud concerns of infrastructure did not disappear completely. Applications in the cloud need to be resilient, fault tolerant and adapt to huge swings in load. The infrastructure moves into the code of the application.

The cloud also made the deployment process significantly faster and more efficient. Take a look at a DevOps shop as Brandon Butler of Network World describes it. No longer do code-writers need to wait for the IT shop to spin up a virtual machine with a replica of the production website. Developers can provision their own compute resources themselves using the cloud. Thanks to the cloud and DevOps, agile deployment is now possible.

DevOps are the rulers of the cloud
Holders of the purse strings

shakemAs told to Cloudyn in an exclusive interview with a highly successful DevOps guru, the people
responsible for cost management of the cloud are DevOps. Our source explained that managing the cost of the cloud is something that should be kept in check from the beginning. Unfortunately, what actually happens is that the cost goes unnoticed during the first few months, but as the costs rise, the CFO will call in its DevOps team to get things under control quickly. The DevOps team is then charged with the difficult task of cutting costs while retaining cloud efficiency.

To conclude
Devops is not just a position, but rather a software development approach which synchronizes development and operations to enable an agility that blurs the distinction between development and operations. Stuart Lange, senior applications developer, nails it when he says that DevOps is “a technology philosophy that requires communication, collaboration, and above all, a focus on producing a high quality software system that is a joy to develop, operate, and use.”

You’re more than welcomed to join our new Devops Community on Google plus, “DevOps Rock Stars”, a community that focuses on DevOps discussions, configuration management issues and jokes. Why not join right now?

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