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Why the right infrastructure is crucial to your DevOps success

By Julia Gabel
Fri 11 Aug 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As businesses and organisations look to improve business agility and performance, DevOps is increasingly becoming the technology of choice to aid them in doing so.

Many companies such as AMP and Commonwealth Bank have already embraced a DevOps model and we expect to see adoption of the technology increase within the next few years.

In many ways, a DevOps methodology works off the block-building process and is similar to LEGO building blocks. While the tools and processes can change, a solid foundation is a backbone for fast and repeatable success.

Developers and IT operations are beginning to reap the benefits. According to RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud report, DevOps adoption increased from 66% in 2015 to 74% in 2016.

In another report, the 2016 State of DevOps Report, found that organisations employing DevOps are outperforming their lower-performing peers. They deploy 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times, recover 24 times faster, and have three times lower change failure rates.

Despite adoption on the rise, some DevOps teams still struggle to extract the full range of benefits from a DevOps model. Why?

Because they’re more concerned about the LEGO blocks without first having considered the baseplate.

DevOps requires a flexible and modular foundation, a software-defined infrastructure (SDI) built with open source technologies to be successful.

Here’s why:

The path to agile business

The goal of a DevOps approach is to speed up the entire application delivery lifecycle (initial development, testing, delivery to market), enabling the business to quickly respond to consumer demands (deliver new services, fix bugs, add new features, etc).

However, in order for the DevOps teams to successfully execute this, they need a flexible and modular cloud infrastructure that easily adapts and extends to meet their needs.

SDI provides easier access to resources via a self-service interface so developers can quickly get the resources they need. 

It also gives the DevOps team the capability to standardise services so that applications built in the development environment will easily deploy and run in the test and production environments, speeding up their delivery to market.

SDI also offers a flexible and modular approach that provides timely and easy access to the latest technologies, like containers, where innovation is occurring at a rapid pace and easy integration is available via standard open protocols.

SDI provides the best LEGO baseplate to support your DevOps processes that improve application lifecycle management.

Automation to support strategic collaboration

Routine deployment and management tasks are the Achilles heel of every IT organisation.

The best way to improve efficiency, reduce costs and quickly respond to infrastructure demands is with automation.

As a key component of SDI, automation and orchestration of the application lifecycle including deployment of hardened VM or container templates, ensures faster, consistent and repeatable provisioning and configuration.

Additionally, SDI automation and monitoring tools can intelligently sense and respond to infrastructure demands, automatically optimising and adapting the infrastructure in real time.

This frees up time for the team to focus on strategic initiatives versus backend tasks. The DevOps movement is all about collaboration and constant innovation, which is made possible by having your infrastructure automate the mundane tasks and automatically respond to infrastructure demands.

Visibility down to the base level

One challenge facing successful DevOps adoption today is a lack of visibility into application delivery.

As developers rely on constant innovation through a loosely coupled chain of events, understanding how each link operates is crucial to keeping the chain moving in the right direction.

In the case of open source, there is no infrastructure more transparent or collaborative. The infrastructure itself is built on openness and exchange of code, leading to a natural transition to its use in a developer environment.

As DevOps uses CI/CD to stay refined, so do the open source projects that contribute to its infrastructure. Constant innovation is what keeps the infrastructure and development tools up to date, supporting the entire DevOps team.

The solution to cultural challenges

Successful DevOps adoption doesn’t solely involve changes to existing technology.

It also requires a cultural shift within an organisation. A software-defined infrastructure that utilizes open source technologies is built on the same concept: growth through collaboration.

Businesses aren’t committed to using a single vendor or propriety solution, giving them an expanded network of resources and tools to optimise their IT needs and business operations.

DevOps is a marriage of technology and people, and an SDI environment allows that union to succeed.

The world has seen many great LEGO projects over the years, both the small-scale private home projects and large-scale public exhibitions. But the common thread for their success is the baseplate, allowing innovators everywhere to build LEGO masterpieces more rapidly and effectively.

For DevOps professionals, a software-defined infrastructure built using open source solutions is the baseplate for success.

SDI environments improve efficiency with automation, refine visibility into application performance, enable innovative and agile business models, and create stronger cultural alignment.

Article by Harry Kingma, country manager ANZ at SUSE 

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