Steps on the Journey to DevOps
There was a time when people thought DevOps was a simple movement that didn’t need to be defined. I have always been told that big leaps won’t get you to your destination immediately, but little steps will get you there one day. For DevOps, the day has come, gaining mindshare among organizations and given importance like never before. However, certain companies are unable to understand what’s going on in their respective industries or how one they make their digital operations more productive.
The Evolution of DevOps
In 2007, Patrick Debois, a Belgian engineer, saw a growing friction between developer and operation teams. As a developer, he understood really well that development and operations can never go hand in hand, but he saw a golden opportunity to make the most of agile methodologies to manage infrastructure management processes in the similar way developers do. Initially being described as agile infrastructure, the concept was later coined as DevOps—a portmanteau of development and operations.
A year later, in 2008, O’Reilly Media ran the very first Velocity conference, founded on the same insight: software developers and web operators never being on the same page even after sharing the same goals and language. The effort was meant to gather the tribe into one room, to talk with each other and share insights. It is said that much of the DevOps movement grew out of the Velocity conference.
With the internet growing rapidly and sites such as Amazon, Google, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube becoming monstrous entities, those in IT witnessed seeing websites grow from one server to a dozen and even thousands. As a result, the business consequences of downtime, or of poor performance, skyrocketed.
The need for DevOps grew with the growth of websites. And to blur the boundaries between development and operations, DevOps came into existence. Today DevOps became more than an idea. But unfortunately, the shift hasn’t been easy for everyone. DevOps has been focused too heavily on development and operations hasn’t enjoyed an equal share of improvements.
5 Stages of DevOps Evolution
Normalize the technology stack: The process starts from here. Several teams have started adopting true agile methods and are implementing proper version control as they seek to provide continuous integration and delivery. In fact, this is when redundant technologies are eliminated and the stack is normalized, which means practitioners must build on a standard set of technologies and place application configurations in version control.
Standardize and reduce variability: As noted, development and operations teams are working toward one goal. This means teams must work to make sure their technology is further consolidated to a single OS or OS family, process complexity is reduced and early collaboration opportunities are explored. This is also when system configurations should be placed in version control and applications should be rearchitected to fit business needs.
Expand DevOps practices: At this point, all the foundational pieces should be in place. This phase is a cleanup phase for discrepancies created by previous changes. For instance, the output of the application development team must match that of the delivery for true effectiveness. At this point, individual contributors can do work without approval from outside the team and changes can be made without as much wait time.
Automate infrastructure delivery: At this stage, a company can help lessen the discrepancies between development output and operations delivery times. As a result, everyone gets closer to being one on the same page. And things such as security configurations, system configurations and provisioning are automated, which means the DevOps team can deliver faster and is better set up for future self-service.
Provide self-service capabilities: DevOps deployments are created here. Developers can deploy testing environments on their own, and success metrics are clearly visible to the entire team.