Puppet Adds DevOps Consulting Practice


Puppet has launched a DevOps consulting service that promises to help organizations implement best practices that will ultimately make their IT organizations more efficient.

Nigel Kersten, field CTO, Puppet, said the Scaling DevOps Service is especially focused on improving workflows among organizations that have already started down the DevOps path.

Most IT organizations that embrace DevOps eventually encounter bottlenecks that conspire to limit the rate at which they can build and deploy applications. Puppet will make available DevOps experts capable of assessing DevOps workflows as part of an effort to reduce operational friction, said Kersten.

Those consultants can also identify integration opportunities that might further streamline workflows, in addition to providing an overall assessment of an organization’s DevOps maturity based on a model Puppet developed.

Kersten said in many cases, enterprise IT organizations, especially, are trying to adapt DevOps principles that were originally created for small startup companies, with mixed success. Puppet consultants, using observations gleaned from their own engagements with customers that have embraced its tools for automating the management of IT, are often in a better position to identify ways to optimize DevOps workflows across larger IT organizations, Kersten said.

It’s also easy for large enterprise IT organizations to misinterpret how one DevOps principle or another should actually be implemented, Kersten said.

DevOps consulting, of course, has become a cottage industry within the IT services sector over the last decade. Now, almost every systems integrator has a DevOps practice. Most of those practices are focused on enabling organizations to embrace DevOps, versus helping organizations optimize workflows after they have already begun the transition, said Kersten.

It’s not clear to what degree organizations that have not embraced Puppet’s automation framework will embrace consulting services based on a DevOps model created by observing Puppet’s customers. However, it’s apparent many IT organizations have inconsistently implemented DevOps practices across various departments. In many cases, bottlenecks that result in various departments within a larger IT organization are being addressed using a set of manual processes that have been created as a workaround to a specific problem.

Of course, optimizing DevSecOps best processes is only going to become more challenging as emergent technologies such as containers, Kubernetes clusters and serverless computing frameworks are added to the IT mix. More challenging still, many organizations are now trying to shift responsibility for security further left as part of a DevSecOps workflow.

Many IT teams are, naturally, resistant to paying for advice, while others routinely hire small armies of consultants in the hope that ideas and concepts that have worked well elsewhere can make their IT teams more efficient. Regardless of the approach pursued, IT leaders need to remember that DevOps is a continuous journey. Every time a new platform is added to an IT environment, a DevOps workflow will need to evolve. The real issue IT leaders need to come to terms with is how long it will take for their internal teams to adapt, whether it’s via the school of hard knocks or relying on external expertise that has handled most of the issues an internal IT team is likely to encounter.

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