DevOps is a broad approach to work in general, even though it is often thought of as just an IT term. In IT terminology, Development is where the work starts – this could be sales or the trading floor at an investment brokerage. And Operations is where the work is managed and applied. In this day and age, any work is managed by IT Systems.
Ever since DevOps teams popped up in several major companies in the late 2000s, it has become more and more popular among small, medium and big-sized organizations that want to be more responsive to market and business goals. DevOps allows the quicker realization of any business goals or changes.
An extension of Agile practices, the DevOps mentality has gained great importance for organizations that want to quickly address any system issues from a customer perspective (be it internal or external), ensuring greater user satisfaction. Simultaneously, new products or features desired by users can also be deployed quickly.
With the help of a DevOps software toolchain, many organizations were able to transition to DevOps seamlessly. But how did they do it? How did big corporations implement DevOps, and how can many others do the same?
The reason is simple – DevOps possesses strategies for short development cycles, which allows for more frequent deployments and, consequently, a faster time to market. With this back-and-forth process also comes a lot of communication and collaboration among team members, which can change the culture of a company.
Overall, it becomes easier for an organization to accomplish its goals once DevOps is being effectively used.
How companies are implementing DevOps
Here is a short list (based on a few articles, especially this Techbeacon's one) of a few - and very important - companies that implement DevOps very well:
Walmart makes use of DevOps to accomplish goals through a cloud-based technology known as “OneOps”. It allows the team to speed deployment. It all started when their competition with Amazon became very challenging, and the enterprise struggled to be a leader in the retail industry.
In 2011, they founded WalmartLabs as a development branch. WalmartLabs developed OneOps and worked with both public and private platforms, integrating configuration management and identity services, and finally opening itself to the public in 2016. Walmart continues to evolve in its Agile approach, and is working to develop its own cloud.
The production giant was struggling with its architecture and the large-scale of subscribers traffic – until it moved to an AWS cloud. Now, with a microservice architecture, Netflix was able to increase the pace of its engineering teams by separating them so they could build and deploy faster.
Their “Chaos Monkey” tool creates failures on purpose to test stability. This way, developers can work on the servers while fixing mistakes – and, when unexpected problems arrive, the company will be prepared. This is in fact a DevOps practice: making changes during the development process allows for resilient applications.
It is all thanks to the “Netflix Simian Army”. Hundreds of developers volunteered to create tools that would solve errors before subscribers could spot them, giving origin to the Simian Army. Netflix continues its input in automation, making use of DevOps and adopting new technologies to revolutionize the entertainment market.
A leader in online retail, Amazon migrated to cloud storage for its engineers to have more capacity to work. The platform used is AWS – Amazon Web Services. This invention saved money and revolutionized how continuous deployment works, as developers are able to deploy to any server they want, whenever they want. In a matter of seconds, Amazon was deploying new software after just one year of creating AWS.
AWS is the only way Amazon stores its data – on cloud rather than physically. Now, many other successful companies make use of AWS to store data.
Thanks to DevOps, Sony reduced its delivery time from months to minutes. This way, developers were able to focus on other features without many resources or expenses. This was possible thanks to a cloud system platform and the continuous delivery model Sony adopted.
It has not been so long since Adobe implemented DevOps. The industry, just like the others, transitioned to cloud services, and were able to perform minor software upgrades thanks to microservices containers and CI/CD. This allowed for faster delivery and simplified communication. The company makes use of Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins and Spinnaker tools, and also CloudMunch’s platform to automate deployments. With these changes, Adobe has been able to meet more than half of the development demands it needs.
How to Implement DevOps at Your Company
Implementing DevOps is far from being a complicated journey. However, it must be done correctly. Many companies who are starting their digital transformation shift towards DevOps often misinterpret the steps it takes to fully put DevOps into practice.
An organization must first take into consideration the state in which it is currently in, then implement a DevOps culture to define the process and also the toolchains to be used. The whole intent of DevOps is to have a delivery of software and applications that are fluid.
Here is a step-by-step guide to implement DevOps in any organization:
Analyze the company’s situation
Study the methods currently used in the organization. In order for them to be replaced, there has to be a solid understanding of where the company currently is and where it wants to go to, so the solutions can be well thought through.
Invest in a mindset change
It is no surprise that, for DevOps to be implemented, the team who will perform such practices must understand them first. Cooperation among team members must be improved through activities, training and available information that encourage collaboration and transparency.
Define the process
Start small – the goal is to attend to the ever-changing needs of customers and deploy applications fast and efficiently. Make sure the team is comfortable and understands the tasks and requirements well, so communication is bridged and customer needs are met.
Select your toolchain
Choose tools that are compatible with your teams and their expertise. This way, conflicts are avoided, and the workflow becomes smooth because the tools used are compatible with each DevOps process and each pace and strategy from the team members.
Automate and deliver
Automation keeps up with the speed DevOps requires, and allows for changes and testing in code development and middleware – saving time and cost for a company. Once automation is done, continuous delivery takes place. A successful DevOps strategy has continuous delivery as a main factor – developers can identify defects and work on feedback.
Invest in security
With the use of strategies and policies, the technology of DevOps practices can be entirely secured. Organizations perform security throughout the entire lifecycle of the system, through designing, building and release. Security should be transparent and integrated with continuous deployment, processes should be automated, and software products and codes should be tested.
DevOps is all about speed, quality and good performance. Therefore, it is necessary to have metrics so that teams can associate with business goals and improve with what is relevant. It is good to think about the financial situation of the company, as well as the customers and team innovation – but other important metrics are frequency of deployment, company objectives responsible with customers’ needs, and the time needed to recover from failure. With such metrics, organizations can have the data necessary to possess control over the software development stage.
Now that you have seen the way DevOps teams work and how other companies do it - you can do it yourself. It is not an easy journey, but it is definitely worth it!