Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Destiny Bertucci, Jignesh Solanki, Elizabeth White, Daniel Gordon

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud, DevOps, and the Enterprise

You may want to consider the move to DevOps independently of your decision if and when to move to the Cloud

At last week’s conference in Santa Clara, California, a speaker asked the audience how many people were implementing Private Clouds. A few dozen of the fifty or so attendees raised their hands. Then he asked how many of them were implementing automated self-service. All the hands went down.

Now, we can argue that because automated self-service is an essential Cloud characteristic, nobody in the room was in fact implementing Private Cloud at all. But take a closer look, and the lack of emphasis on self-service Private Clouds is a telling indicator of the state of Cloud Computing (in particular, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS) in the enterprise. If an enterprise IT shop were to truly implement a self-service Private Cloud, and actually got it to work properly, then the enterprise development teams would be able to manage the entire production environment for themselves. There’d be nothing left for the operational IT folks to do except make sure to replace bad hard drives and the like. No more server or network administration. No more break/fix. No more reason to get that healthy salary – or any salary at all, for that matter.

That’s the fear (often unspoken) of many an IT professional. Cloud will take our jobs! And not only that, giving the development team responsibility for managing the operational environment masquerading as IaaS is a recipe for disaster. It’s no wonder nobody in the aforementioned conference session admitted to implementing automated self-service. After all, automated self-service turns the Cloud into the Devil’s playground.

The Rise of Full Lifecycle Governance
It may seem that Cloud is playing the villain in this melodrama, but in fact, such challenges predate the Cloud by a decade or more. As we have long discussed in our Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course, the move to SOA requires full lifecycle governance. IT shops that divide their governance activities into separate app/dev and operations groups, or worse, have no governance at all, are ill-prepared to implement SOA, because with SOA, the fun begins after deployment of Services. The conclusion of the development phase, in theory, brings the publication of Services. Consumption, composition, and versioning of those Services takes place subsequently, now that Services are the responsibility of operations. Unless the IT shop coordinates their SOA policies across the lifecycle, expect no end of problems as the app dev team tries to monkey with production software.

Today, add Cloud to the mix. The rise of Cloud in the enterprise adds an entirely new dimension to the requirement for full-lifecycle governance, because we’re not just reinventing how to consume and compose application functionality and data as we did with SOA, we’re revamping the entire operational environment. IT will never be the same again. But in spite of the doom and gloom pronouncements of many an old-guard admin, the Cloud doesn’t put ops folks out of a job. It does, however, redefine their role.

Enter DevOps
The idea behind DevOps is to take the concept of full lifecycle governance and bring it down to the project level. Instead of the app dev team chucking code over the wall to ops, bring the ops folks together with the developers and testers so that code iterations can include the operational phases of the lifecycle as well. In essence, DevOps extends the principles of the Agile Manifesto – working with stakeholders to focus on delivering working software that meets changing business needs – to include running the software, not just building it.

Sounds good, but the multifaceted challenges facing successful DevOps are personal, technical, architectural, as well as organizational. On the personal level, ops personnel must change their working situation, often moving their desk and dealing with different people, learning different technologies, and following different processes. On the technical level, DevOps requires continuous integration, continuous testing, and automated deployment capabilities that even today’s more advanced Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings are only now in the process of rolling out. Next, layer on architectural considerations, including how well the existing code and integration environments support policy-driven automation, which is the essence of Agile Architecture that I discuss in my new book, The Agile Architecture Revolution. But the most significant change that DevOps introduces to the IT shop, even more significant than architectural issues, are the necessary organizational changes.

Typically, app dev and operations report up to the CIO through different managers, say a VP of development or engineering plus a VP of operations. This traditional organizational structure doesn’t make sense any more. Instead, there should be a VP of software programs or portfolios, where teams of developers, testers, as well as ops people report up through the single VP. However, even this simplified org chart doesn’t tell the whole story for most enterprise IT shops, because the focus isn’t entirely on software development. It’s also on integration. And as such shops move to the Cloud, the challenge then becomes how to implement and manage a Hybrid Cloud-based environment.

The Enterprise DevOps Challenge: Hybrid Clouds
As we discuss in our Cloud Computing for Architects and Enterprise Cloud Computing courses, it’s important to place the Cloud into the enterprise context. In other words, all that heterogeneous legacy you’ve been struggling with for years. Sure, it might sound good to the executives to simply move all that old code to the Cloud, but in most situations, such migration is impractical or simply impossible. Instead, some capabilities should remain on-premise while others will do just fine in the Cloud. Now the challenge is connecting them together.

Enter the Hybrid Cloud. In reality, there are many different types of Hybrid Clouds: on premise to Public Cloud, on premise to Private Cloud, Private Cloud to Public Cloud, and every other combination you can think of. Furthermore, most enterprise mobile development falls into the broad Hybrid Cloud category, with the rise of Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service or MBaaS (more about MBaaS in a future ZapFlash). Face it, the story of today’s technology is one of connecting things, rather than running apps in isolation. The Cloud multiplies the number of opportunities for establishing such connections.

This inherent complexity endemic to virtually all enterprise IT shops complicates the DevOps story. Instead of simply focusing on revamping development teams, now the CIO must consider on-premise vs. Cloud-based development as well as on-premise vs. Cloud-based deployment, and then how to integrate the whole shebang. In some cases, IT shops will have traditional on-premise development teams chucking code over to on-premise deployment teams while at the same time building Cloud-based development/deployment teams that follow the DevOps model. In other cases, some development will take place on PaaS in the Cloud for deployment on-premise, or conceivably some development will be on-premise for deployment on IaaS. If you’re confused at this point, you’re not alone.

Depending on the types of development and integration challenges your shop faces, therefore, you may find a different org chart to be in order. For example, you may have a traditional on-premise app dev division coupled with a traditional ops division, now supplemented with a DevOps-based Cloud portfolio division. Or if your organization is able to bring DevOps to on-premise development and deployment, then you might have an on-premise DevOps division to go along with the Cloud-based one. The bottom line, however, is that all these organizational models are as yet unproven. Only time will tell how many times we’ll need to shake up the IT org chart before the dust finally settles.

The ZapThink Take
Over a year ago, we pointed out
that we were entering DevOps’ “golden age.” The automated self-service capabilities of the Cloud (in particular, Public Clouds) are driving organizations to rethink how they handle operations, while at the same time empowering developers and testers to provision IT capabilities for themselves. In the enterprise IT context, however, the story is necessarily murkier, as there are so many moving parts to existing legacy environments.

One important question remains: will DevOps gain traction in traditional, on-premise development/deployment environments independent of the move to the Cloud? Or will such environments remain stuck in the IT governance dark ages until such time as anything and everything moves to the Cloud? The answer to this question circles back to the personal considerations of the individuals involved. Which is better, to resist change when change isn’t mandatory, or to take a page out of the Cloud’s developing organizational playbook to shake up traditional IT, even before you move to the Cloud? To answer a question with yet another question: is the current way of doing things working for you? If not, then you may want to consider the move to DevOps independently of your decision if and when to move to the Cloud.

Image credit: Hobbies on a Budget

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@CloudExpo Stories
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
"Since we launched LinuxONE we learned a lot from our customers. More than anything what they responded to were some very unique security capabilities that we have," explained Mark Figley, Director of LinuxONE Offerings at IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...