Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Greg Schulz, Brian Lavallée

Related Topics: DevOps Journal, Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, Cloud Expo, SDN Journal

DevOps Journal: Blog Feed Post

Measuring Your DevOps Success

When you start delivering your DevOps initiatives, the measurement starts immediately and is constant

A survey from the Vanson Bourne market research agency (with CA) late in 2013 indicated that 39% of those surveyed had adopted some form of DevOps and 27% were planning to do so in the near future. Despite this being such a hot topic in the IT sector, and with a high level of take-up, the question we are still most commonly asked is: “Where do we start?”

Our answer is always that an organization’s current position must be baselined first. Having a baseline means you can build a business case, apply targets and goals to your projects and measure your success as you progress through your project with the ultimate goal being to report back to the board on how you used the money to save or make more money – and improved your teams’ satisfaction.

DevOps Metrics for Baselining and Measuring Success
There are hard, quantifiable technical and financial metrics we can track, such as:

  • Number and frequency of software releases
  • Volume of defects
  • Time/cost per release
  • MTTR*
  • Number and frequency of outages / performance issues
  • Revenue/profit impact of outages / performance issues
  • Number and cost of resources

It’s worth noting that one of the biggest inhibitors to success of DevOps and related tooling projects is people’s perceptions that they are at risk of losing their jobs as their work becomes automated. Often, particularly in areas like release and deployment management, we find that there are specific individuals who hold all the knowledge around a current process (they wrote all the scripts for example) and who are viewed as heroes when they are the only person who can fix an issue and often do it out of office hours and at short notice – but are, in fact, bottlenecks. These individuals are often highly talented, but feel secure in the indispensable role they have created for themselves. Though they will often be happier when freed up to do more creative and rewarding work, they are often fearful and this needs to be addressed.

Cultural Metrics
Although cultural metrics are difficult to apply hard dollar value to, DevOps is about resolving conflict in the workplace, eliminating stress and avoiding burnout – and they are measurable. Happy people are more productive – their health is better, they have more ideas, work more effectively and will put in the extra mile. You can measure across a number of key cultural indicators around feelings about change, failure, going to work, what a typical day’s work entails, in addition to a number of cultural attributes such as:

  • Cross-skilling, knowledge sharing and pairing between teams
  • Working in a fluid but focussed manner
  • Working in multidisciplinary teams
  • Organizing teams around projects rather than skill-sets
  • Constantly dancing on the edge of failure (in a good way)
  • Position around business demand
  • Extraneous lines of code
  • Attitude to continuous improvement
  • Obsession with metrics
  • Technological experimentation
  • Team autonomy

You can also look at a number of team features such as:

  • Rewards and feelings of success
  • Hierarchical and political obstacles and annoyances
  • Inspiring and fostering creativity

Process Metrics
DevOps is not a process or a tool – but there are a number of processes in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) that affect both traditional development and operations staff to greater or lesser degrees that need to be taken into consideration. All of these process components can be optimized, and all of them can then be improved upon further using appropriate software tooling. An ultimate goal of a typical DevOps project is often to attain true continuous delivery (CD) by linking these processes and tools together to allow fully tested, production-ready, committed code to proceed to live without impediment – we often refer to the software infrastructure piece of this as the DevOps toolchain. When baselining current state, it’s useful to measure these component processes and their relative maturity (taking into account use of existing tools and success of implementation). Typically, we look at:

  • Requirements elicitation and management
  • Agile development
  • Build
  • Release and deployment
  • Unit testing
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Quality Assurance
  • Application Performance Monitoring
  • Cloud

How to Influence Metrics
Once you’ve baselined your current position, it’s time to think about your desired future state. Your baselining exercise will probably have highlighted where the key bottlenecks are and areas on which to concentrate. Although we preach, “People, then Process, then Tools”, there are tools, in particular Application Performance Management that can help discover bottlenecks and issues upfront – although it’s imperative you have the right people then using and acting on this data and put the right processes in behind in terms of defect tracking, corrective development, versioning build and deployment.

While you might be stumped on ideas for influencing cultural, especially in well-established enterprises, it is by no means impossible. The key is understanding the current culture. For instance, does a culture of “blame” exist? What happens when there is a production outage? How motivated and rewarded do staff feel? Once you’ve identified the prevailing culture you can establish a program of cultural initiatives to move the culture to one that is more productive and collaborative.

DevOps Tools for Change
There are a number of tools that can influence the harder and software metrics – for example:

Application Performance Monitoring (APM)

  • Reduces MTTR
  • Makes it easier to create a collaborative approach in teams dealing with issues
  • Identifies root cause fast; eliminating blame games

Application Release Automation (ARA)

  • Enables development to seamlessly transition code to operations who can quickly and consistently deploy into production
  • Enables instant rollback or redeploy when an error is identified in production
  • Reduces fear of failure as rollback/redeploy is so easy

Integration Testing & Virtualization

  • Mimics the production environment so successful test are guaranteed to run
  • Allows testers to ‘shift left’ in test process and collaborate with developers early
  • Fast testing enables fast, confident throughput of change

When to Measure, How to Tweak
When you start delivering your DevOps initiatives, the measurement starts immediately and is constant. You will be looking for upward trends, as well as downward trends. Make sure you share reports regularly with the team – try weekly with the core team and monthly with the extended team. Highlight success and elicit ideas for improvement where areas have proved more challenging. Try things – tweak, monitor, tweak again. But remember: “Any improvement not made at the constraint is an illusion.”

What to Do with Success
Celebrate success! Create rewards and incentive programmes for teams when metrics targets are achieved. Part of the DevOp’s agenda is about improving working conditions – depressurising and destressing environments and having everyone working together in harmony and eliminating disasters, catastrophes, blame and brinkmanship.

Why ask for an external DevOps Maturity Assessment
While no one’s going to understand your business as well as yourselves, we often meet organizations who are struggling to find the time – they know there are improvements to be made but they are so busy with firefighting they can’t conceive of stopping and taking stock of their current position. Also, as human beings are emotional creatures — it’s natural for all working environments to have some level of politics or hierarchies going on — it’s often helpful to have an outsider take a pragmatic, neutral view of a situation. So if you are ready to baseline your current DevOps state and identify the DevOps initiatives that will have real, positive impact on your business, but feel you do not have the time to figure it all out yourselves – please do get in touch with us @ranger4ltd.

* The MTTR is the Mean Time to Repair, Resolve or Resolution – each of the definitions mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably. This term is more commonly used when talking about Application Performance Management and the speed at which an outage or performance issue can be fixed, but equally can be used when talking about testing and eliminating defects

 

Take five minutes to get complete visibility into the performance of your production applications with AppDynamics today.

This is guest post by our partners at Ranger 4. Find out more about them on by following @ranger4ltd on twitter.

The post Measuring Your DevOps Success written by Helen Beal appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Sandi Mappic

Sandi Mappic has a passion for making apps go faster. She works with AppDynamics around the clock to help customers resolve performance pain and master application performance management

Cloud Expo Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic institutions across the United States and Canada. TechXtend is the Exclusive Reseller in the United States for r-evolution
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
The consumption economy is here and so are cloud applications and solutions that offer more than subscription and flat fee models and at the same time are available on a pure consumption model, which not only reduces IT spend but also lowers infrastructure costs, and offers ease of use and availability. In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss this shifting dynamic with an example of a top European Telco provider. Find out how they are leveraging the power of acloud-based consumption model services to offer more value to the mass market and enable a new revenue model that embraces the true meaning of the Third Industrial Revolution.
The emergence of cloud computing and Big Data warrants a greater role for the PMO to successfully manage enterprise transformation driven by these powerful trends. As the adoption of cloud-based services continues to grow, a governance model is needed to orchestrate enterprise cloud implementations and harness the power of Big Data analytics. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mahesh Singh, President of BigData, Inc., to discuss how the Enterprise PMO takes center stage not only in developing the appropriate governance model but also in collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure a successful transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore’s Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, to discuss how infrastructure teams should be aware of the capitalization and depreciation model of these expenses to fully understand when and where automation is critical.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.