Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Challenges in Implementing #DevOps By @Datical | @DevOpsSummit

There is no comfort in the growth zone, and there is no growth in the comfort zone.

Five Challenges in Implementing Enterprise DevOps

Building a business is like trying to perfect a machine, such that when you put a dollar in on one side, two come out the other.  Once all the dials and inner mechanisms are set correctly, the idea of going into the machine to change something becomes very daunting.  Business relies on stability, and the notion of DevOps in the enterprise is so fraught with change that it can be seen as more disruptive than beneficial for the company to pursue.

But DevOps is more than a fashionable trend.  Some of the reported numbers on high-performing IT organizations who practice DevOps are an order of magnitude improvement over current state, like the statistic that DevOps organizations are deploying code 30 times more frequently than their counterparts - see the Puppet 2014 State of DevOps Report for more.  The benefits in IT are also translating into benefits that are meaningful to the business, affecting market share and profitability figures.  Couple that with unsteady macroeconomic trends, and the shortening of business cycles enabled by technology, and DevOps represents a sustainable competitive advantage for those organizations willing to adopt it now.

The order of magnitude improvement in code delivery also represents something else - DevOps is a discontinuous innovation in the way organizations develop and deliver software.  And as with any new discontinuous innovation, the implication is that creative destruction will follow.  Companies that hold on to legacy business and technology models, without pursuing the ever-growing number of digital market opportunities, will wither in the coming decades, supplanted by those companies which have adopted new ways of thinking and operating.

It's not all gloom and doom, though.  Many IT professionals are investigating DevOps, trying to think through how the concepts might fit in their organizations.  Information is being shared.  Best practices are being developed, and software vendors like Datical are building tools to enable collaboration and support the workflows between development and operations.  DevOps is becoming less something that only startups practice, and more something the enterprise views as worth investigating.

Implementing DevOps in the enterprise carries a number of challenges, however, which is the subject of an article on the New Relic blog yesterday (see article here).  Most of the challenges discussed center around affecting change within your existing culture, often seen as one of the largest obstacles to enterprise adoption of DevOps.  While this list isn't exhaustive, it's a good primer to start thinking through the potential obstacles in implementing DevOps in your enterprise.

  • Breaking down language barriers

Development and operations view the world from different perspectives.  Although they are both concerned with the same outcomes, their approaches are different, like two sides of the same coin (this same dichotomy exists between finance and accounting).  These different views have led to subtle but important differences in terminology, like the definition of a "full stack."  Take the time to tease out these differences and establish a standard lexicon for all of IT.

  • Overcoming the developer vs. operations mentality

Selling DevOps to developers isn't too difficult - for development it's easy to see the benefits to creativity and innovation made possible through DevOps.  Operations, on the other hand, views DevOps with suspicion, believing it is an attempted development coup to enable developers to continually dump buggy, untested software into production.  This is at least somewhat warranted, as Ops are the folks who have to deal with outages and service disruptions on a regular basis.  They see change as the enemy, but according to New Relic, "The trick is to show operations pros that faster deployment cycles, with significantly fewer changes per cycle, means that problems are fewer and thus much easier to identify and rollback if necessary."  Fewer changes per release means more control for operations, even if those releases happen more frequently.  Fewer changes also make it vastly less complex to perform root cause analysis and troubleshooting when issues do occur.

  • Learning new skills

There is a popular sports adage that goes, "There is no comfort in the growth zone, and there is no growth in the comfort zone."  DevOps requires change.  Change requires adaptation.  Adaptation requires learning new skills.  Whether it's a sysadmin learning to build new tools, or developers breaking out of a Waterfall existence, rest assured that DevOps will firmly place your organization into the "growth zone."

  • Work disruption

DevOps will require new workflows, which if implemented will cause a trickle-down effect throughout the organization.  Current tools will become obsolete, and investment in new tools will be necessary to support new workflows.  New and more complex workflows will have implications for regulatory compliance and security issues.  It's important that the DevOps implementation team has a broad and deep skill set, and that all stakeholder interests are represented during planning.  It will require a holistic view of the entire value chain for software delivery, from conception to monitoring in production.  A good exercise for the implementation team is to perform value-stream mapping for current and proposed processes, and to overlap those maps to identify areas which will cause friction.

  • Management responsibilities

DevOps will shift the power balance in the organization, in some way or another.  It's inevitable, but not necessarily insidious.  What's important is understanding who will have final authority over decisions, and installing the checks-and-balances necessary to ensure that the voices of each stakeholder constituency are represented and heard in the decision making process.  Trust is of critical importance among the management team, borne out of a shared belief that DevOps will improve the lives of all involved.

More Stories By Rex Morrow

Rex is the Marketing Director at Datical, a venture-backed software company whose solution, Datical DB, manages and simplifies database schema change management in support of high velocity application releases. Prior to Datical, Rex co-founded Texas Venture Labs, a startup accelerator at the University of Texas, and received his MBA from the McCombs School of Business. Before graduate school, Rex served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, and was awarded two bronze stars during combat deployments in Iraq.

@CloudExpo Stories
HyperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let's say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
In this presentation, you will learn first hand what works and what doesn't while architecting and deploying OpenStack. Some of the topics will include:- best practices for creating repeatable deployments of OpenStack- multi-site considerations- how to customize OpenStack to integrate with your existing systems and security best practices.
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: implemen...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Venafi has a platform that allows you to manage, centralize and automate the complete life cycle of keys and certificates within the organization," explained Gina Osmond, Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Venafi, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discussed how a new approach is neces...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., 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.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
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...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...