DevOps has become a common standard model in both software development and IT operations. The main benefit of using DevOps is to shorten the system development lifecycle and ensure continuous delivery at a high-quality software level. While it often works well in small teams, it becomes a challenge to deploy in medium to large projects.
Riverland Reply has gained experience in the use of DevOps models in numerous projects. This experience is particularly noticeable in the implementation of large projects. In this whitepaper, the experts provide initial guidance on implementation in project sizes of 30 or more participants organized in different teams.
Riverland Reply is specialized in consulting end-to-end customer-oriented solutions and strategies. The company combines in-depth knowledge of digital Customer Experience with the full potential of cloud native technologies. This expertise allows Riverland Reply to remove the barriers between a product-based technology and a full custom implementation. Knowing that Customer Experience in the digital era must be highly flexible to be adapted to different industries and markets, Riverland Reply advises clients in how to approach the main CX, identity and access management challenges. The strong partnership and close collaboration with Oracle and ForgeRock make Riverland Reply the experts of related CX products and access management solutions.
Reply Xchange is an annual event of exchanging latest technology trends and cutting-edge business innovations. In the Reply Xchange 2021, Riverland Reply shared both practical approaches and methodologies to enable DevOps in large-scale projects as well as the best practices with the audience.
Did you miss the chance to attend? Do not worry at all. Below are the key takeaways from the session.
Prior to adopting a DevOps model, potential pitfalls in separation of IT duties between development and operations need to be evaluated. There are two perspectives to take into consideration – engineering and organization. In the engineering point of view, responsibilities are separated to facilitate control and to reduce operating costs. From the organization perspective, the development teams can focus on implementing the business feature based on the centralized infrastructure. However, to which extent are these statements true nowadays?
In general, due to the increasing reliability and speed of provisioning the virtualization infrastructures such as Cloud, the separation of IT duties can bring common pitfalls. Naming a few, first from the business side, the centrally managed operations in the long term have an impact on costs and development speed. Second, for development, it becomes slow and complex in introduction of new technology, troubleshooting, computational resource sharing and recovery actions. Last, from the operations, capacity planning, knowledge of business applications, adaptations, introduction of new technologies are time consuming and always require a precise impact analysis.
Then, how and to which extent can the DevOps model be enabled to overcome the potential pitfalls? Key to enable a DevOps model is having the capabilities to virtualize infrastructure. Additionally, the team mindset with a right mix of skills is essential. Therefore, when possible, adoption of the full or hybrid cloud is the fastest way to enable the DevOps model.
Riverland Reply presents a possible scenario of the full approach in which there are multiple DevOps teams of around nine members each. All team members have access to the provisioning system and the deployment platform. Also, each one of them affects the security of the application, offers support service and is entitled to change the production environment.
Riverland Reply presents two different methodologies based on knowledge sharing that can be applied to the Full/Hybrid Cloud adoption approach.
Even in case the cloud adoption or the evolution of the virtualization infrastructure is not achievable, the DevOps model can still bring advantages if it is properly applied. The scenario presented below has multiple DevOps teams as well as a dedicated focal point for each of the centralized department such as infrastructure, network, security, operating systems, and database as depicted below. Those focal points are actively involved over all the operations activities and are aware of the application’s business scope and software architecture. In this case the support services are delegated to the DevOps teams in charge of documenting each action performed by the other teams. In this approach, it is extremely important to keep communication between the teams and the focal points as both of the parties can contribute to the optimization of processes and support services.
Depending on each organization context, it is also possible to customize or mix the approaches by taking advantages of each approach.
Before breaking down the wall between development and operations, several important aspects need to be considered and not to be underestimated. Examples are time zones where the operation team is located, definition of application scope and technology, level of understanding business functionality such as business impact at each technology layer, accessibility of systems, automation level among processes and difference in deployment environment.
During the speech, Riverland Reply also presented the key lessons learned from their experiences to ensure the successful transition to DevOps. In short, flexibility along with passive and active shadowing is crucial in the planning. Furthermore, at least one release is highly recommended during the shadowing phase for successful transformation. Also, defining the final DevOps model is feasible only when all possible limitations are known. Besides, understanding the business functionality needs to be enabled through knowledge transfer sessions. In addition, the team needs to be empowered enough to decide on processes and tools. Finally, “production 1st” mindset needs to be living value with DevOps teams to focus on fix on production.
A few important aspects for the transition planning were also highlighted during the speech. Riverland Reply presented an approach with five phases for successful transition and pointed out crucial practices per phase as shown below.