DevOps. One of the newest models in IT, stems from the agile methodology, lean practices and systems theory. Aside from digital transformation, it may be one of the most spoken words in the IT industry right now. With all the hype surrounding DevOps, it’s obvious that it’s something that can’t be ignored. After all, if it wasn’t useful or groundbreaking, people wouldn’t blink an eye at it. You may be wondering, what is DevOps? What are the benefits? What are the risks or challenges associated with it?
CIOs and IT decision makers are increasingly looking toward the DevOps model. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s review the Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) definition of DevOps.
“DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.”
So, to sum it up, the DevOps model, if executed correctly, enables faster innovation and software deployments, better collaboration between developers and operations and stellar customer experiences.
Before you jump on the DevOps train, it’s best to examine both the benefits and shortcomings of DevOps. While organizations may be flocking to the DevOps model, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will act as a “be all and end all” solution. Let’s take the jump and dive into the nitty gritty of DevOps.
DevOps Redefines Organizations’ Cultures
Traditionally, development and operations teams acted as two separate entities. You have developers focused on writing code for things like new products, new features, security updates and bug fixes and you have an operations team focused on maintaining and ensuring the uptime of the production environment.
Both development and operations are working entirely in their own individual environments. The collaboration is limited, timelines are not working together in harmony and things can get messy fast.
The DevOps model is designed to remediate these issues and to create a culture of transparency, collaboration and efficiency. It eliminates the silos that encapsulate development and operations so the two teams can work together amicably throughout the entire development lifecycle.
While the benefits of DevOps are obvious, adopting it can be problematic. It’s important to take the time to test which DevOps methodologies, tools and practices work for your organization. Don’t be afraid to experiment and A/B test. The data that will result from this experimentation is paramount to your business’ success when adopting the DevOps model.
It is also imperative to take an iterative approach to DevOps. Similar to digital transformation, adopting DevOps in smaller chunks, rather than all at once, will set you up for greater success.
Keeping automation, quality assurance and transparency as the primary goals of your DevOps adoption strategy will lead you onto a path for success.
The Challenges of a DevOps Adoption
If your DevOps adoption goes well, you will be ecstatic with the results. But, DevOps is not an easy undertaking. Not only does your entire organization have to embrace a new mindset and culture, it requires a significant amount of effort to implement, maintain and improve.
These aren’t the only challenges organizations face. Security is also still a huge concern. With a DevOps adoption, massive amounts of data are being moved around. The DevOps model still has some fine tuning in regards to enabling in-depth, proactive and thorough security. This “weakness” is the primary concern (for good reason), most organizations experience with DevOps.
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
While DevOps is designed to break down silos, much of their leftover underpinnings remain firmly in place. Application development and deployment is ultimately hindered by cumbersome network augmentation requirements, often negating the benefits that the change in process and philosophy were designed to enable.
In the past, DevOps found ways around the networking hurdle, either by doing their best to harness traditional VPNs, or by implementing their own solutions outside of network operations altogether. Unfortunately, the management, overhead, and lack of agility of traditional VPNs, combined with the security concerns and risk of shadow IT have left DevOps with a handicap that’s been tough to overcome, until NetFoundry came along.
NetFoundry gives DevOps the ability to bake networking directly into the applications they develop, enabling apps and networks to be deployed in unison, without the burden of cumbersome network augmentations, the limitations of private networks such as MPLS, the expense of costly equipment, or the mercy of the telecom provider. Using our APIs, SDKs, and even common DevOps tools such as Ansible, Jenkins, and Terraform, DevOps can wield the power of network-as-code, enabling their applications to deploy their own networks we call AppWANs, built with the application’s specific context in mind. Apps can automatically spin up or spin down ephemeral, app-specific networks at scale across the Internet, without the need for private circuits, hardware, or VPNs. Performance optimization, zero trust, and multidimensional security are core tenets of NetFoundry’s platform and the AppWANs developers create with it, so the shackles of traditional networking can finally be cast aside. What’s more, AppWANs can go anywhere the Internet can, instantly. DevOps is finally free to innovate and modernize without compromise.
To learn more about how NetFoundry solves the DevOps networking conundrum, schedule a live demo or start using our platform for free, right now.