As the name suggests, DevOps is a combination of ‘’Development’’ and ‘’Operations’’, and describing it as “technical agile” seems surprisingly accurate. It is a set of practices and procedures that help organizations to create an agile, collaborative environment that brings together software development, IT operations, and quality engineering so they can:

  • Shorten development cycles.
  • Decrease time to market.
  • Implement continuous improvements.
  • Ensure that projects align with company goals.
  • Deliver high-quality products to satisfy customer expectations and needs.
  • Remove team silos within the company

The implementation of DevOps helps companies improve processes, tools, and efficiencies to create a better workplace environment and to continually add value for customers.

DevOps: a culture of getting shit done

As engineers, we (sometimes) have a tendency of over-engineering things and that’s what I believe we did with waterfall. While the idea of Big-Design-Up-Front might have been just fine 50 years ago when writing a program took a couple of hours and compiling it took a couple of weeks, it simply doesn’t apply anymore.

DevOps is a methodology that integrates development and IT operations teams to streamline processes and procedures associated with software development, system updates, and the resolution of performance issues. Improving the communication between development and IT teams allows for greater collaborative opportunity, with the intention of reducing the amount of time necessary to deploy software or updates while also minimizing disruptions such as outages or downtime. Merging development and testing with operations and support into one cohesive DevOps team allows for a more comprehensive view of the strengths and vulnerabilities of a system or application.

Greater agility and operational improvement are two of the core objectives of a DevOps philosophy and a digital transformation that incorporates cloud services can facilitate those goals. CloudOps is short for Cloud Operations, and is the process of identifying and defining the appropriate operational procedures to optimize IT services within the cloud environment. It is the culmination of DevOps and traditional IT operations applied to cloud-based architectures.

Successful cloud migrations require a detailed understanding of the current capabilities of cloud resources rather than trying to adapt existing operational approaches to fit into the cloud platform. Consequently, CloudOps requires an organizational-wide change of thinking. Deviating from standard operations can be a challenging adjustment, but the temporary discomfort is worth the benefits, which include:

  • Scalability

Cloud technology allows you to increase or reduce capacity at any time, without investing in additional space or hardware. Capacity planning and asset management will become virtualized.

  • Automation

Cloud resources automate many operations across the SDLC, which leads to self-healing systems and reduces disruptions to applications or users.

  • Accessibility

A lack of onsite servers allows teams to manage servers and operations from almost anywhere.

  • Shared resources

Cloud-computing allows applications that share common services to co-exist without being interconnected.

  • Backup management

Since data isn’t centrally located or physically stored onsite, disaster recovery processes are automatically in place with cloud technology.

  • Metered costs

Cloud resources track usage, making it easier to allocate expenses accordingly.

  • Continuous operations

Cloud-based systems allow for continuous operations since software can be updated and deployed without disruption to service if the proper mechanisms are in place.

CloudOps Best Practices

The transition from onsite servers to a public cloud provider requires a significant paradigm shift. Due to the rising popularity of cloud computing, it’s a change many organizations are in the process of adopting. Using CloudOps in conjunction with DevOps offers your operation more speed, scalability, and productivity. Facilitate your team’s progression to CloudOps by implementing the following best practices.

Enable agility

It’s essential that your security or governance team is fully onboard with every aspect of cloud computing. If teams fail to work together and make usage more difficult, the end result will be less transparency and a lack of overall cohesiveness. Don’t create more restrictions; instead clearly define and implement necessary guidelines.

Empower users

Although cloud resources require governance oversight and appropriate configuration for the sake of security and compliance, DevOps teams are responsible for the day-to-day use of the tools that manage the cloud platform and would ideally have input about resources. Allow users to self-provision their own machines, or to utilize auto-provisioning so that applications request more machines or decrease capacity based on usage.

Automate security

Reduce security risks by implementing processes that use automation to test the configuration of cloud resources. Automating security checks and establishing clear compliance policies to be followed by all teams ensures consistency as your cloud footprint grows and evolves. Remediation can also be automated, allowing developers to mitigate risk without workflow disruption.

Implement redundancy

One of the objectives of the DevOps philosophy involves continuous operations and zero downtime. Cloud-based systems make continuous operations possible since software can be updated or deployed without disruption to the application or service. Implementing automation and redundancy at both the cloud provider layer and the application layer helps ensure that the application will be available despite updates or software changes.

Streamline change management

Reducing the time between idea development and product deployment is one of the primary goals of DevOps, but change management can create its own workflow bottleneck. Encourage synergy between cloud security and change management by putting processes in place that won’t hinder the development process. Automate change request tickets and orchestrate an agile change management system that encourages all teams to work seamlessly.

Continuous improvement

A successful CloudOps strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and can’t be accomplished in a single step. The ultimate goal is to integrate several teams with different focuses and skill sets into one fully integrated operation. Achieving that requires an assessment of existing strengths and weaknesses among team members and communication methods, as well as decisions about leadership, tools, processes, and budget management. Create a plan for not only the initial transitional period, but also for identifying future optimization opportunities.