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The DevOps movement and Microservices: Not as bad as you think, not as easy as you’ve heard

Posted By itSMF Australia Inc, Monday, 19 December 2016

The DevOps movement and Microservices: Not as bad as you think, not as easy as you’ve heard.

DevOps is the latest Holy Grail within the IT industry.  Everywhere you turn there is a story online regarding how companies like Netflix, Spotify  or Amazon have done amazing things through the application of DevOps principles. 

A quick search on LinkedIn, Seek or Indeed returns hundreds of results for shiny, new, cool roles with my personal favourite being….

“We are looking for a Senior Systems Engineer who believes in the collaboration between the development world and operational practices.”

Translation:  “We need someone who will…you know…talk to the other technical people to make sure everyone is playing nice together and the business gets what it wants.”  This, apparently is a new concept within IT.

The rise in stories regarding successful application of DevOps principles in the market has also given rise to increased anxiety amongst traditional, ‘legacy’ operations teams.  With conceptual ideas such as ‘NoOps’ (An IT environment so automated that there is no need for a dedicated team to manage software in-house) getting more and more press it is no wonder that IT Operations teams are getting ulcers.

Business is feeling the pressure too.  Everywhere you turn businesses are told that they aren’t agile enough or fast enough.  You need to go faster!  Faster!  With less resources! And less cost!  And more value!  If you can’t be the Netflix/Amazon/Spotify of your industry, you are going to die a quick and painful death as these small, agile, super smart, DevOps aligned, no-process driven, latte-sipping, drum circle Millennial genius hiring start-ups fire past you.

Well, there’s good news and bad news.  The good news is: You have time.  Your business is going to be just fine over the next 5 – 7 years.  There’s a large, very helpful community out there eager to help. A simple hashtag search for #DevOpsDays is all you need to start soaking in information. As long as you, don’t emerge with a Blockbuster Video or Kodak mindset, you’ll be fine. 

Keep in mind that that DevOps can’t survive WITHOUT good Agile, LEAN and IT Service Management principles in place.  That’s great news for many ‘legacy’ businesses because they already have these capabilities within which should, in theory make their journey towards DevOps nirvana faster and less painful. 

The bad news is, DevOps takes time. But don’t take my word for it, Click Here to hear it directly from Netflix themselves. The link will take you to the precise point in the video where Ruslan Meshenberg of Netflix describes the challenges of their 7 year journey.

DevOps doesn’t have an instruction manual.  It doesn’t have standardised guidance. It’s going to require a tremendous shift in mindset especially in the areas of experimentation and ‘failing comfortably’. If you are working within a legacy, fear based, blame culture DevOps will require a SIGNIFICANT amount of ‘hearts and  minds’ work.

Further to this, ‘Operations’ doesn’t just go away. It just looks different.  In THIS video (also queued up for your convenience) titled ‘What I Wish I Had Known Before Scaling Uber to 1000 Services’ Matt Ranney discusses real world issues with the application of DevOps principles inside the internet startup darling Uber. As an ITSM specialist, my favourite bullet point on the slide reads ‘Understand a Service in the Larger Context’.

DevOps, like the other frameworks, standards and practices that have come before it will not solve all of your problems.  It will not fix your dysfunctional work culture in and of itself. It is a collection of ideas that has been shown to work within a specific domain for specific company types.  Within it, are practices and ideas that may be repeatable and reusable for you and your business. How useful is largely dependent on your culture, your strategy and your understanding of what you mean to do in the market.  Without a clear understanding of that….DevOps is just another shiny anagram that looks good in the store window but may provide little value if you don’t really need it (yet).

Phillip Palmer

itSMF Board Member

 

 

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Tags:  DevOps  itservicemanagement  itsmf  itsmfa  itsmfchair  professional  service management 

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DevOps + ITSM - working together

Posted By itSMF Australia Inc, Thursday, 15 December 2016

DevOps + ITSM - working together

by Brian Jennings

 

The DevOps approach to program development is being adopted universally with enthusiasm and is reportedly achieving much success in meeting the demands of business for the rapid delivery of new or improved IT based services.  This success is seen to be due chiefly to (a) the willingness of software developers to accept radical changes to the way they work, (b) the use of cloud computing that can rapidly meet demands for more compute capacity, (c) the availability of tools for automating testing and (d) streamlining normal change and release management processes.

Whilst commendable results are being achieved by DevOps, their approach is challenging the conventional processes employed by service management in that (a) ITSM people are naturally reluctant to accept unorthodox changes to their traditional and accepted way of managing services and (b) some key services are being overlooked or even ignored.  These are mainly in the areas of Service Level, Availability, Capacity, Information Security and Continuity Management.  There will also be issues with early life support, which by the nature of the DevOps approach may be an ongoing requirement and which may require normal incident and problem management activities to be bypassed.  These challenges need to be investigated to confirm the above impressions and if real, to develop approaches that will result in a win-win situation where there is open communication and collaboration between the developers, operations and IT service management.

Many blogs, white papers etc. have been written on DevOps, explaining what it is and how it is achieving these results.  However few describe in any detail the actual methods that DevOps is using, thus making it difficult to arrive at practical ways for IT service management practitioners to work collaboratively with DevOps people, for mutual benefit.  It is suggested that strategies and policies are needed to provide clear direction as to how best to achieve both short and long-term objectives.  Also more research is needed into DevOps methods and lines of communication set up with DevOps practitioners and associated professional bodies to fully understand their operations and to develop guidelines for adapting current ITSM practices to the DevOps approach, such that the objectives of both are met within required timeframes. 

The key is believed to be the willingness of both parties to communicate, cooperate and work together collaboratively.  Anyone involved in ITSM and/or DevOps activities who are experiencing any difficulties in these areas are urged to communicate these to us, to assist in developing guidelines that address any such issues.  Please send to info@itsmf.org.au

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ITIL and DevOps, they actually work well together...

Posted By itSMF Australia Inc, Tuesday, 13 December 2016
I think the hype surrounding the launch of newly discovered frameworks sometimes comes at a cost of having to compare it to something else to try to sell its value.
In this case I’ve heard much discussion of why DevOps is better than ITIL and how ITIL won’t be required anymore. I’ve heard this message particularly loudly from the software sales companies.
My view on this has been broadcast a few months ago where I challenged the notion that ITIL is dead because of DevOps. Clearly at the end of the discussion ITIL was agreed to be well alive and still needed. My conversations over the last numbers of months with senior IT managers confirms my views that ITIL is still needed, desperately by some!!

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DevOps and Service Transformation

Posted By itSMF Australia Inc, Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2016

DevOps and Service Transformation

Up to now I had regarded DevOps as something that lived primarily in the Applications Development environment and could never figure out why the ITIL folks were getting all excited about it – in both positive and negative ways. The sessions I went to at the itSMF Conferences, the people I talked to and what I had read on the topic gave me the impression that it was all about getting application releases into production quicker and more efficiently.

Harry Powell

itSMF Australia - Secretary

To read more about DevOps and Service Transformation Click Here

Tags:  Bulletin  DevOps  itservicemanagement  itsmf  itsmfa  itsmfchair  professional  service management 

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Friends for Life: DevOps and Service Management

Posted By itSMF Australia Inc, Monday, 5 December 2016

Friends for life: DevOps & Service Management

The DevOps movement is gaining traction in our industry. It is people centric and culture driven. It strives for fast delivery, customer satisfaction and excellence. Much of the DevOps movement is built on the foundations of sound Service Management such as recording incidents, managing changes, standardizing releases and managing knowledge; just to name a few.

DevOps brings new blood from software engineering and reinforces Service Management’s focus on delivering value. It has a strong focus on culture, learning, automation and the removal of waste from processes. Together, traditional Service Management and DevOps build a bold future and they answer the big question faced by the IT department: How do we deliver more value to our customers in a fast changing environment?

The Service Management community want to boldly share fresh perspectives as our members engage with DevOps at all levels, highlighting the value of all ideas that enhance service delivered to customers. We will build bridges and deliver our mission statement connecting members and maturing service.

I have asked our board members to embark on a personal journey and engage with DevOps and the DevOps community. In the spirit of Agile we are organizing a number of sprints to learn, engage and deliver fresh perspectives. Your Board will commence our first sprint this week by informing ourselves and reflecting on what we are learning by writing a series of short blog posts. We will share these with the community, measure, learn and respond with new connections for our members. We invite you all to join us.

We hope that you join our journey, that you benefit from the results and that together we drive more value for the organizations we serve.

Bradley Busch

Chair, itSMF Australia

 

Tags:  Bulletin  DevOps  itservicemanagement  itsmf  itsmfa  itsmfchair  professional  service management 

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