January 6, 2016
TABLE OF CONTENTS
In 2015, Levvel’s DevOps Practice received an unprecedented amount of interest from many different types of companies. The majority of this interest however was from large enterprise clients, many in the financial services spaces, looking to leverage DevOps’ practices to increase efficiency, productivity, decrease cost, while continuing to meet customer demand. In the past DevOps was embraced by the innovators and then the early adopters. However, we predict that DevOps will take a major step forward as large enterprises will embrace DevOps practices. Why? DevOps naturally solves the complexity of managing large, complex IT environments. While all IT organizations are constantly evaluating new tools and offerings, the fundamental focus of DevOps is enhancing and refining HOW an IT organization delivers value, rather than determining the tools to deliver value. No amount of investment in toolchains or software solutions will truly help an organization mired in inefficient development processes and obstacle-ridden management strategies.
Internal IT teams feel the pain of inefficient change management procedures and instinctively know something needs to improve. Our experience has shown that a small contingent of DevOps practitioners within a larger organization can effect great change and eventually evangelize their practices to the broader IT organization. Historically DevOps has been limited to niche communities with a few early adopters, but it is now driving towards the enterprise mainstream because it naturally addresses and provides solutions for managing the complexity of enterprise IT environments. In 2016, there will be increased adoption of DevOps by these small vanguard IT teams.
Effective, reliable IT services demand that a team must act in a cohesive and effective manner. Internal IT teams often have great ideas on which technologies to use but lack effective strategies for realigning management, development and operational processes to make the best use of those tools. Together we realized great success by partnering with these teams and helping them: adopt best practices early on, set effective team composition, eliminate silos, and avoid costly mistakes that could threaten the long term goal of greater organizational DevOps adoption.
From a technological perspective, 2016 will be a year in which enterprise IT organizations finally make the move to decouple their applications and services with a Microservices approach. This transition will positively impact application development and deployment solutions with an overarching goal of a more sustainable and cost efficient model. Rapid deploys, enhanced change management and easier oversight all stem from a Microservices approach.
Beyond the cost saving benefits, a main reason for moving towards Microservices is to gain the ability to leverage containerization strategies offered by raw usage of Docker combined with the deployment capabilities provided with PaaS offerings like RedHat’s OpenShift, Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry, Docker’s Tutum, or AWS’s ECS. Containerized Microservices mesh incredibly well within the DevOps paradigm and enable development teams to focus on atomic feature changes that are rolled out to customers faster than ever. Our enterprise clients are used to the overhead of monolithic change requests and scheduled deployments that are common in any large IT organization and they look forward to being able to deploy quickly and frequently without an ‘all hands’ effort late at night on a weekend.
By adopting the DevOps model our clients tell us how much easier developing and managing their applications are and how they can get new features in front of their customers faster. As we enter 2016, one of Levvel’s main companies to watch is Docker. Their container technology is an integral tool for any organization transitioning to DevOps with Microservices. Out of the many solutions Docker provides, parity between development, test and production environments is one of the most important. This has the potential to immensely reduce production errors, speed time-to-market and empower developers to deliver better applications faster.
In the infrastructure space, we see the same priority level of importance for creating sustainable DevOps implementations. While application development teams can rapidly develop and test, they are inherently dependent on the infrastructure for supporting their applications and environments. This is where DevOps infrastructure tools for defining and provisioning dynamic infrastructure environments can save your organization time and money by removing static infrastructure resources when they are not in use. We use tools like Terraform for managing dynamic environments and Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and CloudFormation for application configurations. Infrastructural DevOps focuses on dynamic environment hosting to reduce the hardware costs for traditional static environment resources while supporting customized deployment solutions for an organization’s application development teams as they create and promote new features from development through production.
It’s been said that ‘every company is a now a software company’ and this phrase is almost a maxim now. With 90% of all capital projects having an IT component and roughly 50% of all capital spending directly on IT, there is absolutely no room for waste or inefficiency in a modern IT organization.
Donna Scott, VP & Research Director, Gartner, notes that, “80 percent of unplanned downtime is caused by people and process issues, including poor change management practices, while the remainder is caused by technology failures and disasters.”
IT organizations without stringent boundaries and well-defined development and deployment pipelines will continue to expend precious resources on unplanned work, on managing a subversive culture around change management procedures and on endless firefighting of production issues. This will leave little time for innovation and customer satisfaction.
Revolutionizing your IT organization is paramount. All future innovation in the IT organization is predicated on implementing the kinds of procedural enhancements that lead to developer happiness and empowerment, strong operational oversight and well-defined and repeatable automation of both SDLC’s and infrastructure/architecture. We believe that thoroughly implementing a DevOps strategy is one of the most transformative and value-added exercises an IT organization can perform and Levvel stands ready to strategically design, architect, implement and execute on this front in 2016 and beyond.
Levvel is an IT consulting firm that combines the innovative DNA of a start up with the wisdom, scalability, and process rigor of a Fortune 100 company. We offer both technical implementation services as well as strategic advisory services. Levvel offers you an “unfair advantage” over your competition with comprehensive services including DevOps, Cloud, Mobile, UI/UX, Big Data, Analytics, Payment Strategy, and more.
At the end of lunch with a mentee, I used the items on our table to express the fundamental concepts of Kubernetes. Sometime after explaining the purpose of the Kubernetes scheduler, she asked a question I spent the next several weeks thinking about.
Kubernetes has become the standard when it comes to containerization. While raw Kubernetes is not easy to deploy and manage, cloud services providers such as AWS, Azure and IBM Bluemix provide managed services that significantly ease adoption.
How to use the Amazon API Gateway in a multi-account environment where one instance can be used to manage a variety of APIs deployed across multiple accounts.
VMware is to blame for a large number of old and unsupported legacy systems we are dealing with in significant organizations, airlines, telcos, banks, government, and more.