The rapid growth of the internet has borne witness to sites such as Amazon, Google, Netflix, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube becoming sky-rocketing powerhouses. Their stories of growth included going from the use of one server to a dozen, and now thousands. Adding more commodity servers helped these companies significantly improve their offerings, and in turn increased their revenue.
There is a domino effect in problems in IT. You try to anticipate the problems, but often the “Solution to one problem brings us face to face with another situation”. Growth in these hyper scale environments highlighted major concerns regarding downtime, poor performance and the ability to deploy new code faster. And so, DevOps became the new buzzword for generating solutions.
DevOps grew up, keeping pace with the growth of servers and fiercely eliminated the boundaries between development & operations. Today DevOps is more than an idea, it is a die-hard need for any environment. I was fortunate to enjoy being in the forefront of witnessing the birth, shift and growth of DevOps; eventually building a highly specialized practice in DevOps as part of MSys Technologies. Today our company offers a wide range of product engineering services, but DevOps is still closest to my heart.
For me DevOps is not a heading, nor an accountability, rather a mindset embraced by everyone in any development and engineering operations. It nurtures the close-knit synchrony between Development & Operations, and the use of the term DevOps reveals a carefully composed and orchestrated true artistic performance. As I had personally seen a growing friction between teams working on development & operations, DevOps brought about a perfect solution to work in coordination.
DevOps is for technology, what the soul is to the body. Similar to how every human being feels the longing to nourish the soul, and in turn, by nourishing the soul finds that the body works more efficiently; DevOps improves an organization’s operational sustenance and also helps it to work efficiently. It also provides that inner conscience to an organization while increasing the flexibility of the team, improving team engagement and motivating collaboration. In addition, the right engineering practices help detect feedback loop within hours; something earlier took days, or even weeks, and is cognitively effective, as developers are able to make fixes right away.
CEO, CIOs and IT managers agree on one thing – DevOps is many things to many people. It provides differing solutions within different companies, and everyone has varied expectations of its outcomes. It is avowed that it enables companies to adapt faster to changes in the market by mechanizing the manual approach which is greatly open to failure. It also helps existing infrastructure to be used more efficiently, decreasing the op-ex. In other words, if one does not integrate DevOps practices, one may not be in the market in the future.
Today, DevOps is one of the most debated software development approaches and is largely applied by Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Intuit, and many other industry-leaders. Yet we need to realize DevOps is not a target, it is not a tool or an on-the-shelf software; it is a voyage of self-improvement and each organization has their own DevOps journey to navigate.