DevOps is driving a cloud-first approach

By Mykhaylo Shaforostov, Chief Technology Officer, AppDynamics APAC
Friday, 20 July, 2018

DevOps is driving a cloud-first approach

DevOps combined with cloud is enabling savvy leaders to iterate their products and services with optimal efficiency.

DevOps is the standard approach to application development and deployment, with a recent survey revealing that 96% of Australian organisations are in some way involved in the DevOps movement. Meanwhile, according to 81% of Australian organisations, the rise of DevOps is a major factor driving the move to cloud-first.

While legacy systems can be costly and resource-intensive to maintain, a cloud-first strategy offers scalability, automation, streamlined data coordination and more. When implemented and used effectively, cloud-based environments can also help businesses mitigate risks and incidents, such as outages, which 81% of businesses estimate to have an average hourly cost of more than $300,000.

Adopting a DevOps approach enables the integration of critical late-stage activities — such as testing and deployment planning — into the code-writing part of software development, which often proves to be a challenge for legacy software as these systems lack flexibility.

By leveraging DevOps practices, teams can run multiple activities in parallel and on multifunctional teams, setting this process apart from the old ‘waterfall’ model that encompassed legacy systems.

The DevOps-cloud relationship

With the Asia–Pacific spending on public cloud services and infrastructure forecast to reach $15.08 billion in 2018 (an increase of 35% over 2017), cloud is fast becoming a dominant means by which organisations pioneer digital transformation.

If DevOps is more a cultural shift than a tangible investment, it’s clear that organisational behaviours must adapt in order to gain the most from a DevOps and cloud relationship.

IT leaders can practice DevOps without the cloud, and they can move to the cloud without DevOps. But, when working in tandem, the true benefits of agility and high-quality release velocity can be realised.

Both DevOps and the cloud mutually reinforce strategies for delivering business value through IT and thus organisations should not ignore the potential of combining the two.

Cloud computing, with its scalable foundations, pushes forward IT transformation, helping organisations double down on their efforts to immerse DevOps processes. Shifting workloads to the cloud streamlines approaches, leading to greater efficiencies across the organisation.

Applications can also be understood anew through a cloud and DevOps lens — for example, DevOps is all about speed. Combining this with the benefits of cloud automation allows code releases to be much faster than on-premise.

The technical flexibility that DevOps affords, including the ability to quickly iterate and change processes, is perfectly suited to the scalability of a cloud environment.

However, this penchant for fast change also brings with it a requirement for application monitoring tools that can operate in complex cloud ecosystems.

For the DevOps team to flexibly address issues, monitoring is required to better understand where issues are originating from, and prevent them before they even begin.

The value of monitoring

The best way for an organisation to effectively support DevOps in the cloud is to monitor and take note of successes as well as faults. Organisations that perform the monitoring and analysis that come with newly established DevOps and cloud relationships will have a better chance of succeeding in the long term, as DevOps teams will always want to re-shift an approach that isn’t working.

But how can they best know what isn’t working? This is where monitoring has a role to play.

The ideal approach to support DevOps in cloud-related efforts is to monitor performance. It is critical for organisations to have visibility of how applications are performing both before and during testing, and once they have been deployed to production.

Having this information to hand then helps make the business case for continued investment.

The streamlined operational process that DevOps brings to the cloud is enabling savvy business leaders to iterate their products and services with optimal efficiency, keeping them ahead of competitors.

These are the business and technology leaders who will continue to thrive, despite the constant changes anticipated with mobile adoption, use and monetisation.

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