There is no shortage of new developments in the IT space. Our Industry is moving so fast, that traditional definitions of what constitutes ‘legacy’ are fast vanishing. Today Java is legacy - You need Python and other newer tools; Data Centers are Legacy - Talk only about Public or Private Cloud Traditional monolithic COTS products have given way to a lightweight, cloud-deployable stack! Very much the same holds good for Agile - Yes, Agile has become Legacy- now, the whole industry is talking about DevOps!
We have all heard the proverb “The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating". No great software or system is useful unless it is used by the business users in a production environment, is able to withstand the rigors of production environment, and is easy to maintain & operate.
We have heard of so many cases of systems passing the UAT, and after the initial celebratory success parties, have gone terribly wrong when Live! Proving, that it is extremely important to bridge the gap between Development Projects and Production Operations. We can use Agile techniques both in development, project management and Production Operations. This is DevOps.
What does this mean to us? Dev is Agile based and Ops is ITIL based. How do I connect them? Let me illustrate a few areas. The DevOps initiative is new and still evolving, and we as practitioners need to expand and make DevOps more & more suitable for our customers.
Shift deep Left: We have heard of this concept called Shift Left in the context of Testing: Bring in Testing leads early in the project rather than late in to the development cycle. This is one of the key aspects of Agile. Testability of requirements is one of the key things in Agile, and daily integration builds and “Fail fast" by early testing as the key mantras of Agile Development. In DevOps, we extend this to production operations. Bringing in Production operations leads early in to business requirements stage and merging UAT and ORT into a single Production readiness sign-off mechanism.
Closed Feedback Loop: It means atighter feedback loop from Production Trouble Ticketing systems back to requirements. P1/P2s in the first few days of production are clear signs of weakness in the process. We are missing key elements of how the system will behave in the production environment; issues could be as simple as OS/Middle ware version mismatches to complex data variations in Production which have not been thought of in development or Test ; P3s are important, these are usually far too many, and create huge disruptions which defocus the Operations staff. In DevOps, feedback system, P3s are ideal candidates for automation including data correction scripts, automation of processes etc.
Last but not the least concept is the Continuum between Development & Production Operations with smooth handovers and continuous feedbacks. Big emphasis on Tools from requirements, release prioritization and planning, development in Agile with Scrums, Open source IDEs, version management, auto code checkers , automatic build, automatic release into production , user training , trouble ticketing, Change management etc. DevOps needs Tool support; significant benefits of DevOps will come only with e2e tool support.
What are we doing about this?
Firstly, we have partnered with 3 large product companies and an Open Source company, we have alliance agreements, labs in India, ODCs with Tools and all the Training capability.
Second, dedicated senior leaders are assigned to sell DevOps business to our customers; looking after the business development and providing Executive cover. Our goal is to make TechM the industry leader in DevOps space and provide best value for the money to our customers;