Driving DevOps: The 5 New Requirements for Agile App Delivery

Posted 11/2/2015 11:03:01 AM by KASEY CROSS, A10 Networks

Driving DevOps: The 5 New Requirements for Agile App Delivery
The benefits DevOps can provide for an enterprise are nothing less than the framework for staying competitive in an era defined by change. Fundamentally, DevOps allows enterprises to:

- Balance Innovation with Infrastructure Stability: The high performance fueled by DevOps is driven by continuous deployment on the development side combined with heavy automation, continuous monitoring, and feedback on the operations side, in an overall spirit of collaboration to produce rapid, frequent changes reliably and securely.

- Leverage Agile Methodologies: It has been 15 years since the Agile Manifesto was released and the methodology has since taken over the world of software development (in particular) and project management (in general). Embracing short sprints, an iterative approach to delivery that builds incrementally, and open collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the process - Agile is the preferred method for development and delivery in the modern enterprise and a hallmark of DevOps culture.

- Capitalize on the Cloud: In his InfoQ essay “Cloud and DevOps: A Marriage Made in Heaven,” IT Service Innovation Consultant‬ Jeff Sussna noted that DevOps deployed with cloud computing “enables greater business agility by making IT infrastructure more pliable.” In other words, cloud computing enables the dynamic allocation of resources to maximize server utilization. And cloud networks have matured to incorporate all of the services and management tools of traditional network architectures, but with the ability to scale resources to improve the uptime and security of deployments. 

- Take Advantage of New Tools: A myriad of popular and productive tools are directly targeted to DevOps, including continuous integration suites, orchestration tools, and release automation frameworks. There are service virtualizers and integrated testing resources, not to mention application performance management solutions to help assess impact and predict or prevent failure. Collectively, these tools provide DevOps teams with some powerful mojo to operate at speed and efficiency rates unimaginable even a few short years ago.

Now the question remains, “What is the enterprise required to provide for a successful DevOps approach?” Integrating development, testing, deployment, and IT operations into a unified business service creation-and-delivery process enables innovation. But to fulfill the promise of DevOps, organizations have to provide an operating environment that lets the magic flow. Basic necessities include the following:

1. A multi-service platform that can integrate with a variety of upper-level SDN controllers and orchestration platforms (and this, in turn, requires standards-based programmability). Programmability is key to customized automation and enables continuous deployment. A programmable application networking platform should also integrate with the organization’s cloud automation and orchestration systems for speedy provisioning, management, and maintenance.

2. Centralized control in the application networking platform. Taking a software-defined networking (SDN) approach, which moves network intelligence into logical, centralized SDN Controllers, application delivery can also be abstracted and centralized for role-based management and control with flexible APIs.

3. Visibility into the performance of applications throughout varied cloud environments. DevOps requires monitoring, reporting, and telemetry tools that can identify bottlenecks, indicate security threats, and generate automated reports and detailed analysis. 

4. Scalability on demand. An extensible platform enables DevOps to scale up or down, prevent sprawl, drive consolidation, and simplify deployment and ongoing management of the application infrastructure. 

5. Ability to roll out changes quickly. DevOps functions on continuous application deployment. This requires a high-performance platform that can work within advanced architectures and allows for applications to be accelerated and optimized throughout the infrastructure.

DevOps promises to speed innovation, simplify business operations, test new concepts, and create competitive advantage for the enterprise. All the enterprise is required to do is provide an environment that lets Agile application delivery thrive.

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About the author: KASEY CROSS, A10 Networks

Kasey Cross is responsible for security evangelism for the Thunder Application Delivery Controller (ADC) product line at A10 Networks. She has over 10 years of experience in marketing and management positions at leading information security companies, including Imperva and SonicWALL. She was also the co-founder and CEO of Menlo Logic and led the company through its successful acquisition by Cavium Networks. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Physics from Duke University.

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