This is the second part of the blog series on Digital Transformation (DX) and Role of DevOps. You can read the first blog covering the relationship between DX and the DevOps model here.
At the heart of the previous blog was a value statement for the agile software development model, which can be paraphrased as: working software is the true measure of success. Equally as important to a DevOps transformation is the need for continuous integration continuous delivery (CI/CD) or in layperson's terms, frequent software releases.
In an recent Freakonomics podcast, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg discussed how they "built this whole framework that allows people within the company, any engineer, to change some code, create a new branch of what Facebook is, and ship that to some number of people." It is not far-fetched to interpret Facebook's framework as an important enabler for continuous innovation and new functionality.
How do you bring this framework to your organization? It all starts with identifying the essential requirements for right tools and infrastructure that will support everything from integrated development environments and version control systems to workflow management and automatic test tools. For example:
- Automation: This is a logical step for organizations after they standardize their environments. IT vendors need to take on an increasing amount of the operational burden, such as automating the creation of development environments to building code to testing against functional parameters.
- Software defined / Infrastructure-as-code: On the infrastructure front, repetitive tasks like provisioning storage, VLANs, user desktops, or even development environments need to be automated. Facilitating automation means abstracting underlying infrastructure functions like data protection and replication and providing programmatic mechanisms like REST APIs for tasks like monitoring, reporting, cloning, and provisioning.
- Self-service and orchestration mechanisms: This is critical to leveraging multiple clouds (on-prem and hosted private, public clouds, etc) and handling storage and compute (VMs), as well as applications and groups of VMs and containers. Tools such as Nutanix Prism, Nutanix Marketplace and others provide IT end-users self-service functionality. Others like Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Salt in combination with Nutanix Calm provide orchestration and configuration management at scale.
- Continuous integration: Many who have been in the industry for a while were first exposed the concept of CI in the 1990s as one of the hallmark of Extreme programming, but it is an older practice where SW development team members integrate their work at least on a daily basis (if not more frequently). The code is verified using an automated [and fast] build and test process as quickly as possible. It requires considerations for areas such as source code repositories, build tools, testing processes, and more. Jenkins is one such tools used to facilitate CI with extensible plug-ins for integration with a wide range of infrastructure options.
- Repeatability and reliability: It is essential for the platforms and infrastructure to consistently produce the same results every time without any surprises. For example: Calling a script to clone a golden image to create a new development environment produces the same result while the back end handles the task efficiently with data management.
Bottom line, by thinking upfront about your organization's process, ownership, tools, and infrastructure needs, you can more seamlessly embrace digital transformation to drive business impact.
Of course, if you'd like to hear more about how Nutanix Calm and APIs can help your organization transform, please drop a note to our services team at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us on Twitter @nutanix.
Curious to learn more? There are a number of insightful blogs and resources that dive into requirements around areas like software builds and test automation. To further whet your appetite around digital transformation and DevOps, here's a short list of suggested reading:
- Nutanix Developer site with detailed information on APIs and PowerShell: https://developer.nutanix.com
- IBM (Nutanix OEM partner) hosts a rich set of content and eBooks on their developerWorks site: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/d-devops-cloud/index.html
- BlueGreenDeployment by Martin Fowler (first published March 2010) https://martinfowler.com/bliki/BlueGreenDeployment.html
- Dr. Deming's 14 Points for Management (specifically point 3 presents a point discussed in the previous blog): https://deming.org/explore/fourteen-points
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