Is DevOps the Key to the Reliability of a Site in 2020?

DevOps

As an organization, you must spend a significant chunk of time and effort in developing your software products to perfection. Right from conceptualizing the idea of building it, testing it and finally releasing it requires a lot of cooperation and collaboration from different areas of your organization. But, no matter how efficient you are, the fact is that the software development life cycle is a tiring and laborious process requiring far more efforts that you can easily guess.

Gap Between Development and Operation

Moreover, the products have to reliable, after all, it is a question of the customer’s trust and reputation of your organization. The development and operational procedures in your organization must go hand in hand not just for building a perfect product but also for making it reliable. But, sadly there is a huge gap between the two in a majority of organizations these days.

While it might not seem like that much a problem, the fact is that it causes enormous amounts of delays in the software development lifecycle and a lack of reliability. Taking a look at how enterprises functioned historically, it is evident how teams liked to work under relative silos. Therefore, the concept of collaboration wasn’t just beyond the scope but also something not practically very feasible.

If you look back to an era when businesses weren’t governed by modern technologies, we won’t find the cloud, test automation, site reliability engineers or DevOps practices. Instead, there were developers, testers and system administrators who were developing and supporting web and mobile applications. While the developers followed agile methodologies, the system administrators opted for incident management practices among others.

Those days also saw fewer tools for automating testing, deployment, and infrastructure. So, there was a lot of hustle and bustle going from being code complete to production-ready. Therefore, discovering the root causes of any production issues included required monitoring production infrastructure and applications, which in turn demanded both craft and skills. And it was all due to the fact that the operational data, workflows and monitoring tools did not integrate.

The Modern Scenario

Coming back to 2019, it is understood that developing, testing and building applications is much easier today. But, all is not as easy as it seems. The terminology, role definitions, and practical responsibilities are much harder to decipher and apply. However, DevOps has a huge role to play in it.

DevOps service providers automates the process between software development and IT teams so that they can build, test and release software far more reliably and rapidly. Through a set of practices, it builds a culture of collaboration and stands as a firm handshake between development and operation.

In other words, it unifies agile, continuous delivery automation and much more to help development and operation teams be more efficient, innovate faster along with delivering the maximum amount of value to both enterprises and valued customers. DevOps, therefore, isn’t just an agile technology, but a movement, philosophy, and culture.

However, organizations must take accountability when it comes to site reliability. It is imperative to figure out whether site reliability is a part of DevOps or a complementary service. But, what’s worked out for one organization doesn’t mean that it becomes a universal truth for the rest to follow. The difference in an organization’s size, complexity, and scale make their agile methods and operational practices far more personalized and unique, therefore, not applying to other organizations.

DevOps with Site Reliability

As we progress into 2020, there will be even more differences in the way each organization defines its agile practices. While some may implement it as a workflow practice others many define it at an operational level and so on. Most importantly, these must depend on the business objective, technical architecture, software development cycle, and DevOps automation. Similarly, when it comes to the intersection of DevOps practices with site reliability engineering, organizations must do the same.

There are different models that organizations can follow when it comes to DevOps and Site reliability. Google along with other renowned organizations define several of these models along with their objectives towards site reliability.

  • At Google, there are several models, right from ‘everything site reliability engineering’ to the one where they just act as consultants to development teams and are less likely to make code modifications. On the other hand, everywhere SRE has a comprehensive charter.
  • Another model defined for site engine reliability is the operation centric model by the Association of Computer Machinery. This model identifies monitoring, metrics, emergency response, capacity planning, service management, change management along with performance as the core functions.

It isn’t quite alien if you discover significant differences between DevOps and site reliability. The point is that DevOps generally focuses on ‘what’, whereas site reliability focuses on the ‘how’ aspect of things. Therefore, a few experts are of the belief that site reliability engineering is well-suited for enterprises and organizations that want to manage large scale applications.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a big organization or a small one, there is one thing you can’t escape if you want to carve a niche for yourself. And that is agile DevOps. Coming to site reliability engineering, consider it equally important for small as well as large organizations. If you’re looking forward to building and supporting customized applications, data integrations, data science experimentation, machine learning models and others, you need to intersect DevOps with site reliability engineering for complementing the development responsibilities.

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