DevOps promises many benefits, such as improving collaboration between development and operations, reducing IT resource wastage, and speeding up software delivery cycles. It’s unsurprising, then, that a growing number of organizations, both large and small, are DevOps Implementation.
Yet, although most resources discuss the benefits of DevOps, define CI/CD, recommend DevOps tools, and share DevOps principles and best practices, few discuss how to actually perform a DevOps Implementation from scratch.
So where do you begin?
DevOps Implementation Step-by-Step
When trying to think of a DevOps implementation example, people often confuse implementing the DevOps lifecycle with adopting DevOps across the organization. Instead, this post will walk you through the steps involved in DevOps implementation at the organization level, rather than at the developer, operator, or testing level.
Even if your organization has already begun building a DevOps culture, you can still use this information to identify potential signs of a DevOps problem so that you can fix them according to current best practices.
What are the Steps for Implementing DevOps?
DevOps is a cultural phenomenon, and it involves many moving parts. For these reasons, there’s no one way that all organizations adopt DevOps. DevOps implementation is usually a trial-and-error process, as each company’s unique goals, needs and budgets influence the process.
That said, any DevOps implementation proposal should account for these critical steps:
1. Making the DevOps Mentality Switch
Any DevOps implementation checklist will highlight the need for adopting new business processes and ditching outdated workflows. As a result, it’s not uncommon for it to take months or even years to take DevOps from concept to implementation.
To build an effective DevOps culture, consider these tips:
- Educate your people about the DevOps development cycle and how it will affect the organization. This will help prevent culture shock and resistance to change.
- Your goal should always be to improve the user experience. Emphasize how your DevOps process helps you achieve this goal as you make the transition.
- DevOps practices are about improving as you go. Encourage a culture of experimentation and automate a testing environment where you collect feedback and use it to iterate processes and projects.
- Foster continual improvement. Even if your existing workflows and cross-functional teams aren’t broken, encourage your employees to create more efficient ways to execute solutions.
- Discourage blame culture by emphasizing mutual responsibility across the organization, not just among software development and operations teams.
The goal is to get buy-in from all teams to limit change resistance and provide the leadership your staff needs to make the mental switch. If you don’t have a DevOps specialist on staff or would like help running the orientation program, a DevOps consultant can help ensure a successful DevOps implementation.
2. Take Stock of Your Existing Business Processes
Your DevOps checklist should start with a strong understanding of your current baseline, for several crucial reasons:
- Identifying workflows that need to improve can reveal ways to use DevOps more effectively in your organization.
- Identifying your current strengths and weaknesses will enable you to decide whether to implement DevOps workflows as soon as possible or more gradually.
- Seeing what might need to change allows you to analyze the opportunities and risks you may encounter when performing a DevOps implementation.
3. Collect Actual User Feedback
It’s easy to assume you know what’s best for your customers. But by capturing real feedback, you’ll get a better understanding of what they like about your services, how you can improve service delivery and more.
Also, your customers have likely used services similar to yours before, or they may be working with your competitors now to fulfill different needs. Use their feedback to learn how other companies offer better service so that you can improve your own offerings.
4. Gather a Diverse, Qualified Team to Build Your DevOps Strategy
Next, assemble a team of experts from different departments – from development and marketing to operations and finance. Ideally, your team should include:
- DevOps specialist
- Build and release engineer
- Developers and operations professionals who understand Agile, Kanban, and Scrum software development best practices and site reliability engineering (SRE) roles
- Automation architect
- Testing and QA professionals
- Security engineer
- Finance professional
- CIO to lead the team as the DevOps strategy manager
Together, these people should be able to help you:
- Create a comprehensive DevOps strategy based on the needs of your organization.
- Plan when you’ll implement DevOps, what tools you’ll use, who will be responsible for what tasks, how you’ll collect and distribute customer feedback and how you’ll measure DevOps progress.
- Assess whether cloud computing is the right fit for your business or if you should start applying application and software modernization in an on-premise environment. Assume you choose to migrate your applications to the cloud. In that case, how will you move your workloads? Will you lift and shift with containers or refactor apps to be compatible with cloud-native technologies such as microservices, autoscaling and Kubernetes? Would it be better for you to migrate to a PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS platform?
- Plan for a smooth transition without negatively affecting continuous delivery and customer experiences.
- Prepare a budget for the DevOps implementation.
Generally speaking, we encourage clients to set up a DevOps team before planning their transition strategies so that they’ll benefit from the hands-on knowledge of the people who will implement the strategy. We also recommend you work with a vetted and experienced DevOps consultant if you don’t have a DevOps specialist in-house.
5. Source and Allocate Resources
DevOps is a long-range initiative that requires substantial funding. Starting small with the tools you have or platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one option. In case you need a highly customized solution, you can also build custom infrastructure from scratch.
Take the potential return on investment for adopting DevOps into consideration when setting your budget. The benefits can range from the technical (less manual work and human errors) to the cultural (more employee engagement), to the business-related (improving customer retention and keeping your company competitive by delivering features and fixes quickly).
6. Pilot your DevOps Strategy with Devs, Ops and QA
This is the most technical stage of DevOps implementation. This step involves implementing the DevOps workflow with Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) practices and tools. Among those practices is automating your agile infrastructure using tools like Jenkins, Ansible, Bamboo, Puppet and Chef.
The key here is breaking down silos to enable collaboration and communication between development, operations, QA and security teams to be guided by customer feedback and real user monitoring insights.
7. Monitor the DevOps Implementation
Finally, assess your progress before expanding the DevOps program to other departments. The following are some key performance indicators to track:
- Lead time
- Mean Time To Detection of anomalies (MTTD)
- Mean Time To Repair an issue (MTTR)
- Deployment frequency
- Regression rate (change failure rate)
- Errors such as runtime issues, memory leaks, and data security lapses
Using solutions like application performance monitoring (APM) tools, you can analyze metrics, logs, traces and events coming from your infrastructure in order to gain insights you can act on.
Implementing DevOps Like A Pro
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why many organizations find the idea of performing a DevOps implementation to be overwhelming.
Simpat Tech can help. We offer a full range of DevOps services, including experts who can support end-to-end DevOps transformations by selecting platforms, tools and strategies that meet your requirements.
Get in touch with our DevOps specialists today to get started on your digital transformation.