Are You Actually Doing DevOps?
March 13, 2017

Anders Wallgren
Electric Cloud

There might be many people across organizations who claim that they’re using a DevOps approach, but often times, the “best practices” they’re using don’t align with DevOps methodologies. They can say what they do is “DevOps”, but what we’ve found is that many are actually not following basic agile methodology principles, and that’s not DevOps. Ever.

How Are We So Sure?

Electric Cloud gathered data from thousands of engineers and IT leaders across three major events – DOES 2016, Agile 2016 and Appshere 2016 (and compared it with specific data sets from the Puppet and DORA 2016 State of the DevOps Report) – asking them about their deployment and application release automation practices, and we found some interesting patterns.

For starters, the data show us that the majority of deployments are still manual. Specifically, over 70 percent of deployments use a combination of manual processes and some automation. While many think, in this instance, that they are automating their releases, this isn’t automation. Just because you’re using a Chef recipe to automate one of your releases, doesn’t mean you’re an automated shop.


It Gets Worse

The two remaining datasets from this section tells us perhaps the most disappointing fact – 23 percent of deployments are still fully manual and only 6 percent of deployments are fully automated. Let’s face it; manual intervention often leads to errors and non-repeatable processes. No bueno. If testing or deployments are handled manually, it’s nearly impossible to implement continuous delivery or continuous integration in any way. What this statistic tells us is that many don’t realize that they have increased the risk of defects to their software (which almost always creates unplanned workloads), or a higher risk of deployments failing all together.

When relying on manual processes versus automation, an entire host of problems can emerge. The top challenges with manual deployments are:

1. Environment differences and configuration drift

2. Manual, error-prone steps

3. Complex application dependencies

4. Manual deployments often lead to more time spent troubleshooting deployment failures

The bottom line is this: manual deployments are extremely brittle and error-prone. This creates not only failed deployments, but also the loss of hundreds of worker hours trying to troubleshoot those failures. This is certainly painful in mission critical production environments, but carries great cost, even long before you reach production release.


The Bigger Truth

As surprising as it might be to read in 2017, IT departments are still struggling to release software at the rate the business demands. As we see from the Puppet and DORA 2016 State of the DevOps Report, automation eliminates common challenges that come with manual deployments, and delivers better results.

Deployment automation is the linchpin of DevOps success. Automated deployments allow organizations to drastically cut cycle times, accelerate releases and reduce application backlogs. Specifically, according to the Puppet and DORA Report, automation provides 200x more frequent deployments, 3x lower change failure rates, 24x faster recovery from failures and 2555x shorter lead times.


Deployment Automation is the Linchpin of DevOps Success

DevOps is not the responsibility of one person or one team. It’s a company mindset that when set in motion, delivers immediate value. The right Application Release Automation solution can dramatically accelerate your time-to-market and cycle times, give you confidence in your IT operations, enhance teamwork, and reduce operational costs.

Anders Wallgren is CTO of Electric Cloud

The Latest

July 19, 2018

Despite 95 percent of CIOs expecting cyberthreats to increase over the next three years, only 65 percent of their organizations currently have a cybersecurity expert, according to a survey from Gartner. The survey also reveals that skills challenges continue to plague organizations that undergo digitalization, with digital security staffing shortages considered a top inhibitor to innovation ...

July 17, 2018

In my first blog in this series, I highlighted some of the main challenges teams face with trying to scale mainframe DevOps. To get past these hurdles, the key is to develop an incremental approach that enables teams to capture value along each step of the journey ...

July 16, 2018

The key to mainframe DevOps success is in quickly identifying and removing major bottlenecks in the application delivery lifecycle. Major challenges include collaboration between mainframe and distributed teams, lack of visibility into the impact of software changes, and limited resource flexibility with scaling out necessary testing initiatives. Now let's take a closer look at some of these key challenges and how IT departments can address them ...

July 11, 2018

How much are organizations investing in the shift to cloud native, how much is it getting them? ...

July 10, 2018

In the shift to cloud native, many organizations have adopted a configuration-as-code approach. This helps drive up application deployment velocity by letting developers and DevOps teams reconfigure their deployments as their needs arise. Other organizations, particularly the more regulated ones, still have security people owning these tools, but that creates increased pressure on the security organization to keep up. How much are organizations investing in this process, and how much is it getting them? ...

June 28, 2018

More than a third of companies that use serverless functions are not employing any application security best practices and are not using any tools or standard security methodologies to secure them, according to the State of Serverless Security survey, conducted by PureSec ...

June 27, 2018

The popularity of social media platforms and applications is spurring enterprises to adopt "social business" models to better engage with employees and customers and improve collaboration, according to a new study published by ISG ...

June 25, 2018

The previous chapter in this WhiteHat Security series discussed Codebase as the first step of the Twelve-Factor App and defined a security best practice approach for ensuring a secure source control system. Considering the importance of applying security in a modern DevOps world, this next chapter examines the security component of step two of the Twelve-Factor methodology. Here follows some actionable advice from the WhiteHat Security Addendum Checklist, which developers and ops engineers can follow during the SaaS build and operations stages ...

June 21, 2018

DevSecOps is quickly gaining support and traction, within and beyond information security teams. In fact, 70% of respondents believe their culture can embrace the change needed to fuse Security and DevOps, according to a new survey of 80 security professionals by Aqua Security ...

June 20, 2018

The larger the company size, the higher the proportion of low IT performers, according to the State of DevOps: Market Segmentation Report from Puppet, based on the 2017 State of DevOps Survey data ...

Share this