30 Must-Have Tools to Support DevOps - Part 5
March 18, 2016

DEVOPSdigest asked experts from across the industry for their recommendation on a key technology required for DevOps. Part 5, the final installment of the list, covers collaboration, communication and more.

Start with 30 Must-Have Tools to Support DevOps - Part 1

Start with 30 Must-Have Tools to Support DevOps - Part 2

Start with 30 Must-Have Tools to Support DevOps - Part 3

Start with 30 Must-Have Tools to Support DevOps - Part 4

27. COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION

DevOps is an amalgamation of a positive cultural shift, collaborative teams and right tools to enable that collaboration. A tool that works seamlessly across both pre and post production environments is a must-have. Such a tool allows teams to collaborate and feeds learnings from the ops stage to dev without any information leak; enabling effective application optimization and ultimately DevOps in a true sense.
Priyanka Tiwari
Product Marketing Manager, AlertSite, SmartBear

Without a doubt, the first tool to implement in any DevOps transformation is team collaboration software. No other tool does more to start your organization thinking in terms of the Three Ways of DevOps: focusing on whole systems rather than individual parts, amplifying feedback loops, and instilling a culture of continual experimentation and learning. Centralizing all documentation, planning and execution details in a portal that everyone can access demystifies the application delivery for all participants in the process. Siloes evaporate, deep understanding of organizational goals is achieved and everyone has the information they need to continually refine practices and gauge their efficacy.
Pete Pickerill
VP of Products and Co-founder, Datical

There is no one must-have tool, but there is a must-have capability that any DevOps tool needs to provide: easy collaboration and information sharing between individuals and teams. The true power of DevOps lies in unlocking an organization's full potential by breaking down silos and ivory towers, so your tools must support that in every possible way.
Sven Dummer
Senior Director of Product Marketing, Loggly

If you focus on one tool in your DevOps kit, make it the one that enables better communication. Taking a DevOps approach means that you're moving quickly (otherwise what's the point?) which will inevitably need collaboration and accountable engagement of people involved. Without people able to connect to each other and the other parts of your DevOps toolkit, you're doomed to to fail. The tool mentioned in the tip above is a communications tool. For example, a tool that sends push notifications, text messages, etc. Essentially, this communications tool pinpoints and proactively alerts the individuals, teams and external service providers required to work together to quickly manage any business scenario along with resolving incidents, such as service disruptions and technical issues that interrupt the flow of day-to-day operations.
Abbas Haider Ali
CTO, xMatters

28. GROUP CHAT

Heavy collaboration, transparency, and awareness is a requirement of DevOps. The first thing any team will need to begin adopting these principles is a good persistent group chat tool. A tool that allows for people across teams, roles, and responsibilities to come together and take part in conversations is essential. Adjusting to a culture of sharing across departments and teams within an organization is step number one and without it, attempts to move towards a DevOps mindset will likely stall out.
Jason Hand
DevOps Evangelist, VictorOps

Open knowledge tools that empower teams are critical to getting started in DevOps; these can include: wiki, persistent group chat and dashboards backed by solid analytics.
David Seuss
Senior Content Marketing Manager, Ipswitch

29. DEVOPS INTEGRATION

Many organizations have concentrated on equipping their teams with IT automation tools to manage, build, test and release the flow of the code. But they’re missing a key element of DevOps - enabling better collaboration among the entire team by automating the flow of work from person to person, and discipline to discipline. This work is embodied by development artifacts such as business epics; requirements and user stories; test plans; defects; and trouble tickets. To enable collaboration on this work, organizations must have a DevOps integration tool which connects tools used by the PMO, developers, testers, service desk, as well as IT automation tools for continuous integration and delivery. Not only will integrating these tools enable collaboration across the lifecycle, but it can also collect metrics that can objectively validate the success the DevOps initiatives.
Betty Zakheim
VP Industry Strategy, Tasktop Technologies

30. SECURITY, BACKUP AND RECOVERY

DevOps teams need adaptive security tools designed for the continuous application delivery model that provide live visibility inside the data center and cloud, and security throughout the entire lifecycle of the application development and deployment process that is independent of infrastructure. Actionable real-time visibility gives DevOps teams the ability to see application traffic flows and policy violations so that they can rapidly troubleshoot application issues throughout the entire application development process. When security is truly independent of the infrastructure, it can be integrated at the start of the development process to keep applications continuously secure and work inside any data center or cloud, on anything (bare metal, VM, containers). These tools combined let DevOps teams finally go fast and be secure.
PJ Kirner
CTO and Co-Founder, Illumio

Backup and recovery is critical to protecting the increasing volumes of code that DevOps teams produce, as well as avoiding data loss which can lead to roll-out delays. However, backup and recovery processes can be hard to implement, particularly for DevOps teams whose main priorities are elsewhere. Backup and recovery can be time-consuming and also directly impact developer productivity, since these processes often impact the availability of developers' platforms and environments. Cloud-based data backup is emerging as a DevOps must-have, providing data protection that is reliable, affordable, flexible and easy-to-use. In addition, the inherent scalability of the cloud means that backup capacity can grow in accordance with DevOps teams' needs.
Alex Serkov
CTO, CloudBerry Lab