Boost Your DevOps Efforts with Smart, Open, Infrastructure Management
December 07, 2016

Oleg Chunikhin
EastBanc Technologies

DevOps has many benefits – continuous service delivery, fewer errors, faster problem resolution, and fast deployment times. In fact, according to Puppet's 2016 State of DevOps Report, DevOps-based IT organizations deploy 200 times more frequently and with lead times that are 2,555 times faster than those who don't.

But DevOps still challenges IT organizations particularly when applied to complex, heterogeneous legacy IT. Those systems must be monitored, secured, scaled, load balanced, and configured – a task that can quickly unravel the promise of DevOps. That's because we tend to carry over many of the manual and time-consuming infrastructure management tasks that existed pre-DevOps into the new world order.

And, while the technology marketplace for infrastructure management in a DevOps environment is emerging, we're not confident that any of these solutions, alone, represent the Holy Grail.

Today's Options are Just OK

Consider cluster management software, for instance. Cluster software is a required part of any DevOps architecture. By abstracting out everyday tasks, such as backups, and introducing orchestration into the process, cluster software can help developers address much of the complexity we discussed above. But it's not easy. Cluster software is notorious for being difficult to set-up for production use. And while it can help with many of the manual tasks that labor into DevOps processes, it's far from ideal.

A second option is a combination of containerization and PaaS, which enables DevOps management with a SaaS-like experience. Expect out-of-the-box production quality, fast service delivery, reliability, security, disaster recovery, etc. and some welcome relief for DevOps teams.

Yet, despite the benefits, neither option provides a quick fix or one-size-fits-all approach. Consider the following:

■ Both containerization and cluster management software differ greatly in their capabilities. For example, each solves a very specific set of problems or is vendor-specific and/or closed.

■ Both are often incompatible with legacy software.

■ Integration and compatibility with back-end systems is challenging in hybrid environments.

Such flaws are problematic, since it prevents these technologies from becoming standard for any DevOps initiative.

It's Time to Unify and Simplify DevOps Infrastructure Management

There is an alternative, and it's one we recommend frequently to organizations seeking to address the problem of infrastructure management in a DevOps environment, before it's too late.

By leveraging best practices with modern open source DevOps containerization and cloud technologies, you can begin to unify and simplify DevOps infrastructure management – easily and with immediate readiness for production deployments. That's because pluggable, ready-to-use, and extensible PaaS-based infrastructure services make it much easier to configure services, introduce development efficiencies, and take care of many of the manual operational tasks of old that seep into DevOps environments. They are also portable, and compatible with a wide range of modern DevOps standards.

The result is a powerful platform for robust, production quality, elastic, scalable infrastructure services, such as security, backup, disaster recovery, logging and monitoring, continuous delivery, and more.

Plus, because the cloud and open source are intrinsically flexible, you can effortlessly boost your DevOps automation with the addition of pre-packaged, production-ready, open source software components. Everything from identity management and single sign-on, to business intelligence and analytics – all can easily be integrated into your existing infrastructure or deployed on Amazon Web Services, Azure, or other IaaS clouds.

None of this can happen overnight. To be successful, organizations need to act early in their path to DevOps and strike a balance between the demands of the business and the need to operate in a compliant, stable, and secure environment. If not, in our experience, processes can quickly break down and critical systems will fall out of sync.

Oleg Chunikhin is Chief Architect at EastBanc Technologies.

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