The DevOps Drumbeat - Part 2
October 20, 2015

Jason Bloomberg
Intellyx

Start with The DevOps Drumbeat - Part 1

Introducing the DevOps Drumbeat

The move to DevOps also introduces additional constraints to our burgeoning Iron Polygon, as individual projects become less distinct. In an environment focused on continuous automated testing as well as continuous integration and deployment, individual iterations become the project unit as organizations establish regular cadences of repeated iterations instead of the discrete, monolithic project releases that characterize traditional waterfall-oriented development.

Rethinking the Iron Triangle in terms of DevOps cadences instead of software projects changes everything, as it brings the entire discussion up a level, as shown in the diagram below. In fact, each neighboring pair of constraints on the AA Quality Star leads to a new constraint.


Applying the DevOps Context to the AA Quality Star

Scope and agility connect to drive inherent flexibility. Agility and quality lead to resilience. Quality and cost factor into continuous testing. Cost and time drive continuous integration and deployment. And finally, time and scope connect to form the fifth new constraint, technical debt – not the bad kind where time constraints lead to sloppy code, but the good kind where the team intentionally introduces shortcuts or missing functionality into the current iteration as part of the overall cadence.

Essentially, DevOps doesn't allow us to formally discard the Iron Triangle, but it does let us do an end run around it. Remember, the Iron Triangle says that for a particular project, scope, cost, and time must balance. In contrast, the DevOps way of thinking says don't think about particular projects any more. Instead, think about the cadence. If we can shift elements of scope, cost, and time forward or backward in our cadence – a concept that doesn't make sense in Iron Triangle terms – we can build better, more flexible software overall.

Let us therefore put away the Iron Triangle as well as the AA Quality Star, and introduce the DevOps Drumbeat, shown in the figure below.


The DevOps Drumbeat

Every cadence consists of drumbeats that set the overall pace of the effort within the context of the constraints in the diagram above. For each drumbeat – possibly an individual sprint or other iteration, or perhaps a finer-grained measure – the DevOps team must balance the five constraints.

The Intellyx Take: Connecting the Drumbeat to Agile Architecture

This article may be introducing the phrase DevOps Drumbeat, but obviously many of the ideas included in the figure above aren't new. What is new is calling out the five DevOps constraints as such and putting them in a set that is analogous to the Iron Triangle. We're also taking the novel step of representing the drumbeat as a circle, rather than a polygon. After all, DevOps should have no corners!

Furthermore, as DevOps practices mature, teams are likely to want to maintain resilience, continuous testing, and continuous integration and delivery. As a result, for each drumbeat, the tradeoff will be between inherent flexibility and good technical debt.

This tradeoff is at the heart of Agile software architecture, as the Agile architect (or team members contributing to the Agile architecture role) must decide how much technical debt to take on in order to build inherent flexibility into their software.

Jason Bloomberg is President of Intellyx.

Share this

Industry News

July 09, 2020

ShiftLeft released a new version of NextGen Static Analysis (NG SAST), including new workflows, purpose-built for developers that significantly improve security, while enhancing productivity.

July 09, 2020

RunSafe Security announced a partnership with JFrog that will enable RunSafe to supercharge binary protections via a simple plugin that JFrog users can deploy within their Artifactory repositories and instantly protect binaries and containers.

July 09, 2020

LeanIX closed $80 million in Series D funding led by new investor Goldman Sachs Growth.

July 08, 2020

Afi.ai introduced Afi Data Platform, a cloud-based replication and resiliency service that helps to monitor, predict downtime and recover K8s applications.

July 08, 2020

D2iQ announced the release of Conductor, a new interactive learning platform that enables enterprises to access hands-on cloud native courses and training.

July 08, 2020

SUSE entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Rancher Labs.

July 07, 2020

Micro Focus announced AI-powered enhancements to the intelligent testing capabilities of the UFT Family, a unified set of solutions designed to reduce the overall complexity of automating the functional testing processes.

July 07, 2020

Push Technology announced the launch of a new Service API capability for Diffusion Cloud, Push’s Real-Time API Management Cloud Platform.

July 07, 2020

Lightrun exited stealth and announced $4M in seed funding for the first complete continuous debugging and observability platform for production applications.

July 01, 2020

JFrog announced the launch of ChartCenter, a free, security-focused central repository of Helm charts for the community.

July 01, 2020

Kong announced a significant upgrade to open source Kuma, Kuma 0.6, available today.

July 01, 2020

Compuware Corporation, a BMC company, announced new capabilities that further automate and integrate test data and test case execution, empowering IT teams to achieve high-performance application development quality, velocity and efficiency.

June 30, 2020

Couchbase announced the general availability of Couchbase Cloud, a fully-managed Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS).

June 30, 2020

Split Software announced new capabilities designed to accelerate the adoption of feature flags in large-scale organizations.

June 30, 2020

WhiteHat Security announced a discounted Web + Mobile Application Security bundle to help organizations secure the digital future.