There comes a time when the vendors that serve every subset of the IT industry need to forgo self-interest and put aside competitive drivers to do whatever it takes to advance the cause of the user.
At least in theory, one would hope that to be the case.
In some sectors, such as the IT security market, in which I worked for roughly a decade prior to entering the world of DevOps, this collaboration manifested itself fairly slowly.
That's not necessarily an indictment. Frankly, from a business perspective it didn't make sense for early anti-virus or firewall makers to partner in this regard, even if sharing research might have better protected against widespread attacks.
Eventually the sector grew so large, and truthfully the threat so pervasive, that it happened. Today, you have industry groups backed by both vendors and independent researchers alike providing critical guidance to help everyone do their jobs more effectively.
But this movement that we know as DevOps is very different. At its core it's about collaboration and tearing down traditional barriers that have stood in the way of software innovation. That's one of the reasons that nascent startups and open source tools have gained such a wide following in the space.
So today, for more established providers – many of which were borne of such projects – to support their customers and thrive, this concept of openness and collaboration must also apply, not just to DevOps practitioners and freeware makers.
Thankfully, and [hopefully] unsurprisingly, based on this underlying collaborative spirit, such an effort to bring together providers of critical technology to benefit customer implementation has already emerged. As you may have seen, the all new DevOps Express consortium, of which CA Technologies is a founding member, was announced at the Jenkins World 2016 conference this week.
Hats off to CloudBees and Sonatype for spearheading this initiative, joined by Atlassian, BlazeMeter, Chef, DevOps Institute, GitHub, Infostretch, JFrog, Puppet, Sauce Labs, SOASTA and SonarSource.
While DevOps as a concept has been around for a good few years, I think it's fair to say that this industry consortium got off the ground pretty early in the game.
In terms of priorities, DevOps Express members have teamed to ease integration and deployment across real-world software delivery workflows. From initial coding through applications monitoring, the effort brings together many of the leading toolsets used to address key elements of the applications lifecycle.
Formally, DevOps Express members will supply reference architectures that describe field-tested integrations of best-in-breed solutions residing on-premises and in the cloud. This is all aimed at improving interoperability across a typical DevOps toolchain. There are also plans for centralized product support.
Truthfully, if we in the world of DevOps solutions believe the concepts and practices that we espouse in countless white papers and webinars, we'd certainly be hypocritical had we not moved to pitch in and better serve our customers' needs.
While we will always be vendors, and there will continue to be a competitive atmosphere wherein we create our own roadmaps and jockey for leading adoption, that can't come at the expense of the very spirit of this movement we seek to support.
Collaboration, automation, improved cultural models and increased agility.
That's what DevOps, and in turn DevOps Express, are all about.
Matthew Hines is Principal Product Marketing Manager, DevOps, at CA Technologies.