Chris Van Tuin, CT, Western Region of Red Hat, Talked About How DevOps Can Accelerate Application Delivery.
Van Tuin began his presentation at the 2016 CIO Leadership Forum held on February 18 in San Francisco by stating, “A hot topic with our customers is DevOps, which is all about doing things faster and eliminating the wall that traditionally sits between operations and developers.”
“A hot topic with our customers is DevOps, which is all about doing things faster and eliminating the wall that traditionally sits between operations and developers.”
The customer concerns that Van Tuin most often hears include making IT more efficient and reducing costs, enabling developers to be more productive and have access to the tools and platforms that they need, and, primarily, enabling the business to develop products sooner.
There are changes in the how, what, and where of application development processes, application architecture, and the underlying infrastructure. In other words, there’s a shift to DevOps, a shift to microservices and API architectures, and running these applications inside containers. “This is all part of the promise to improve the ability to deliver a product sooner and also increase product quality,” said Van Tuin.
IT organizations are very much siloed into developers, QA, and operations, with walls between them. These groups have different tools and processes and they don’t work together efficiently, observed Van Tuin. They don’t speak a common language and aren’t efficient across the board. As a result, product quality and up-time suffer.
Van Tuin pointed out that with the rise of Cloud and mobile applications, the days of releasing new features every year is long gone. This has created new development models such as Agile that optimize frequent releases and short development cycles. The new challenge is that developers are spending more time on deployment, said Van Tuin. “This doesn’t make any sense. You want developers developing business logic, not infrastructure code. You want your testers testing and your operations people keeping the site up and debugging route-cause analysis of issues.”
“You want developers developing business logic, not infrastructure code. You want your testers testing and your operations people keeping the site up and debugging route-cause analysis of issues.”
“DevOps is all about a software development method that fosters communication, collaboration, and integration among the developers and the operations team. It also incorporates aspects of Agile across the whole life cycle,” said Van Tuin.
First and foremost, DevOps means breaking down the walls of the organizations (developers, testers, and operations) and bringing them together, even as a virtual team. When these groups use the same tooling and speak the same language, they become a more efficient team.
From an IT perspective, DevOps enables developers to have access to production-like environments early in the development cycle, which results in a reduction of technical expenses. Also important are continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous innovation, said Van Tuin. Continuous integration is about catching bugs early in the cycle before they go downstream. Continuous delivery refers to a business being able to deliver new products and capabilities to the marketplace in a matter of minutes rather than days or weeks. “Continuous innovation enables the development organization to experiment and try out things without fear of failure,” said Van Tuin. “This is accomplished through rapid prototyping and access to test environments.”
Cultural change is critical to support the transformation of DevOps, said Van Tuin. “It’s OK to fail. Developers must know that IT has their backs.”
“Cultural change is critical to support the transformation of DevOps. It’s OK to fail. Developers must know that IT has their backs.”
Accomplishing this involves automated processes and the ability to recover quickly and roll forward to the next version.
Van Tuin ended his presentation by stating, “DevOps is part of a larger shift of architecting applications to take advantage of the underlying Cloud infrastructure.”
ABOUT CHRIS VAN TUIN:
Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, has over 20 years of experience in IT and Software. Since joining Red Hat in 2005, Chris has been architecting solutions for strategic customers and partners with a focus on emerging technologies including IaaS, PaaS, and DevOps. He started his career at Intel in IT and Managed Hosting followed by leadership roles in services and sales engineering at Loudcloud and Linux startups. Chris holds a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.