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Do DevOps Tools Really Exist?

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Are tools like Chef, Puppet, Capistrano, Jenkins, Monit, Fabric and SCOM really DevOps tools?

Are tools like Chef, Puppet, Capistrano, Jenkins, Monit, Fabric and SCOM really DevOps tools?

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  • 1. Do DevOps Tools Really Exist?So I was stumbling around the web this morning and I found myself in the LinkedIn DevOpsgroup. Browsing around I came across several discussions on “DevOps” tools. Now a lot ofcompanies and projects out there use the DevOps keyword but not many of them would labelthemselves a “DevOps Tool”. For good reason too. It doesn’t take much googling to be assuredthat DevOps, like Agile, is not about tools. DevOps is about principles, methods and practices.Principles, methods and practices bore the life force out of me so I lazily boil it down to one keyconcept, collaboration. The cliched image for this is a group of developers and sysadminsstanding hand in hand, naked in the woods, singing kumbayah until shit just works. It shouldalso include testers, security specialists and environment and release managers too (sorryarchitects*, we’re getting stuff done here )With this in mind let’s get back to the notion of a “DevOps tool”. Reading the threads I see theusual suspects coming up. Puppet, Chef, Capistrano, Jenkins, Monit, Fabric. Now don’t get mewrong, these are all great tools and they all have their place in an agile minded IT shop whichprofesses to “do” DevOps. But are any of these tools truly cross-functional? Can they reallypromote collaboration across teams. Are testers reviewing Puppet manifests? Do sysadminstypically contribute to Jenkins projects? How many developers are adding management packsto their company’s SCOM implementation?We love our tools. There is no doubting it. When we specialise we come to love their complexitytoo though. It gives us power and it makes us feel superior. Have you devs out there neverlaughed at old school sysadmins trying to code an automation? Have you sysadmins neverlaughed at a dev fumbling their way around a command line? Whilst the benefits of thisspecialisation have been understood since Adam Smith profiled the original Pinterest** we stillneed to acknowledge their impact on collaboration. When developers and sysadmins aren’ttalking the same language, when they’re not using the same tools then collaboration suffers.When collaboration suffers then your DevOps initiative suffers too.
  • 2. So when you next think about what “DevOps tools” are available ask yourself how they supportcollaboration. There will be exceptions but in most places the DevOps toolset will be enforcingpre-existing silos because the user base for each one is too narrow. I would never suggestdumbing down these tools to ensure broader usage but they shouldn’t be walled off. When theinformation these tools store is open and available, when everyone can contribute to it thenDevOps magic will just start to happen.Well, that’s what we believe here at ScriptRock, and it’s the principle that we’ve built ourplatform on. Whether you agree or disagree we’d love your feedback. Hit the “Get Started” linkand try it for yourself.* I was an architect in a former life so it’s totally cool for me to say this** Featured Pin Factory in the Division of Labour (it was a hot startup, sweeping the 1776Crunchies)