DevOps for Power Systems
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DevOps for Power Systems

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DevOps is about accelerated, continuous delivery of software to accelerate delivery of mobile and cloud solutions across Power and mainframe platforms. Hayden Lindsey, IBM Rational Vice President......

DevOps is about accelerated, continuous delivery of software to accelerate delivery of mobile and cloud solutions across Power and mainframe platforms. Hayden Lindsey, IBM Rational Vice President and Distinguished Engineer, discusses how DevOps is a good fit for Power users.

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  • 1. for Power SystemsLinking development and operations for thecontinuous delivery of software innovationBy Evelyn Hoover ✦ photography by bryan reganMakingDevOps RealBusiness innovation is increas-ingly delivered throughsoftware. The rapid pace ofmarket, economic and regulatorychange is driving the need for businessagility, pushing software delivery tobecome faster and more predictable.However, employees involved invarious stages of software deliveryfrequently work in their own silos.On one hand, developers arestriving to deliver new applicationfeatures as quickly as possible. Onthe other, the operations staff mustensure platforms and systems runsmoothly and dependably. Thisrelationship frequently resembles abaton handoff in a relay race.DevOps changes that. It makesthe relationship more like a rowingteam pulling together to win a race.And IBM takes that concept onestep further by extending it to thelifecycle of an application—frominception to consumption.“DevOps is about accelerated,continuous delivery of software inno-vation,” explains Hayden Lindsey,vice president and DistinguishedEngineer, IBM Rational* Software.IBM views DevOps as spanningthe entire enterprise, acceleratingdelivery of multitier mobile andcloud solutions. Recently, IBMSystems Magazine sat down withLindsey to learn more.IBM Systems Magazine (ISM):Can you describe DevOps andexplain why there’s so much buzzabout it?Hayden Lindsey (HL): All busi-nesses want to be more responsiveto client needs. That’s nothingnew. But some key market shiftsunderscore the need for increasedbusiness agility, and that relies onsoftware. The exponential increasein the number of empowered usershas driven higher expectations fora quality customer experience. Andthe rise of disruptive technologieslike mobile, social, big data andcloud puts even more pressure ontoday’s IT organizations. Deliveringm a y 2 0 1 3 i b m s y s t e m s m a g . c o m / p o w e r20R e p o s t e d w i t h p e r m i s s i o n f r o m I B M S y s t e m s M a g a z i n e , P o w e r S y s t e m s e d i t i o n
  • 2. i b m s y s t e m s m a g . c o m / p o w e r m a y 2 0 1 3 21Hayden LindseyVP and DistinguishedEngineer, IBMRational SoftwareTakeaway• Rapid business innovationis necessary to respondto ever-changingmarkets and softwaresolutions can deliver thatinnovation.• Many IT organizations silotheir application developmentand operations staff, slowingthe responsiveness of softwaredelivery.• Through a collaborative DevOpsapproach, organizations canbetter meet the need for agileand timely software delivery.• IBM Rational Software solutionscan be a key element in makingDevOps synergy a reality toempower business innovation.
  • 3. m a y 2 0 1 3 i b m s y s t e m s m a g . c o m / p o w e r22high-quality applications, especiallycustomer-facing applications, is morecritical than ever.The conundrum is that IT hasto do all of this while maintaining oreven reducing their budgets. Deliveringapplications every six, 12 or 18 monthsis no longer acceptable. From what Isee, companies are having a hard timedealing with this and the stakes aremuch higher today. Take mobile, forinstance. The cost and risk of deliveringpoor quality or unusable applications canhave an immediate and negative viralresponse from a constantly connectedglobal user community. Not having amobile channel at all is even worse.When you think about the agilemovement, development shops aredoing things faster, breaking work intosmaller deliverables and then deliveringthat work as frequently as possible totheir clients. Meanwhile, operationsteams—especially in larger compa-nies—are working aggressively to ensuremission-critical systems never go down.Operations teams are naturally goingto be pushing back on increasing thefrequency of change to the productionsystems; thus, the dilemma.DevOps is a set of principles toaddress this situation. It’s about linkingdevelopment and operations moreseamlessly. It guides you to get applica-tions into production more quickly bypromoting collaboration between thedevelopment and operations teams.That’s an industry view. The IBM viewextends this outward and across theenterprise—building feedback loopswith customers and other stakeholdersfrom the lines of business to the helpdesk in order to maximize the businessvalue of software in an acceleratedand continuous manner (see “DevOpsLifecycle,” left). Ultimately, DevOpsis about establishing an enterprisecapability for accelerated and continuoussoftware delivery that enables our clientsto seize market opportunities and reducetime to customer feedback.ISM: How does DevOps resonatewith enterprise Power* shops?HL: Enterprises that have their systemsof record running on IBM i, AIX* orPowerLinux* need to improve time tomarket without sacrificing mission-critical reliability.There’s a natural conflict betweengetting things done more quickly whilealso maintaining system reliability.Also, these systems are usually quitecomplex and multitiered. Integrating“DevOps is about establishingan enterprise capability foraccelerated and continuoussoftware delivery that enablesour clients to seize marketopportunities and reduce timeto customer feedback.”—Hayden Lindsey, VP and Distinguished Engineer,IBM Rational SoftwareDevOps LifecycleCustomers Business Owners Development/Test Operations/Production0 Continuous Feedback and Improvements 1
  • 4. even a small end-to-end improvement isa challenge. As an example, think abouttracking performance targets acrossan enterprise from a mobile device onthe front end through intermediateservers—known as systems of engage-ment—to data servers on the back end,which are those systems of record thatI mentioned.To further complicate things, ITorganizations often have various silos thatgovern organization, culture and process.These silos are not only found betweenthe user-centric and back-end systemsdevelopers, but also between the develop-ment and operations teams. Again, thatpresents a hindrance to doing thingsmore quickly, and it drives up cost.The principles around DevOpsactually provide an opportunity tobreak down some of these silos—andthus the inhibitors. This can speeddelivery, maintain high quality andreduce the cost associated with depend-able development activity.ISM: How can Power shops pick upthe pace, so to speak?HL: In multitier and heterogeneousIT environments, there are differentcultural, organizational and processchallenges to overcome. There needs tobe coordination across all of the stake-holders involved. From the customerto the lines of business on through todevelopment, testing, deployment andoperations, when everyone is on thesame page we know that quality andspeed will improve.This is an area where IBM hasbeen strongly focused. IBM offersa collaborative software deliveryplatform for Power Systems* clientsthat allows IT staff in developmentand operations to work togethereffectively. Central to this is thecapability to leverage skills, knowledgeand processes across multiple develop-ment languages and operating systems,including IBM i, AIX and PowerLinux.We built the Rational CollaborativeLifecycle Management (CLM) solution,which is our platform to support agiledevelopment for our Power customers,to address these requirements. Fromthe business planners who identify theneed for competitive mobile accesschannels, to the operations staff whoare delivering the service-level agree-ments—all of those constituencies cannow be brought together in the sameenvironment to review plans, share dataand provide feedback.ISM: Bringing these teams togetherwill accelerate the developmentlifecycle. As teams increasinglycollaborate, is there a greateropportunity to reuse and shareexisting skills—like RPG, COBOLand Java* language skills?HL: That’s what we see. For example,mobile applications are quite ofteni b m s y s t e m s m a g . c o m / p o w e r m a y 2 0 1 3 23
  • 5. m a y 2 0 1 3 i b m s y s t e m s m a g . c o m / p o w e r24multitiered and usually invoketransactions on back-end servers. Asa result, mobile applications oftenmust make changes to those serviceswritten in languages such as RPG orCOBOL. We provide a number ofintegrated development environments(IDEs) that target multiple platforms,including Java, Java EnterpriseEdition (Java EE), IBM System z* andPower Systems, among others, to makeit very easy and seamless for devel-opers to work across these languagesand platforms.For front-end development, we’veintegrated IBM Worklight* Studiointo our offerings to add strongmultidevice and mobile operatingsystem support to our existing Web,rich Internet application, green-screenand graphical user interface support.The integration of Worklight Studio,development tools and CLM offersthe most comprehensive, end-to-enddevelopment solution for mobileapplications in the market today.ISM: How do you maintain qualityin this faster, multitier environment?HL: There are a few ways to getstarted. For example, let’s talk aboutmaintaining quality more effectively.You’d never want anything in produc-tion that has not been thoroughlytested. However, most Power Systemsshops employ manual testing, which iserror-prone and time consuming.A central DevOps principle is toautomate anything that’s done repeat-edly and that could be error-prone.This leads one to more fully embraceautomated testing. To help with this,IBM offers tools, including RationalTest Workbench, to enable automationof functional tests, integration tests andso forth.When you automate and thentrigger test scripts to run whenever youget a valid build, you can build and testvery frequently. This enables you todramatically speed up delivery whileactually increasing quality.ISM: Multitier applications requiremany systems to be in place to runthose tests. Won’t that slow downtesting, as development and opera-tions teams must provision these testenvironments?HL: Several strategies can help withthis. One strategy is to test applicationcomponents in isolation with the useof “stubbed” or “mock” services. IBMoffers Rational Test VirtualizationServer (RTVS) to help with this. RTVSallows your development teams toeasily model and simulate the behaviorbetween dependent subsystems—without troubling the operations teamand without requiring access to thoseother systems.RTVS’s virtualization capabilities,for example, allow you to simulatethe response from a Web service callwithout having its endpoint available.This helps minimize dependencybottlenecks during testing and furtherreduces infrastructure costs andnonproduction resource consumption.It also releases operations teams fromhaving to repeatedly stand up andpopulate test data for these applications.ISM: With DevOps, everyoneinside and outside development andoperations can work together moreeffectively. How much of this is realtoday and how much is coming inthe future?HL: With regard to how much is real, letme point out that we already have clientstaking advantage of these tools every day.It’s very real to them and they are seeingthe daily value of DevOps in the costsavings, quality and speed of their work.Let me underscore that DevOpsis not something you buy, per se. Andit’s not only about tools—tools enableyou to execute against the DevOpsblueprint. This is also about culturalchange. DevOps is more of a continuousjourney than a destination. If you’redoing it right, your teams will always bemoving toward more and better productquality, lower cost, faster time to marketand increased customer value.ISM: Where can readers find moreinformation about DevOps?HL: Information is available on IBM’swebsite, however, I highly recommendreaders attend Innovate 2013: TheIBM Technical Summit. It’s June 2through 6 in Orlando, Fla., and it’s agreat place to learn more about DevOps.We feature dedicated System z andPower tracks targeted at developers andsystems programmers. There’s a newtrack targeted at management featuringDevOps, cloud, mobile, big data andsocial business solutions, as well as anExecutive Summit for senior execs. Youcan get more details on specific topics andsessions online.Evelyn Hoover isexecutive editor of IBMSystems Magazine.Learn MoreInnovate 2013www.ibm.com/software/rational/innovateIBM Rational Softwarewww.ibm.com/software/rationalIBM Worklightwww.ibm.com/software/mobile-solutions/worklightRational CollaborativeLifecycle Managementwww.ibm.com/software/rational/alm/collaborateRational Test Workbenchwww.ibm.com/software/rational/products/rtwRational Test Virtualization Serverwww.ibm.com/software/rational/products/rtvs