I am Eric Cattoir working as a technical professional at IBM in the Rational Brand. In this presentation we try to show how Devops is an enabler for Innovation in an IT environment.
By using examples from science and technology we will illustrate that innovation can only happen in an environment were some failures can be absorbed. On the contrary an environment where the slightest mistake leads to a disaster will make behaviour very conservative and will kill all possibilities to innovate.
Looking at many IT shops there is little room for failure. As a result very little innovation happens. How many times did you hear the statement “we can&apos;t introduce these new things as our environment contains years of effort and it is impossible to change it. In our opinion a well implemented Devops solution can overcome this problem and provide for an environment where failure can be handled in test environments that mimic the real world.
Let start to look at some innovations in science an how they cam along. You might wonder what is this guy with all his petri dishes doing in a devops presentation. This is Alexander Fleming inventor of the penicillin. In romanticized stories it is told that he more or less discovered this by accident. Of course this is far from the truth. He could only discover this by a well thought search process in an environment where there was room for experimentation.
Let&apos;s take yet another example from technological evolution. Looking at the history of flying many books start out with the flight of Icarus. Unfortunately for this mythological figure there was little room for failure and as the story goes he flew to close to the sun which made wings of wax melt, which costed him his life.
Fortunately for us the history took a much different turn. Who could imagine that once we would build planes like a Concorde or an Airbus 380 when looking at the first kind of glider experiments of Lebris, Lillienthal or the Wright brothers. However it is due to these experiments which often lead to failure, but in most cases with little consequences that we realized the innovations leading to the modern planes.
Recently a lot of changes have happened which increased the importance of Software. Due to this we see an increased focus on Software failures. The slightest event can lead to bad press and huge losses.
We have become more and more dependent on software and in many cases it is business or safety critical. Just look at the example of the self driving Audi S7 at 350 km/h on the Hockenheim ring. It should be clear that this was not achieved in one shot and a lot of trials in test environments and at much lower speeds where performed before achieving this.
Another important change is the advent of mobile technology. In the past systems could be taken down for a maintenance weekend. These days people expect them to be available 24/7 and the slightest hickup is noticed. Again not an environment favouring experimentation.
And this evolution is being amplified by the internet of things, where massive amounts of sensors and devices are continuously spawning data, which needs to be stored and handled.
As a result a modern IT shop has to deal with a lot of new challenges. Luckily these also offer a lot capabilities with regards to innovation. Some of these factors like the usage of Cloud technology might pose a lot of challenges at first, but when these can be handled it will also deliver a wealth of oportunities.
At IBM we are convinced that a mature Devops implementation can provide us with a failsafe environment which can cope with these challenges. Although deployment automation is a key factor in such a devops solution we think there is much more needed to make this work. What good is it to be able to deploy swiftly, when there is no way to validate the deployments?
Everyone should already be convinced that version control of code is a prerequisite for a devops solution. However to make it really efficient it is also needed that all automation is also versioned. The ultimate goal is to have software defined environments and to version also these definitions. Various cloud based solutions both from IBM and others start to offer these capabilities
Of course a core needed capability is deployment automation and controlled management of the environment chain. IBM is providing these through its UrbanCode Deploy product.
Key to a good devops implementation is an architecture which enables it. In many cases legacy monolithic systems are making the implementation of a mature devops solution very difficult or impossible. Newer principles like service oriented architecture or an architecture based micro services are enablers for an easy devops implementation.
Testing manually like many organizations still do nowadays will no longer work in a fully automated deployment chain. What good is it to be able to deploy automatically if there is not the bandwidth to test. So testing needs to be automated as much as possible to be able to prove non regression. Automated testing is key in providing an environment where failure can be detected and handled. It is key to an environment where is safe to innovate.
A key inhibitor to automated testing is the non availability of realistic production like test environments which are affordable. Today&apos;s cloud based solutions can provide infrastructure or platforms as a service, which allow you to put in place a production like test environment at an affordable cost.
We are convinced that a mature devops solution is a basis for innovation. However such a solution is based on much more than just deployment automation. The whole lifecycle of the applications from the business till the deployment has to have the necessary capabilities.
Growing into a devops solution requires you to improve in various domains. At IBM we have developed a devops maturity model based on 4 large capability groups. This can be used to measure where you stand today and then use this to grow.
As a final thought we see that the combination of a mature devops solution with Cloud based environments provide you this environment where failure can be handled in a graceful way. This can provide you with a fruitful basis for Innovation.
Innovate at speed with Devops
Innovating at Speed with Devops
IBM Rational Client Technical Professional