How Can DevOps Make IT Infrastructure More Scalable? 5 Tips to Consider
For software development companies, the synergy between your IT operations department and the software development team is one of the most critical factors in growing your organization. When these two teams work hand in hand, you’ll consistently deliver better products – in a much shorter time. More importantly, the two teams must demonstrate a shared focus on continuous scaling and growth. If you can achieve the desired collaboration and shared capacity to scale, success becomes inevitable.
Below, we discuss ways to bring your development and operations teams together as you pursue your scalability goals. But first, let’s familiarize ourselves with a few things.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a cross-functional approach to software development cycle where two distinct parts – development and operations – are fused to streamline the process.
It is the combination of cultural philosophies, tools, and practices of the two departments that increases the organization’s capacity to deliver services and applications.
Under the DevOps model, development and operations teams (thus DevOps) are merged into a single unit, with the engineers from both sides required to work together across the application’s entire lifecycle, from development to testing, and deployment.
Scalability is one of the top priorities for businesses. Why? Because scalability is another word for growth. An enterprise that can scale consistently is one with great growth potential.
Furthermore, scalability means that the enterprise can configure its systems to expand during high demand, and scale down when demand falls.
Certain practices in DevOps make it the ideal area to achieve the desired level of scalability. These practices include an opportunity for communication, faster performance orientation, increased innovation opportunities, and faster software releases.
How DevOps Can Boost IT Infrastructure Scalability
If you’re creating a DevOps team to fast-track your growth objectives, the following are five tips to boost the team’s capacity to scale.
Create a DevOps culture
The first and most important factor in a DevOps’ success is culture. There must be a shared responsibility to succeed, which means a stronger focus on communication and collaboration.
Many organizations think that DevOps is a problem you can solve with tools, perhaps by modernizing your development tools and operations. It doesn’t work that way. By the very definition, DevOps is about joining the two teams – not equipping each team better, but separately.
Creating a DevOps culture, however, isn’t easy. For one, it takes time. Secondly, it requires commitment from everyone at the organization. To this end, we recommend that you kick off by finding change champions among the engineers and helping them evangelize the need for teamwork among their peers.
Automate well, everything
Automation is the backbone of successful DevOps strategies. Scripting environments, from installing operating systems to installing and configuring servers on instances and even creating mechanisms that allow these instances and software to communicate with each other, reduce manual effort, speeding up the release of new software. Why? You can apply the same configuration to a single node or thousands of nodes as necessary once you have a scripting environment!
Automation also simplifies the learning process and market response as well as boosts customer experience. Better still, it becomes easier to audit, improve, understand, and secure the development process.
Fortunately, several DevOps automation tools in the market fit each stage of the software development life cycle, from version control to building & testing and configuration management to deployment & monitoring.
Enhance collaboration and communication
These two typically go hand in hand. Strong communication between team members is vital to remaining on the same page throughout the development process. Embracing true collaboration, too, comes with several benefits, including ensuring that work is done faster and more efficiently. Collaboration also cuts away the not-my-job problem by putting departments in close contact, with everyone focused on the same goals.
There are several steps to achieving collaboration and communication;
- Define shared goals. A shared sense of priority lays the ground for working together.
- Develop a one-team-approach to build and inspire trust and mutual understanding among the team members.
- Build sensitivity around the diversity of the team to bring the members closer together.
- Develop a clear roadmap for achieving your objectives.
Enable low-risk release
The goal of DevOps isn’t speed for speed’s sake. Instead, DevOps teams are created to accelerate production for the sole purpose of maximizing value. For this reason, reducing risk is crucial. Products must be developed for easy deployment and fast recovery from operational failures. It’s the only way to create a continuous delivery pipeline in this highly competitive market.
There are a few approaches you can take to achieve low-risk release. First, consider reducing your batch size by eliminating waste and reducing work-in-progress. Instead of releasing a whole set of features, your releases should be single, small feature changes.
Additionally, it helps to create a high-fidelity environment by automating and standardizing repeatable tasks. Some of the tasks you should consider automating include integration, deployment, and testing. Above all, DevOps must rehearse and plan for failures to help develop emergency response strategies.
Invest in deployment and monitoring
Teams that can quickly and efficiently release code into production are better positioned to improve the quality of their software products in real-time. That’s because users can access and interact with the latest version of the product, allowing the DevOps team to gather instant feedback and use the feedback to make necessary changes and improvements.
Even more important than proper deployment, however, is monitoring. The biggest wins in software development often come from identifying and fixing performance deviations and functional correctness issues.
Again, there are multiple deployment and monitoring strategies and tools to consider. As earlier mentioned, ensure to automate these two processes.
How United Perfectum Can Help
United Perfectum is a market leader in developing, sourcing, and deploying emerging and innovative solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. Let us help you assess your need for DevOps, find the right tools for your team, and equip your team to deal with common DevOps challenges. Contact us today to learn more.