“There’s kind of a fundamental shift in thinking,” she says. “The developers have as much responsibility as the operators for their software running in production.”
And while it makes particular sense in the context of cloud computing — and, as a result, comes up in conversations for those looking to build services around Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure — it is not limited to that.
The challenge, of course, is that it’s an organizational philosophy, not a toolset, so an organization might have to work its way up to a broader goal. And while there’s a lot that can go wrong, much more can go right.
It can also take time to perfect. Although organizations can get quite good at DevOps — Google’s research found, for example, that 20 percent of organizations it studied had become “elite performers” of DevOps by 2019 — Hernandez recommends for institutions without an existing discipline to start slowly.
“If you’re not doing any of it, you’ve got to start at the foundation, at the developer level, and work your way out,” she says, “with the understanding that you’ll want someone who’s at the production end maybe embedded.”
Tools used in DevOps vary greatly, but a few notable ones include:
- Git, an open-source tool for code collaboration originally developed by Linux founder Linus Torvalds, is often used to manage many codebases in a branch format. The technology is the foundation of GitHub, a popular Microsoft-owned code repository.
- Containerization tools, such as the open-source Docker and Kubernetes, can help those working in a DevOps structure test their code in a staging environment before going live.
- Splunk, a data analysis tool, can optimize DevOps practices in real time.
- Infrastructure as Code tools, such as Puppet, Chef and Ansible, can integrate nicely into a DevOps discipline, helping an organization manage and scale its cloud resources as needed.
LEARN MORE: Here’s how Infrastructure as Code and AWS work together.
What Is a DevOps Engineer?
A key role for any DevOps implementation, a DevOps engineer manages the software lifecycle through the implementation of tools, processes and methodologies, with the goal of reducing complexity among departments.
As the IBM-owned Red Hat explains, DevOps engineers manage the processes involved across disciplines and often tend to be more seasoned as a result. They understand needs across the institution.
DevOps Service Providers
For universities and colleges interested in the concept of DevOps, there are a variety of options. Many major cloud platforms — Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Amazon Web Services — offer specific services intended to help build a DevOps mindset.
And third-party help in implementing these options, especially through a service such as CDW Amplified™ Services, can ensure your organization makes the most of the DevOps discipline and CI/CD pipeline as you build the practice into your approach.
After all, if you’re going to the trouble of implementing a significant cultural change, you want to make sure you get it right.