DevOps practices have moved past pure software development and into enterprise adoption, facilitating faster updates to applications and associated infrastructure.
The crux of DevOps is the unification of tools and processes between development and operations teams to decrease time to market/deployment and implement continuous improvements throughout the development, testing, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of applications and underlying infrastructure.
Despite widespread DevOps adoption — or at least the majority of surveyed enterprises reporting they have started the journey towards it — many organizations are still struggling. Enter DevOps as a Service. But is DevOps as a Service a legitimate offering? The definition is still evolving, and different MSPs may offer different takes on DevOps-a-a-S.
Hiring and managing for DevOps can be difficult. You need a team with deep experience in cloud platforms, containers, disaster recovery for application failover or rollbacks, automation tools, systems monitoring, and code management systems.
You also need to orchestrate a cultural overhaul to bring together your entire IT organization under a single set of integrated systems that address all of the above components. Gartner has listed the people problem as the biggest obstacle to DevOps adoption. Organizations are simply not making the team culture changes they need in order to meet success criteria. You can’t have groups focusing exclusively on Infrastructure and Operations. You can’t have siloed teams. All stakeholders must be involved in the process.
Another recent survey discovered some key issues with DevOps adoption, including 76% using manual processes and 41% having no formal process around ensuring reliability. Inefficiencies abound, while DevOps is meant to streamline and generate efficiency improvements alongside better reliability as bug fixes and patches are pushed out on a near constant basis.
Faster and refined processes yield value but only when investments in proper tools, staff, and time are made before throwing your team into the deep end of DevOps. This plays into two other reasons Gartner lists for DevOps struggles: trying to do too much, too quickly, and unmanaged organizational changes.
MSPs and cloud service providers have started to offer DevOps as a Service as a managed service product. But depending on the provider, the definition of this service can range wildly. You can expect some combination of managed cloud infrastructure, monitoring, development (tools and actual coding services), and consulting.
The general purpose is to ensure tracking across the entire stack of code changes and infrastructure adjustments, while simultaneously helping your organization reach goals around delivering better customer value. That translates into continuous delivery and integration, which help push new features and updates to your end users faster.
Purchasing DevOps services from a provider helps you avoid the complexities of infrastructure management and data flow throughout your tools. It can also take a lot of the guesswork out of choosing a platform for coding, system management, and monitoring. Your I&O and development staff can take advantage of easy to use SaaS and PaaS tools to manage applications without needing to possess extensive knowledge of the underlying technology platforms.
DevOps-a-a-S providers can generally be split into several categories, or a combination thereof:
The Continuous Improvement Process
Below are the overall DevOps components and goals you should be able to achieve. If your team, software, and infrastructure isn’t ready, you need to weigh whether you want to purchase and hire to fill the gaps, or consider a partner for services.
Development and Updates
Migration and Training