IT Infrastructure Projects and Web Applications that improve your Business/ROI can be enhanced by using the DevOps approach. Many SMB’s face obstacles such as lack of experience within their software development team or only needing a fractional not full time IT Infrastructure resource.
Let’s have a look at the benefits of DevOps, Dev Ops Practices and how a new “fractional” resource approach to DevOps could be an option for your SMB.
Benefits of DevOps
DevOps is a set of practices that shortens the system development life cycle and provides continuous delivery of high-quality software. Benefits include:
Speed – implementation based on tried and tested infrastructure patterns without delays due to “learning on the job”
Rapid delivery – by using Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) principles server, storage and network can be quickly deployed using scripts and templates.
Reliability – Since manual steps are eliminated from the infrastructure rollout this leads to increased consistency and hence reliable deployments.
Scaled – Since infrastructure is coded it can be re-used and deployed across several environments often with minimal change.
Collaboration – Infrastructure code can be shared amongst the DevOps team allowing for open contribution and peer review.
Security – Infrastructure code version history is captured within a repository and executions of the code are logged by DevOps user id.
Best Practices for DevOps include
Continuous Integration and Delivery – This eliminates any manual code deployments or manual configuration of environment related parameters (e.g. database endpoints and credentials).
Infrastructure as a Code – all infrastructure deployments and maintenance should be coded to completely remove any need for manual intervention.
Monitoring and Logging – Implementation of a centralized repository for Infrastructure and application logging leads to a more efficient and responsive support process.
Collaboration – This is a more natural process when infrastructure is treated as shared code rather than each DevOps person remembering a series of manual steps.
Frameworks can provide a set of best practices to evaluate how well an architecture is aligned to a Cloud Service Providers best practices. For example – AWS Well-Architected Framework encompasses the following 5 areas in its Whitepaper:
- Operational Excellence
- Performance Efficiency
- Cost Optimization
We recommend checking your Cloud Service Providers white papers as part of your DevOps approach.
DevOps packages – the new resource
Why do Companies use them? – Often there is a need for a fractional cloud engineer. Since cloud infrastructure is much more efficient than on-prem services there may not be enough tasks to fill 160 hours in a month.
How they work – They often involve a named engineer (and sometime a backup) that can jump on a DevOps task with a defined SLA period with their progress tracked by means of a time-based reporting system.
- Lower monthly cost commitment than a full-time DevOps / Cloud Engineer with equivalent certifications and hands-on experience.
- Back-up to your existing team
- Can cover illness, vacation or staff turnover concerns
- Provider with employees that understand your environment
- Considered as an insurance premium for some SMB’s for the above.