Research from Forrester indicates that not only have over 50% of organizations implemented DevOps, the year 2018 is going to be known as the “year of enterprise DevOps.” This is mirroring customer behaviours around the world that are riding a digital wave of change, prompting IT departments to deliver new features faster than ever before in the face of more demanding requirements for availability and security. DevOps promises to do exactly that, by fostering a high degree of collaboration development, operations and IT infrastructure.
While most enterprise customers of today have moved from a resource-based model to SLA (Service Level Agreement) model, they still heavily rely on the resources and their expertise, leading to issues that arise from resource attrition or unplanned leave of absence. This often leads to chaos in the operational management; it finally results in sub-par service levels. Organizations then suffer from the ill effects of overall billing, penalty calculation, SLA management QoQ that becomes a nightmare for both the customer and the System Integrator (SI). Many clients are also uncomfortable in letting go of control over key metrics like head count and request a minimum since they believe they understand their Infra better than the SI. In essence they do not want to commit to a new design that does not come with the guarantees of the tried and tested way.
Smart digital organizations are developing a new attitude to this by extending the DevOps model so that application development, application operations, and IT infrastructure work as one. This results in massive gains in capacity creation, and cuts in time to market and failure rates. Infrastructure teams are embracing “infrastructure-as-code,” which allows infrastructure teams to adapt software-development engineering practices and ways of working and cast off the less flexible “hardware” mind-set. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) refers to the practice of scripting the provisioning of hardware and operating system requirements concurrently with the development of the application itself using programmable infrastructure. IaC seeks to relieve the most common pain points with system configuration, especially the fact that configuring a new environment can take a significant amount of time.
One of the technologies enabling IaC on the ground is Containers, such as Docker. They enable true independence between applications and infrastructure and developers and IT ops to unlock their potential and create a model for better collaboration and innovation, bringing Infrastructure into the development process as a core component. Containers enable a way to configure infrastructure which operations teams can manage and provision automatically through code; thereby getting rid of the need of manual efforts to perform the same tasks.
Puppet Enterprise lets you define the desired state of your infrastructure and what you want it to do. Puppet then automatically enforces that desired state and remediates any unexpected changes. You can deploy faster, with greater reliability, because you no longer have to map out and manually deploy every step.
At HCL the teams realised that for better service delivery they would have to move out of conventional models, and became one of the first companies to establish a full-fledged mature DevOps team to manage existing infrastructure clients. This came after seeing the opportunity in using it for service delivery and successfully integrated technologies like Puppet & Dockers in our Infra Managed Services. HCL has since brought about a reduction of manpower on the projects by more than 30% in the first six months and 60% by the end of the first year.
Ultimately, it is time for Infrastructure to change the way it has always worked – gather requirements, do analysis, design solutions, re-design, and deploy solutions. If this used to be a relatively static and unchanging process that became well defined and ingrained it is time to change it, because now the business demands better.