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DevOps: possible without simplifying your infrastructure?

by Matthias Marschall on Sep 18, 2013 |

Running a DevOps expert panel, James Governor, analyst at RedMonk, asked whether it is necessary to simplify your infrastructure in order to be able to introduce DevOps.

The panellists agreed that you need to change your systems and your organization to decrease your time-to-market. Even though existing infrastructure will stay, you’ll need to automate what you can to be able to innovate faster.

Adam Jacob, Chief Dev Officer at Opscode, the makers of Chef, said that new environments are not really simpler but designed differently. This different design helps speed things up and therefore appears to be simpler.

Luke Kanies from Puppetlabs, the makers of Puppet, is sure "that everyone needs to change". He wants everyone to build tools which helps people build new technology and get rid of old technology. He asked the question of how to swap in newer technology faster. His approach is to find an area in your business where you can create a big win with not too much effort. He saw clients reduce time to market from months to weeks or less by automating certain areas of their infrastructure.

Robbie Minshall, IBM Rational Cloud Architect, said that people are amazed about what cloud providers make possible and want the same stuff in their data centers. As existing infrastructure and mainframes are not going away and are not moving into the cloud, he claimed that it is important to find out how you can innovate in other areas and tie those things to your existing infrastructure. The fast moving things need to connect to the slow moving ones.

Adrian Cockcroft from Netflix emphasized that what comes to market faster, wins.

You don’t need to simplify your complete infrastructure to be able to introduce DevOps. But automating crucial parts to speed up time to market, the panellists agreed, is essential. You need to be able to innovate while running your complex business.

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