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InfoQ Homepage News XebiaLabs Announce DevOps Intelligence Engine

XebiaLabs Announce DevOps Intelligence Engine

XebiaLabs, the developers of Continuous Delivery and DevOps tooling XL Release and XL Deploy, has announced availability of the first release of XL Impact, a goal-based, data-driven recommendation and decision making tool or DevOps intelligence engine for DevOps organisations. XebiaLabs claims this is the first tool of its kind and the capability is essential for organisations to prove DevOps performance improvements.

The KPIs in XL Impact can help determine if the speed or quality of releases is overall improving or declining by reviewing trends and comparing releases in one time period versus another. Quality metrics can be monitored such as: number of issues reported, average time to resolution or percent of issues with high severity. Cycle time, the duration between when the first commit is made related to a change and when that change is delivered to customers, can be analysed by collating metrics from backlog management tools, source control and the release process.

As DevOps has matured and organisations have increased their investment in DevOps initiatives, the need for better data intelligence to report on the impact of DevOps has grown, Gottfried Sehringer, CMO of XebiaLabs, told InfoQ. He said:

Today, people are typically reporting success anecdotally or via manual surveys. They might look at individual tools and see if they can draw some conclusions from what’s happening. Nobody’s really pulled it together in a business sense.

XL Impact aggregates data from a number of tools using APIs and “data collectors” that collect and standardize the required data for use in XL Impact. This, the first release, includes integrations with Atlassian JIRA, GitHub, Jenkins and XebiaLabs' own tool, XL Release. The choices made for this initial release are based on the tools XebiaLabs find most popular in their current customer set; in time, other tool integrations will become available and are likely to also include application performance management tools such as Dynatrace and AppDynamics and service desk tools such as ServiceNow, Sehringer told InfoQ. Customers will also eventually be able to write their own integrations - particularly for less frequently used tools.

XL Impact ships with a number of preconfigured DevOps Key Performance Indicators around speed of software delivery and quality. Sehringer explained:

We have curated the KPIs based on what we have learned and what experts like Gene Kim and Nicole Forsgren have told us. We have included the metrics we think are most relevant and measurable. Many organisations don’t know how to approach this problem – and they don’t know how to measure it. They are looking for advice. Over time we expect they will want to build their own KPIs and we'll make it possible for them to do so.

In time, Sehringer sees XL Impact going much further than measuring velocity and quality and being able to help businesses measure value realisation:

Measuring value outcomes is the poster child DevOps story but most people aren’t there yet and have more 'nuts and bolts' needs to tackle first. I am expecting this to become more mainstream over time. We are trying to help the majority first here, though.

XL Impact is available to existing and new customers of XebiaLab's XL Release product as an add-on. It's a cloud based product (running in Google Cloud) but does require XL Release to be installed and running either on premise or in the end user's preferred cloud environment.

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