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The Art of DevOps | Part 1 By @Dynatrace | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Part 1: DevOps tactics to aid in your deployments while providing maximum situational awareness within each environment

The Art of DevOps: An Introduction to the Landscape

Welcome to my four-part series on what I'm going to call the Art of DevOps. We will embark on a mission to reveal the extremely valuable intelligence that's been collected about a unique strategy to continuously deliver assets to the operational battleground safely, securely and quickly. This strategy drives optimal monitoring of the frontlines and enhanced communications with the troops supporting the initial development. I do make the assumption that most of you are battle-worthy veterans in one or more of the environments that I'll review.

Beyond this introduction blog, I'll brief you on some of the best DevOps tactics to aid in your deployments while providing maximum situational awareness within each environment. I'll also do my best to expand upon the best lines of defense with minimal disruption. Unfortunately, in my experience, many of you will be deficient either over lack of preparation such as test automation, damaged assets or organizational challenges in one or more areas of deployment. The goal of this series is to help you recognize where your deficits are, how to address certain scenarios and which tactics you need to use to lead a successful DevOps operation.

What are we fighting for? Ultimately, we're fighting for the absolute best services and features that we can deliver to our customers as quickly as we possibly can. We seek to be victorious over our competition, successful in informing and meeting or exceeding the expectations of our commanding officers while preventing and mitigating casualties caused by critical issues and poor performance. Obviously this battle has been going on for a long time. In more traditional deployments, it's very common for the troops in development, test and operations to coordinate, albeit poorly, large changes over long periods of time through a long drawn out campaign. Operational battlefronts are often plagued with poor situational awareness. They're typically ineffective in communication tactics, highly reactive and often at risk of suffering large losses in both time and money. As we modernize, it becomes necessary and optimal to either quickly introduce new assets or react and safely deploy as many critical updates into the operational battlefront as fast as possible. Hence we begin our mission in this Art of DevOps and begin understanding the procedures behind one of the most aggressive strategies for leveraging a well-planned continuous delivery process.

I will assume that all of you are familiar with the delivery landscape that this battle spans. I'm going to use the metaphor of war because frankly, I find it more appealing and enjoyable to write about it in this context, plus you can better appreciate a non-dry read and, more important, so that you can relate to this as a battle - since we've all experienced our own share of wounds.

Islands of Development
The asset construction zone. This is a moving environment where the commanding officers communicate the assets needed for the overall operational goals. It's common for engineers to receive orders to research, build, fix or change existing units that must all be thoroughly tested and eventually deployed to the staging grounds. In a Continuous Delivery deployment pipeline, unlike other delivery processes, front line operations troops become integral to the planning, building and testing stages of the delivery process. In the next series I will go into depth and focus on the Islands of Development. However, instead of just discussing the key practices and technologies that are often found in other articles, I'll review how to arm your build stages with advanced performance management. This will provide these forces with the optimal intelligence to effectively automate, enhance and troubleshoot the quality of each new build and deployment. I'll also discuss some of the key indicators that, with advanced performance management in your arsenal, will help identify a successful build and/or changes prior to deploying it to the Staging Grounds.

Staging Grounds
In this environment it is all about battle readiness. This is where we focus our energy on automated testing of every critical scenario while closely monitoring any negative impact with forensic accuracy. Having highly granular details available to our troops allow us to precisely assess the added and changed assets while quickly identifying and alerting on the problems. Again, in this series, I will focus on the common technologies used while arming the environment with advanced performance management. I will reveal key strategies and indicators to use during automated testing and automated deployments that will ultimately mitigate key risks prior to deploying a changed build to the frontlines.

For further insight, click here for the full article.

More Stories By Brett Hofer

Brett Hofer is as passionate about DevOps as he is about music and art. Specializing in delivering complex mission critical software under methodologies such as Agile, Lean and Waterfall (to name a few), his success at managing and delivering projects with complex technical and political challenges is almost legendary. More than twenty years of broad software/IT experience—from product designer and solution architect to senior management—has given him a unique 360° perspective on IT that has earned the respect of customers and peers alike. Tweet him at @brett_solarch

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