Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Jignesh Solanki, Yeshim Deniz, Karthick Viswanathan, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi

Article

The Top 5 Things You Need to Know When Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution

DevOps Release Management Solution

DevOps is a modern software delivery movement that encompasses agile principles and encourages automation in application delivery. Why adopt it? It allows teams to reduce errors due to manual steps and break down silos between teams to improve communication and collaboration between all stakeholders within the business.

Whether you’re knee deep in a DevOps transformation or just getting started, implementing a DevOps release management solution is an important step along the journey. Why? Because in today’s on-demand economy, organizations must capitalize on any opportunity to improve application delivery throughout the organization, irrespective of the development processes in place.

Based on a recent discussion between Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst at Ovum, andAnders Wallgren, CTO of Electric Cloud, I was able to glean why DevOps release management is a must in order for enterprises to modernize the software delivery process and compete at a higher level. More specifically, Michael and Anders discussed the top five requirements for selecting a release management solution, which I’ve laid out for you below.

ovum-webinar-devops-releases

1Application Manifest: Model and version applications, infrastructure and middleware.

Application model
This is what you’re looking for in an enterprise grade solution — a solution with ease of use in defining an application deployment blueprint, and being able to reuse it and version it and have variations to meet the complex and ever-changing needs of your organization. If you are doing Continuous Delivery and DevOps correctly, you should never have to make a change to a deployed application by hand – ideally, changes are made to the application model and then re-released into a production environment. This allows you to make and test changes in one place, and easily keep track of everything in production. Having an application manifest is a key facet for a great release management solution.

2Pipeline Design: Model, version and refactor pipelines, workflows and processes

Slide10
This is not only an important consideration for selecting a release management solution, but is at the very heart of continuous delivery — the ability to define and manage delivery pipelines for complex legacy applications or newer Microservices. For large organizations with lots of technical and process debt, being able to flexibly model and manage that sort of complexity is essential.

Ultimately, the whole concept behind DevOps comes down to the idea that there is the “what,” the “how” and the “where.” The “what” is the application manifest, mentioned above. The “how” is the pipeline design. What are all the stages this particular application or component or service goes through? Understanding your end to end pipeline is very important. You need to have, not just conceptually, but even physically written down somewhere, the end to end of what your software goes through. If you don’t have that that process completely nailed down, you don’t really have a full understanding of what it takes to ship your software. Without this complete understanding, it can be much more difficult to have success. By modeling these pipelines, you allow teams to visualize the flow of value through the lifecycle, and make iterative improvements on it in a collaborative and safe manner.

3Pipeline Execution: Predictably and efficiently deliver legacy and CD-style pipelines and releases at scale

pipeline view

One of the most important things when practicing DevOps is enabling fast feedback, so getting visibility into pipeline execution as they’re occurring is very important. This provides teams an easy way to troubleshoot problems quickly, and then refactor and optimize the pipeline over time. Enterprise pipelines can be very complex and touch a lot of tools—your Dev team might be using Jenkins and Chef and Selenium, and your Ops team might be using ServiceNow and Azure cloud and Puppet. We have customers that have over 60 tools as part of their ultimate DevOps toolchain.  For each one of these tools or services you need to make sure you’re getting the best performance possible, and operating them as efficiently as you possibly can. As you execute them, being able to see those executions live as they happen, then collect information about them, and optimize your pipeline helps to make the entire process more efficient.

4Governance, Security: Role based access control, traceability and auditability

Slide11

This is one of the key functions to consider for an enterprise grade solution. If you just tie together your release capability with tools that still require some manual steps, you’re not able to scale that. This is where a large-scale organization, especially one that is regulated and has auditors, is going to want a solution that can clearly demonstrate that the whole process is governed such that no one can make a change to the process, environments or binaries without it being logged, and that any change that is made has gone through a QA and testing process. Those are the sorts of things that are really crucial for the ops people, as they are handed responsibility for ensuring a low-risk environment.

When DevOps was first getting started, the overwhelming belief around security and governance was, “Gee, this is going to really bother the auditors.” However, it turns out it is quite the opposite — to get good at DevOps and continuous delivery, you really need to automate everything. What does an auditor want? They want two things:

  1. Document your process and
  2. Demonstrate you are using that documented process.

In the process of sitting down and automating your software delivery pipeline, you are essentially documenting that process. Executing that pipeline gives you the record of what you did: How did we deploy? When? Who did it? What was the pipeline that was used? What was the testing? All of those things are now available to be audited.

5Integrations: Works with the Tools You Already Use

Slide13

You want a solution that fits in with the tools and process that you have. It would be a non-starter to show up and say, “throw away all of your current tools and let’s use this new thing.”  It would also be inefficient to have to change your process to fit into some tool’s preconceived notion of how your enterprise should run. Make sure you don’t have to change the way you do business, and that can help the DevOps adoption curve quite a bit.

By keeping these top five considerations in mind when selecting a release management solution, you can help ensure your journey into DevOps and continuous delivery is a much smoother, more efficient, and more fruitful one. Regardless of the tools your organization decides to use, consider first and foremost how you can make your pathway to production a competitive advantage and reap the benefits of an efficient delivery pipeline!

If you want to listen to the full conversation between Michael and Anders, watch the video on DevOps.com

More Stories By Anders Wallgren

Anders Wallgren is Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud. Anders brings with him over 25 years of in-depth experience designing and building commercial software. Prior to joining Electric Cloud, Anders held executive positions at Aceva, Archistra, and Impresse. Anders also held management positions at Macromedia (MACR), Common Ground Software and Verity (VRTY), where he played critical technical leadership roles in delivering award winning technologies such as Macromedia’s Director 7 and various Shockwave products.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...