It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - today's contributor is Grant Smith. He's DevOpstastic!
1) How would you describe the relationship between DevOps, Agile and ITIL?
DevOps is what you get when you apply Agile methods to the problems of building, launching, managing and supporting services. ITIL provides a structure for thinking holistically about building, launching, managing and supporting services.
2) Can you describe what DevOps looks like when it’s ‘done’?
DevOps is noisy. Everyone’s talking to each other all the time. Engineers from different disciplines are learning from each other. People with different backgrounds, experiences and approaches are debating the relative merits of technical choices, business decisions and what happened in Game of Thrones last night.
3) What do you think are the key metrics for DevOps?
The key metrics for assessing an organisation’s DevOps capability are things like: Time taken to build, test and deploy each component of the service. Time taken from initiation of a change activity to it’s successful completion. Time taken to roll out an updated component to the entire estate. These all focus on time because they have to be measured in seconds or at worst minutes in order for an organisation to continuously improve it’s capability and adapt to new challenges.
4) What attributes constitute a culture embracing DevOps?
Aside from noise? DevOps cultures are obsessed with testing. If you can’t prove you can do it, you might as well not be able to do it. Engineers interested in infrastructure and configuration are obsessed with testing how long it takes to deploy services and testing recovery scenarios. Software engineers are obsessed with how they can test that the services do what they think it should and how long it takes. Test engineers are obsessed with testing everything and at a certain point their focus widens from functional testing to encompass testing service recovery and user experience. Together all of them share an obsession with having the fastest, slickest build, deploy, test and tear-down mechanisms.
5) Is Continuous Delivery the ultimate goal of DevOps? How do other ‘Continuouses’ (continuous deployment, testing, improvement etc) contribute in a DevOps transformation?
No Continuous Delivery is one of the many benefits of DevOps. Continuous build and testing is a pre-requisite for DevOps. Continuous Deployment is a nice early benefit of clear ownership of the build systems and processes. Continuous Service Integration is a sure sign that an organisation has configuration management under control and that engineers are collaborating. Continuous Delivery is a capability of a mature modern technology organisation.
Grant has created and led high performance Operations teams in some of the largest and fastest growing companies in the UK over the last 17 years and has been at the forefront of the DevOps movement for the last 5 years. Grant has driven real collaboration between Operations and Development teams in AOL, Electronic Arts and British Gas by implementing Infrastructure as code and driving application integration from continuous build systems. Grant has delivered game platforms running in the cloud enjoyed by millions of players per day and websites serving a billion page views per month. Most recently he has delivered a high performance, scalable Internet-of-things platform for British Gas. Grant is the author of Next Gen DevOps: Creating the DevOps Organisation and is frequently sought out for his cloud and DevOps expertise.
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