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Monitoring – A Key Aspect of DevOps

DevOps aims to establish a culture and environment wherein both software developers and operations team collaborate and share services while automating the process, to speed things up from software development to its delivery. It aims to establish a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software, can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.

In traditional IT, the development team delivers code to a centralized operations team who monitors the performance of that code in production. But the mindset of these two teams were incongruous. While development teams brought forth new changes in code focused on bringing value to business, the operations team mandated reliability and stability. Both were right in their own aspect but they lacked communication. Moreover, the development team and operations team defined their own processes throughout the entire lifecycle of software development and deployment eliminating any aspect of cross functionality. All this lead to the two teams working in silos.

Organizations had to break down the barriers between the two teams thus enabling developers to be responsible for the code development in an agile environment by communicating with the operations team about their requirements.

Now since organizations have to rapidly deliver software and services to meet the needs and expectations of the market, they adopt agile development methods and this increases the burden on the developers and the operations people.

So in an agile approach, DevOps teams needed to be ready more than ever before, with the right mindset people along with pre-requisites like process, technology and compliance for agile development (which aims to shorten the software development lifecycle by taking an iterative and incremental approach) leading to faster deployment and delivery.

Role of Monitoring in agile approach

The focus should be on how to bring about the DevOps team to do effective and efficient automation catering to the agile approach. There is the need for high quality software along with faster and more frequent delivery of software. Thus, there is a key aspect of DevOps that can help with these and complements the agile development methodology – Monitoring.

Monitoring needs its fair share of attention, because increased awareness during each stage of the delivery pipeline can ensure value at all those stages. It is also one of the requisites to measure changes during the DevOps practices in an organization.

Also, with automating integration, testing, and deploying everything in the cloud, the acceleration of development has increased, imposing greater load on the customer feedback loop and deployment.

Traditional monitoring does not meet DevOps requirements

Traditional monitoring does not meet DevOps requirements for scalability, reliability and correlating IT performance with key business metrics. According to Circonus, a leading provider of analytics and monitoring solutions for IT operations and DevOps, who announced the results of ‘DevOps and Monitoring survey’ conducted at ChefConf 2015:

  • 40% said they have run into scalability challenges with their monitoring
  • 70% said that Engineering is not satisfied with their current monitoring platform

But more recently, vendors have started to focus on DevOps monitoring as well. The key takeaways from the report are:

  • DevOps has different requirements and expectations when it comes to monitoring, which traditional monitoring cannot meet
  • Reliability is critical in DevOps environments that must accommodate new levels of speed and scale

In the end, relying on a traditional monitoring approach that’s based on a crippled and outdated development and delivery model easily leads to failure. Organizations who require help regarding the people, process or technology aspect of DevOps can get the service of a Managed Service Provider.

These MSPs will blueprint the organization’s infrastructure, can help provision compute resources in datacenter and cloud, introduce continuous incremental or total change, automatically reconfigure everything and also monitor for compliance. With their team of DevOps engineers and services they can help organizations with faster and more frequent delivery of high quality software and services.

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