Step #5 towards an orchestrated datacenter: Accelerate feature releases to empower customers

 

By Muneer Mubashir, Senior Marketing Manager, Cloud and Automation

 

Note: This is the fifth of a seven-part blog series exploring what steps you can take toward an orchestrated datacenter. Catch up on the other posts:

 

In the previous blog posts, we covered the need for automation as a discipline, culture of focusing on services, breaking the silos and architecting for agility. If I had to choose a process or a shift in the operational model that represents all of the above in ONE, it has to be the notion of continuous delivery and DevOps.

 

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 DevOps can mean multiple things to multiple folks. I have tried to summarize some pre-reqs:

  1. Code check-in and integration in small batches – keep the batch small
  2. Continuous and automated testing
  3. Continuous deployment
  4. Continuous monitoring

 

 I wanted to stress that Continuous Deployment does not mean that the features are released to the market for immediate consumption. But it is the flexibility to try and gauge market perception through A/B testing or making features available to a subset of the user base to see how well they are doing.

 

The idea behind the orchestrated datacenter, which coordinates people, tools and processes for more effective automation across IT environment with consistency and compliance, is that as an organization, IT can function at a more elite level in the service of your business. And an important part of that is delivering to the business the tools and systems it needs. As business accelerates, so too must IT’s ability to refresh the supply of tools at its disposal.

 

Embracing DevOps

Re-architecting enterprise applications for agility and to maximise the cloud is an important step in this transformation.  But the development teams cannot do it on their own. In an enterprise IT environment, truly agile delivery requires changes to the entire application lifecycle and extend agile methodology to operations.

 

This is why the automation capabilities of an orchestrated datacenter must span across functional silos, helping to eliminate the manual handoffs between dev, test, staging and production lifecycle environments that so often introduce delays and errors, and ultimately reduce quality.

 

Real-time collaboration between Development and Operations through a model-driven approach to DevOps can automate a lot of application development and monitoring to ensure development is agile, while maintaining tight controls to minimize poor performance, outages and security vulnerabilities.

 

Jack be nimble, Jack be modular

Your goal should really to be nimble enough that you can deliver new features weekly. That might sound like a tall order for some IT organizations, but employing a building block approach to the design and modelling of an application and its infrastructure goes a long way. These building blocks will include application components such as databases and middleware, and infrastructure components like servers and storage, so creating an application is a matter of connecting the appropriate components together. (HP Continuous Delivery Automation provides this through Flexible Application Modelling.)

 

Administrators should then be in a position to modify the blocks along the application lifecycle as necessary, without having to modify the application code itself as it moves through test, staging and to production. This expedites application design and enables users to leverage best practices across multiple models.

 

Modular and reusable application deployment helps to speed up the release pipeline by building once and then rapidly deploying. At the pace that business compete at today, IT organizations must keep up with similarly swift delivery of the most advanced applications and services it can offer.

                       

Learn more at HP Discover in Las Vegas

 

HP Discover 2014.jpgExplore the many topics related to automating and orchestrating your IT environments at our semi-annual HP Discover event. Be sure to catch session RT3321 “Taking the application release process to new levels”, which looks at a few innovative approaches to automated application deployment and release management processes and tools. See you there!

 

Explore HP Discover Las Vegas 2014 session catalog

 

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