Your 2019 DevOps Cookbook

Dan Holloran January 02, 2019

DevOps Collaboration
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2019 is here! With the new year comes new challenges and opportunities related to software development, IT operations, and service delivery. The DevOps methodology continues to gain traction for both developers and operations teams as we dive into the new year. So, we’ve developed the 2019 DevOps Cookbook to help define the recipe for successful DevOps-focused teams and companies.

The DevOps Cookbook allows your team to improve operational efficiency – leading to happier employees, customers and, of course, driving business value. A well-structured DevOps culture leads to deeper insights throughout the software delivery lifecycle and prepares teams for rapid incident response and resolution. So, let’s make your new year’s resolution of speedy delivery of reliable services a reality with the 2019 DevOps Cookbook.

Recipes for DevOps Success

This is where the DevOps Cookbook gets interesting – because there’s not one single recipe for DevOps success. However, the main ingredients of each DevOps recipe remain the same. Every team looking for the key to efficient DevOps needs to incorporate these values into their recipe: collaboration, exposure, automation, accountability, transparency and continuous improvement.

While the exact portion of the core DevOps values varies between each individual DevOps team, keeping all of them in the back of your mind is essential to success. Different values will take precedence depending on where your team is in their software delivery and incident management maturity.

  • Collaboration:

    Teams that collaborate cross-functionally across software delivery, IT operations and on-call incident response learn more from each other and leverage those insights to build reliable products and services faster. Deeper collaboration creates a system where organizational knowledge is shared, the execution of tasks and projects is expedited and whole teams collectively improve.

  • Exposure:

    With deeper cross-functional collaboration between developers and IT operations, everyone gains further exposure to systems in both staging and production. So, more people on the team become equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to fix issues, write better production-friendly code and maintain services in highly integrated environments.

  • Automation:

    In DevOps, everything you can automate should be automated. But, automation must always come with one caveat – it should always be geared at improving the operational efficiency and overall welfare of your people.

  • Accountability:

    In a DevOps environment of collaboration and system exposure, combined with developers taking on-call responsibilities, everyone becomes more accountable for the code they write and the services they maintain. Every recipe in the DevOps cookbook should endorse a blameless culture of accountability – empowering teammates to take on-call duties and code ownership for everything they produce.

  • Transparency:

    Transparent workflows, alongside collaboration and wide access to helpful tools and information will drive DevOps success. This way, every person and team has visibility into the human workflows and machine data driving service delivery or incident management. Transparency allows for an open exchange of ideas and offers situational context to people across the entire organization, leading to more innovation and easier collaboration.

  • Continuous Improvement:

    Last but certainly not least in the DevOps Cookbook is the value of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is the salt and pepper on top of every DevOps recipe. Every implementation of DevOps requires continuous improvement across all phases of the software delivery and incident lifecycle. If you’re not getting better, you’re simply replicating past mistakes and continuing to make life difficult for your teams, customers, and systems.

Why DevOps Matters

Useful DevOps Tools

In association with the DevOps values, there are a number of DevOps tools out there to help you make the most of these values. In our DevOps Cookbook analogy, you can think of useful DevOps tools as something like a strainer or tongs, whereas DevOps values are like the actual food in the meal. Sure, you could technically make pancakes without a spatula, but it’s a whole lot easier with one.

So, let’s review five DevOps tools that make every recipe in the DevOps Cookbook a whole lot easier:

1. Puppet:

Enforce configuration state and automate much of your infrastructure management with Puppet. Puppet helps you easily manage and automate deployments and maintain reliable infrastructure for your services and applications. Puppet makes it easier for DevOps teams to govern and automate changes to their system and track interdependencies across complex, highly-integrated infrastructures.

2. Jenkins:

Jenkins is a highly essential CI/CD tool for DevOps teams. Orchestrate, automate, and manage the continuous integration and delivery of your applications and services with Jenkins. Jenkins helps teams quickly test new services being sent to production and automate a number of tasks when making changes to the staging and production environments.

3. GitHub:

GitHub, or really any version-control system using Git can help teams track changes in files, applications, and services. This allows deeper cross-functional collaboration and transparency for everything being built, maintained, and deployed.

4. Splunk:

Splunk allows you to monitor log, application, infrastructure and numerous other sources of machine data to maintain the health of your applications and services. Without the visibility of Splunk into the health of your systems, you’d have a tough time tracking down any errors or incidents.

5. Reporting and Post-Incident Reviews:

While we don’t have a specific tool listed for this – it’s important to track system health, on-call response, and other human-centric metrics to continuously improve your processes. Thorough post-incident reviews allow you to learn from incidents and other system errors to iterate on workflows and become more efficient. Tracking this data over time will show you how much you’re improving and where you can improve even more.

DevOps in 2019

The 2018 State of DevOps Report from Puppet and Splunk lays out numerous ways in which DevOps has changed over the last few years, as well as the trajectory of DevOps for 2019. All in all, the numbers are looking good for DevOps. Also, recent updates on the state of DevOps found that sixteen percent of people said they worked on a DevOps team in 2014, but twenty-seven percent of people said they were working on a DevOps team in 2018. Also, the number of women in DevOps doubled over the last year.

DevOps is becoming more common across IT operations and development teams while remaining progressive toward the improvement of processes, people, and technology. The DevOps Cookbook isn’t an end-all-be-all guide to implementing a strong culture of DevOps. But, an understanding of how the individual ingredients work together to form a recipe for DevOps success is imperative for every team.

VictorOps is a human-first, collaborative on-call incident management solution for DevOps teams. Combine the DevOps Cookbook with a 14-day free trial of VictorOps to start building a better process for incident response and remediation.

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