What is DevOps and why does my company need it?


The practice of DevOps is to develop methods and implement tools to make deploying systems more efficient, repeatable and stable.  There are no limits to what deploying systems means.  It's true that DevOps started in the Web Application arena but that is only where it started.  It hasn't and doesn't need to stop there.  The same principles used to build out the Google or Facebook Datacenters are now being applied to everything from Network Equipment to Desktop/Laptop deployments to BYOD Deployments. If you have to install or configure it there is probably a way to do it with automation.  If there isn't a way to automate the configuration and management of any tool then you need to find a replacement tool.  Manually configuring anything is too time consuming and wasteful of your resources. 

If you think your company or IT Department is to small to benefit think again.  The smaller the company the more critical it is.  You can't afford to waste time trouble shooting the same problem even twice.  With the freely available ways to automate the management of virtually everything why shouldn't you. Don't think you have time?  How much time are you wasting on daily tasks like User Account creation and management?  What about figuring out who is using all the space on a given file share?  With a quick script or the addition of a monitoring tool you can solve all of these. 

Every IT Department is pressured for producing better working and managed solutions that can be deployed faster.  The days of unlimited budgets for staff ended a long time ago, if they ever really existed.   The businesses expectations are growing at an unprecedented rate.  The only way to meet those expectations is to implement DevOps.  Only through a process driven, automated, tested and repeatable approach can you efficiently and effectively meet your businesses expectations.  A little Scotty temporal math to set expectations doesn't hurt. 

If you read this and said something like "But I don't have the time or resources to implement DevOps we can barely keep up now."  You need to realize that DevOps is a force multiplier.  If you looked at your teams daily task list you will be able to find at least one recurring task that could be done with a script.  If that task takes five minutes and is done five times a day that would be a little over two hours a week.  If you recovered time with a script that takes five seconds to run your team would gain two hours a week.  Put that two hours every week writing a new script and you will gain even more time the next week.  After six months of this process the whole team will be breathing easier and able to start implementing bigger and better DevOps projects.  As you start implementing these processes then your teams off hours calls start dropping off.  Everyone is sleeping better and becomes even more effective.

How do I know this works?  Because the teams I have been on over the years have achieved amazing results repeatedly.  We have reduced the number of issues and problems by being able to test our automated configuration processes at every step from Development through to Production.  

So what are you waiting for?  Don't you want to sleep better at night?  Don't you want to be able to breath? How about taking a night off worry free, or relaxing at lunch?  All because you know that what you just did today worked because you tested it and repeated it before you put it into production.