DevOps for Everyone in the Delivery Pipeline

| November 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

DevOps

The IT revolution, long in the making, is taking over the organization.

The DevOps team is perfecting its software delivery pipeline. A single commit passes through the pipeline until it’s live in Production––or dies trying. The team succeeds, and the pipeline is humming with activity.

Now the commits are being pushed, the builds are running, automatic deployments are in progress… no manual intervention is needed… we are in a state of DevOps nirvana.

Or are we? Some questions remain.

For starters, how, as a non-technical observer, do I see what’s going on? How do I get a grip on the process? When do I know a feature is live? Where is my feature anyway?

It’s important to realize that delivering a feature is about more than Dev and Ops pushing it through an automated release pipeline; the whole organization is involved: Product Management, UX, Marketing, VPs, executives, and so on.

In short, DevOps needs to be embedded in the entire organization to succeed.

Let’s take a closer look at the following roles and what each requires from the feature delivery process:

DevOps Pioneers: The DevOps champions in the organization, they are creating the first automated pipeline to ensure that feature delivery is repeatable and reliable. But in the rush to get it done, are they addressing security? What about auditing and reporting?

DevOps Crowd: The teams that adopt the pipeline in later roll outs. These teams may have less affinity and knowledge about DevOps and therefore need more guidance to implement it. At this point, insight and reporting on the pipeline need to be provided out-of-the-box.

Release Manager: Those responsible for keeping track of planning and progress, ensuring features are delivered on time and correctly––or rolled back. It’s the Release Manager’s responsibility to embed the technical pipeline into the business process, coordinate process flow and approvals, and identify risks. They need the ability to see an entire release pipeline in one place.

Product Manager: Those responsible for driving the development of new products and features. To keep executive management informed, Product Managers need to know the status of their features in the pipeline.

Security Officer: Those responsible for safeguarding the delivery process. Security Officers need to readily answer questions like who has access to Production or how can we ensure there are no vulnerabilities in our code? And they need answer these questions even the delivery process is automated.

Executive: Tracks the software delivery from a business perspective, looking at things like performance, trending, and the ROI on the DevOps initiative. Executives need this information at their disposal.

Developer: Those responsible for writing the features. Developers need to be able to quickly spot and fix problems and deploy changes into low-level environments.

Internal Auditor: Those responsible for examining software products and processes to ensure compliance requirements are being met. Auditors need detailed reports of who did what and when in the delivery cycle.

Compliance Manager: Those responsible for whether compliance requirements are being met in the delivery cycle. Needs the ability to track compliance across the pipeline and to produce compliance reports for internal auditors.

Site Reliability Engineer (SRE): Those responsible for ensuring that software processes are scalable and reliable. They need standardized, repeatable processes, and a framework for IT governance.

To address all these concerns in a consistent manner, organizations need an Enterprise DevOps Platform that serves as a single source of truth, providing a consistent view derived from the same data on all levels.

The right tool will lift DevOps out of the exclusive domain of Dev and Ops and place into the rest of the organization.

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From Pipeline Code to Audit Report: The Modes of Enterprise DevOps

With so many tools and people involved in the release process, teams need automated ways to manage their complete DevOps toolchain and promote applications through the release pipeline––one that provides visibility and access to users of all types. Application Release Orchestration (ARO) takes on the job of bringing all the pieces together.

An ARO solution distills information about the software delivery process to provide organizations with a robust platform for automation, collaboration, and tool integration, while also supporting security and compliance needs.

Each role in the organization needs to be able to interact with the Feature Delivery Pipeline in the way that’s most effective for them. Therefore, any enterprise DevOps solution should provide multiple ways you can interact with it. We call this “Your-mode DevOps.”

To accommodate all roles in the organization, an Enterprise DevOps Platform must support the following ways to view and manage the delivery pipeline:

DevOps as Code: Defines environments, packages, and pipelines as code, and allows each to be applied using command-line utilities to operate and automate the process.

Graphical UX: Enables the DevOps pipeline to be modeled and tracked in a graphical way that provides insight into current pipeline statuses and troubleshooting activities; offers high level overviews.

Notification and Monitoring: Provides proactive push notifications regarding release status and risk. Connects the DevOps pipeline to monitoring tools to provide runtime information.

APIs: Defines environments, packages, pipelines, and connections with other tools through APIs to operate and automate the process.

Reporting: Provides high-level overviews of compliance and security reports, audit reports, delivery process trends, and so on. Dashboards and reports should be customizable, so teams can see the most important information for them.

Your Mode DevOps allows different people to use our platform the way that’s most suitable for their job. Teams who care about the product––no matter what their role––can use the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform in the way that works best for them.

Here’s a matrix that describes how different roles are most likely to use these various facets of the DevOps process.

DevOps as Code Graphical UX Notification & Monitoring APIs Reporting
DevOps Pioneers
DevOps Crowd
Release Manager
Product Manager
Executive level
Security Officer
Developer
Internal Auditor
Compliance Manager
SRE

How the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform Supports the Modes of Enterprise DevOps

It pays to select an ARO platform that integrates all these facets, since the needs of each person in the delivery pipeline will only increase as organizations continue to scale, and an ad-hoc solution will not only be lacking in some areas but will also require developer time to create and maintain.

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform is recognized by top industry analysts as a leading Application Release Orchestration solution, providing release orchestration, deployment automation and DevOps Intelligence for enterprise software delivery pipelines. It brings everyone into the software delivery process through:

  • Robust APIs to instrument the delivery pipeline from a code-centric perspective.
  • An easy-to-use graphical user interface that brings both insight into and control over the details of the pipeline.
  • Monitoring that gives everyone visibility into the end-to-end software delivery process.
  • In-depth reporting, analytics and intelligence across the software value stream.
  • Try the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform for free.

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Hes Siemelink

About the Author ()

Hes Siemelink is a Senior Product Architect at XebiaLabs. Hes is the original development and product manager for XL Release, the release orchestration component of the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform.