Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Understanding DevOps | @DevOpsSummit @IBMDevOps #DevOps

DevOps is a set of principles & practices that enables an organization to make their delivery of applications ‘lean’ & efficient

October 28, 2014

A simple description of DevOps is such:

‘An approach to Application Delivery that applies Lean principles to accelerate feedback and improve time to market’

What does this mean? In a nutshell it implies that DevOps is a set of principles and practices that enables an organization to make their delivery of applications ‘lean’ and efficient, while leveraging feedback from customers and users to continuous improve.

What do you ‘continuously improve’? Three things:

  1. The application being delivered
  2. The Environment of the application being delivered
  3. The process by which the application (and its environment) is delivered

The ‘continuous improvement’ of the application and it environment comes from the feedback mechanism. As the application is continuously delivered, customers or customer surrogates (if the new feature delivered cannot be made available to the customer) can use the application delivered and provide feedback on the application’s functionality and behavior. This feedback can be used to improve both the application itself and also the environment it is delivered on, in the next iteration. The application’s features can enhance, added to or removed, based on the feedback. The Environment can be enhanced or re-configured if is not enabling the application to perform as expected or unable to deliver the performance Service Level Agreements (SLAs) agreed upon.

The third area of improvement – that of improving the process of delivering the application is where the crux of DevOps lies. How does one continuous make the process of delivering the application more lean and efficient – continuously improve it.

Looking at delivery processes to continuously improve them is not a new approach. Lean Manufacturing and the Japanese manufacturing approach called Kaizen have been applied to improving factory processes for decades. DevOps is now taking these Lean approaches and applying them to Application Delivery. Agile development practices applied some of these principles to development and testing. DevOps applies them to end-to-end application delivery – from ideation to production.

Continuous Improvement – where to begin?

To begin applying lean principles to application delivery processes one first needs to identify where the ‘fat’ is that can be reduced or completely eliminated. Lean thinking leverages a technique known as ‘Value Stream Mapping’ to identify these areas of ‘fat’ or inefficiencies. While one can carry out an extensive ‘Value Stream Mapping’ exercise to analyze one’s application delivery processes in detail over a multi-week engagement with experts in the space, a simple and quick approach is to take some time to map your delivery pipeline and look for ‘bottlenecks’ in how the delivery pipeline operates. New requirements, enhancement requests and bugs to be fixed go in from one end of the delivery pipeline. Code running in production comes out from the other end. How efficiently does this pipeline operate? What bottlenecks are there which can be eliminated or at least minimized? Where is the ‘waste’ that can be reduced?

This value stream mapping identifies bottlenecks in the delivery pipeline. These bottlenecks are typically just symptoms of underlying ‘fat’ in the system. They need to be analyzed to identify root causes of the inefficiencies. This list of root causes then need to be prioritized and the top three to five identified to develop a mitigation plan. DevOps capabilities can now be applied to address them. An adoption roadmap to adopt these capabilities and the associated practices can now be developed and put in motion.

It's Continuous:

The key word in this all is ‘continuous’.

Adopting DevOps is not a step, but a journey of continuously ‘deploying improvement’ and continuously improving ones practices and culture.

Learn more:
Describing how to map out your delivery pipeline:


Check out this video of me doing a ‘mock’ value stream mapping:


Related Posts:

Understanding DevOps:

Adopting DevOps:


More Stories By Sanjeev Sharma

Sanjeev is a 20-year veteran of the software industry. For the past 18 years he has been a solution architect with Rational Software, an IBM brand. His areas of expertise include DevOps, Mobile Development and UX, Lean and Agile Transformation, Application Lifecycle Management and Software Supply Chains. He is a DevOps Thought Leader at IBM and currently leads IBM’s Worldwide Technical Sales team for DevOps. He speaks regularly at conferences and has written several papers. He is also the author of the DevOps For Dummies book.

Sanjeev has an Electrical Engineering degree from The National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, India and a Masters in Computer Science from Villanova University, United States. He is passionate about his family, travel, reading, Science Fiction movies and Airline Miles. He blogs about DevOps at http://bit.ly/sdarchitect and tweets as @sd_architect

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We view the cloud not as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), held June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...