The globe was gripped with World Cup fever this past summer. But more impressive to me was the monumental shift in the talent and performance of the US National Team. Since we hosted the World Cup in 1994, our team has matured from a ragtag group to one that can compete against top talent. There are three main drivers for this change: an inspiring leader, players in the right network and performance measurement.
Last year, Rackspace noticed a shift in the market – a growing demand from customers for the ability to continuously deploy and efficiently expand their applications to keep up with their fast-growing business. In December 2013, we answered this call by launching the DevOps Automation Service, the industry’s first “DevOps-as-a-Service” offering.
Teamwork may seem like a given in many tech companies. After all, one department relies on another to build or deploy the software being delivered. Yet when strict boundaries exist between departments, such as those dividing Development and Operations, this teamwork is more like handing off a baton in a relay than legitimate collaboration. Any effort to become more agile will be difficult, if not impossible, when those boundaries remain in place.
One of the hot debates in the DevOps community right now what exactly DevOps is and whether it even needs a definition. Community member and vendor, ScriptRock, elegantly summarized it here; Skelton Thatcher built on that here; and DevOpsGuys’ Stephen Thair continued the conversation here.
Making the transition to DevOps practices requires more than just a flip of a switch. It takes stakeholder buy-in and often requires cultural and business practice transformations that impact the entire organization. DevOps isn’t a product; it’s a methodology, and adoption takes preparation and planning. Many companies are eager to get started with DevOps, but are looking for guidance on how and where to begin.
In May I was able to attend DevOps Days Austin and last week I attended O’Reilly’s Velocity in Santa Clara. Anyone that is involved with hosting technology has run into the phrase/word “DevOps.” Usually it results in a little head scratching and then questions around “what is DevOps?” Good question. The honest truth is that we (as in the larger technology industry “WE”) are still trying to figure that out. Both DevOps Days and Velocity dive into the tactical aspects of DevOps but I wanted to focus on the overall thought process of DevOps.
I recently attended the CIO Europe Summit, hosted by CDM Media. There was a first for me at this event: a CTO for a major global bank gave a 30-minute talk on DevOps to his peers. (In fact, he credited Rackspace’s awesome YouTube Video as a great starting point).