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Recent Research on DevOps and Web-scale IT

by Cameron Haight  |  March 17, 2015  |  1 Comment

Prior to my assuming coverage of APM, I had several notes in process on DevOps and Web-scale IT that needed completion (note: I am not giving these areas up entirely – I will still continue to write on them as time permits). Last week while I was out on Spring Break with the kids, they were published online for Gartner subscribers. Here’s a brief summary of each one for those without access:

Web-Scale IT Is Closer Than You Might Think: In this note, I took a look at 32 technologies, processes and concepts that help to undergird what I call Web-scale IT. Things like DevOps, Open Compute, Web-Oriented Architecture and others. The verdict? While little of it is “mature” in terms of enterprise adoption, enterprises seeking to become more like the Amazons, Facebooks and Googles of the world have many if not most of the means to do so – today. Of course, Web-scale IT takes more than technology, etc., it also (usually) requires a significant technical skills base although there are vendors in the market today that are trying to address this issue.

How to Scale DevOps Beyond the Pilot Stage: Several Gartner clients are beyond the DevOps pilot stage and now need guidance on how to further broaden the implementation of DevOps internally. In the note, I focus on four areas: tools, processes, organizational structure and “knowledge.” In Shakespeare’s play Henry VI is the line “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” With respect to processes, I initially considered recommending the doing away of many process managers. Fortunately, calmer heads prevailed because of course not all process managers focus on adding bureaucracy. For example, Facebook’s Chuck Rossi is a great example of a value-added release engineering director who looks for innovative ways to improve the business. Ultimately though, I still believe that process development needs to be at least partially the responsibility of everyone that it impacts.

Principles and Practices of DevOps: This is a formalized version of an earlier blogpost on the topic. I made several updates to the graphic, but I still view the concept in general as a continuing work-in-process. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted an easier way to tell people what DevOps was – beyond just a high level definition. I thought that if I showed all of the relevant agile and DevOps practices in some form of quasi-dependency framing, it might help to better assess what would be needed to achieve, say, continuous delivery. Also I wanted our clients to know that not every organization has to start (or end) in the same place with respect to their DevOps journey.

Now … on to more APM research.

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Cameron Haight
Research VP
10 years at Gartner
30 years IT industry

Cameron Haight is a research vice president in Gartner Research. His primary research focus is on the management of server virtualization and emerging cloud computing environments. Included in this effort is… Read Full Bio


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