What is DevOps?



On the theme of buzz words. Here's another one that's been around for a little while. No one seems to be able to explain what the hell this is. This is becoming almost as bad as "Agile", lost of people are using this term but little seem to be able to explain what the heck it is.

Development and Operations

Traditionally when developing applications in a organisation there are usually two separate groups of people. You have the developers, these include programmers, testers, etc. Their job is to build and test applications and/or features. You also have the operations guys these include job roles like system admins, DBAs etc. Their job is to ensure once applications are running in a live production environment and serving customers that the applications don't go down and if they do to recover as quickly as possible. 

There has always been a massive divide between the developers and operations staff. Developers want to push changes out as quickly as possible to deliver associated benefits to the end customer. Operations staff want to minimise the risk of down time associated with implementing changes by reducing the number of changes and deploying updates in rolled up bigger chunks. These updates, once done, are flung over a wall by developers for the operations guys to deploy and support in a production environment.

Both groups of people have separate processes and don't really understand what the other does with any great level of detail. The transition from development to operations for changes isn't very smooth either and most often involves manual steps.

Definition of DevOps

"DevOps is the practise of the developers and operations staff working together collaboratively in the entire service life cycle from service design, service transition to service operation."

This is a fundamental change. DevOps teams need individuals who buy into the philosophy and principals, understand the entire service life-cycle and are familiar with the the tools that support DevOps. So it can't just be the same bunch of Developers and Operations staff put into one big fancy new team and expected to just perform.