DevOps is about two big worlds coming together, yadda yadda yadda. Now you’re deploying new code every day, right? Not quite. Just as in Seinfeld, when George’s girlfriend “yadda yadda’d” shoplifting, those are some very big yaddas.
Last month, we covered one of those yaddas when we discussed configuration-management systems, such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, CFEngine and Salt. Those tools enable developers and systems operators to deploy fresh code on fresh systems in an automated fashion, it’s true. But the usage of those configuration and deployment-management systems covers only one of those three yaddas.
The other two are closely inter-related, and much more managerially driven. One yadda would be agile processes, taken to their logical extremes and including the operations side of the puzzle every step of the way.
The other yadda, as it were, would be unifying the actual medium through which these processes are expressed. While developers might keep their workloads and tasks in JIRA, Rational or Perforce, the operations side of the house might stash its tasks within Zendesk, ServiceNow, Zoho, Spiceworks, or any of a dozen other systems.
And yet, both of these worlds essentially run the same type of software to accomplish the same types of tasks, right? It’s like the episode of “Seinfeld” where Elaine discovers a whole other group of friends that mirrored Jerry and the gang: Bizarro Jerry. Bizarro development team has a coffee shop, too! But do these two parallel gathering places have the same menu? Can they both make a Big Salad?
Despite the fact that both of these virtual coffee shops perform the same basic functions, they’re not exactly the same. And even more importantly, it’s quite difficult to gather everyone up into a single virtual coffee shop. Just as you can’t replace a developer with a sys admin, you can’t replace Superman with Bizarro Superman, nor Kramer with Bizarro Kramer. So, too, can you not replace Perforce with ServiceNow, and vice versa. We’re all much more comfortable in their own universes.
In fact, best practices would advocate that teams build bridges between existing systems, rather than provide one collaborative platform to share.
Kurt Bittner, principal analyst for application development and delivery at Forrester Research, said that “It’s becoming more common to see these tools tied together. You can’t manage the life cycle without a common way to view the work. There isn’t one tool to rule them all, but this heterogeneous tool environment is being spanned by tools like Tasktop, CollabNet and the like.”