Guest Blog: Unnatural DevOps Delivers Super-Natural Results

Automation is a big component in providing IT as a service. Trace3, a Chef partner since 2013, empowers organizations to keep pace with the rapidly changing IT landscape by leveraging innovative technologies, like Chef, allowing companies to leverage Continuous Automation and ensure a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.

DevSecOps is not necessarily a “natural” process. Asking people to function outside of their comfort zones and prescribed roles is a challenging task for any organization, and requires a shift in organizational behavior. Here at Trace3 we believe that while DevOps is not natural, a supernatural result is achievable with the right cultural transformation supported by good tools that drive collaboration and automated flow between people and tools in the application delivery workflow.

Implementing DevOps

To quote from Michael Schmidt’s article, Ten ways DevOps will benefit your IT department, “When implemented properly, DevOps can transform your software engineering process and create value for both employees and customers, producing business performance and value.” These are huge “supernatural” benefits that every business would like to achieve.

Implementing DevOps properly can be challenging. DevOps depends on collaboration, smooth process flow from conception through deployment, and feedback between people, processes and technologies. It’s more natural for people and departments to hoard information and centralize control, traits which are contrary to DevOps best practices. People tend to trust their own abilities and are skeptical when they need to trust dependencies on others. In some organizations, people view competition with others as a means to personal advancement. Compounding this, organizations often manage, measure and reward success at the silo level, instead of recognizing a successful delivery as a result of successful execution across the end-to-end DevOps value stream.

Breaking down silos

Breaking down silos through transparency and the free exchange of information helps organizations implement the unnatural DevOps processes needed to achieve supernatural results. Fortunately, the transformation is assisted with technology. For example, Continuous Automation tools like Chef Automate liberate sharing of infrastructure, application and compliance information. Pauly Comtois, Hearst’s Vice President of DevOps, describes the role of strong tooling in successful DevOps transformations in his article Enterprise DevOps at Hearst Digital Media.

“Tools can be an incredible asset in this regard. We deploy Chef across multiple teams in the value stream, automating the deployment, configuration and state of environments in Dev, QA and Production.”

In scenarios such as the Hearst example above, tools support integrated and automated processes for builds, configuration, infrastructure and deployment management. Information managed by Chef Automate is available for DevOps uses by providing a single “public yet controlled” source of truth for configuration data useful by all processes and tools in the toolchain across the end-to-end pipeline. People that were concerned and hoarding configuration data can trust that the tools will keep the information secure, reliable and available on demand as readily accessible code.

Tools to support a DevOps culture

What’s more, Trace3 believes Continuous Automation platforms such as Chef Automate can enable powerful scenarios such as Compliance as Code. This combination of cultural and tooling changes allow us to partner with our customers to successfully break down silos and achieve positive DevOps results in organizations. Moving beyond the natural behavior of organizations and individuals is difficult, but success can create supernatural results for long term growth and team effectiveness.

Learn More

The following tracks on Learn Chef Rally will help you learn the skills you need to get started with DevOps and Continuous Automation with Chef Automate.

DevOps Transformation

Digest the cultural and technological changes that need to happen to mix DevOps principles into your organization. Begin your own DevOps journey through videos, case studies, and exercises to evaluate your progress.

Try Chef Automate

Get Chef Automate up and running on your desktop in just minutes. Scan a few systems for compliance and see whether they adhere to the recommended guidelines.

Marc Hornbeek

Marc Hornbeek, is a Principal Consultant of the Total DevOps practice at Trace3. Marc is a DevOps thought leader, consultant, speaker, course author for the DevOps Institute and blogger on Marc’s 39 years’ experience includes leadership and technical roles at Trace3, Bell-Northern Research, Tekelec, ECI Telecom, GSI Lumonics, Vpacket. EdenTree Technologies, and Spirent Communications. He was awarded 2016 IEEE “Outstanding Engineer of the Year – Western USA” for contributions to the field of automation applied to development and testing of networks, systems, protocols, labs and DevOps.