DevOps is fast becoming a way for solution providers to distinguish themselves in an era when clients need to more quickly build and change infrastructures and applications to remain competitive.
That’s the word from Alex Brown, CEO at 10th Magnitude, a Chicago-based born-in-the-cloud solution provider offering Azure-related services and DevOps capabilities. Brown told peers at last week’s NexGen Cloud Conference and Expo about the opportunities DevOps brings and how to get started.
Brown defined DevOps as adjusting the software development and deployment process while changing a company’s organization to break down many of the silos that have sprung up in different groups or departments.
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“DevOps is all about speed and agility … It’s all about software and infrastructure, how you get it deployed faster,” he said.
DevOps is a huge opportunity for channel partners, with an estimated $2.3 billion spent on DevOps tools in 2015, Brown said.
Brown broke the tools into six different types: infrastructure automation tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and Terraform; public cloud platforms including Azure, AWS, and Google, CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous deployment) tools like Atlassian and Jenkins; application development tools including Git, Visual Studio, and Xamarin; collaboration tools including Slack and HipChat; and monitoring and remediation tools like New Relic, Splunk, and Stackify.
Solution providers who bring DevOps skills to their clients can take part in a large and growing market; they can help bring transformational benefits to customers and use it as a way to open the door for other services, Brown said. The average engagement size is over $40,000, he said.
Brown said he sees three pillars of change management that stem from bringing DevOps to clients: infrastructure automation to treat infrastructure as code and create versioned, repeatable environments; CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous development) to provide small, frequent changes; and monitoring and auto-remediation to ensure applications and servers perform as expected while scaling automatically.
“This is our approach,” he said. “But you may have a slightly different set of pillars. But you need to describe them clearly. If you can’t, you will have difficulty talking with customers.”
Brown said there are five big indicators, or what he called “flashing red lights” that help solution providers know when DevOps is the right way to approach a customer.