back to article You may not know it, but you've already arrived at DevOps Land

After roughly a decade of DevOps hype, surely we’ve arrived at that blessed time when developer lions lie down with operations lambs in peace…? Err, not so much. Despite larger enterprises striving mightily to become more Agile (with a capital “A”), most organisations still don’t deliver on the DevOps dream, and won’t for some …

  1. David Roberts

    DevOps washing.

    Good article. Very true.

    Once DevOps became trendy everyone wanted to be seen to be doing it.

    Cue stand ups and scrums added to same old same old.






    Oh, and developers and operations staff working together? Who would have thought it would have taken so long to come up with the concept?

    Those old guys who pretended to invent computing must have been pretty dumb, huh?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once DevOps became trendy everyone wanted to be seen to be doing it.

    And writing about it, and selling expensive tickets for conferences about it.. until the next fad kicks in.

  3. Jim 59

    “DevOps was the inevitable outcome of building and operating the sites that became the web's giants.” As [Shafer] notes, once a website involves “thousands of computers distributed world-wide, you can't just log in and do an upgrade. You can't give a few commands and reload the site. At this scale, automation isn't an option. It's a requirement.”

    All customers are not alike. True, a large PaaS or SaaS company might run with an infrastructure like the above. Downtime is somewhat acceptable, and comprehended in SLAs. But what about an air traffic control system, for example, or the CAD systems of an IC manufacturer, or the control systems for a power station, or a trading floor computer, a payroll system, and so on and so on? They all have different characteristics and priorities. Or more accurately: the same priorities, but in a different order.

    Isn't Devops most popular in environemnts where there is, in fact, a limited amount of ops ? Your 1000 SaaS web servers might be crawling with devs who release a new SW version every 2 weeks. Smashing! But meanwhile, in air traffic control, they take a slightly different attitude. And the CAD lads are only bothered about backups and speed, while the bankers obsess about security and compliance. The power station manager thinks your ansible-playbook is gorgeous, as long as it doesn't black-out Surrey.

    Is the Devops crowd just a little bit parochial?

    1. HPCJohn

      Black- out Surrey?

      "Well Hello Dolly! Hello Dolly!" "Mammy- how I love you! How I love you! Mammy"

      Oh - not that sort of black-out. Ahem. As you were....

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    In the words of 'the Who'

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Won't get fooled again (who are you kidding)

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    DevOps, Serverless, ODFO

    Allow me to "get off my lawn" on this subject, again.

    I cannot stand this almost condescending attitude that consists in saying that DevOps is the only way to go and Cloud is the only future.

    Cloud means Internet means bandwidth and availability limitations. Only big companies can budget failover Internet connections from different providers, and I'm not sure they all do that. In addition, SLAs are all very nice, but the Cloud is still regularly kicking the bucket at this point and I'm pretty sure companies are not okay with paying hundreds of employees to twiddle their thumbs until someone else resolves the issues.

    As for serverless, for Christ's sake please stop trying to make us believe that our data is secure in the Cloud. At this point in time, it is most certainly not. I will believe in serverless when you have the ability to assign your own keys of whatever length you decide you need, and all data is encrypted from start to finish and nothing is left unencrypted outside your premises.

    Show me a cloud vendor that can work with that and we only have availability and backups to discuss. Until then, I simply do not agree with Cloud for anything resembling confidential data.

    Of course, small companies will look at their budget and think "Cloud will cost me less", which is likely true right until Cloud wipes their data and can't get it back, but hey, small companies, eh ? What can you do ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DevOps, Serverless, ODFO

      Well, data may not indeed be any more secure on premises, but at least you know who to blame for failures, and have some oversight over what controls are in place or are, indeed, absent.

      The cloud mantra of "all your data belongs to <insert provider of choice>" brings a nice complexity of other people's admins, network providers, advertisers, ISP's etc that you have no genuine visibility or oversight of.

      On the other hand, "Agile" seems to be assumed to be able to engineer complex changes faster by avoiding the reality of any kind of documentation, skill shortages, parallel & conflicting changes, or indeed success criteria. Doing "stuff" is better than having an agreed outcome.

      Devops, particularly if it is to be treated as a source of innovation rather than a cost sink, needs a corporate culture change by the hand-made suits, not just by the server & software wranglers. If you magic away all the infrastructure constraints, you are left with a hefty load of integration, security, change management, and other boring stuff that stops you sinking your organisation into oblivion, just the stuff that the suits think is in the way.

      Devops biggest issue is that it is seen as solving a different problem to its intent. Infrastructure wrangling, which in my experience needs attention far less than managing unrealistic expectations of service design and delivery which no infrastructure could deliver.

    2. Mark 110

      Re: DevOps, Serverless, ODFO

      "I cannot stand this almost condescending attitude that consists in saying that DevOps is the only way to go"

      I have pointed this out before. If you go on a DevOps course they actually make a point of saying that its definitely not the only way to go and is really not appropriate in certain environments.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: "I have pointed this out before"

        I'm glad you have. You might want to point it out to the author of the article, because he's apparently not got the message since he writes : "Getting to full adoption, however, is tricky.".

      2. hititzombisi

        Re: DevOps, Serverless, ODFO

        just try to explain that to the PHB...

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: DevOps, Serverless, ODFO

      > [...] the Cloud is still regularly kicking the bucket at this point and I'm pretty sure companies are not okay with paying hundreds of employees to twiddle their thumbs [...]

      I think that's the real point of Cloud: re-create problems that had already been solved. And then we'll need a new solution to all these old problems that were re-created by Cloud. I guess that's where DevOps kicks in. I'm fuzzy on the details, though.

      Installed Puppet: Nope. No intention either.

      Visited waterfall: Nope, not at work. On vacation, yes.

      Fear me. I am the Cloud Resistance. I'm just not that into making all my credit card numbers world-readable.

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: DevOps, Serverless, ODFO

      I mentally translate 'Cloud' as 'Someone Else's Servers'.

      While I wouldn't use it for internal business stuff (except maybe email), it does have it's uses for websites and other public facing infrastructure because that side-steps the two problems of connectivity and confidentiality.

  6. John Miles

    It all sounds

    very like what we were doing back last century - before management started looking at doing it "properly"

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: It all sounds

      It can't have had enough buzzwords back then. It was never going to work without the right number of buzzwords. And position papers.

  7. Robert D Bank

    cultural exchange?

    I'm old enough to remember when DevOps ACTUALLY existed, when a Dev programmer would come around to Operations at early design stage and actually talk over their proposal and explain the customers requirements. Very quickly a consensus and understanding would be reached to provide the optimal outcome, perhaps talking to the customer again to ensure their expectations are suitably met. And no management would be anywhere near it most of the time. They would be there to defend and support you for the decisions taken using your experience and skills in each relative area, and otherwise leave you to it. Because you'd all been a part of this you would own it and make every effort to ensure it was a success, and then celebrate it together. This is what DevOps really is, and it did exist up until perhaps the mid 80's.

    From around the mid 80's the world changed. It became the world according to bean counters. And as things have scaled up it has been ripe pickings for the ladder climbers to create all their little fiefdoms and shutdown open communication, collaboration, innovation, risk taking, ownership. Finally, perhaps they realise that these were things of value. But, they they want to try and bring this back packaged as 'Agile' or 'DevOps' with no effort or understanding of how to get there. The newer recruits have never experienced the wonders of actual, real DevOps so cannot really understand it. For all the wonders of communication tools etc today it is still an almost impossible task to bring together people across hugely different geographic and cultural divides to create true DevOps. All they'll do is meet via some 'tool' and 'process' foisted on them and which they have to slavishly follow. Great.

  8. FozzyBear

    Yep the more they try to change things, the more they stay the same.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. jake Silver badge

      Except ...

      ... these days, management and marketing are making engineering decisions. Anybody who doesn't understand why this is a problem hasn't thought it through fully.

  9. DCFusor

    If you have to sell it this hard...

    It must suck. If you have to redefine what I was already doing - for decades as pointed out above - as your fad, then that kinda shoots your idea being innovative as BS too, eh? Is selling tickets to devops conferences so profitable as to have practically taken over the Reg editors judgement?

    I mean, if you've got an idea, and it's a good one and it works, gives you a competitive'd mostly be trying to protect your IP?

    If an idea is no good, yet benefits the pusher in some way, then it gets sold hard. If people like your message you don't have to shove it down their throats (a concept it would do most religions to grasp too).

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