I recently sat down with Vadym Fedorov, a Solutions Architect from SoftServe to discuss DevOps. Fedorov specialises in Enterprise Technologies, Cloud Solutions and DevOps. As a Solution Architect Fedorov manages the full software development life cycle, including application design, performance analysis, code optimisation, re-design and platform migration, requirements analysis, usage and development of design patterns and infrastructure planning. 

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Fedorov is certified by major technology providers including Cloudera (Hadoop), Microsoft and Cisco, so he is more than qualified to help me (and you!) understand DevOps.

Q. DevOps seems to be a buzzword – why should we care?

In the not too distant past enterprises had a small number of servers, and it was standard for one system administrator to manage up to 30-40 servers. Today, organisations have hundreds of servers, and their infrastructure has also changed.

find out how “DevOps” was born

Whereas in the past the deployment of infrastructure was linked to the manual deployment of hardware and software, most Operations and Infrastructure teams now work with a cloud infrastructure provider that offers programming access for infrastructure management. As a result, System Administrators had to start programming or Programmers had to start thinking about infrastructure in order to automate the provisioning and management of infrastructure – and “DevOps” was born.

It lends itself to customer facing software: an app, a website, firmware updates, but that software customer could equally be internal: helping a business try new technologies or drive continuous improvements.

It’s also enabled by advances in technology. The Increased automation of infrastructure combined with collaboration tools can make it possible for everyone in a team to work together in an agile approach, accelerating software delivery like developer teams have with their coding for many years.

Q. You mentioned automation, what role does it play in DevOps?

Automation is the backbone of cloud services, helping providers offer customers powerful control panels and hugely flexible and dynamic configurations.

Cloud providers are opening up these automation layers through additional services and APIs and this means companies are able to stage, test and deploy new software automatically from continuous delivery tools which orchestrate the software pipeline.

This level of automation is typically harder with on-premise servers, networking and storage that aren’t built for the software defined era.

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Q. What opportunities does cloud offer?

For startups, it is a highly cost effective and lean infrastructure to take an idea from concept to a public beta or trial. For example, we helped user experience optimisation expert Yottaa employ agile development on Amazon Web Services to deliver its operation Intelligence platform into production.

Larger companies can leverage the same infrastructure for R&D, or production applications where multi-tenant hardware suits their needs.

As long as your application has a distributed design from the outset, it can scale up on a flexible IaaS as needed to fulfil demand without crippling CAPEX.