Bridging the Gap Between DevOps and ITOps


DevOps as a concept hasn’t been around that long – it surfaced just a few years back as a result of agile application development teams needing high speed and flexible application operations, deeper application specific knowledge, and more responsive application support. Ultimately, application teams needed a way to make service delivery more agile and more reliable. Putting it into practice is an even more recent phenomenon, and as with any new product or service, it is looked at with uncertainty, scorn, or even fear by “the establishment.” (The establishment in this case being ITOps.)

What’s interesting about the DevOps/ITOps relationship is not so much the seemingly inevitable conflict poised to erupt at each and every service hiccup, but rather the friction that persists between two groups that are so aligned when it comes to service delivery and quality.

Building Cooperation Around Service Reliability

We examine this phenomenon in our recently released Zenoss ebook, “Conflict to Cooperation: Aligning ITOps and DevOps,” which goes into much further detail on why these organizations often find themselves at odds and why it is in the best interest of the business to get them working together toward common goals.

Service reliability is one of the most important shared goals. To ensure that services are available and operating at peak performance, you need to be able to understand what is happening with your service at any given moment – from an end-user perspective, application transaction perspective, and an infrastructure perspective. If you have both teams working at odds, how are you going to get there?

One of the areas where organizations can build common ground is through the use of common toolsets. When it comes to service reliability, Zenoss is particularly geared to providing this cross-organizational support because our platform was built for exactly that purpose – to create visibility across organizational silos, geographies, and even platform types. This is very important, because your ITOps and DevOps teams are most likely working with different tools and perspectives across a combination of traditional datacenter, a virtualized private cloud infrastructure, and cloud-based app platform resources.

Zenoss Bridges the Visibility Gap

Zenoss can give everyone a view of the current service reality from application/service down through the infrastructure, regardless of what organization the administrator is working in. Zenoss has the infrastructure covered – ITOps admins can see down to the component level what resources are available and which are at risk. DevOps application performance monitoring, or other specialized tools, can quickly be plugged into Zenoss via ZenPacks, allowing both ITOps and DevOps to view service reliability from a common interface. That provides data from the end-user view that complements the infrastructure view Zenoss provides directly.

Even if DevOps gets impatient with ITOps and goes directly to providers like AWS to set up their service infrastructure in the cloud for certain projects, what we like to refer to as “ShadowOps,” Zenoss can cover you there as well. It can provide monitoring of cloud resources in the same console as your ITOps infrastructure monitoring, allowing ITOps to maintain a measure of visibility even though the infrastructure isn’t deployed physically in their data center. This helps mitigates ShadowOps situations that introduce risk by skirting corporate requirements for business continuity, compliance, or security access.

Zenoss bridging organizational gaps by creating shared visibility isn’t a new concept – we’ve actually been at this before DevOps existed. DevOps just happens to be another area of your infrastructure where you can put our toolset to use. To learn more about how Zenoss can help, check out the ebook, “Conflict to Cooperation: Aligning ITOps and DevOps” ebook or any of the following resources:

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