A lot of incorrect assumptions are often linked to DevOps. While some organisations understand the term to mean the collaboration between development and operations departments. DevOps is, in truth, much broader and really refers to a methodology which, when put into practice with the right technology, can help organisations perform better.
Out of these misunderstandings several common myths have been created. Acceptance of these myths misleads business further.
Here are some of the most common myths and the facts that debunk them.
Myth 1: DevOps needs agile.
Although DevOps and agile are terms frequently used together, they are a long way away from being synonymous with one another. Agile development refers to a method of software delivery that builds software incrementally, whereas DevOps refers not only to a method of delivery but to a culture, which when adopted, results in many business benefits, including faster software delivery.
DevOps processes can help to compliment agile development, but it is not reliant on agile and can support a range of operation models such as
- Waterfall – where build processes can be optimised and accelerated, and automation can be implemented.
- Agile – where heightened communication between development and operations increases end-product quality.
- Hybrid approach – where speed, quality and compliance are all increased.
For optimum results, full adoption of the DevOps philosophy is necessary.
Myth 2: DevOps can’t work with legacy.
DevOps is often regarded as a modern concept that helps forward-thinking businesses innovate. Although this is true, it can also help those organisations with long-established, standard IT practices. In fact, with legacy applications there are usually big advantages to DevOps adoption.
Managing legacy care and bringing new software to market quickly; blending stability and agility, is a frequently encountered problem in this new era of digital transformation. Bi-modal IT is an approach where Mode 1 refers to legacy systems focussed on stability, and Mode 2 refers to agile IT focussed on rapid application delivery. DevOps principles are often included exclusively within Mode 2, but automation and collaboration can also be used with success within Mode 1 to increase delivery speed whilst ensuring stability.
Myth 3: DevOps is only for continuous delivery.
DevOps doesn’t (necessarily) imply continuous delivery. The aim of a DevOps culture is to increase the delivery frequency of an organisation, often from quarterly/monthly to daily releases or more, and improve their ability to respond to changes in the market.
While continuous delivery relies heavily on automation and is aimed at agile and lean thinking organisations, unlike DevOps it is not reliant on a shared culture which enhances collaboration. Gartner summed up the distinction with a report that stated that: “DevOps is not a market, but a tool-centric philosophy that supports a continuous delivery value chain.”
Myth 4: DevOps requires new tools.
As with the implementation of any new concept or idea, a common misconception about DevOps adoption is that new toolsets, and skills are required. Though the provision of appropriate and relevant tools can aid adoption, organisations are by no means required to replace tools and processes they use to produce software.
DevOps enables organisations to deliver new capabilities more easily, and bring new software into production more rapidly in order to respond to market changes. It is not strictly reliant on new tools to get this job done.
Myth 5: DevOps is a skill.
The rapid growth of the DevOps movement has resulted in huge demand for professionals who are skilled within the methodology. However, this fact is often misconstrued to suggest that DevOps is itself a skill – this is not the case.
DevOps is a culture – one that needs to be fully adopted throughout an entire organisation for optimum results, and one that is best supported with appropriate and relevant tools.
Myth 6: DevOps is software.
Understanding that DevOps adoption can be better facilitated with software is important, however, maybe more so is understanding that they are not one and the same. Although it is true that there is a significant amount of DevOps software available on the market today, purchasing a specific ad-hoc DevOps product, or even suite of products, will not make your business 'DevOps'.
The DevOps methodology is the communication, collaboration and automation of your development and operations functions, and as described above, is required to be adopted by an entire organisation to achieve optimum results. The software and tools available will undoubtedly reduce the strain of adoption on your business but conscious adoption is required for your business to fully reach the potential that DevOps offers.
Like any new and popular term, people have somewhat confused and sometimes contradictory or partial impressions of what DevOps is and how it works.
DevOps is a philosophy which enables businesses to automate their processes and work more collaboratively to achieve a common goal and deliver software more rapidly.