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A Happy DevOps New Year?


Hallway of storage unit doorFirst of all, a belated Happy New Year and welcome to 2015!!


The first month of our Western calendar, January, Janvier, Januar, Enero or Gennaio, derives its name, in many languages from the Roman god, Janus. At school I was told Janus had two faces representing maturity and youth – much like today’s constantly changing IT function. Wikipedia states Janus represents ’beginnings and transitions’ evoking strong parallels to the topic of my last blog, DevOps.


The two faces of Janus looking in opposite directions struck me as a perfect metaphor for the “Old style of IT”, with Development and Operations teams looking in opposite directions.


In recent years, much has been written on DevOps and myriad companies have emerged claiming DevOps “solutions”. So why might January 2015 herald the start of “DevOps Year”? For me, it’s driven by the dual imperatives of digital business and time to market. DevOps is a convenient shorthand for the broader pressures to move to Continuous Delivery.


To date, many so-called DevOps solutions have created links only across narrow, adjacent segments of the IT Value Chain which form the interface between Development and Operations. Whilst important, in doing so, they simply move the problem either upstream or downstream, failing to address the wider challenges of Continuous Delivery.


HP approaches DevOps in the broader context of a journey to Continuous Delivery. This can only happen by building an integrated IT Value Chain and implementing the professional tools to automate it. Back to the description of Janus who represents “beginnings and transitions, and thereby gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings”. For me;


  • Passages are analogous to the process steps that are the most obvious candidates for automation
  • Gates are the essential control points still required in any multi-step process
  • Doors and Doorways bring to mind the hand-off points between process steps

Recent analyst research shared at HP Discover suggested the latency resulting from these manual hand-offs could account for as much as two thirds of the end-to-end process time. Designing a well -defined process chain and specifying the tools to eliminate these process hot spots or high latency hand-offs through automation is THE essence of DevOps.


This is the journey to Continuous Delivery which has kept us busy at HP Software for the past seven years. Through acquisition and in-house development we built an unmatched portfolio and a process blueprint which allows our customers to manage and automate end to end IT value delivery.


The beauty of our solution is we do not force customers into a ‘Lock in’ situation. Each IT team chooses the technology they want to use to build their applications, while we provide the tools to make sure their IT processes are under control and optimized. This ensures the application is delivered, validated and secured to run in any environment (cloud, hybrid or traditional datacenter).


The choice is even greater because our tools are available as a service (HP ALM, Fortify, Performance Center and StormRunner, Service Anywhere, Agile Manager). They also integrate with HP, open source, and third-party tools such as Jenkins, Helion Public Cloud, Docker, VMware vCenter, AWS and more -- and they leverage open APIs for custom integration.


So, like Janus, IT’s challenge in 2015 is bi-directional visibility. Our Dev and Ops teams sharing a common line of sight, not just an upstream or downstream view. It’s also about finding those doors and doorways which cause the greatest choke points between our passages of automation, while steering well clear of potential blind alleys.


Architecting for Continuous Delivery may sound like revolutionary change. Our experience shows it is best approached as an evolution or a journey. So as we start the year, this is where HP can staying focused on delivering innovative, high quality services at velocity to the business.


To find out more about HP’s integrated approach (people, process, technology, change management) and how to evolve your DevOps DNA, post a response below and I’d be delighted to set up an informal discussion at one of our upcoming DevOps Road Shows.

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About the Author


Rafael Brugnini (Rafa) joined HP in 1996 and has more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in the IT industry. He lives in Madrid with family, and in his spare time he enjoys windsurfing.

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