Along with cloud, we're getting more DevOps and IT self-service

Survey of more than 1,000 enterprises finds widespread embrace of developer-operations team alliances, driven by cloud.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

The cloud computing boom is fueling an unprecedented level of interest in DevOps -- to the point that close to two-thirds of organizations have now adopted this practice.

That’s the word from RightScale, Inc. which just released a survey of 1,068 IT managers and professionals, exploring the impact of cloud computing on IT operations and practices. Along with greater adoption of DevOps, there's a parallel movement to self-service IT, that long-sought-after holy grail of user-centric computing.

Overall, the survey found that when it comes to cloud, everybody's doing it. Ninety-four percent, in fact say their organizations surveyed are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service, and 87 percent of organizations are using public cloud. These numbers are much higher than most I've seen (typically in the 30 percent to 50 percent range), and may incorporate those people running pilots or merely noodling around with cloud services at this point.

But, gray areas aside, the survey also caught a rising interest in new ways of managing IT. Along with the rise of cloud, there's been a concurrent rise in DevOps, which brings developers in synch with operations teams.  DevOps is now practiced at 62 percent of organizations, up from 54 percent in a similar survey conducted in 2013.

DevOps is a key strategy, since it is a merging of the brainpower of developers, who tend to prefer to work in free-form style, with that of operations people, who like to stick with schedules and routines. With cloud on the scene, every developer essentially becomes a data center operator, and every piece of software needs to run on a 24x7 basis. Plus, release schedules have become insanely accelerated to the point where one release follows the other in rapid order.

In addition, the survey's authors note, penetration of DevOps practices grows as companies increase their cloud maturity. Seventy-six percent of respondents at "Cloud-Focused" companies (heavy users) are adopting DevOps, as opposed to 57 percent of "Cloud Watchers" (those keeping an arm's length from cloud, at least for now).

The favored tools in the DevOps space are Chef and Puppet, the survey also finds. These configuration management tools play a key role in DevOps, as it enables them to standardize and automate deployment and configuration of servers and applications. At this point, more respondents use Chef (26 percent) than Puppet (21 percent).

The path to cloud also leads to IT self-service as well. Enterprises that have been working with cloud for some time are more likely to have a self-service portal for cloud services and enable fast provisioning of cloud resources, the survey finds. Sixty-eight percent of Cloud Focused organizations provide self-service access to cloud services, and 71 percent of those can provision cloud instances in under an hour, the RightScale report says.

(Thumbnail photo: HubSpot.)

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