Given how fast technology is changing, we thought it would be interesting to ask IT executives to share their thoughts on the biggest surprises in 2017 and their predictions for 2018.
Here's what they told us about the biggest surprises about DevOps. We'll cover predictions for 2018 in a couple of other articles.
Shashi Kiran, CMO, Quali
The biggest surprise in 2017 was the pace at which automation solutions are being adopted by enterprises and service providers alike in their IT and business practices. In this, what stood out was the elevation of testing automation and aspects of continuous testing as a key component of DevOps CI/CD practices.
Lucas Vogel, Founder, Endpoint Systems
The big event of 2017 has been the rise of containers to becoming the first-class citizen of deployments. It’s taken some time, but containers are an important part of an enterprise portfolio and are now here to stay. Equally surprising are the database vendors (Microsoft, Oracle) offering full support of their database platforms on container technology.
I'm a big fan of data-driven input and decisions, so I just checked Google Trends for 'DevOps' for the past 5 years. TL;DR -- "up and to the right". If this was an investment, the LPs would be extremely happy. On the flip side, the term "DevOps" continues to be used in too many situations and descriptors. For me, it's a cultural pattern grounded in "Collaboration, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing" (CAMS).
Lee Atchison, Senior Director Strategic Architecture, New Relic
DevOps and cloud are often discussed together. But in 2017, a realization that in order to truly build successful modern DevOps organizations requires a commitment to dynamic infrastructures, which typically means cloud-based infrastructures. There is now a realization that a successful DevOps process requires a dynamic cloud implementation. In addition, the reverse is also true. A successful migration from a traditional an on-premise environment to a cloud-based environment requires the adoption of a DevOps culture in your organization.
Justin Rodenbostel, Executive Director, SPR
The biggest surprise in 2017 is the interest in containerized solutions, now that more of the tools used to manage containers have commercial backing and support packages. Organizations are seeing the deployment of containerized solutions, often written in modern architectures based on microservices, as the key to getting the most value out of cloud deployments and meeting their business goals. The initial DevOps buzz has died down, and organizations are figuring out what works for them and what doesn’t – specifically where DevOps principles can be applied. Plus, organizations are adjusting to the idea of cross-functional teams working toward a common goal, and we see the friction that often exists between Dev and Ops rapidly fading.
Mark Levy, Director of Strategy, Micro Focus
I think 2017 will be known for the year that the J-Curve kicks in for many organizations implementing DevOps. Many have implemented a DevOps pilot and have seen success. Now they want to scale DevOps across the organization and the hard work begins. Continuous improvement is not linear. Organizations usually see quick wins with automation followed by the hard work of transforming to a culture of continuous improvement.
Derek Choy, CIO, Rainforest
CI-CD was hindered by bureaucracy in 2017. Despite the declared priority of continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) among technology decision makers at large enterprises, its adoption was slower than expected. Heads of Engineering became evangelists for its ability to automate difficult, labor-intensive processes, but deployment was not as pervasive as expected. Having said that, small businesses and organizations, known for being more nimble, were able to adopt CI/CD practices and were able to cut costs and save time in their software updates and releases.
Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President DevOps Product & Solutions Marketing for DevOps, CA Technologies
The intersection of DevOps and Cloud hasn’t received as much attention as it deserves. While they are both important technological and cultural shifts, little has been done to explore the link between the two. DevOps and Cloud have a powerful connection that organizations should consider more closely as they strive to deliver software faster and with better quality.
CA recently commissioned Freeform Dynamics to explore this topic. Interestingly, the research found that organizations with a high level of commitment to DevOps and Cloud saw an 81% increase in overall software delivery performance. The same organizations were able to deliver software 90% faster with a 69% increase in user experience.
During 2017, nearly two-thirds of all enterprise DevOps teams reported that QA is a persistent bottleneck in code delivery -- unacceptable in a digital marketplace where top performing organizations are looking to do multiple deployments daily – and customer expectations around experiences continue to grow daily.
Also, in 2017, enterprises significantly increased their adoption of newer technologies needed to fuel digital transformation and future-proof business. According to industry research, 71% of enterprises are analyzing data for Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives, while digital engagement has necessitated delivery across API-centric and microservice application architectures built upon cloud-based container platforms. As these technologies become pervasive, traditional IT structures and tooling cannot scale to support the massive increase in operational data while addressing the highly complex performance conditions modern distributed applications and IoT systems introduce.
David Millington, Product Manager, Embarcadero
DevOps are not replacing traditional database administration practices. Rather, large organizations are moving legacy, production databases to the cloud under the direction of database administrators (DBAs), while DevOps teams primarily focus on new application development and big data initiatives. Databases continue to play a strategic role in these environments as the foundation for modern IT operations.
Mark Bregman, SVP and CTO, NetApp
In our recent survey with IDC, we were surprised to learn that while digital transformation has had a profound impact on the industry, only 11 percent of organizations are aggressively using digital technologies to disrupt new markets. However, as the role of IT shifts from enhancing and streamlining process efficiencies to building customer relationships and delivering unique offerings, more organizations will be well positioned to achieve digital transformation.
Mark Pundsack, Head of Product, GitLab
The dominance of Kubernetes: Kubernetes has all but won the container scheduler market, as evidenced by Mesosphere, Docker, and Pivotal now embracing Kubernetes. The market wants a single answer for how to get Docker images into production and Kubernetes fulfills this with a highly scalable solution. The rising need to simplify Docker processes made it clear that Kubernetes would win the container scheduler market in 2017. However, it was surprising how quickly it happened.
Nick Zimmerman, Senior Site Reliability Engineer, SparkPost
In 2017, one of the biggest surprises for DevOps was the rise of Alibaba's AliCloud as the fastest growing cloud service revenue. Outpacing AWS, Azure, and Google demonstrated the acceleration of adoption of DevOps and cloud services worldwide.
Steven Mih, CEO, Aviatrix Systems
DevOps and CloudOps became essentially synonymous. Enterprises rarely do DevOps without a public cloud anymore.
How fast all infrastructures are becoming software. Software-defined infrastructure, or infrastructure as code, is now pervasive, at least at the compute and server levels.
The infrastructure-as-code movement happened even faster than the adoption of containers. We theorize that this is because containers are mainly for developers, while infrastructure happens at the DevOps level (so developers plus the operations teams).
How popular Terraform has become. DevOps is using Terraform, an infrastructure-as-code tool, in live deployments in a wide range of markets.