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Continuous Delivery != Service Management

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Continuous Delivery != Service Management

· DevOps Zone ·
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Continuous Delivery is homogeneous, Service Management is heterogeneous

In the seminal Continuous Delivery book Dave Farley and Jez Humble describe how Continuous Delivery and Service Management methodologies such as ITIL share an overriding focus on delivering increased value to customers“, and advocate a Repeatable Reliable Process for releasing software as follows:

  1. Select version
  2. Prepare environment
  3. Deploy binary
  4. Configure binary
  5. Stop running version
  6. Migrate data
  7. Start new version
  8. Run smoke tests
  9. Perform exploratory testing
  10. Approve or reject binary

Each of the above actions provide an operational capability that is potentially of value to Service Management as well as Continuous Delivery, such as the ability to remotely start/stop an application. However, Continuous Delivery and Service Management fundamentally differ in terms of both action frequency and ordering – while a Continuous Delivery pipeline will offer a single workflow encapsulating the same actions in the same order, the Service Management domain requires multiple workflows and adhoc actions in order to respond to operational issues.

Continuous Delivery is homogeneous, Service Management is heterogeneous

Conflating the homogeneity of Continuous Delivery and the heterogeneity of Service Management capabilities into a single tool artificially couples different business concerns and consequently makes it more difficult for an organization to respond to change.


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