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Cutting Through CD Complexity Like Ginsu Knives

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Cutting Through CD Complexity Like Ginsu Knives

The volume of ''continuous delivery'' branded tools out there is overwhelming and it seems that everyone is hopping on the DevOps bandwagon. To help direct you through this maze of solutions—what they do and where they fit in the CD toolbox—Automic has put together a very helpful subway-style map.

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When I pause to reflect on how far the DevOps concept has come since the coining of the term in 2009, I am impressed by how much we've progressed. A year later, the book, Continuous Delivery, by Jez Humble and David Farley was published, detailing the best practices for implementing continuous delivery. When thinking about the two and how they work together, I have always regarded DevOps as the goal and continuous delivery as the methodology to get there (cultural elements aside). 

Fast forward seven or eight years and companies are now experiencing tangible results. Those doing DevOps and continuous delivery are recognizing increased revenue, reducing costs, and their IT personnel are receiving a quality of life boost. DevOps is a great win-win contract between the business and IT!

The Challenge Facing Late DevOps Adopters

However, many large enterprises that are only now standing up continuous delivery practices are finding it difficult to sort through the diversity and volume of tools within the continuous delivery value chain. The challenge though doesn't stem from the number or variety of tools, but rather the fact that so many have deviated from their core design goals and added tangential functionality in order to be branded a "DevOps tool." 

This phenomenon reminds me of the old Ginsu Knife advertisements where a knife is demonstrated as having the ability to slice, dice, chop and cut through aluminum cans. Why do you ever want to cut through aluminum cans during meal preparation? Following the knife metaphor, let's say that for some wild reason the market desires a kitchen tool that can indeed cut through aluminum cans, and other knife manufacturers want to get in on the action. So, they harden and sharpen the blades and then market their knives as can-cutters. It’s comparable to any and every niche IT tool branding themselves as a DevOps tool or as supporting continuous delivery. How confusing!

Why Did We Create the Continuous Delivery Map?

While there are benefits to cross-over functionality, there are also benefits to using a tool for its original purpose. To help IT professionals both visualize and understand the context of all the tools available in the continuous delivery value chain, CA | Automic has designed a Continuous Delivery Map.

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Click on the map above to access the interactive version on the CA |Automic blog.


The inspiration for our Continuous Delivery Map was a metro rail system not unlike London's Tube, or New York City's Subway. The map isn't modeled after a specific city's rail system but took inspiration from the fast, efficient, and safe way that rail systems deliver people to their destination. There are many routes and stops that commuters can use to get where they are going. Our Continuous Delivery Map represents tools as stops along color-coded rail lines that represent categories of tools. 

At the center of the map is a central line or hub of host orchestration tools that allow you to combine a mash-up of use case specific tools into a coherent delivery pipeline. Automation is a core tenant of practicing continuous delivery, and orchestration will allow you to maximize the benefit of the tools already in your portfolio.

Our Continuous Delivery Map is more than just a visualization. It is a wealth of information about all of the tools that appear on the map. Clicking on any stop will provide you with details, links to the product and Wikipedia pages. The knowledge base contained in our map will continue to grow and expand with regular updates planned. Furthermore, the current rendition of our Continuous Delivery Map is just the beginning. Additional functionality, enhancements and community contribution are on the way so stay tuned and come back regularly to stay current on the latest continuous delivery best practices.

Want to learn more? Check out the Continuous Delivery Map to understand where your tools fit within the CD landscape?

Download the ‘Practical Blueprint to Continuous Delivery’ to learn how Automic Release Automation can help you begin or continue your company’s digital transformation.

Topics:
continous delivery ,devops ,automation ,orchestration

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