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Defining the Dev and Ops in DevOps

· DevOps Zone

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About the author: Matt Watson is the Founder & CEO of Stackify. He has a lot of experience managing high growth and complex technology projects. He is on a mission to simplify the daily lives of developers and how they support their production applications by leveraging DevOps.

So what does DevOps mean exactly? What is the Dev and what is the Ops in DevOps? The role of Operations can mean a lot of things and even different things to different people. DevOps is becoming more and more popular but a lot of people are confused on the topic of who does what. So let’s make a list of the responsibilities operations traditionally has and then figure out what developers should be doing, and which if any responsibilities should be shared.

Operations responsibilities

  • IT buying
  • Installation of server hardware and OS
  • Configuration of servers, networks, storage, etc…
  • Monitoring of servers
  • Respond to outages
  • IT security
  • Managing phone systems, network
  • Change control
  • Backup and disaster recovery planning
  • Manage active directory
  • Asset tracking

Shared Development & Operations duties

  • Software deployments
  • Application support

Some of these traditional responsibilities have changed in the last few years. Virtualization and the cloud have greatly simplified buying decisions, installation, and configuration. For example, nobody cares what kind of server we are going to buy anymore for a specific application or project. We buy great big ones, virtualize them, and just carve out what we need and change it on the fly. Cloud hosting simplifies this even more by eliminating the need to buy servers at all.

So what part of the “Ops” duties should developers be responsible for?

  • Be involved in selecting the application stack
  • Configure and deploy virtual or cloud servers (potentially)
  • Deploy their applications
  • Monitor application and system health
  • Respond to applications problems as they arise.

Developers who take ownership of these responsibilities can ultimately deploy and support their applications more rapidly. DevOps processes and tools eliminate the walls between the teams and enables more agility for the business. This philosophy can enable the developers to potentially be responsible for the enter application stack from OS level and up in more a self service mode.

So what does the operations team do then?

  • Manage the hardware infrastructure
  • Configure and monitor networking
  • Enforce policies around backup, DR, security, compliance, change control, etc
  • Assist in monitoring the systems
  • Manage active directory
  • Asset tracking
  • Other non production application related tasks

Depending on the company size the workload of these tasks will vary greatly. In large enterprise companies these operations tasks become complex enough to require specialization and dedicated personnel for these responsibilities. For small to midsize companies the IT manager and 1-2 system administrators can typically handle these tasks.

DevOps is evolving into letting the operations team focus on the infrastructure and IT policies while empowering the developers to exercise tremendous ownership from the OS level and up. With a solid infrastructure developers can own the application stack, build it, deploy it, and cover much if not all of its support. This enables development teams to be more self-service and independent of a busy centralized operations team. DevOps enables more agility, better efficiency, and ultimately a higher level of service to their customers.

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Published at DZone with permission of Matt Watson. See the original article here.

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