DevOps Express: How It Happened and Why We Did It
The DevOps Express journey is not just about the elements of a toolchain. It includes consulting, integration, and transformation practitioners.
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“Being able to take needless work out of the system is more important than being able to put more work into the system.”
Tracing the Steps
For years now, I have witnessed needless work being performed across the DevOps industry. No, not within our clients' DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices. I have seen it in the buyer’s journey, from the folks taking their first baby steps into DevOps to those organizations trying to master their craft.
For example, it is easy to trace the inefficient steps of the community at any DevOps event you go to. People jump from exhibitor booth to exhibitor booth trying to assemble a tale of how multiple technology vendors can be coupled together into a toolchain that will integrate builds, monitor quality, enhance security, accelerate deployments, and clean their dishes. Every booth and every conversation at the events lives in a silo, only to be assembled by the brave who head back to their offices full of conviction that something better lies ahead.
At Sonatype, we took a decidedly different path. While our Sonatype Nexus solutions enjoy over 100,000 active installations, we understand that our solutions don’t operate stand-alone. Our solutions are always integrated with others across the DevOps toolchain: Jenkins, Puppet, Chef, Docker, Sonar, JIRA, RunDeck, etc. The DevOps community did not just want to hear how cool our Nexus products were; they wanted to know how others integrated, ran, and supported all of these products into their environments.
In 2015, we introduced our first of now three DevOps Reference Architecture sets. Combined, those sets now have over 118,000 views on SlideShare. These pictures described real-world deployments from IBM, PayPal, Barclays, Adobe, eBay, Cisco, and over 50 other organizations. They showed people how to get started and help validate choices they would like to make (or may have already made). In short, these pictures helped people.
A Needed Discussion
We wanted to move beyond those pictures to discussions. We then set up a series of webinars with our friends at CloudBees, SonarSource, Codecentric, and even Dave Farley (co-author of Continuous Delivery), to discuss continuous delivery practices, challenges, and culture. Well over 5,000 people attended the webinars. It was clear that the community was craving information and we knew more had to be done.
Next came the idea for DevOps Express. We sat down with our friends at CloudBees and imagined extending our collaborative efforts to a number of other vendors. We were tired of seeing buyers fend for themselves as they evaluated, purchased, integrated, and supported a collection of DevOps-native solutions. As DevOps-minded professionals, all of this behavior looked like “needless work” in the system.
To take out the needless work, we needed to bring others in. We set out over this past summer inviting 12 other battle-tested, DevOps-native solutions into the DevOps Express initiative. The goal: ease the buyer’s journey from beginning to better.
Our aim is to better integrate our solutions. Our aim is to ease the buying experience. Our aim is to give people a roadmap for their journey, and our aim is to support them as much as we can along the way. While there is no silver bullet to offering “DevOps in a Box,” as technology vendors, we knew there was a better way.
Beyond the reference architectures that we have now contributed to the DevOps Express initiative, we are also providing a set of 12 integrations to improve the user experience for our customers in the community. These include:
- Atlassian (JIRA Software, Bitbucket Pipelines, Bamboo, HipChat, Crowd)
- CA Technologies (CA Release Automation and Action Packs)
- Chef (Chef cookbook for Nexus)
- CloudBees (Jenkins and the Nexus Jenkins plug-in)
- Puppet (automatically installing and configuring Nexus Repository)
- SonarSource (SonarQube)
Don’t be confused — the DevOps Express journey is not just about the elements of a toolchain. Our vision extends to the consulting, integration, and transformation practitioners. It also extends to the locations where these toolchains reside, whether on-premises or in the cloud.
We are just as passionate about removing needless work from the system as you are, and we hope you will join us on this journey. Stay tuned — there is much, much more to come.
To learn more about DevOps Express, please visit www.DevOps-Express.com.
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