Top 6 DevOps Metrics That Enterprise Dashboards Should Capture
You succeeded with your DevOps revolution and your teams are ticking along nicely. How do you ensure that this harmony continues?
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Testing for websites and web applications is a constant challenge. With bubbling issues related to compatibility and security, there is a rising need for continuous development and improvement. Effective collaboration between testers and developers is becoming increasingly essential to meet the Quality Assurance goals.
The underlying virtues of DevOps are continuous improvement and development. The development and IT operations teams are expected to collaborate and be active participants in this collaborative and iterative process. The objective is to ensure smooth functioning of the application with minimal interruptions.
More than the technicalities, it is imperative to nurture a culture that encourages the adoption of DevOps approach. The idea is to enable self-learning and self-improvement amongst employees on a consistent basis.
Change is tricky, and while on a transformation journey, it is important to realize the objectives of the project or task at hand. The objective helps structure the metrics for tracking the overall development process for the respective teams.
DevOps dashboards enable system admins and developers to remain updated with the software application’s key performance metrics like up-time, load time, API calls, CPU processes, memory usage, and various other components that ensure a stable experience for the end user.
The software development lifecycle is a journey of ups and downs. Things get broken and fixed throughout it. A DevOps dashboard monitors the process and helps you to spot bugs before you get flooded with user feedback and grievances. As mentioned earlier, building metrics on the DevOps dashboard totally depends on the project's objective.
Nevertheless, we have tried to boil down to six DevOps metrics that an enterprise dashboard cannot ignore.
1. Frequency of Deployment
This metric will keep a tab on the frequency of deploying the new code. It will help track the deployment process by team members, which is a critical activity for any project. Moreover, it is all-pervasive and is applicable across projects.
2. Tracking Change
It is absolutely critical to track the user stories associated with the project, and most importantly setting the parameters to track the complexity of the changes occurring in the project.
3. Tracking the Lead Time
Software and application development follows a process of development to deployment where new code is developed and successfully deployed into production. Cycle time is a key indicator to determine efficiency in the process where it helps the team to understand the areas of improvement. Ultimately the metrics help teams to get a better hold of the project’s development.
4. Track the Percentage of Deployments Failed
You need to track the percentage of deployments that have led to outages and negative feedback from the users. By the nature of the DevOps approach, it is expected to build quality right from the beginning, rather than post-development as an afterthought. Experts suggest reviewing this metric as a team to effectively keep a track of the negative sentiment in the project.
5. Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR)
Recovery and resilience are critical in any project, as it will help build market-readiness of the software or application. MTTR is an ideal process of tracking complex issues and failures, assessing the ability of the teams to handle change and bounce back.
6. Performance Metrics
This metric has to remain stable irrespective of any changes in user feedback or deployment indicators. It is a key indicator that the software or application is operational within the defined limits.
Apart from this, there are other metrics to consider such as customer ticket volume, change in user volume, and determining the availability of the software or application. Variations can be done depending on the significance of various aspects of the project.
It is challenging to bring about real-time, data-driven IT decision making and will continue to be even with the best and most agile approaches in place. Against the traditional software development process that encourages working in silos, DevOps encourages a more collaborative approach.
Traditional processes of building software and applications take a stunted approach towards imbibing creative and offbeat thinking. It is more of a push process. DevOps looks at it as a proactive deal by every member of the group.
Consequently, this decision-making approach to proactively drive the initiatives triggers a lot of cross-team collaboration and working. This is the outcome of the digital era, where it is expected to be more agile and resilient for building products and services that are expected to sustain in a volatile marketplace.
This shift in the workflow is not particularly about technical decision making; it is about shifting the mind-set and imbibing a culture of proactive ownership and collaboration. With the new philosophy, teams are encouraged to work together on activities that impact the overall business, as each team will directly or indirectly create its own effect across the system or project.
Build Distinct Dashboards for Distinct Software
Creating a DevOps dashboard totally depends on, and is greatly influenced by, your own challenges and requirements. It is a reflection of the project’s needs and the overall approach of the team. It is recommended to create, edit, repeat, and build focused dashboard metrics that will enhance the visibility of the project’s process and issues.
Additionally, it will incorporate response time, usage of resources, issues and errors, user feedback, and any aspect that you deem important for speedy delivery. For instance, tracking CPU usage for individual internal APIs helps the Ops team to evaluate the issues with performance and accordingly take necessary action.
The market is flooded with vendors that can offer you dashboards and let you tailor it to your needs. The question remains, what is your requirement and objective for creating it? It can be decided only by the team and with the project at hand.
Do you need the dashboard for tracking the application? For assessing the team’s progress? For tracking the core performance KPIs and making them visible for all? The objective is to get the process going collaboratively and deliver the same at speed with quality.
There are ‘n’ number of ways in which the functioning of the software can be gauged. With DevOps, it is important to ensure that the developers and QA engineers continue to be on the same page with the Operations engineers. Dashboard metrics can help you track and alert you of any discrepancies with the team or the project.
Ultimately, a dashboard is a common platform or a framework that enables you to manage issues.
Quality and speed are at the core of the DevOps approach, a key reason why leading enterprises across the globe leverage this synergy between development teams and operations teams with an integrated DevOps model. DevOps culture is majorly driven by not just the synergy but also the undying need for continues collaboration and delivery.
Published at DZone with permission of Todd DeCapua, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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