Narrowing the DevOps Gap via the Cloud

Michael Vizard
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There has always been a divide between the IT operations team and the developers who create applications. Application developers, notes Tim Hahn, IBM distinguished engineer and master inventor for IBM Rational Software, will do almost anything to make their applications work, including changing system parameters and configurations. Of course, when the IT operations team goes to deploy those applications in a strictly controlled production environment, it should surprise no one when those applications don't run.

What's changing, of course, is that with the advent of agile development methodologies, the rate at which new applications and updates are being delivered is faster than the IT operations team can possibly cope with. That means developers are creating more applications that won't run in a production environment, which widens the DevOps divide that has always been there.

Hahn says the way to solve this problem is to move more of the application development and testing environment into the cloud. IT organizations can more easily create a true replica of the production environment in the cloud than they can using on-premise application development and testing environments that have a limited amount of IT resources. By moving the application development process into the cloud, developers will gain greater visibility into what code will actually run in the production environment because they can affordably replicate that environment for a defined period of time. That means that IT organizations no longer have to go to the expense of acquiring duplicate IT infrastructure solely for the purpose of developing and testing applications.

The combination of agile development and cloud computing, says Hahn, will actually free developers to improve applications at a faster rate than ever simply because developers will no longer be paralyzed by fears of what a certain change might do to an application already running in a production environment. They'll already know what the specific limitations of the production environment are and will act accordingly, says Hahn.


If you're getting the sense that the DevOps divide will never go away, you're probably right. But at the very least we can make sure that everybody in application lifecycle management (ALM) sandbox at least plays nice with one another.

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