Why DevOps Will Be Hot in 2011

Michael Vizard
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Top 10 Tech Trends to Watch in 2011 According to CIOs, CTOs

For a long time now we've been applauding advances in application development thanks to the adoption of more agile frameworks for building applications.

But now that agile application development methodologies have gone mainstream, there is a lot more pressure on IT operations to keep pace. Most IT operations were never designed to handle frequent updates to applications. They were designed to meet the requirements of applications built using waterfall methodologies that resulted in application upgrades every couple of years, as opposed to quarterly or even monthly updates.

No one wants to let IT operations issues stand in the way of progress. So, in 2011, you should expect to see a lot more focus on "DevOps" as a discipline within the IT organization, says Andrew Phillips, vice president of product development at XebiaLabs, a provider of a framework specifically designed to automate the DevOps process.

That means relying a lot more on IT automation tools that are coupled with agile lifecycle management (ALM) tools to help smooth the hand-off between developers and the teams that actually manage the deployment of these applications.

With the advent of virtualization, certain elements of the DevOps equation are getting easier to manage. At the same time, however, the proliferation of virtual server environments can lead to a lot more complexity when it comes time to manage hundreds of virtual machines.

And just to make matters more interesting, we're now seeing a lot of application development moving to cloud. But even though an application is developed in the cloud, it doesn't mean the production server that the application is ultimately destined to run on is in the cloud. That means that application deployment issues will need to be managed across an extended network of servers.

It's pretty clear at this point that not only will IT organizations need a more disciplined approach to DevOps in 2011, they are also going to need to rethink most of the associated processes. That should ultimately lead to improvements in the way the entire DevOps process is managed, especially when it comes to application provisioning, release management, change management and application monitoring.

It's no secret that the people who build the applications and the people who manage the deployment of those applications don't always see eye-to-eye. So the first thing you might want consider doing in 2011, says Phillips, is bringing all various application stakeholders together to proactively re-engineer the DevOps process, as opposed to reactively waiting for the existing DevOps process to inevitably collapse under the weight of agile application development methodologies that are rapidly proliferating throughout the industry.

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Jan 5, 2011 4:01 AM Daniel Kushner Daniel Kushner  says:

There will also be more partnering between ALM companies and application release automation solution, similar to Serena/Nolio


Jan 12, 2011 5:35 AM Fred van den Bosch Fred van den Bosch  says:

Your point about frequent application changes and the resulting need for IT automation tools is very valid. Equally important when applications change frequently are tools that track and manage application behavior after deployment, so that DevOps can detect issues with a new deployment and have the data that development needs for root cause analysis and resolution.

Mar 28, 2011 5:14 AM Alex Gutman Alex Gutman  says: in response to Fred van den Bosch

Dear Fred,

I agree with you that tools are needed with frequent changes.

Times have changed. The number of underlying changes, combined with the evolution in the IT landscape, has spawned new types of challenges and increased the need for a different approach.  Granular Configuration Automation provides the solution to these problems.

I invite you to check out our vision:



Alex Gutman

Technology Evangelist

Evolven Software, Inc.



Mar 29, 2011 5:04 AM Alex Gutman Alex Gutman  says:

Dear Mike,

Thanks for the great post. I concur that DevOps will play a huge role in how processes are managed and that Change and Release Management are two of those primary processes.

Agile software development methodologies have driven the number of releases radically higher. The increase of release events  means increased pressure on release management teams, and further compounding the task of IT Operations to maintain stability while tracking and executing these releases. Releasing and praying just won't cut it anymore.

I invite you to check out:



DevOps Developments: Bob Aiello Interviews Sasha Gilenson


Best regards,

Alex Gutman

Technology Evangelist

Evolven Software, Inc.




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