By Opinov8, February 25, 2019
In the IT world, many experts today are tossing around the terms “DevOps” and “CloudOps” as if they are synonymous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both models share similar attributes; however, users, partners, clients and teams need to get on the same page when it comes to understanding the differences and the varying factors in choosing what works best for your organization.
DevOps and CloudOps: same yet different?
Development and Operations (DevOps) is a system that optimizes the best parts of IT and development teams. DevOps focuses on continuous advancement of processes and tools. DevOps empowers team members to collaborate more effectively across the collective group.
In the world of DevOps, automation is key – delivering agile, repeatable processes to maximize the power of the final product or solution. DevOps fuels an evolving cascade of operational improvement.
Cloud Operations (CloudOps) is simply a different way of “doing” DevOps. Rather than relying on any one set of on-site network server assets, CloudOps leverages powerful cloud-computing tools such as AWS, GCP and Azure. CloudOps is basically the next logical extension of DevOps and both focus on continuous operations, a process that has emerged from DevOps practices into the world of Cloud Ops.
Since companies have several choices among cloud-based platforms, CloudOps providers are motivated to compete on quality and price. Rather than worrying about maintaining an expensive network architecture on site, teams can contract with a cloud service to provide all networking/server needs including maintenance, monitoring and expansion of capacity – all at a more affordable price point.
CloudOps providers offer virtually unlimited storage and processing power that can be expanded or contracted based on your company’s needs.
Thanks to the enhanced expandability and scalability of cloud computing, DevOps processes can leverage cloud tech to reduce latency issues and errors. Cloud infrastructure is not specific to any one location (stateless) and can move with agility from one server to another to avoid processing problems.
Other factors to consider
It’s both/and, not either/or: CloudOps is simply a different way of doing DevOps. It complements the process rather than replacing it. Empowering your DevOps system with the powerful tools CloudOps offers can bring together two robust paradigms into one – the product-success/customer focus of DevOps with the speed and scalability of CloudOps. DevOps targets process improvement. CloudOps seeks to enhance technology and services.
Platform agnosticism: When marrying DevOps functionality with CloudOps, it’s the “job” of the cloud platform to abstract the foundational infrastructure and flexibly adapt to virtually any type of system. Cloud computing – be it AWS, Azure or Google – must follow the DevOps infrastructure rather than lead the process.
Every organization is different: Yes, that seems obvious. However, many organizations sometimes assume they need to invest in CloudOps Solution X or Y because it’s “the next Big Thing.” Often they fail to ask fundamental questions about their specific needs. Are there reasons to avoid CloudOps? Perhaps your company has unique security concerns that require internal server structure. Are there legal issues that may inhibit deployment of a specific cloud platform? Most importantly, are there underlying factors that could result in CloudOps hurting rather than helping your DevOps system? Generally, the answer is “no” since there is such a diverse array of CloudOps solutions available. However, it’s a question worth consideration.
It’s all about the product: No matter how “gee-whiz/cool” CloudOps may be; no matter how awesome the scalable, affordable tools may be, your organization must always keep your collective eye on the prize. Focus on the product. Focus on what steps must be taken to always optimize the release and support for the customer. There’s an old saying: “Keep the main thing the main thing.” CloudOps can certainly augment your DevOps system, but never lose sight of the product forest for the cloud-app trees.
Do your homework: Major CloudOps providers employ major sales forces. That means, their sales reps are experts at – well, getting that sale. That also means, your team may be susceptible to a suave, fast-talking salesperson who promises the pinnacle of CloudOps excellence in their product but fails to deliver after-sale.
You can defend against an overly aggressive sales process by arming your team with data – tech specs, reviews, recommendations and an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of competing CloudOps providers. “Knowledge is power” may be an old cliché. It’s an old cliché because it’s a fundamental truth.
Going forward, the word “CloudOps” will likely disappear as a useful term in the future as more organizations integrate these tools into their DevOps and its presence will be a foregone assumption built into every system. Until then, it’s vital to educate your team, your clients and yourself in all CloudOps things.