2016: The Tipping Point for DevOps

January 19, 2016 by Robyn Bergeron

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Ahhh, a new year.

While 2015 was certainly a big year for us as we joined the Red Hat family, in many ways we’re still right at home with our roots deeply planted in the ways of open source. That means we’re listening (as we always do) to our customers and community members about what what they see as their problems to solve and goals to achieve in the year ahead. 

Here’s a bit of what we see:

  • DevOps! It’s everywhere! If ever there was a buzzword to officially deserve the “jumped the shark” label, this might just be it. General understanding of DevOps as a practice that can potentially accelerate IT project delivery has permeated most IT departments, from the smallest of businesses to the most daunting of large enterprises, sometimes from the grassroots level, and sometimes from the top down.  

  • Thankfully, along with this recognition, people are increasingly recognizing that DevOps isn’t simply tools -- that building a healthy organizational culture is a significant part of their journey. Many organizations are beginning to recognize that it’s not a lightswitch, or a flat-out reorg. The idea that small wins can matter when bringing DevOps practices into your organization will increasingly be validated by organizations of all sizes.

  • Microservices will be increasingly noted by IT departments as a practice they are embracing over the next year, but with vastly differing interpretations of what that actually means. Stacks of software and/or complex applications deployed via containers are becoming more of a reality, thanks to technologies like Kubernetes. This is largely because the very low-level plumbing problems are increasingly solved, such as getting containers to even talk to each other. But the configuration of those clusters can still be difficult, and as a result, microservices (while they may be micro, and they may be services, are in many cases "handcrafted and artisanal microservices") are special snowflakes that need lots of attention, which isn’t necessarily solving the root of the problem.

  • But, hey! There’s a solution! In fact, there’s a lot of solutions, and probably another five solutions for every possible IT problem arriving on the scene every single day. And not just technology solutions, either. The pool of expert opinions, definitions, best practices, and guidance on the One Right Way to Do Things will continue to grow at about the same pace.

In short: DevOps is everywhere, new technologies are emerging at the pace of a baseball pitching machine gone haywire, and everyone has an opinion about which way is north. There are a thousand ways to do anything -- and while folks know that some of the technologies out there are viable, finding time to learn and try one (and hoping it’s the right one) can be a daunting task. Especially when there’s already plenty to do.

And all of this is why, for us at Ansible, while our tactical goals for 2016 may be different from last year’s (we do have new versions of Ansible, Ansible Tower, and Galaxy in the pipeline), our overarching focus continues to remain the same: simplicity.

Simplicity that allows users to get started quickly, and allows teams to focus on problems rather than technology hurdles -- ultimately helping teams to build bridges, not silos.

Simplicity that enables and encourages our incredible, diverse community to continue to rapidly build ways to consume an ever-growing universe of software and tools, through their contributions of modules and Ansible Galaxy roles -- and empowers Ansible users to easily try new technologies in a day, not a month.

Simplicity that embraces flexibility and reusability, allowing Ansible users to build and deliver solutions for their customers in the way that works best for their organization and culture, and permits teams to define their own best practices.

And above all: Simplicity that allows people to just get stuff done. Easily. Efficiently. Because just getting stuff done is really kind of awesome, when you think about it.

One of the great joys of working with the Ansible team and community is hearing amazing success stories from our customers and contributors about what they were able to accomplish as a result of using Ansible. And we hear everything --from individuals sharing the delight of being able to get started and understand how to use rapidly, to stories of how mutual affection for Ansible brought teams together, to tales of complete IT organizational turnaround. But at the heart of all of those stories is this: the people telling us those stories are feeling happier. More accomplished. They’re making change happen, and they know it. And they’re able to spend more time doing all the other things in their lives that matter to them outside of work as a result.

We’re looking forward to an amazing 2016, and to hearing even more stories over the coming year from everyone who uses Ansible.  Here’s to Getting Stuff Done.

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Topics:
Devops, Community, IT Automation, Ansible


 

Robyn Bergeron

Robyn Bergeron is a Community Architect at Ansible, building community bridges and inspiring contributors to do great things. She’s been a sysadmin, program manager, business analyst, and developer advocate in past lives, and started her career in open source at Red Hat, where she was the Fedora Project Leader.


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