Over the last few years, DevOps has evolved from a simple operational mantra for few niche software development processes to a widespread, all-encompassing philosophy disrupting and rewriting software engineering practices beyond recognition. As we are halfway through 2017, here are some important trends being witnessed this year as DevOps evolves to the next level.
Big Data & Predictive Analytics are transforming DevOps processes
DevOps processes are getting smarter, faster and more efficient by applying machine learning to data generated from DevOps-enabled automation of testing and development processes. This makes it even more easier to identify possible problem areas, probabilities of failure, areas of optimisation and what, how, when and where to test and optimise in the software lifecycle. This coming together of DevOps, Big Data and predictive analysis is turning out to be the breakthrough trend accelerating DevOps adoption in 2017.
Microservices and Containers are flourishing, but not for long
Microservices is the “decomposition” of large monolithic applications into a distributed architecture through smaller, independent and separately deployable services, built on “lightweight” frameworks, communicating over web-interfaces, activating only as and when required. Containers are all-encompassing, independent development environments (IDEs) for the entire software lifecycle that once built can run applications on any platform. For many years, these were considered the future of DevOps, since both these models were made to order for continuous integration and development processes on the cloud. However, it now looks like they will soon merge with FaaS, as Serverless models does away with the need for both.
Serverless Architecture (FaaS) is revolutionizing DevOps
“Serverless” computing, offered under the “Function as a Service” (FaaS) paradigm, is the hottest new trend in IT this year. Put simply, Serverless or FaaS will completely shift the responsibility of running the IT environment from the user to the cloud provider. This will help IT companies to altogether escape the infrastructure space and focus entirely on their code. DevOps is going to be the biggest beneficiary of this revolutionary change because developers can become more closely involved in areas previously managed by operational silos.
Cloud adoption is becoming mandatory for best DevOps practices
DevOps practices are becoming completely meaningless without migration to the cloud. Infrastructure code in DevOps operations is now mandatory, modern DevOps ecosystems like containers and microsystems work best on the cloud, and upcoming paradigms like FaaS by merit of their architecture will be able to work only on the cloud. With flexibility and portability they offer override cost savings as the cloud’s main attraction, these new services are changing the primary reason accelerating cloud adoption. A future completely on the cloud seems to be on the horizon.
Left Shift is erasing the line between the tester and the coder
One of the biggest disruptions DevOps has created has been in the area of software testing and on the function of the testing professional. As DevOps forces testing as a function to shift more and more to the left of the software development spectrum, the boundaries between software development and testing are slowly being erased, making it imperative that testers now become skilled at coding as well. They can, of course, remain specialists in their fields, but they should be knowledgeable about the code they are testing and should be able to build their own applications.
DevOps is now more about customer value than anything else
The original intent behind DevOps, like any other software development paradigm, was to create high-quality, efficient software applications while saving time and costs and making lives of developers and testers easier. It was never presented or measured as a tool to enhance customer value propositions. This is changing. Today, as customer experience is becoming the central point of all business decisions and processes, DevOps is being measured by how much it adds to the end-to-end customer value proposition through metrics and insights rather than by what process it enhances or by how much money it saves.
This year we are witnessing DevOps practices becoming mainstream by continuing to force further consolidation and standardisation of organisational processes including how the development process is viewed, disrupting not just traditional software engineering practices but older Agile practices as well. Combining big data with predictive analysis and being applied to continuous integration processes based on container, microservices and later Serverless architecture workflows, DevOps, basing everything on the cloud, is optimising the software lifecycle, making delivery cycles more flexible, faster, portable and efficient than ever before, while accelerating the left-shifting of the software testing process and blurring the lines between development and testing, and developer and tester. 2017 is seeing the arrival of DevOps as an important business value proposition as a measuring point for customer value, rather than being just an operational paradigm or cost-saving measure.