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Use these DevOps examples to reimagine an IT organization

Changes have to occur in IT operations, infrastructure and team structure to enable DevOps. Despite the relative youth of DevOps as an IT strategy, diverse companies have walked the walk, and now eagerly talk the talk.


DevOps means something different to every organization in terms of culture, best practices and tool pipelines. And that's a good thing.

"Now, we have a lot of enterprises [to provide DevOps examples]. We don't only want to rely on what works for the unicorns," said Patrick Debois, co-author of The DevOps Handbook, a guidebook for DevOps implementation. The balancing act for DevOps best practices, tool recommendations and other advice is to make it broad enough for diverse IT teams to apply it successfully, not just companies with deep Agile and IT technical expertise paired with vast resources and flexible roadmaps. According to The DevOps Handbook co-author Gene Kim, enterprise IT shops are more like horses than the unique early DevOps adopter unicorns.

For teams unsure of where to start -- or those that have plateaued without a clear path to more improvements -- these before and after DevOps examples from real IT organizations yield insights into processes used, metrics for success and common mistakes and delays. 

1How they did it-

Successes and struggles of DevOps transformations

These real-world DevOps examples from IT and software development professionals are gritty, not idealistic. Enterprises carry legacy IT baggage, have compliance obligations that push apart collaborative efforts and have learning periods for new technologies that must account for time spent actually running existing applications and infrastructure with today's tool set.


Self-service pays off for Allstate

Insurance provider Allstate looked to a DevOps philosophy so that IT could empower employees and customers, rather than simply serve them. Continue Reading


Gearing up for Docker in production

Ray Krueger, VP of engineering at Hyatt Hotels, discusses what it takes to move Docker containerization onto live production infrastructure. Continue Reading


DevOps best practices, forged from crises

For two airlines and a government contractor, organizational turmoil from merger and spinoff was the perfect time to establish DevOps best practices. Continue Reading


Three paths to smoother DevOps collaboration

DevOps collaboration is as critical to transforming IT ops and product teams as the tool sets they use, several large enterprises agree. Continue Reading


All it takes is one application

A financial services company isn't about to jump headlong into an experimental IT infrastructure. Fannie Mae's DevOps approach was cautious -- starting with a single application -- and yielded results. Continue Reading


Automation thaws code freezes

Rather than working under the restrictions of a build schedule, Navis increased its test automation and feedback speed. Now, the company develops continuously, even though continuous delivery wasn't the goal. Continue Reading


Compliance and DevOps do mix

Traceability is a trait to look for in tools if you're adopting DevOps in a regulated industry. Sparta brought DevOps to life sciences with improved compliance despite cultural and technical obstacles. Continue Reading


Don't stick to what you know

During a transition to Agile development, Medtronic's Sarb Singh-Kaur chose a new application lifecycle management platform rather than one that he knew well. Continue Reading


There's room for automation

Change management and role separation gets "grafted" onto DevOps at some regulated companies, but that doesn't mean automation has no place in the compliance process. Continue Reading


Send in the SWAT team

DevOps implementation can go wrong -- in a myriad of ways -- so it doesn't hurt to think outside of DevOps dogma with a centralized ops team. Continue Reading

2Put ideas into motion-

Creating a CI/CD and agile infrastructure

While DevOps examples vary from company to company, there are some key tenets and practices that all organizations use as a common basis for implementation. Continuous delivery, configuration management and automation are the go-to choices, while immutable infrastructure and NoOps push the possibilities for organizations that are ready for radical infrastructure change.


DevOps in production: The ITSM mindset and DevOps

Jayne Groll of the DevOps Institute explains how Agile ITSM bridges the gap between developers and operations, and what other changes DevOps brings to an organization. Continue Reading


How to put DevOps to work

Enterprises with entrenched IT and development practices need a DevOps guide that makes the methodology accessible and achievable. Continue Reading


Test your DevOps knowledge

We've seen some DevOps examples from diverse industries. So, think you know DevOps pretty well? Take this quiz to prove you know the tools, techniques and terminology. Continue Reading


Do it today with continuous integration/continuous development

An 18-month-long process solves an 18-month-old problem. Use continuous delivery instead of, or as a companion to, large-scale changes to make IT more dynamic and agile. Continue Reading


Demand a swappable, adaptable pipeline

As soon as a DevOps deployment pipeline is created, it is outdated. With emerging technologies and shifting tool preferences, organizations must maintain a flexible pipeline. Continue Reading


Better IT infrastructure means better apps

Continuous integration and delivery is no small feat, and it doesn't happen in a vacuum. Major companies, such as Meetup, found they needed modernized, diverse IT options to support agile code releases. Continue Reading


What testers want their DevOps teammates to know

Test automation facilitates rapid code development and deployment as a means of attempting to mimic the production environment to prevent surprises on live systems. To make tests more effective and faster, listen to these requests from an automated testing engineer. Continue Reading


Is infrastructure as code too difficult for IT ops?

Infrastructure as code (IaC) enables a DevOps shop to frequently change the IT resources supporting agile applications, but it's a concept that IT pros struggle to put into action. Continue Reading


Or is IaC just a skill that takes some practice?

With some context for how IaC functions and some practice creating templates, DevOps teams can feel just as comfortable on the command line as they do in the cold aisle. Continue Reading


Create an immutable infrastructure

Immutable infrastructure means no change, but it's hardly static. Components of the system are replaced with each change rather than updated. This brings the power of build automation to IT infrastructure. Continue Reading


Configuration management keeps instances -- and IT shops -- from falling behind

Tight configuration control means IT shops can take mixed cloud and data center resources, rapid-fire code changes and close alignment with business needs in stride. Continue Reading

3Feedback loops-

Monitoring in a DevOps environment

Much like the Japanese concept of kaizen, DevOps promotes a culture of nonstop change and improvement. Iterative development, proven code and smooth deployment get the application to production, while monitoring provides feedback that will direct further development and infrastructure improvements.


The upside of a DevOps feedback loop

DevOps users explain how IT ops control benefits from DevOps feedback loops, as well as platform and application reduction. Continue Reading


Monitor from code to CPU

When the full stack matters to application performance, the full stack should undergo performance monitoring in an easy-to-read, integrated fashion. Continue Reading


Achieve better monitoring with integration

DevOps culture espouses the smart use of tools and infrastructure to improve applications. In this pertinent DevOps example, the integration of log analysis and AWS Lambda solved a monitoring problem at The Washington Post. Continue Reading


Microservices = big tooling challenges

Microservices open new possibilities for application developers, but throw up new roadblocks for how performance monitoring tools work and how IT shops pay for them. Continue Reading


Just the right alerts

More services and more deployments mean more monitoring tool alerts. Invest some 9 to 5 time to paring down, sorting and customizing IT alerts to avoid midnight calls to handle false alarms and unexpected issues. Continue Reading


The answers are all there

IT systems and applications generate a wealth of data, and big data science lets emerging tools synthesize these data points into actionable analysis. Continue Reading

4Put it all together-

How to create a DevOps team bond

DevOps implementation doesn't happen overnight, and it also doesn't have to happen in the dark. Whether through articles, blogs and books; formal training and certifications; or peer-to-peer sharing, DevOps professionals can learn what their roles entail and how to work together.


Map the value stream to stay the course

Mapping out the value stream of a given project is a valuable process to ensure you get the most out of your deliverables. It brings in members from every step of the life cycle to identify problem areas, allowing them to be smoothed out in advance. Continue Reading


You're never skilled enough to stop learning

Gene Kim is no newcomer to the DevOps movement, so when he says IT operations professionals must learn automation and other new skills -- or lose their jobs -- people listen. Continue Reading


Everyone is in operations

IT operations' responsibilities must be shared across the DevOps team, according to many professionals adhering to the methodology. Ideally, not only will developers accept the extra responsibility, they'll clamor for it. Continue Reading


Find universal language translators

To bring IT operations and developers together, give them tools that meet both groups' needs. Monitoring tools, ChatOps interfaces and other tools give dev and ops a common language and a path toward achieving common goals. Continue Reading


Share your problems with everyone

DevOps is a mess, admits Avi Cavale. His company, Shippable, decided to make its DevOps transformation transparent to the outside world -- including customers, partners and anyone else interested in following along. Continue Reading


What if everything was different?

Considering a radically new approach to IT operations? See what the site reliability engineers at Google have to say about daily tasks, automation and the fear of becoming obsolete. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Plan a hackathon

Hackathons are a fun, social way to get developers, line-of-business partners, IT administrators and architects, testers and others thinking creatively about technological capabilities. See how insurance company Aviva runs its annual event, and then schedule your own. Continue Reading

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