Dev and Ops: Night and Day. Science and Art. 1s and 0s.

For years now, software development teams and operations/system administrators have maintained this kind of yin and yang duality, pushing each other in opposing yet complementary directions.

We’re all familiar with the dynamic of the IT department. Typically, the development team’s raison d’être is to deliver new features to end users. Meanwhile, operations/system administrators focus on liability for the software, service, run time, and reliability. In the best case scenario, the tension between these two teams creates a productive balance. But, all too often, that’s not the case. Instead, the teams can become resentful, each seeing the other as an obstacle to business success.

Enter the Concept of DevOps

DevOps is an IT discipline that brings order to an otherwise chaotic and complex world of application/service development, testing, deployment, scaling, and monitoring. It also helps ensure software quality, security, availability, reliability, and performance.

Ultimately, by nullifying the turf wars between siloed, independent teams, DevOps creates a single, unified approach that is responsible for the success of the entire application lifecycle. And it gets better—DevOps can become even more powerful when combined with cloud computing. The cloud enables DevOps teams to work faster, with more flexibility and at a higher rate of total efficiency. Together, they present a compelling, virtually unstoppable force.

Is it time to instrument DevOps principles and the cloud in your organization? Most likely it is, and to help you get started, here are three key reasons why we think DevOps and the cloud are perfect for business success:

1. Cloud Automation

The cloud is driven by the automation and virtualization of infrastructure. Cloud automation solutions like Skytap Cloud enable enterprises to deliver dynamic IT workloads by utilizing scalable, efficient cloud computing resources accessed and managed through a self-service web UI.

Today’s dynamic workloads, such as development and test, software demonstrations, virtual training, and IT Ops, are all critical for business success. However, because traditional IT infrastructure lacks the agility and flexibility required to support these dynamic workloads, project delays have become the norm. The cloud enables agile infrastructure to support today’s dynamic workloads and therefore provides DevOps teams more agility for application development and testing.

2. Self-Service Cloud

DevOps teams, and more specifically, developers, test engineers, and QA managers need self-service cloud resources that increase agility and enhance collaboration across geographically dispersed teams. The cloud empowers DevOps teams with key requirements such as configurability, self-service access, collaboration, visibility, and control.

Self-service cloud solutions let DevOps teams utilize these features with the business and technical applications they already know and use. This capability is especially important for DevOps teams that don’t want to rewrite applications currently in use. In other words, the application rules the cloud and ultimately dictates how Operations is run and managed.

The cloud can empower developers and testers to work in parallel streams without constraints. For example, if the QA team in an Enterprise organization finds a bug/defect in an application, it’s often difficult to replicate the problem. Typically, before moving on, the team has to stop their workflow and provide someone else access to the environment to troubleshoot.

In the worst-case scenario, the team may have to build out a copy to reproduce the bug–an exercise that’s far from agile and potentially costly from a time and resource perspective. The Cloud can remedy these problem areas by creating parallel streams, clones and snapshots of environments quickly on-demand.

3. Visibility and Control

DevOps teams using cloud resources need to maintain important corporate policies and procedures. Cloud solutions with built-in management capabilities can help them achieve that goal. The latest cloud solutions can provide detailed usage reports and control mechanisms to manage deployment, monitoring, failure recovery, operating system maintenance, system configuration, and overall performance.

No matter the size of the organization, these solutions offer teams greater visibility and control while managing computing resources, quotas, and security policies. What’s more, all of this can be achieved even as the technologies empower DevOps teams with more self-service autonomy, providing more agility for faster and better software application delivery.

DevOps teams are looking for solutions that will enable rapid deployment of public, private, or hybrid clouds to handle surges related to increased cycles for run builds, tests, and deployments of software applications. Solutions like Skytap Cloud solve the right kind of problems, enabling DevOps teams with tool sets to optimize the application development lifecycle.

Enterprise IT professionals who want to upgrade their skills can learn more by accessing our webinar: Upgrade Your IT Skills with DevOps Principles. Acquiring skills in this IT discipline will enable you to bring order to an otherwise chaotic and complex world of Agile application development, testing, and scaling. Check out the webinar and learn from industry experts on how companies are transitioning from “Old IT” methodologies to the “Cloud IT” DevOps model.

This piece originally ran on ReadWriteWeb, and we thought it was worth dusting off. Feel free to pose your thoughts and questions below, or talk to us on Twitter.

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