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How to move project toward DevOps when 40+ systems involved, some over 20 years old.

 
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I work for a large telecom and we're on a project to try and drag ordering for certain products kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

The issue is: we have apps (like the one I'm actually on) doing a lot of things that would make a transition to a "full" DevOps model fairly
straightforward (using Sonar, daily automated builds/deploys, etc.).

But, we have some systems (and vendors) that require multiple manual steps just to do a build (one requires an Oracle DB installation just for a build!), and
forget about automated deployment??

Any thoughts on how to gently nudge the project into DevOps mode? Or should we just do the ones (like the app I'm on) that have a chance in <heck> of actually
reaching a full DevOps mode?

Thanks
 
Lanny Gilbert
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Lanny Gilbert wrote:I work for a large telecom and we're on a project to try and drag ordering for certain products kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

The issue is: we have apps (like the one I'm actually on) doing a lot of things that would make a transition to a "full" DevOps model fairly
straightforward (using Sonar, daily automated builds/deploys, etc.).

But, we have some systems (and vendors) that require multiple manual steps just to do a build (one requires an Oracle DB installation just for a build!), and
forget about automated deployment.. That's yet another multi-step process with many manual WAR/EAR/etc. pushes to Production.

Any thoughts on how to gently nudge the project into DevOps mode? Or should we just do the ones (like the app I'm on) that have a chance in <heck> of actually
reaching a full DevOps mode?

Thanks!

 
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Lanny,

Thanks for the question. One of the challenges that arrises from our industry is the use of terms to have many meanings. In our book Effective DevOps we define devops as

Devops is a cultural movement that changes how individuals think about their work, values the diversity of work done, supports intentional processes that accelerate the rate by which businesses realize value, and measures the effect of social and technical change. It is a way of thinking and a way of working that enables individuals and organizations to develop and maintain sustainable work practices. It is a cultural framework for sharing stories and developing empathy, enabling people and teams to practice their crafts in effective and lasting ways.



What it sounds like you are describing are some of the outcomes of successful devops in some organizations that lead to automation, continuous integration, and continuous deployment. Getting to a specific outcome is possible, but the cost to do so may be high with the current processes, practices, and tools in use within the organization.

For example, are you using infrastructure as code to automate deployment of services like Oracle DB? (Oracle software can be challenging to install due to their licensing process).

In general, showing the value of successful implementations of desirable outcomes can encourage further progress on some of the older systems. It's critical that all folks have buy-in, and that will take time. If you have dependencies on vendors, that can be more challenging as if they aren't on board with automation that can be very difficult. I've seen situations where the vendor is not providing software that allows for easy automation due to antiquated packaging. If you can apply the appropriate pressure with the vendor to get that resolved that can be helpful.

 
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