It may have failed in some
companies but at some others it has been very successful and that is not a
surprise as this happens with every technology or process. Success at some
renowned companies bodes well for the future of DevOps professionals. In addition,
according to Gartner 70% of the IT market is focusing on DevOps.
Success can be measured because
the trending software development approach has many quantifiable technical and
business benefits, including shorter development cycles, increased deployment
frequency, and faster time to market. But because it relies so heavily on
increased communication, collaboration, and innovation, it can also be a
catalyst for cultural change within an organization.
Where can DevOps professionals
look for a bright and challenging future?
Here are 10 trailblazing
companies that exemplify the possibilities of DevOps.
Back when Amazon was still run on
dedicated servers, it was a constant challenge to predict how much equipment to
buy to meet traffic demands and pad estimates to accommodate for unforeseen
traffic spikes. As a result, about 40 percent of Amazon's server capacity was
wasted and during the Christmas shopping season, when traffic could triple,
more than three-quarters could be left unused along with the money spent to
Once the online retailer moved to
the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, it allowed engineers to scale capacity up
or down incrementally. Not only did this reduce spending on server capacity,
but it also spurred a transition to a continuous deployment process that allows
any developer to deploy their own code to whichever servers they need, whenever
Within a year of Amazon's move to
AWS, engineers were deploying code every 11.7 seconds, on average. The agile
approach also reduced both the number and duration of outages, resulting in
When Netflix evolved its business
model from shipping DVDs to streaming video over the web, it waded into
uncharted waters. There weren't any commercial tools available to help keep the
company's massive cloud infrastructure running smoothly, so it turned to open
source solutions. Enlisting the volunteer help of hundreds of developers, it
created the Simian Army, a suite of automated tools that stress test Netflix's
infrastructure and allow the company to proactively identify and resolve
vulnerabilities before they impact customers.
Since then, Netflix has continued
its commitment to automation and open source, and today engineers deploy code
thousands of times per day. Netflix was unanimously selected for the JAX
Special Jury Award, with JAXenter editor Coman Hamilton declaring, "The
rate at which this entertainment game-changer has adopted new technologies and
implemented them into its DevOps approach is setting new standards in IT."
Inside Target, several groups
have been evangelizing DevOps for years. According to technical architect Dan
Cundiff, what "started out in small corners of development and
infrastructure teams has since caught on like wildfire."
He's not exaggerating. These days
DevOps not only powers the development of projects like Cartwheel, Target's
mobile savings app, but also has transformed the organization's culture. Target
now hosts DevOpsDays for its internal teams, featuring demos, open labs,
lightning talks, breakout sessions, and guest keynotes. It also continues to
spread the good word through the business community by sponsoring Minneapolis
While Walmart is the king of big
box retailers in the American heartland, online it has always struggled in the
shadow of Amazon. To gain ground, it assembled a cutting-edge team through
several tech acquisitions and founded WalmartLabs, the retailer's technology
innovation and development arm, in 2011.
WalmartLabs has taken a decidedly
DevOps approach to its mission. It incorporated OneOps cloud-based technology,
which automates and accelerates application deployment. It has also created
several open source tools, including Hapi, a Node.js framework for building
applications and services that allows developers to focus on writing reusable
application logic instead of spending time building infrastructure. More
recently, it deployed more than 100,000 OpenStack cores to build its own
private cloud, and it continues to evolve its agile approach.
Nordstrom's development model
still included a waterfall delivery method, big batch releases, and lots of
shared services when it undertook rewriting its in-store application. When it
finally launched the program two and a half years later in 2011, it was already
irrelevant. "It was a big wake up call for us as an organization that we
had to figure out a way to deliver in this new context," says Courtney
Kissler, vice president of e-commerce and store technologies.
Nordstrom's customer mobile app
team was the groundbreaker for its DevOps makeover. After surfacing the reasons
behind mobile's 22- to 28-week lead time, the team broke down the divide
between dev and product support and organized squads around value. The company
also migrated to continuous planning and moved to a single backlog of work. As
a result, bugs went down, throughput went up, and releases went from twice per
year to monthly. More importantly, Nordstrom realized these methods could work
for any team, and it's continuing to apply them across the organization.
Facebook helped change the way we
think about software development. Many of the tenets it adopted early on,
including code ownership, incremental changes, automation, and continuous
improvement, were DevOps in all but name. Its approach has matured over the
years, and it recently migrated its entire infrastructure and back-end IT to
the Chef configuration management platform (and made some of its cookbooks
available to the public).
development lifecycle continues to reshape consumers' expectations of software.
Its bi-weekly app updates effectively served notice that constant, rapid
refreshes for mobile apps are the new normal, and any company that can't keep up
risks getting left behind.
For its first several years, Etsy
struggled with slow, painful site updates that frequently caused the site to go
down. In addition to frustrating visitors, any downtime impacted sales for
Etsy's millions of users who sold goods through the online marketplace and
risked driving them to a competitor.
With the help of a new technical
management team, Etsy transitioned from its waterfall model, which produced
four-hour full-site deployments twice weekly, to a more agile approach. Today,
it has a fully automated deployment pipeline, and its continuous delivery
practices have reportedly resulted in more than 50 deployments a day with fewer
disruptions. And though Etsy has no DevOps group per se, its commitment to
collaboration across teams has made the company a model of the DevOps
Adobe's DevOps transformation
began five years ago when the company moved from packaged software to a cloud
services model and was suddenly faced with making a continuous series of small
software updates rather than big, semi-annual releases.
To maintain the required pace,
Adobe uses CloudMunch's end-to-end DevOps platform to automate and manage its
deployments. Because it integrates with a variety of software, developers can
continue to use their preferred tools, and its multi-project view allows them
to see how a change to any one Adobe product affects the others. The move has
enabled faster delivery and better product management.
9. Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment's
Digital Media Group (DMG) faced significant challenges delivering a software
system to manage entertainment assets for end users. Manual processes and other
hurdles typically resulted in a months-long delay between completion of
software development and delivery.
To smooth out this "last
mile," DMG implemented an automated cloud delivery system composed of open
source tools and SaaS solutions. Since adopting a continuous delivery model,
DMG has cut down its month-long delivery time to just minutes. This allowed
developers to focus on adding features and reduced idle resources and
10. Fidelity Worldwide Investment
Like many enterprises, Fidelity
Worldwide Investment had several business units developing software
applications and was burdened with legacy release processes that placed huge
demands on its teams. Apps were deployed manually across hundreds of servers,
with each app requiring customization. Manually introduced errors frequently
broke the process.
When it came time to develop a
critical trading application with a firm launch date, the organization knew its
error-prone manual process would jeopardize the project. Fidelity used the
opportunity to embrace a DevOps approach and implement an automated software
release framework that would enable it to meet the rollout schedule.
That solution resulted in more
than $2.3 million per year in cost avoidance for that app alone. Since then,
the Fidelity team has automated the release of dozens of applications, reducing
release times from two to three days to one to two hours and decreasing
test-team downtime. The process has also made it easier to display regulatory
compliance and has enabled predictable release schedules that stakeholders can