|By XebiaLabs Blog||
|March 19, 2017 12:00 AM EDT||
The Seven Spices of a Continuous Delivery Pipeline
By Andreas Prins
A Continuous Delivery pipeline as part of an Agile transformation is like spices in a meal. Without them, the food is bland and worthless. On the other hand, the right blend of spices will leave you craving more, stimulating your senses and energizing you. But as any good cook will tell you, it can be a bit difficult to find the exact right blend of spices for a specific dish.
Salt and pepper are usually basic requirements, but knowing how to give your creation a boost by adding more complex spices, like turmeric, star anise, ginger or coriander, is a little trickier. It requires selecting the spices with care to make the dish tasteful—and that’s exactly like choosing tools for your CD pipeline and building your pipeline up. In short, creating a Continuous Delivery pipeline is not like using a standard set of spices you store in your kitchen drawer. You must carefully choose your tools per the goals of your team.
Want to become the master chef of your Continuous Delivery pipeline? Here are 7 tips:
- Avoid creating monoliths
- Strike a balance between fixed and flexible components
- Treat your CD Pipeline as a value stream, not a bunch of tech tools
- Use the MVP approach to build and extend your pipeline
- Embrace a model that allows you to easily experiment
- Limit the number of homegrown solutions you build—don’t miss out on all the great tools already on the market
- Setup your CD pipeline like it’s your most critical piece of software
Avoid creating monoliths
Monolithic applications can be a useful part of backend operations. But as you increase your customer-facing applications and interactions, monoliths become difficult to handle, impeding and restricting agility. Keep in mind that most of the changes you’ll experience over the next few months and years will probably affect the monoliths. Tools grow and go, new frameworks force you to adapt, and compliance is no longer a department, but more like oxygen—it’s everywhere and crucial to surviving. You need to accept that, in increasingly agile environments, monoliths are a thing of the past, and should be avoided as you create your CD pipeline.
Strike a balance between fixed and flexible components
Every IT team in every organization whether, insurance, government or banking, faces mandatory requirements. My advice is to set up a pipeline with a dual focus.
First, create fixed processes for addressing elements of the pipeline that are mandatory for getting software into production. Examples include version control, 4-eye principle, peer review, secure code review and user access management. Think of this as the salt and pepper of your delivery process—it’s the foundation of a tasty dish.
Next, make all non-mandatory processes flexible by using a modular approach. Allow teams to choose from a set of OP tools that can be easily attached to the pipeline. Not every team, for example, requires the same performance test tool. Depending on the technology, type, moment and maturity of testing, you could give let them select from, say, a set of five tools. This gives them freedom of choice while allowing you to maintain control and reduce maintenance.
Treat your CD Pipeline as a value stream, not a bunch of tech tools
CD pipelines require care and feeding to keep them running at peak efficiency. You can’t just pull together a bunch of tools and watch your pipeline magically transform. Your pipeline is better seen as a value stream that allows you to visualize your release process, understanding its throughput times, identifying bottlenecks and so on, so you can continually optimize your delivery cycle. The shorter a release is from “Merge to master” to “Deployment in production,” the faster feedback will flow throughout your organization, and the better your ability to respond quickly to last-minute demands.
Use the MVP approach to building and extending the pipeline
Building a CD pipeline is hard work. Don’t expect to create it overnight or to onboard teams in the blink of an eye. Start small and grow with the maturity of the team. It’s like learning to cook great meals. You might start by buying some pre-packaged seasonings from the supermarket and adding water. The more knowledgeable you become, the better you get at picking your own spices, which gives you the confidence to start experimenting. Why? Because you come to understand the subtleties of flavor and the effect of certain combinations.
Embrace a model that allows for experimentation
Speaking of experimenting, if you want to become an Agile organization, your CD pipeline should be flexible enough that you can try new things. Let’s be honest, tools in this field are like Roman emperors: they rise, shine and fall, so you must be able to experiment without breaking things. For example, if you balance your pipeline between fixed and flexible components as suggested above, you could try using multiple Docker containers without destabilizing the pipeline.
Limit the number of homegrown solutions you build
With all the great tools on the market, there’s no need to start building your own CD tools. You can create robust pipelines that fit into the above principles using off-the-shelf tools.
Setup your CD Pipeline like it’s your most critical software
From time to time I still hear people say that, when faced with urgent business demands, they skip over the pipeline and place software directly into production. The argument is that the pipeline is simply too slow to meet the demand. Here’s what I suggest:
- Make your pipeline stable enough to work in every critical situation
- Ensure that the pipeline extends from end-to-end so you can optimize all activities towards getting working software into production
- Make the pipeline fast enough so you’re not tempted to do everything manually
Achieving availability, integrity, reliability, and speed is definitely hard work. But if you structure your pipeline as suggested with both fixed and flexible parts, it will be a lot easier to start small and grow into a highly efficient Continuous Delivery pipeline.
About the author
Andreas Prins is facilitator and manager of several DevOps teams. He loves to think and write about topics like transforming organizations, coaching teams and speeding up the delivery process. You can read his personal blog at IdeeTotIT.nl (Dutch).
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Apr. 30, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,913
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Apr. 30, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,628
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Apr. 30, 2017 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,433
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Apr. 30, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,716
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Apr. 30, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,854
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Apr. 30, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,442
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Apr. 30, 2017 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,834
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 30, 2017 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,637
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Apr. 30, 2017 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,668
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 30, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 9,473
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Apr. 30, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 6,268
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 30, 2017 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,803
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Apr. 30, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,132
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 30, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,493
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 30, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,234
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Apr. 29, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 9,255
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Apr. 29, 2017 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,861
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 29, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,814
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,639
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,685