Understanding DevOps-Centric Service Management

Do DevOps and Enterprise Service Management (ESM) go together? It may not be immediately intuitive, but the methodologies and technologies of ESM share quite a bit with other parts of the enterprise, and a well-crafted ESM strategy works well with the philosophies of DevOps.

The goal of almost any DevOps-driven organization is to take an application, automatically deploy it, and execute automated testing against it, all with minimal human interaction. The catch is that, in a multi-cloud environment like those that are so common today, that’s difficult. DevOps pros don’t often think about the intricacies of where an application is going to run or how it is going to run before they start building. The pace of development today is simply too fast. So to help smooth out this process, we need to leverage the concept of the composable enterprise.

The idea behind the composable enterprise is that all applications that get created leverage APIs and the concept of event channels. An event channel could be as simple as a web hook or a Kafka topic or just about anything. If an event occurs, it initiates action in another service as an API call.

So what does the composable enterprise look like for an IT operations department or a DevOps team?

In a true DevOps environment, developers and operations professionals are supposed to be working cohesively as a single team, ensuring everything runs smoothly. It doesn't always work that way, but leveraging an enterprise service management solution can be the key to making things work better. Working within an ESM improves patching and compliance and becomes the system of record for IT operations.

But your ESM has to be able to communicate with observability, testing, and the software development lifecycle – and it has to automate the delivery of all those requests. How does that work from a DevOps perspective? Consider the entirety of the traditional SLDC and the IT operations stack from planning to build to delivery to runtime, all filtered through a continuous integration/continuous development framework. Continuous integration is well understood in most enterprises, but continuous development tends to be where a lot of organizations struggle. Historically what often happens is that application developers work hard to finish a project, then they throw it over the wall to operations and say it’s going into production over the weekend – Are you ready? Operations then struggles, of course – No, we're not ready. We didn't know it was coming. Nobody told us. Where's the documentation? And so on.

DevOps tries to solve that problem by aggregating all that information together. There’s no more throwing apps over the wall, because the teams are integrated. Continuous feedback loops let operations and development feed information to one another. Still, this often proves difficult, and most organizations are still struggling to master these strategies.

That’s where ESM comes into play. As the number and types of technologies involved in the development process become increasingly vast and complex, the goal of DevOps-Centric Service Management is to streamline all of the communication that takes place in this system. Compliance, patching, checking source code in and out of a repository, testing, scheduling – all of this work can be painful to manage without an ESM backbone. How does Jenkins communicate with Ansible? How does Ansible communicate with Microfocus? You need an advanced degree to figure some of this stuff out if you try to do it alone.

At GreenLight, we provide out of the box ESM capabilities that tie these parts and pieces together.

GreenLight takes vendor applications and provides them as a service. We can host a Jenkins environment as a service, then deploy monitoring on it automatically. We can also provide things like patching, compliance, and CVE scans. Our goal is ultimately to give organizations the tools they need to streamline the DevOps process and increase the amount of time they have to devote to more productive, value-creating endeavors.

Our goal is also to save you money directly, as cloud resources can quickly become costly.

It’s typical that organizations that move to the cloud initially find themselves facing a massive bill due to initial overprovisioning of cloud resources. They then slam on the brakes and try to understand what they’re doing and where their money is going. GreenLight helps you reclaim those resources – and expenses – by using automation capabilities to deploy only the infrastructure that you need for an application, pulling the app from your source code repository, deploying it in the test environment, and spinning down the cloud server when the job is done, minimizing the overall usage of resources.

Implementing the Right Solutions for Your Organization

At GreenLight Group, we offer sustainable solutions that improve the health of your IT, allowing your organization to focus on growth. In short, we create systems that make things work well. That is the philosophy that moves us forward— to take the chaos of IT and bring order to it; to master a complex thing and make it simpler. Our aim is to help enterprises sustain growth well into the future. If you have any questions about how to improve your current processes, contact us today.

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