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DevOps is also applicable for hybrid landscapes

After my first blog post on the human side, I will now continue. This is part 1 in the sequel ” DevOps is also applicable for hybrid landscapes”.

Are you already familiar with DevOps? DevOps (focus on alignment Development, Operations, and Business) has a number of core values, such as flexibility, adaptability, and reliability. However, this flexibility and adaptability can put the reliability of the software system under pressure. This sequel shows that DevOps is also available for hybrid software landscapes.

Homedelivery service as an example of a hybrid landscape

First, let’s discuss the term “hybrid landscapes.” From the perspective of IT systems, different types of hosting models exist. There are 3 main types, namely: On-Premise, Private Cloud and Public Cloud. In addition, Public Cloud can be subdivided into IAAS, PAAS, and SAAS (refers to Infrastructure-As-A-Platform, Platform-As-A-Service, and Software-As-A-Service respectively).

An End-2-End business process runs across different IT systems and can be hosted in different ways. An example is a home delivery service from a supermarket. You order online in one system in the cloud, products are grabbed using a second On-Premise system while the route planning is processed in a PAAS system. Changes to one system have an impact on the other systems. Exactly this impact on different systems makes it difficult to guarantee flexible, adaptable and reliable end-to-end business processes in hybrid landscapes.

Why does DevOps seem to be complicated for Hybrid landscapes?

From our experience, we can state that most companies around the world are dealing with a hybrid IT landscape. Often, they themselves encounter some issues related to this hybrid landscape. For example, both business and IT often think that implementation of changes is slow in On-Premise software. In contrast, cloud software is seen as an accelerator for software and much more user-friendly than On-premise. Therefore people are quickly assuming that DevOps is primarily suitable in Cloud-oriented environments.

Three reasons why Cloud software seems to be more user-friendly than On-Premise software

Three main points appear to give customers the impression that Cloud software is more user-friendly than On-Premise software:

1.    A high degree of standardization

First of all, there is a high degree of standardization of applications and systems in the cloud. System updates are performed by software suppliers or providers rather than by the company itself. This standardization gives IT more time to focus on other important matters.

2.    The importance of flexible integration functionalities

Secondly, integration functionalities appear to be important as well. Preferably you can be flexible in the size and speed of updates and new releases at any time, mainly to synchronize all hosting models as much as possible. Theoretically speaking, On-Premise software seems to offer a certain amount of flexibility. Nevertheless, this flexibility appears to be limited in reality. These days On-premise software products are used for many years now, but many changes have been made to the software throughout these years. Besides, to make it more complex (probably not intentionally), those changes were often poorly documented or even not at all. Whenever an issue occurs somewhere in the system, it also becomes difficult to solve. After all, the current employees are often not even aware of how the legacy system has been constructed throughout the years. Furthermore, employees can fear to execute any of their innovative ideas as those might cause issues in the system which they cannot solve quickly.

3.    The appropriate mindset is not present yet

Thirdly, the appropriate mindset is often not present yet. One of the main benefits of DevOps is accelerated time-to-market. Though often the assumption is made that as long as End-2-End business processes run on different IT systems, releases or updates in one hosting model could still have to wait due to the different release speed in another hosting model. This can cause the business and IT to show less willingness to invest in DevOps at all. Though if the right mindset is there, the opposite can be proven. Challenges should not result in hurdles a company could not overcome.

In short, hopefully, this blog has given more information about hybrid landscapes. Still curious about how DevOps can play a role in hybrid landscapes? Read also Part 2 of ” DevOps is also applicable for hybrid landscapes”. (coming soon).

Earlier, the blog post “The DevOps journey: why the human is crucial in the automation of software” was posted.

Translated from the dutch blog post on blogs.sap.nl
Written together with Sifa van Zutphen (working student)

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