Virtual Elephant

Multi-Cloud Strategy

The Impact of Cloud Architecture on DevOps Adoption

DevOps is a software development methodology that enables organizations to deliver software updates quickly and reliably. This article explains the role of cloud architects in enabling the adoption of a DevOps model and provides best practices for successful implementation as well as organizational changes to ensure companies can be successful.

DevOps and Cloud Architecture Overview

Cloud Architects help organizations to design and implement a scalable and secure cloud infrastructure that can support the demands of continuous development. The DevOps model should focus on seven core functions:

DevOps is a software development methodology that combines the traditional roles of Development with Operations. The purpose of combining these traditionally separate teams and organizations within a company is to drive improvement of the applications, by focusing on increased speed, quality, and reliability of software delivery. An organization will typically adopt the DevOps model to bring development and operations teams together to collaborate and communicate more effectively, and adopt a culture of continuous improvement.

When DevOps and cloud architecture are combined, the result is a more efficient and streamlined software development process. The use of cloud infrastructure, either within an organizations own data centers, or through the use of a public cloud provider, should enable more efficient processes around automation and scalability, thus increasing the delivery of software and applications. By integrating DevOps principles and practices into cloud architecture, most organizations will need to transform their typical siloed organizational structure to build a new culture of collaboration and continuous software and infrastructure delivery. This transformation can be painful for larger organizations where fiefdoms exist, as it often requires significant changes to management structures or org charts within a company.

DevOps Adoption Challenges

Adopting a DevOps model within an organization can be a challenging task, as it requires a significant shift in the way teams work, communicate and collaborate. The top three areas where I often see organizations struggle with adopting DevOps, include:

When organizations on solving those top three potential landmines when moving towards a DevOps model, their chances of success increase dramatically. In addition to the top three issues above, there are several other areas when organizations need to focus on as well, including:

By taking a structured and thoughtful approach to DevOps adoption, organizations can reap the benefits of improved collaboration, reduced errors, and faster delivery times, while ensuring their employees learn the technology skill-sets of tomorrow.

Cloud Architecture & Infrastructure-as-Code

A cloud architect should leverage Infrastructure as Code (IaC) as a key component of a DevOps transformation by incorporating it into their cloud architecture strategy. In IaC, infrastructure is treated like software and is managed through code, rather than manual configuration. This allows for automation of the entire infrastructure setup and management process, from provisioning to configuration management and deployment. In a DevOps context, IaC enables development and operations teams to work together more effectively and efficiently by making infrastructure setup and management a repeatable, automated process.

Each of the major cloud providers have tools or products to facilitate the adoption of Infrastructure as Code within your cloud architecture:

As a cloud architect, we should be playing a crucial role in our organizations efforts in enabling development teams to adopt continuous deployment through the use of Infrastructure as Code. Our guidance and expertise in cloud infrastructure, security, and operations, should be of paramount importance to our organizations and their efforts to move applications to the cloud. As described above, there are various tools available with each major cloud provider, it is our responsibility to determine which tools and cloud providers will help our organizations be successful based on the business and technical requirements.