I SPY DevOps – Part 2: Answers Revealed

Author by Christopher Mank

In the first part of this blog series, we challenged you to SPY the application of DevOps in the given scenario. In this last part, we'll break it all down and reveal the different elements of DevOps being applied. Part 1: Can You Spy DevOps? Part 2: Answers Revealed (this post) Now before we just jump right into this, let's talk a little bit about DevOps and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). As defined in the book Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2013, ALM is a term to describe the way an application is managed from its conception, through its creation and deployment, to its eventual retirement. To add to this, ALM is also the process of how an application is continuously improved over time. Considering what ALM is, now enters DevOps. The concept  of DevOps is to build collaboration across the different groups in your organization by utilizing the combination of People, Process and Technology to improve the quality and agility of your application lifecycle. Briefly put, DevOps is meant to make your ALM processes better. To assist customers in their ALM endeavors, Microsoft has published their ALM framework (see below). As you can see, ALM is considered a continuous cycle consisting of Plan, Dev/Test, Release and Operate. Microsoft ALM Framework Now that we are on common ground, let's jump in! To start off, let's first identify who the key stakeholders (People) were in our scenario. The Business: This is none other than Mom and Dad. A critical bug (medical condition) was identified in one of the critical systems (our son!) and needed to be resolved quickly. Development: This was the surgeon and the anesthesiologist who were responsible for building the solution (performing the operation) to meet the needs of the business. Operations: This is the team of doctors and nurses of who were responsible for troubleshooting the issue and ensuring what was developed (the surgery) worked as expected without any additional issues. Next, we'll go through the scenario in sections and identify the People, Process and Technology involved at the various stages of the ALM framework. Less than a month ago, you and your spouse just celebrated the miraculous joy of bringing a new life into this world. You waited and endured the 9 months that led up to this moment and are now enjoying all that comes with adding a new member to your family. In this section, the Business is enjoying a new system (our son!) that was just recently deployed (delivered) to their environment (family). There was a lot that went into that process but it was all worth it now that the system is live (literally). After two weeks of no major issues, your little bundle of joy starts projectile vomiting all their food. Upon evaluation, it’s determined your child has Pyloric Stenosis and requires surgery (Pyloric Stenosis is the thickening and swelling of the muscle between your stomach and small intestine, preventing any food from actually being digested). In the ALM cycle, we start off in the Operate phase. The Business starts to notice there is an issue in the system. Following standard process, they notify the Ops team (medical staff at the hospital) who does an investigation into what is wrong. Using the proper technology (an ultrasound), a critical issue is discovered that needs to be resolved. The entire process moves into the Plan phase of the ALM cycle where the work (the surgery) is prioritized against the other work in the backlog (other kids needing surgery). As you sit in the prep room, you are greeted by the surgeon, anesthesiologist and a group of nurses who will be in the OR. They spend their time comforting you that they will do all they can to ensure the operation is a success. You are taken to the waiting room and given periodic updates from the nurse on how things are progressing. After the surgery is complete, the surgeon comes out and lets you know the surgery was a success (thank God!). In the ALM cycle, we now move into the Develop phase. The Dev team, Ops team and the Business all meet to discuss the development (surgery) needed. Proper documentation exists that outlines the process on what technology (laparoscopic) to use for this type of issue. While the fix is being developed, the Dev and Ops teams (surgeon and nurses) collaborate together to make sure everything is a success. Throughout the process, the Business is kept informed on how everything is progressing. You are then escorted to your room where a team of nurses are there to help with the post-op process. They give you instructions on how the next 24 hours will proceed and track all the progress in Epic. The surgeon can then track that same progress in the same place. A group of nurses work with you throughout the entire night to ensure everything is progressing normally. We now move into the Release phase of the ALM cycle. The system (again, our son) has been deployed and being monitored by the Ops team (the nurses). The Ops team provides instructions to the Business on how everything will proceed during this release process. To ensure the release is a success, the Dev and Ops teams use a communication technology (Epic) to track the overall progress. The next morning, a team of doctors meet with the nursing staff to discuss the status of each child on the floor and what the game plan is for the day. Later in the morning the surgeon and his team meet with you and let you know that things are progressing smoothly and you should be clear to go home later in the afternoon. By night’s end, you are all sleeping soundly in your own beds, relieved and grateful to have this all behind you. A few weeks later you receive a survey in the mail asking you to rate your experience which you promptly fill out and send back in the mail. We now move into the Operate phase of the ALM cycle. The Dev and Ops teams meet to collaborate on overall progress. As instructed, the Ops team (the nurses) have been keeping a close eye on progress and making sure there are no reoccurring issues. The teams then meet with the Business and communicate that the release was a success and everything looks great. Using the proper feedback channel, the Business sends their feedback to the Dev and Ops teams, thus completing a full cycle of the ALM process. So there you have it, DevOps in action! I hope you've found some value in this unique (and perhaps odd) way of illustrating DevOps. Well done, Christopher

Christopher Mank

Systems Architect