How DevOps Can Cost You Millions –

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The word DevOps comes from the term development and operations. The development and operations team had their separate functions and objectives.

As both teams worked separately, it led to long development hours, smaller batch releases, and unhappy customers. Both teams merged to bring uniformity to speed up the developmental process.

Since then, DevOps has become a popular application development and deployment approach for various companies. However, with the increase in companies using DevOps, it has also brought challenges.

Many questions remain unanswered: “Where to begin?” What will be the challenges? “How to solve them?”

In this blog, you will know the difficulties faced by companies and the solutions for them. 

Top Challenges of DevOps You Should Be Aware Of

The biggest pitfall lies not only in knowing what could be the challenge but also in how to mitigate it. Keeping the above statement in check, let’s discuss some common challenges companies face today.

1. Cultural Adaptation

It requires a lot of patience when dealing with such a transformation. Since it is a long process, the workplace undergoes a major shuffle while implementing DevOps. Organizations should ease the atmosphere and maintain positivity in the environment. 

2. Shift from Legacy Applications to Microservices

Sticking to old technologies could reduce your company’s prospects in the competitive marketplace. You cannot expect a fast development process just by shifting to microservices. The most significant burden that comes with transition is complexity. 

Organizations should update their software and hardware so that new technologies can co-exist with existing ones. 

3. Tools Confusion

After implementing DevOps, there is a possibility that developers could be dependent on tools to solve minor issues. It may seem an advantage in the short run. However, it could be detrimental in the long run.

Additionally, selecting a new tool requires scrutiny, as they need to meet security requirements and should be able to integrate with the software.

4. The Bottleneck in the SDLC Process

The effectiveness of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) has a direct relation to the effect on software delivery and deployment. An enterprise can deliver top-notch quality and trusted software if SDLC is carried out systematically. 

In DevOps, the software is offered in a short time with a higher level of reliability. Having a mature process becomes necessary for the team. However, a few organizations are unable to move forward with the speed of DevOps. 

5. Monitoring the Overall Process

Companies face issues in adopting DevOps if they follow specific rules and guidelines. DevOps doesn’t have any particular frameworks stating procedures that developers should follow to achieve their goals. 

DevOps consists of various applications, each with its respective parameters to measure. For example, metrics like deployment frequency might deal with CI/CD processes, while Defect Escape Rate is a part of the continuous testing pipeline.

How Netflix Mastered DevOps

The way Netflix managed to implement DevOps in its work culture is truly remarkable. They didn’t go out to build a DevOps culture, nor did they set predefined rules. 

Instead, they DevOps culture organically. The turning point for them was the worst outage in their history.

In 2008, Netflix was a pioneer in online DVD rental services. During the outrage, one-third of the 8.4 million customers were affected by it. The incident pushed Netflix to move its servers to the cloud and overhaul the entire ecosystem. 

Netflix successfully converted its data-centric Java application into a cloud-based Java microservices architecture. 

Netflix: The Chaos Monkey and Simian Army

If you have ever used Netflix, you may have noticed that though the software is reliable, the “Recommended Picks” stream will not appear. It happens because the server in AWS that serves it is down. 

Chaos Monkey

Chaos Monkey

Despite that, your Netflix does not crash, nor does it have errors. Netflix simply removes the stream or displays an alternative one. Netflix was able to achieve this by introducing a tool called Chaos Monkey. It is one of the first series of tools called the Netflix Simian Army.

Chaos Monkey is a script that runs in all environments, causing chaos and shutting down servers. While writing codes, developers are in a constant atmosphere of unexpected outages. The tool provides an opportunity for developers to not only test the server but also incentivize them to build fault-tolerant systems.

Simian Army

Simian army

After the success of Chaos Monkey, engineers at Netflix built a set of tools to check all kinds of failures and identify abnormal conditions. That’s when the Simian Army came into existence. Let’s discuss each of them in brief.

Latency Monkey

The tool causes false delays in the RESTful client-server communication layer to simulate service degradation and measure if upstream servers respond perfectly. Moreover, creating delays for a longer time can simulate an entire service downtime without physically bringing it down. Latency Monkey was useful while testing new services by simulating the failure without affecting the rest.

Conformity Monkey

This tool finds occurrences that don’t follow best practices and shuts them down. Let’s say you find something that doesn’t belong to an auto-scaling group. It feels like waiting for something wrong to happen. Conformity Monkey shuts it down and provides the opportunity to relaunch it properly.

Doctor Monkey

The tool detects unhealthy checks that run on each instance as well as monitors external factors. Then, those occurrences are removed from service after service owners find out the problem. 

Janitor Monkey

It checks that the cloud environment runs without clutter and waste and disposes of unused resources. 

Security Monkey

It is an extension of Conformity Monkey that identifies security violations (such as improperly configured AWS security groups) and ceases offending instances. 

10-18 Monkey

Short for Localization-Internationalization, it scans configuration and run-time errors in instances serving users in multiple geographical areas with diverged languages and character sets. 

Chaos Gorilla

Like Chaos Monkey, this tool simulates an outage of the entire Amazon availability zone to verify if the services automatically re-balance to the functional availability zones without manual intervention or any visible impact on users. 

What Can We Learn From Netflix’s DevOps Strategy?

Netlfix practices are unique to their work environment and might not be suitable for all organizations. Yet, we can learn some of their software product development strategies in DevOps.

In DevOps organizations, the leader must ask, “ What should we do to encourage enterprises to achieve the desired results?” This kind of thinking is required to improve the outcomes in the future.

Netflix focuses on providing developers the freedom to solve problems on their own. So, it doesn’t create artificial restrictions on developers of what they need to do. 

The end goal of DevOps is to be customer-driven and focus on enhancing the user experience with every release.

Opinions expressed by MaximusDevs contributors are their own.

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