Welcome!

Ruby-On-Rails Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Hovhannes Avoyan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @DevOpsSummit

Java IoT: Blog Feed Post

7 Spices of #ContinuousDelivery Pipeline | @DevOpsSummit #CD #DevOps

A Continuous Delivery pipeline as part of an Agile transformation is like spices in a meal

The Seven Spices of a Continuous Delivery Pipeline
By Andreas Prins

A Continuous Delivery pipeline as part of an Agile transformation is like spices in a meal. Without them, the food is bland and worthless. On the other hand, the right blend of spices will leave you craving more, stimulating your senses and energizing you. But as any good cook will tell you, it can be a bit difficult to find the exact right blend of spices for a specific dish.

Salt and pepper are usually basic requirements, but knowing how to give your creation a boost by adding more complex spices, like turmeric, star anise, ginger or coriander, is a little trickier. It requires selecting the spices with care to make the dish tasteful—and that’s exactly like choosing tools for your CD pipeline and building your pipeline up. In short, creating a Continuous Delivery pipeline is not like using a standard set of spices you store in your kitchen drawer. You must carefully choose your tools per the goals of your team.

Want to become the master chef of your Continuous Delivery pipeline? Here are 7 tips:

  1. Avoid creating monoliths
  2. Strike a balance between fixed and flexible components
  3. Treat your CD Pipeline as a value stream, not a bunch of tech tools
  4. Use the MVP approach to build and extend your pipeline
  5. Embrace a model that allows you to easily experiment
  6. Limit the number of homegrown solutions you build—don’t miss out on all the great tools already on the market
  7. Setup your CD pipeline like it’s your most critical piece of software

Avoid creating monoliths
Monolithic applications can be a useful part of backend operations. But as you increase your customer-facing applications and interactions, monoliths become difficult to handle, impeding and restricting agility. Keep in mind that most of the changes you’ll experience over the next few months and years will probably affect the monoliths. Tools grow and go, new frameworks force you to adapt, and compliance is no longer a department, but more like oxygen—it’s everywhere and crucial to surviving. You need to accept that, in increasingly agile environments, monoliths are a thing of the past, and should be avoided as you create your CD pipeline.

Strike a balance between fixed and flexible components
Every IT team in every organization whether, insurance, government or banking, faces mandatory requirements. My advice is to set up a pipeline with a dual focus.

First, create fixed processes for addressing elements of the pipeline that are mandatory for getting software into production. Examples include version control, 4-eye principle, peer review, secure code review and user access management. Think of this as the salt and pepper of your delivery process—it’s the foundation of a tasty dish.

Next, make all non-mandatory processes flexible by using a modular approach. Allow teams to choose from a set of OP tools that can be easily attached to the pipeline. Not every team, for example, requires the same performance test tool. Depending on the technology, type, moment and maturity of testing, you could give let them select from, say, a set of five tools. This gives them freedom of choice while allowing you to maintain control and reduce maintenance.

Treat your CD Pipeline as a value stream, not a bunch of tech tools
CD pipelines require care and feeding to keep them running at peak efficiency. You can’t just pull together a bunch of tools and watch your pipeline magically transform. Your pipeline is better seen as a value stream that allows you to visualize your release process, understanding its throughput times, identifying bottlenecks and so on, so you can continually optimize your delivery cycle. The shorter a release is from “Merge to master” to “Deployment in production,” the faster feedback will flow throughout your organization, and the better your ability to respond quickly to last-minute demands.

Use the MVP approach to building and extending the pipeline
Building a CD pipeline is hard work. Don’t expect to create it overnight or to onboard teams in the blink of an eye. Start small and grow with the maturity of the team. It’s like learning to cook great meals. You might start by buying some pre-packaged seasonings from the supermarket and adding water. The more knowledgeable you become, the better you get at picking your own spices, which gives you the confidence to start experimenting. Why? Because you come to understand the subtleties of flavor and the effect of certain combinations.

Embrace a model that allows for experimentation
Speaking of experimenting, if you want to become an Agile organization, your CD pipeline should be flexible enough that you can try new things. Let’s be honest, tools in this field are like Roman emperors: they rise, shine and fall, so you must be able to experiment without breaking things. For example, if you balance your pipeline between fixed and flexible components as suggested above, you could try using multiple Docker containers without destabilizing the pipeline.

Limit the number of homegrown solutions you build
With all the great tools on the market, there’s no need to start building your own CD tools. You can create robust pipelines that fit into the above principles using off-the-shelf tools.

Setup your CD Pipeline like it’s your most critical software
From time to time I still hear people say that, when faced with urgent business demands, they skip over the pipeline and place software directly into production. The argument is that the pipeline is simply too slow to meet the demand. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Make your pipeline stable enough to work in every critical situation
  • Ensure that the pipeline extends from end-to-end so you can optimize all activities towards getting working software into production
  • Make the pipeline fast enough so you’re not tempted to do everything manually

Achieving availability, integrity, reliability, and speed is definitely hard work. But if you structure your pipeline as suggested with both fixed and flexible parts, it will be a lot easier to start small and grow into a highly efficient Continuous Delivery pipeline.

About the author
Andreas Prins is facilitator and manager of several DevOps teams. He loves to think and write about topics like transforming organizations, coaching teams and speeding up the delivery process. You can read his personal blog at IdeeTotIT.nl (Dutch).

The post The 7 Spices of a Continuous Delivery Pipeline appeared first on XebiaLabs.

More Stories By XebiaLabs Blog

XebiaLabs is the technology leader for automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It focuses on helping companies accelerate the delivery of new software in the most efficient manner. Its products are simple to use, quick to implement, and provide robust enterprise technology.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, will discuss some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he’ll go over some of the best practices for structured team migrat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they bu...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera offers a radically new approach to data management, where innovative software makes data infrastructure invisible, elastic and able to perform at the highest level. It eliminates hardware lock-in and gives IT organizations the choice to source x86 server nodes, with business model option...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...