CA Tools Up For DevOps, But Notes Culture Change Needed

Largely based on the Agile Manifesto philosophy which emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams, DevOps was all over the news this week as CA announced new capabilities and acquisitions, IBM picked up UrbanCode for its DevOps chops, and Serena Software rolled out change and release management capabilities for its Orchestrated IT solution set. However, as important as the right development tools and processes are to the design, development, testing, delivery and enhancement of software, if you don’t get the culture right, you won’t realize all of the potential benefits of an agile organization.

For over a decade, IT operations has followed a best practices “playbook” that has failed to deliver on the promises of sustained improvements in IT serviceability, said Cameron Haight, Research VP, Gartner. The struggle to deliver on these promises will not be overcome by technology, but by a radical rethink of IT operations culture and conventional wisdom.

During his keynote at this week’s CA World 2013, (relatively) new CEO Mike Gregoire said the communication, integration and collaboration between software application developers and IT operations professionals is vital if companies wish to transform their business models in order to deliver services to the market faster. “The demand for applications today appears to be nearly insatiable… (and the) benefits of DevOps are not trivial. We believe our solutions can help you achieve as much as a 30 to 50% reduction in time to market … an 80 to 100% improvement in quality …and a 20 to 30% reduction in infrastructure costs.”

DevOps is new, attempting to address the challenges facing application delivery, said Shridhar Mittal, general manager, Application Delivery, CA Technologies. “Businesses are asking for speed, a lot of speed… and the speed of fixing bugs. On the other hand, they want high reliability.”

Other DevOps complexities include the explosion of mobility, and the importance of the customer experience. “Quality and performance are critical,” he said, and while this is not a problem for startups, “for large companies, this is almost impossible.” So the question, said Mittal, “is how do you become a startup as a large enterprise?”

One way of accelerating app time to market is to increase touch time and reduce idle time. Most companies only achieve 10-20% touch time; idle or wasted time is 80-90% of time, he said. “Our goal is to reduce that idle-waste time by 50-60%.”

Like Gregoire a recent addition to CA, after 13 years with IBM, Lonne Jaffe, SVP, Strategy, said software development tools have not kept up with the pace of change. “The nice thing about DevOps is you not only release faster, most accurate code… but it also saves you money.” Having software that pays for itself becomes another benefit driving DevOps growth, he said.

CA has announced enhancements to its LISA solutions, as well as the acquisition of Nolio to add its continuous delivery capabilities to the company’s service virtualization business. “Building on our expertise in Service Virtualization—through both organic development and a targeted acquisition—we are driving efficiencies, cost savings and faster release cycles, and equally important, we are helping our customers achieve a truly optimized approach to DevOps,” said Mittal.

According to 451 Research, in the 2012 fiscal year, Nolio doubled its annual revenue, announcing more than 90 paying customers and multiple seven-digit deals with large enterprises. “Nolio’s growth reinforces the enterprise evolution of DevOps – the confluence of application development and deployment via IT operations – and how more enterprise and service-provider customers are implementing automation, continuous deployment and DevOps more broadly,” said Senior Analyst Jay Lyman.

Nolio’s unique ecosystem enables its customers to build a unified and automated application delivery chain, and its latest release, ASAP 4.5 raises the bar higher with advanced features that ensure enhanced collaboration, security, reliability, predictability and compliance. Key features include a new release calendar to facilitate collaborative work, approval gates to provide managers with full control over releases into their environments, and an artifact repository and tagging function to guarantee accuracy and predictability, stated 451.

The expanded CA LISA Application Delivery suite includes: Service Virtualization to reduce or eliminate constraints—or roadblocks—such as limited lab and system availability, and incomplete software and test data that prevent on-time application delivery—by modeling dependent systems and services; Release Automation (with the Nolio acquisition) to improve the ability to move application software through the development process and into production across physical, virtual and cloud IT environments; Pathfinder allows IT organizations to better model real-world environments for development and test using intelligence from both development and production; and DevCloud Manager to help ensure the environments and infrastructure used in development, test and production are ready for applications, across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure.



Author: Steve Wexler

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