Are you wondering whether to choose VMware for your DevOps environment?
The value of developer operations (DevOps) practices and continuous delivery methodology for agile and fast-growing businesses has become fairly well known. DevOps enables the fastest possible delivery of applications and features, and the highest degree of IT labor efficiency.
Many companies, however, continue to struggle with how to effectively adapt those practices and methodologies to realize the full value of DevOps.
When VMware itself switched to a modern DevOps workflow more than five years ago, the company says provisioning was reduced from a week to only 16 hours, and its functional QA testing time was cut from a week to eight hours.
This kind of IT efficiency improvement can be functionally equivalent to hiring more developers, but at a fraction of the cost, because the abilities of the developers you already have are being properly utilized.
Properly leveraging employee talent is as important in IT as it is in any other department, but it may be more difficult to do at times, due to the job’s complexity, or the challenges of understanding what everyone is doing.
Everyone can understand, however, that provisioning development environments (see below) is not an exciting or fulfilling use of time for IT Ops staff. It is a job no one wants to do, which can be done more cost-effectively through a managed host or automation anyway.
A managed host is often ideal for a business looking to achieve the agility benefits of automation without taking on new tasks requiring new technical competencies. The managed service provider automates server environments as needed, giving your business the benefits of automation while further reducing the workload.
DevOps methodologies also involve continuous ownership and monitoring of each specific service or project, an open approach to information sharing and collaboration, and above all, an embrace of the principles and practices that create an integrated IT pipeline through to production.
Auto-Provision Dev and Test Environments
Automating infrastructure deployment and management is essential to DevOps.
One of the easiest ways DevOps teams can streamline application development in VMware-powered Private Cloud environments is by automating the provisioning for their testing processes. A predictable environment helps to prevent delays in the development process and can also benefit the quality and consistency of the development work itself.
Automated environments also tend to be more consistent and predictable than those built manually, which is particularly important for testing and QA.
Under legacy development workflows, operations teams that build development and testing environments would provide the environment for each application’s development individually. If the instance provided by the ops team is delayed, or not provisioned correctly, the development team is delayed from starting its work, and even a completely smooth development process may fail to complete the application on schedule.
Test environments can not only be scaled up or down based on the test workload but also speed up testing by reallocating resources when they are not needed for other applications. This often happens overnight, when other workloads are reduced on a consistent basis for many businesses.
Testing processes are often considered the low-hanging fruit of automation, but auto-provisioning environments to develop and deploy applications is a major step in the transition to a continuous delivery process.
A VMware-powered Private Cloud enables the efficient, automated provisioning of all kinds of environments, setting up the infrastructure, configuration and dependencies. A complete DevOps cycle also includes automation of planning, building, coding, integration, deployments, measurement, and monitoring processes.
Automation Beyond Provisioning
An integrated DevOps approach means automating as many processes as possible.
Whether leveraging a managed services provider to automate tasks for you, or using VMware tools to do it yourself, a VMware Private Cloud environment is ideally suited to a broad range of infrastructure automation tasks.
Modelling different stages in the application release pipeline, accelerating code compiling by integrating popular build servers (such as Jenkins or Bamboo with Code Stream), and release management can all be taken care of by the server management service provider, or the DevOps teams if server management is done in-house.
With servers for each stage in the delivery pipeline spun up and down as needed, DevOps teams can achieve new levels of speed and efficiency automatically.
In addition to provisioning environments, coding and promotion through the pipeline, your managed VMware Private Cloud makes it easy to automate all of the monitoring necessary to maintain the performance of your infrastructure and the efficiency of your development pipeline.
A fully managed VMware Private Cloud solution takes care of most infrastructure responsibilities, including monitoring the operating systems of the VMs themselves. That can be quite valuable, as DevOps normally requires monitoring of applications all the way through the development pipeline and in production.
For companies that do not have a managed DevOps environment, implementing and configuring VMware to suit their business needs might constitute a steep learning curve and demand a significant amount of DevOps resources.
For businesses running a managed solution like Liquid Web VMware Private Cloud, however, monitoring is part of your service provider’s server management function. In the event that the DevOps team does notice an issue, an easy phone call puts your service provider’s premier support staff into action 59 seconds later.
Rather than troubleshooting managed VMs running cPanel with their service provider’s help, businesses with a small team or even just one person for system administration can focus their energy on development by letting their service provider take the full management role.
VMware is used by businesses of all sizes and verticals to provide the virtualization platform for their DevOps environment.
The company also pioneered virtualization and is the market leader in high-performance private cloud infrastructure, so it is a natural choice for automating infrastructure. As referred to above, VMware runs its own continuous delivery pipeline with its own vDC (virtual data center), making it a great cloud management solution to support DevOps processes, for which VMware also provides industry-leading documentation.
VMware Private Cloud with Liquid Web
Many organizations can benefit from VMware due to both a continuous delivery approach and a managed Private Cloud environment. For those organizations, a VMware Private Cloud managed by a team of infrastructure professionals is a cost-effective way, especially when used as a single-tenant dedicated VMware private cloud, to enable the efficiency and agility of continuous development.
Liquid Web is an official VMware Professional Solution Provider. Liquid Web offers businesses seamless migration into a fully managed VMware environment that lets them scale up their resources in the cloud while continuing to leverage their existing skills and tools.
Businesses can simply log in to their vCloud Director and send commands to vCenter, which controls vSphere and gives them complete access to the server virtualization platform.
At the same time, Liquid Web takes care of all hardware, VMware virtualization platform, and VM operating system management with proactive monitoring 24/7/365. With a dedicated vCenter and ultra-fast NetApp SAN storage, Liquid Web’s VMware-powered Private Cloud is the best choice on the market for your DevOps environment.
Jake Fellows is the Sophisticated Hosting Product Manager for Liquid Web's Managed Hosting products and services. He has over 10 years experience involving several fields of the technology industry, including hosting, healthcare, and IT-system architecture. On his time off, he can be found in front of some form of screen enjoying movies, video games, or researching into one of his many technical side projects.
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