Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

State of DevOps with Puppet Labs

Welcome to the new episode of DevOps Dimension. I’m [INAUDIBLE],, a senior technical evangelist at Microsoft, focused on DevOps and open source. And today, I’m very pleased to have Alanna from Puppet Labs joining me. So, Alanna, welcome. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Sure, my name’s Alanna Brown, and I’m a Product Marketing Manager at Puppet Labs. I spearheaded the Puppet Labs State of DevOps Survey and Report. And I’ve spent the last four years studying high-performing IT teams with my friends, Gene Kim, Jez Humble, and Nigel Kersten. That’s great. So you mentioned the State of DevOps Survey and Report. Yes. I have my notes here. I really liked the report. Thank you. Because it has over 5,000 respondents. Yup.
And the figures I see in the report are mindblowing. One example is high-performing IT organisations experienced 60 times fewer failures. So it shows the benefit of adopting a DevOps mindset. So what do you think about these reports? What are the key findings? Yeah, that’s a great question. So over the last four years, we’ve actually surveyed over 20,000 IT and development professionals. So this is actually the most comprehensive survey of its kind out there today. And what we found consistently over the last four years is that high-performing teams are more agile, and they’re more reliable. So as you mentioned, they deploy code 30 times more frequently, with 60 times fewer failures. And if they do fail, they recover 168 times faster.
So what that tells us is this goes against the notion that in order to be stable and reliable, you have to move slower, when in fact, the exact opposite is true. If you want to move faster, you actually need to build resilience into your systems, and you need to get used to making changes more frequently. And it has a portion I, again, like. It just asks, do you want to know how your team is doing? Just ask them. How painful are deployments? And I understand that because the developers will come to you with the answers. The IT guys, the sysadmins have their answers like, we are having this problem with the developers.
They always say, we’re having this problem with the IT pros, so deployment problems are super a good way to show if they are having any pains and problems around this. Yes. So what do you think about the it manager’s role in the DevOps transformation? So one of the things we studied in our last report was the role of IT managers, and we found that there are critical. So traditionally, DevOps has been this grassroots movement, but now what we’re seeing is it’s moving up the chain, up the organisation, and it’s also moving horizontally throughout the organisation. So we see QA, infosec, devs, ops, they’re all aligning around this idea of DevOps.
And the CIOs and IT leaders are also thinking about DevOps too. So it’s rare that we go into any organisation and they haven’t heard of DevOps today. And we believe that in order for a DevOps initiative to succeed, it really can’t just be this CIO, top-down mandate, and it can’t just be a grassroots level effort either. There has to be that middle layer that sort of translates the business needs and on-the-ground execution. So we think that IT managers are extremely important in a DevOps transformation. This is a common theme we see in our customers. Just as you mentioned, if the top level C-level executives are pushing the DevOps mindset, it’s not going to work. Exactly.
Because you need to sit down with the developers, operations people, and tell them what’s in it for them instead of just, OK, we’re going to do DevOps. So in another report you’ve published extending this is called How to Build a High-Performing IT Team. It’s a very focused subject. And coming from a sysadmin background, I really liked the chapters. I’m just going to give the names of the chapters. The first one is called Build a Business Case for DevOps. I think it’s really important because, yes, we want to do DevOps, but why? What are we going to benefit? That kind of stuff. And you have five chapters. Another thing very interesting for me is 5 chapters.
And before chapter 4, you don’t mention anything about tools or processes. Yeah, that was on purpose. Right, so a lot a DevOps transformation– I mean, DevOps requires some big changes across the entire organisation– changes in culture, and process, and tools. And there are so many challenges and roadblocks. You’re dealing with a lot of legacy systems, and tools, and processes. You’re dealing with the mindset that the status quo is OK for now, even though in the long-term, we all know that that’s unsustainable. You’re also dealing with a lot of politics– infighting. [LAUGHS] There is a lot of that going on too.
So the important thing, I think, and why we start out with building the business case is because it’s really important to get everyone aligned around the business goal. And that’s really the goal of DevOps is to get alignment, and figure out what matters to the business, and how can we execute in a way that delivers on those promises. So we can’t go and buy DevOps– Exactly. [INAUDIBLE] There’s no such thing. No, there’s no such thing as a DevOps tool. I will say, though, that tools are extremely important because they help drive behavioural change.
If you think about the last 10 years and how people have moved away from emails to a ticketing system, that changes how you process that kind of information and how you interact with it. So I think it’s really similar with the tools in our space currently. So for example, the configuration management tools out there like Puppet, they allow you to define your infrastructure as code, and that enables teams to start to adopt these agile development best practises. Great. And Puppet Labs published another report called The DevOps Salary Report. Yes. I kept it for the fun of it because I can see that the sysadmins, especially, are like, hmm, Salary Report. Let me hear about this.
Yeah, so the Salary Report is interesting because what we found– and this is based on the data we collected in the 2015 State of DevOps Survey. But we found that demand for DevOps skills is at an all-time high and that people with these skills are demanding more pay. So DevOps engineers make higher pay overall than any of the other titles we looked at in IT. 50% are making 100K or more, and that’s surpassed only by titles with “architect” in them. So this is pure economics, right? There is high demand, and there’s not a lot of people out there with these skills.
So I think what that tells us is if you want to stay ahead, and you want to be competitive, and grow your career, then you really need to adopt these skills. Mhm, so it’s time to kill up. Yup, exactly. And we just talk about how our customers– your experience with the customers, how they’re doing their jobs, what are their pain points? So what is one of the most common themes you see in your customers in terms of their difficulties with a DevOps mindset? Well, I think one of the biggest challenges and roadblocks is just misaligned incentives, right? So you have these very large organisations, and we work with a lot of them. And they’re incredibly siloed.
They don’t communicate well across teams. They don’t work– their teams don’t work well together. And also, they’re not incentivized to deliver the best products to their customers. So if you think about DevOps teams, they’re incentivized to deliver new features faster. Ops teams are incentivized to keep the systems running at all costs. QA is responsible for quality. Security is responsible for security. So they’re all incentivized differently, and that drives different behaviours and outcomes. So the most successful organisations we work with, they figured out a way to align those incentives and they often have reorganised their teams in such a way that the flow of work and information is pretty seamless between them. Great, thank you.
And speaking of DevOps configuration management is a very important part of the DevOps initiative, you can say. We call these DevOps practises. At Microsoft, we think there are seven practises important for DevOps, and configuration management is one of them. So why would the customers think about implementing a configuration management solution for the company? What’s in it for them? Well, they’re dealing with a lot of different challenges. Again, a lot of IT is very manual, right? So there are all these manual processes, and it’s very time-consuming. Their dev test and production environments are out of sync, and they’re trying to sync them up manually. And so there’s a lot of outdated processes and tools that they’re using.
So what a tool like Puppet does is it allows you to define your infrastructure as code, as I mentioned earlier. And that allows teams to start to adopt agile development best practises. So things like version control and peer review, automated testing, automated deployments, continuous integration, continuous delivery, those things are all now possible because you can define your infrastructure as code. And then the benefit we see and what our customers tell us is that their dev teams just see them as fellow engineers, right? They’re using the same types of tools and the same types of processes, and they have this common pool of understanding between them. So it definitely eases collaboration.
And speaking of these DevOps practises, how does Puppet Labs do DevOps? [LAUGHS] [INAUDIBLE] the daily life of the DevOps team in Puppet? Yeah, that’s a great question. So our model is just a little bit different because we develop on-premise software. So our ops team isn’t actually running services that our developers have built. They do have responsibility for the dev test infrastructure. They manage, and maintain it, and support it, and they’re on call for it. But that is really considered a shared responsibility between QE, QA, and our ops teams. But that being said, DevOps is just a way of life at Puppet.
You know, I think we really embody the values of DevOps, which are culture, automation, measurement, and sharing– the CAMS model. And our ops team uses Puppet actively, and there are our most vocal critics. [LAUGHS] And so if there’s ever a problem, they can come straight to the product teams and talk to them about it. And they’re all often included in the product planning process. So before a new version is published to public, a rigorous internal testing. That’s right. The real teams are just there. Exactly. OK, that was good information. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for your time, and hope to see you again in our studio again soon. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

In the previous step, we discovered the importance of DevOps by understanding the value it brings to the organisation. In this step, we learn about the State of DevOps from Puppet Labs’ perspective.

The State of DevOps Report

Puppet Labs publishes the State of DevOps Report based on responses from more than 20,000 tech professionals worldwide. The report authors conclude that organisations that embrace DevOps practices consistently outperform their peers. For example:

  • Companies with high-performing IT organisations are twice as likely to exceed their profitability, market share, and productivity goals
  • High-performing IT organisations experience three times lower change failure rates and recover 24 times faster than their lower-performing peers. They also deploy 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times.

Key Findings

Over the years of publishing the State of DevOps Report, two key findings that have surfaced from these reports include:

  1. DevOps goes against the notion that you achieve stability and reliability if you move slower. In fact, the research shows us that if you want to move faster, you have to build resilience into your systems. You need to get used to making changes more frequently.
  2. Traditionally DevOps was seen as a grassroots movement but is now moving up the chain and horizontally through the organisation. For a DevOps initiative to succeed, there has to be alignment between all the layers in the organisation to see true DevOps transformation.

The DevOps Transformation

DevOps requires big changes across the organisation. It requires changes in culture, process and tools. There are also many challenges and roadblocks along the way:

  • Legacy systems, tools and processes
  • A mindset of accepting the status quo
  • Politics
  • Misaligned incentives

To achieve a successful transformation, you have to start with the business case. It is important to get your organisation aligned around the business goal.

Configuration Management

Configuration Management is one of the DevOps practices. Configuration Management tools allow you to define your infrastructure as code. It enables teams to start adopting Agile development best practices and it makes things such as version control, peer review, automated testing, automated deployment, continuous integration and continuous delivery possible.

In the next step, we will explore fast delivery cycles.

Join the discussion

What part, if any, of the report & discussion surprised you?
Use the discussion section below and let us know your thoughts. Try to respond to at least one other post and once you’re happy with your contribution, click the Mark as complete button to check the step off, then you can move to the next step.
This article is from the free online

Microsoft Future Ready: Fundamentals of DevOps and Azure Pipeline

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now