You might have heard a lot about DevOps – there are so many definitions, principles, and guidelines that explain what DevOps is. However, there isn’t enough information about correcting many of the misconceptions around it.
Anti-patterns are defined as a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being highly counterproductive.
So what exactly are DevOps Anti-patterns and how can we correct them? In this blog, we will look at some of the most common DevOps anti-patterns and dispel any myths around them.
Anti-pattern# 1: “DevOps = Dev + Ops”
Whenever I speak to anyone about DevOps, the first thing I hear is that DevOps is merging the bridge between Development and Operations, which is how the term “DevOps” was coined. While this holds true to some extent, it is not really the complete fact.
The collaboration between the Dev and Ops teams is just a part of the process, not the entire process. The concept of DevOps extends much further than that. It involves employing different practices and processes that hold good and are to be followed across the entire delivery pipeline.
Anti-pattern# 2: “Agile and DevOps are the same”
Do DevOps and Agile complement each other? Yes.
But are they completely the same? Of course not!
Agile comes in handy when you are dealing with complex projects whereas DevOps manages the entire transformation process. So while they complement each other, they are not exactly twins. Agile guides you about how you can develop your software. But to deploy and monitor it seamlessly, you will need to rely on DevOps tools.
Anti-pattern# 3: “DevOps is about deployment”
DevOps is not about tools alone. Just because you have some automation tools handy, it doesn’t mean that you can do DevOps. Similarly, just because you have set up your CI/CD pipeline, it doesn’t mean you are complementing DevOps. Certainly not. By selecting the right tools and tools chain, you can only initiate the DevOps journey. For it to be successful, you need people, processes, and cultural changes.
Anti-pattern# 4: “Need a dedicated DevOps team”
The core of DevOps focuses on eliminating silos between different divisions or functions within the organization. But when you bring a DevOps team, it means you are creating another silo! However, if you really want to benefit from DevOps, you must first measure your maturity model to know where you stand with your DevOps maturity at that point. It’s the first step in a journey of reaching a state where the processes, practices, tools, guidelines, infrastructure, and governance – everything is set up. Bringing a DevOps team will not do all that. In fact, DevOps is a culture which we need to inherit within your existing teams. A DevOps evangelist could help you to be on that path by measuring your maturity model.
Anti-pattern# 5: “DevOps is all about Automation”
We can’t deny that automating tasks is a critical aspect of DevOps. But hey, DevOps is more than just automation. This common organizational myth should be eradicated. Automation plays a vital role in helping you to achieve your goals. But if your automation strategy is not a part of your organization’s DevOps mindset and cultural shift, it’ll be wrong to view DevOps as just that. Automating a segment of your delivery pipeline may fetch you some worthwhile results. But if you stop at merely automating it and not doing anything else, it’s not accurate to call it DevOps.
Anti-pattern# 6: “DevOps and Security are enemies”
This is another misconception. In fact, on the contrary, DevOps and security are aligned strongly. This is why DevSecOps is flourishing because it helps organizations move forward in their DevOps journey. It implements security within software development and at Infrastructure level. DAST, SAST, Cloud Security are some of the key concepts where each product is analyzed on certain security rules. We move to the next stage only after it is thoroughly tested. Long story short: DevOps and Security are not enemies but are two sides of the same coin, which go hand-in-hand.
Anti-pattern# 7: “DevOps doesn’t flourish with Cloud”
Another myth is that DevOps is not needed when we are setting up Infrastructure on Cloud. The real essence of setting up our Infrastructure on cloud is through DevOps architects. Some organizations have even begun bringing new tools which is helping to provision our Infrastructure on Cloud with just a single click. HashiCorp is one such organization that offers different products such as Terraform, Vault, Consul, NoMAD and Vagrant. The beauty of these products is that they are open source and easy to use. They work very well with any Cloud provider. In today’s world, where every organization is migrating their Infrastructure on Cloud, these tools are really helping them to migrate seamlessly and setting up robust Infrastructure on any Cloud provider like AWS, GCP or Azure.
Anti-pattern# 8: “DevOps is not feasible with legacy systems”
Some organizations are still operating with legacy systems. They are still maintaining the data centers and are not utilizing Cloud providers fully. We understand the challenges and implications of those organizations where they have hybrid Infrastructure, with some of the databases still residing on data centers (legacy system) while their products might have migrated onto the Cloud.
DevOps works in such a case too where we set up the rolling out process for database deployments and the changes are pushed with proper change management. So, it’s not exactly the case that legacy can’t have DevOps in place.
I have personally had the experience of working with such a client – they were from Banking with a data protection policy that enabled the end-users. This meant they could not migrate data to a different geographical location and had to abide by different regulatory bodies. Be we could still set up a nice DevOps journey for that legacy system, which created wonders and they are still following it!
I hope this blog cleared some of the misconceptions that many people have with DevOps. Though this is a limited list, I hope this blog would have helped to clear at least some of the DevOps-related misconceptions.