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What’s Behind DevOps Success? Performance Management

By Celeste Malia | June 12, 2015

CATEGORIES: Web Performance, Performance Analytics

Performance ManagementToday, more organizations are discovering the benefits and efficiencies of adopting a DevOps culture. DevOps helps improve communication and collaboration between development and operations, leading to increased productivity, profitability and speed of application delivery. Most importantly, it helps deliver a better experience for customers. It should come as no surprise that according to a recent survey from IDC, more than 40 percent of Fortune1000 companies have a DevOps practice, and another 40 percent are actively investigating DevOps.

Despite the benefits, executing a well-oiled DevOps machine is easier said than done. Workplace culture, resistance to change and budgetary issues are just a few of the challenges facing organizations trying to change the way they manage IT operations. At the same time, trying to integrate the same, disjointed IT tools into a new collaborative DevOps environment is another surefire way to track failure.

One of the key benefits of DevOps is that it promises more releases over a shorter period of time to adapt to the needs of the market faster. This helps companies deliver a differentiated user experience to ultimate gain a competitive advantage. But in this continuous delivery environment, it can sometimes be hard for IT operations to keep up.

It can even be more challenging with modern cloud applications as developers are increasingly making decisions and configuring the cloud stack and environment applications run on as its now part of the code. In order to deploy often, it’s important to know you’re not going to break what’s already working and DevOps helps ensure frequent deploys with a low failure rate.

That’s where Application Performance Management comes in. APM allows Ops to collaborate with Dev across continuous delivery cycles to deliver a top-notch user experience. Here are three components of a unified APM platform:

Automation is king. In an agile DevOps environment, every manual test takes time away from an already short timeframe. Automation enables broader, faster and more in-depth testing at every stage of the lifecycle, including performance, scalability tests and deployments. An added benefit is that metric tests from each team can be easily measured and communicated to decision makers, helping to break down workplace silos that too often inhibit productivity.

Leverage data. Monitoring solutions help organizations monitor, analyze, and improve the end user performance and availability of mobile apps, websites and services. The output from monitoring – data about how users engage with applications and their experience – is of most value to the DevOps team. Metrics run the gamut from customer comments on social media to the number of tickets generated due to user unhappiness, but all are important to tweaking features to provide optimal user experiences.

Tap the cloud. Cloud-based testing provides access to an extensive mobile device library – including the most current and popular smartphones and tablets – without the bother of managing physical devices and their contracts. When it comes to optimizing the customer experience, tapping into the cloud’s ability to provide centralized access to the latest and greatest devices is key.

A great DevOps process allows organizations to reduce cycle times to days instead of months, but don’t forget the critical role that APM plays in the process to unite teams and ensure a great user experience.

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