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DevOps Orchestration in a Cloud-Native World

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. The Three Pillars of Digital-First Service Delivery
  3. Motivation
  4. Considerations
  5. Key Players
  6. Key Takeaways
  7. Appendix: History of enterprise software delivery and infrastructure architecture
  8. About Jon Collins

1. Summary

Faced with a raft of new competition, today’s enterprises are looking to achieve the same kinds of benefits as the startups in disrupting their industries. To do so, enterprises are learning to combine the following three cornerstones of digital-first service delivery:

  • Use of a comprehensive and scalable infrastructure platform, exemplified by (but not limited to) the public cloud.
  • Software deployment to a container and microservices architecture.
  • An agile approach to building software which aligns development and operations, that is articulated as DevOps.

In combination, these capabilities enable enterprises to compete head-to-head with cloud-native startups who have adopted them by default. At the same time, such features do not have to be seen as completely alien: for example, the microservices architecture delivers on long-standing enterprise goals of modular software delivery. No one-size fits all, and organizations are at different stages of their adoption of cloud-based models. In this primer, we consider the rationale for leveraging the principles of DevOps orchestration in a Cloud-Native world, incorporating container-based infrastructures and microservices as a deployment target, and development and operations workflows.

Key findings:

  • Organizations can adopt elements of cloud, microservices, and DevOps, but the greatest benefit comes from using them in tandem.
  • Enterprises are faced with constraints that startups are not, including legacy systems and architectures, governance challenges, and more traditional thinking and mindsets.
  • Each pillar is coming of age, becoming more ‘enterprise-y’ and therefore suitable for traditional businesses and operating models.
  • Organizations can be at different stages of DevOps adoption, from being on the starting blocks, to having delivered on certain aspects, to becoming truly digital-first.
  • The vendor landscape is complex, reflecting immaturity and rapid growth. Decision makers need to select tooling and frameworks that drive progress and minimize lock-in.  


In recent years Kubernetes has emerged as an increasingly popular orchestration and management technology for container-based microservices. For reasons of space and scope, in our ‘key players’ section, we have focused on vendors that offer some specific value-add to Kubernetes-based environments. This excludes vendors who have Kubernetes as a target; We recognize it is not the only orchestration option, nor the most suitable for every scenario.