Analyst Report: Sector Roadmap: DevOps Automation Tools

On Cloud

Across all industries, enterprise organizations are looking to respond to rapidly-growing competitors who have appeared seemingly out of nowhere to pose a genuine threat. As they do so, attention inevitably falls on the DevOps practices used by such disruptive players in the market. Perhaps, goes the thinking, an enterprise can avoid being outmaneuvered and potentially achieve similar levels of growth if they change their own DevOps practices?

Such new approaches require rethinking process and lifecycle automation. While tools and platforms for software development and service management are not new, this sector roadmap looks specifically at the current landscape for DevOps automation tools, i.e. those designed or oriented to make DevOps workflows more efficient and effective.

This report covers major vendors, forward-looking solutions, and outsiders along with the primary use cases, to help decision makers and technology buyers set criteria as they sift through available options. It covers AWS, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, Puppet and Red Hat. Each offers a strong set of features, making them suitable for most usage scenarios described in this report. Key findings in our analysis include:

  • The growth of DevOps practices and tools has been catalyzed by cloud platforms, open source, and Software as a Service (SaaS) models. These catalysts have reduced cost of entry and driven iterative development of DevOps tools.
  • While DevOps automation tools can be used in other areas, DevOps practices could not exist without automation. Tools that automate the hand-off of software releases between development and operations are particularly important.
  • Principles of DevOps can be applied without cloud as a target, but enterprises should be looking to cloud-based architectures if they are looking to achieve the same level of innovation and agility as start-ups.
  • Given their disruptive nature, enterprise organizations looking to adopt DevOps practices and tools will require culture change and experience. IT decision makers will need to map tools against their own needs and maturity level.
  • DevOps automation particularly suits situations in which requirements are fast-changing or poorly understood, proof of concept environments, and highly collaborative development scenarios (e.g. co-creation with customers).
  • DevOps automation tools can be evaluated in terms of what they bring to the lifecycle: not only automation but also governance, collaboration, analytics, and integration features. Used in the right way, automation tools go a long way to lowering barriers to entry into DevOps practices.
  • Vendors place much emphasis on where “dev” meets “ops,” but place less attention on where “ops” closes the loop with “dev.” As tools evolve, it is hoped that the latter part of the cycle is treated.
  • IBM, AWS and Microsoft offer DevOps automation as an on-ramp to their own infrastructure and platforms as a service. AWS only serves its own target environment, whereas other vendors support multiple target platforms, including OpenStack.
  • DevOps practices will increase in both importance and maturity. Analytics and machine learning bring increased visibility and automation, while serverless infrastructure and more advanced orchestration models simplify deployment handoffs and increase platform autonomy.

Key:

  • Number indicates company’s relative strength across all vectors (note that higher is better)
  • Size of ball indicates company’s relative strength along individual vector

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction and Methodology
  3. Usage Scenarios
  4. Disruption Vectors
  5. Company Analysis
  6. Outlook and Key Takeaways

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