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DevOps: A software architect's perspective

Authors

Len Bass, Ingo Weber and Liming Zhu

NICTA

UNSW

Abstract

We have been investigating problems in operations for several years and have naturally been tracking the DevOps movement. It is moving up the Gartner hype curve and has a solid business reason for existing. We were able to find treatments from the IT manager's perspective (e.g. the novel The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win) and from the project manager's perspective (e.g. Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation). In addition, there is a raft of material about cultural change and what it means to tear down barriers between organizational units.

What frustrated us is that there is very little material on the software architect's perspective. Treating operations personnel as first class stakeholders and listening to their requirements is certainly important. Using tools to support operations and project management is also important. Yet we had the strong feeling that there was more to it than stakeholder management and the use of tools.

Indeed there is, and that is the gap that this book is intended to fill. DevOps presents a fascinating interplay between design, process, tooling, and organizational structure. We try to answer two primary questions: - What technical decisions do I as a software architect have to make to achieve the DevOps goals? - What impact do the other actors in the DevOps space have on me?

The answers are that achieving DevOps goals can involve fundamental changes - not only in the architecture of your systems, but also in the roles and responsibilities of getting your system into production and supporting it. Just as software architects must understand the business context and goals for the systems they design and construct, understanding DevOps requires understanding organizational context and business context, as well as technical and operational contexts. We explore all of these.

The primary audience for this book are practicing software architects who have been or expect to be asked "Should this project or organization adopt DevOps practices?" Instead of being asked, the architect may be told. As with all books, we expect additional categories of readers. Students who are interested in learning more about the practice of software architecture should find interesting material in it. Researchers who wish to investigate DevOps topics will find important background material. Our primary focus, however, is on practicing architects.

BibTeX Entry

  @book{Bass_WZ_15,
    publisher        = {Addison-Wesley Professional},
    isbn             = {0134049845},
    author           = {Bass, Len and Weber, Ingo and Zhu, Liming},
    month            = jun,
    year             = {2015},
    title            = {{DevOps}: A Software Architect's Perspective}
  }

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