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DevOps / ITOps Productivity Report 2013

Part IV – Releasing Software: Control, or be Controlled

In this section, we wanted to figure out how smoothly things go during most releases. We weren’t impressed. The DevOps mindset encourages frequent releases, and if things are not automated, reversible and recoverable, then everyone suffers.

When it comes to release automation, only 1 in 8 respondents have fully-automated processes. Nearly one-third do it manually. Semi-automation is taking a stronger hold, but it’s not clear that the benefits of reducing human error outweigh making changes in the office.

Perhaps one of the most devastating findings in the entire report, we see here that DevOps oriented teams release apps in half as much time as Traditional IT Ops teams (average time per release: 36 min vs. 85 min, median: 15 min vs. 30 min).

Other findings in this section:

  • Apps deployed during weekday working hours 51% of the time, with all staff on hand in case there is a fire to fight. In 16% of cases, deployments happen during weekend nights. :-(

  • Around 75% of respondents rely on manual processes to recover from a release failure, which adds an increased risk of human error to an urgent recovery process.

Conclusion – DevOps just makes sense

DevOps as a cultural and technological methodology should be a pure win for most organizations — although how painful the path will be getting there depends on different factors.

Simply by discussing the DevOps culture, you are already “practicing” DevOps to some extent. Greater social interaction and communication between Dev, QA and IT Ops is going to make all sorts of things better, but in this report you can discern truly tangible benefits from embracing DevOps — app delivery times are cut in half, and DevOps oriented teams get more time to spend on improving infrastructure & themselves, and so on.

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