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Mar 8, 2016

Resolving the SysOps versus DevOps Dispute in the Cloud

Resolving the SysOps versus DevOps Dispute in the Cloud

As software eats everything, the pressure to build more agile and robust platforms to support the software development process is becoming increasingly intense. Yet, a debate continues to rage over who should be responsible for building and administering the software development systems. THINKstrategies believes the cloud is providing a new path to circumvent this conflict so organizations can concentrate on generating leading edge software on a continuous basis.

In the old world of highly customized, on premise business applications, organizations established elaborate policies and procedures to guide a relatively slow software development process. These policies and procedures were put into place in response to a set of well-recognized external and internal requirements, which were not expected to change dramatically over time.

This relatively static environment enabled organizations to make significant capital investments in hardware infrastructure and the systems administrators to operate it. The result was the establishment of a SysOps orientation in which the software developer became a client or customer of the team responsible for acquiring and administering the development systems. The SysOps approach focused on managing infrastructure centralized around each VM or bare-metal machine on an individual level. Although this approach was intended to give software developers the power to demand services from SysOps, in too many cases, software development became constrained by SysOps.

As the internal and external demands for more rapid software development escalated, a more responsive approach to supporting the software development process was needed. The DevOps approach gave software developers their own tools to unilaterally initiate and administer their software development projects. The idea was to eliminate the need to rely upon SysOps and create a more streamlined and agile software development environment. The DevOps approach of managing infrastructure relies on the latest automation tools to permit more ad hoc development and deployment of code.

Despite the virtues of the newer DevOps approach, a recent IDC survey found many organizations are still not adopting this methodology for the following reasons:

  • Cultural inhibitors- 56.7%
  • Fragmented processes- 43.3%
  • Lack of executive support- 26.7%[2]

The cost of not adopting a DevOps approach goes beyond lost market/revenue opportunities. According to the IDC study, the cost of application downtime and infrastructure failure is:

  • For the Fortune 1000, the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion.
  • The average hourly cost of an infrastructure failure is $100,000 per hour.
  • The average cost of a critical application failure per hour is $500,000 to $1 million.

Even more disconcerting, Gartner predicts at least 50% of organizations currently using DevOps principles will not be delivering the benefits stated in the original business cases at the start of the DevOps initiative by 2018.[3] Gartner goes on to write in the same report that “many business users think that â DevOps and agile simply mean that they get their applications faster. By focusing only on speed, organizations can face the consequences of a sacrifice in quality and unforeseen setbacks.

THINKstrategies believes organizations can avoid these pitfalls by leveraging today’s leading Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. These cloud providers offer all the computing resources needed to support the software development process. They also offer these resources on an on-demand basis at attractive fee levels.

However, assembling the IaaS elements best suited to fit a specific application requirement can often take more skills and experience than organizations realize. Therefore, THINKstrategies recommends organizations leverage the preconfigured resources offered by a managed cloud service provider. For example, Hosted Apps for WordPress.

With Hosted Apps on WordPress, Clients get the following advantages:

  • Low latency
  • Autoscaling
  • Load balancing
  • Pre-configued web/app Database for WordPress
  • Auto Recovery

The best of these managed cloud services also includes unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support and auto-scaling. As a result, organizations can gain the best of both the SysOps and DevOps environments a reliable set of infrastructures with the elasticity to meet today’s dynamic business requirements.


[1] Why Software Is Eating The World, Marc Andreessen, August 20, 2011, WSJ:


[3] Gartner, “Avoid DevOps Disappointment by Setting Expectations and Taking a Product Approach”, October 6, 2015.

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