June 13, 2016 | REAN Cloud
There are many ways, and probably more than seven, that DevOps can help invigorate your company. Within this blog, we will highlight seven critical benefits to implementing DevOps on cloud computing on AWS that have been proven to save our clients time and money.
- Opportunity Cost Savings – Usually when we talk about saving time and money by moving to the cloud, we end the discussion around the opportunity cost. Though this may be difficult to calculate, spending so much time and intellectual capital on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of provisioning IT infrastructure at scale often comes at the expense of innovating your product. I call it the “kicker” argument for taking the cost savings discussion over the top. However, in this post, I want to put it front and center as the top reason to implement DevOps, and wrote a specific post about it which you can find here. DevOps with AWS as the underlying platform is a huge catalyst to deploy continuous innovation to reduce the opportunity cost for your firm. Reach new clients or go deeper with your current ones by getting them excited and trusting that you are rolling out continuous innovation. DevOps with an AWS platform allows your company to roll out frequent and incremental features and services on a continuous basis in a secure manner – instead of waiting for weeks, months, or years as in a traditional IT software model.
- Security and Compliance Acceleration – DevSecOps enables you to reduce the cost and time needed to manage securing your environment, providing transparency and information on how your environment is performing (AWS CloudWatch), or monitor network traffic with VPC Flow Logs. You can deploy patching through your instances with AWS Code Deploy or AWS OpsWorks. You can reduce the effort necessary to have complete governance of your cloud infrastructure by knowing the state of your environment with AWS Config, or do a security assessment with AWS Inspector. AWS CloudTrail allows you to know who did what and when, while AWS Identity Access Management (IAM) gives you the ability to control who can do what on your system. With all of this automation going on in your cloud environment, why not automate your documentation as well? At REAN Cloud, we are using AWS Lambda to help automate our documentation for clients, and have further plans to have Lambda build out compliance wikis and a continuously updated dashboard. Imagine being audited every day (fun!) and being able to provide the answer as quickly as doing a web search.
- Development and Testing Time Savings– You can make it easier and faster to try out new ideas by being able to spin up parallel environments in the cloud programmatically with tools such as AWS CloudFormation. This tool gives your developers and testers a complete, production-like environment to truly test the scalability and performance of their application (no more, “Well, it works on my laptop,” response here). With AWS elasticity and scaling with Elastic LoadBalancing and Autoscaling, you can perform scale-out testing without affecting production, while still enabling testing for compatibility. With the cloud, the dev/test environments can be ephemeral and be blown away to do it all again day after day, as needed.
- Monitoring, Troubleshooting Pain Savings – As an AWS Managed Services Partner, we know the concern and responsibility of providing operations support at scale for many clients at once. We cannot achieve the levels of efficiency and scale without AWS’ infrastructure as code and automation. We know how the environment is performing, and have increased transparency of our entire infrastructure and knowledge of your virtual assets with an API call or AWS Command Line Interface (“ec2-describe-instances”) tools. As with AWS mentioned in number 2, We can also help our clients maintain their AWS environments for them with our REAN Cloud Managed Services offering. Plus, if you work with Sophos, Trend Micro, or Splunk, which are some our trusted security technology partners, and some of the other security, logging, and SIEM tools that we work with, you can programmatically configure these applications in your DevOps pipeline.
- Migration Savings and Technical Debt Reduction – You can save some money by leveraging some of the fundamental benefits of the cloud by “lifting and shifting” workloads to the cloud. However, the management burden of what you were doing will still exist because the technical debt of not architecting for high scalability and high availability will still be there, unless you take advantage of the full benefits of what cloud computing on AWS offers. DevOps can be the platform to help you re-factor and re-architect your applications to take care of the scale-out, managed web services that AWS offers, such as Amazon S3 for web-scale object storage, Amazon Route 53 for DNS servicing and latency based routing on a global scale, and Amazon CloudFront for global content distribution, to name a few services that can help supercharge your cloud migration.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Preparation and Testing Will Actually Happen – How many companies do you know actually pull the plug and do a game day scenario for a disaster recovery event on a planned and recurring basis? Of the hundreds of clients and prospects we have talked to over the years, the only ones that we have seen do it with regularity are companies that are using the cloud. In fact, using AWS for DR is one of the key drivers for the initial conversations as it concerns moving into the cloud. The technological and financial benefits are compelling, and the infrastructure as code feature of cloud computing offers programmatically moving your environment into AWS in a systematic, deterministic way. See the AWS Disaster Recovery whitepaper on having a pilot light scenario for quick recovery that takes advantage of the programmatic provisioning of infrastructure in minutes, with the cost advantages of keeping your costs to a minimum. Another compelling value proposition of the AWS Cloud is that you can make a VPC in one of the AWS regions an extension of your data center. From the moment you connect to AWS, you now have a colossal target in which to run your DR scenarios that is physically designed for fault tolerance, high availability, and with no single point of failure. If you are implementing DevOps and truly are able to re-create complete environments of production software in code, then what is a disaster recovery scenario but another instantiation of your pipeline in action? In fact, each environment for all of the above use cases: Dev, test, QA, DR, and production environments become DevOps pipelines instances.
- Company Valuation – I will end with a new “kicker” argument. Maybe the subtlest benefit of implementing DevOps in your organization is the huge potential to dramatically increase the value of your firm. Whether you are a startup or an enterprise, DevOps on AWS can be a pathway to increasing the price tag of your company. With DevOps, you can reduce risk, increase performance and transparency, while remaining secure and compliant. There’s a lot of value in that!
REAN Cloud, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and a launch partner of the AWS DevOps Competency at re:invent 2015, has the experience and customer successes to help guide you on developing your DevOps culture and AWS cloud adoption journey. We look forward to hearing from you to see how we can help you transform your business to take advantage of the seven benefits discussed here, and hopefully even more. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.reancloud.com/devsecops.