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DevOps Methods and Products

In his latest “IT Trendz” post, Joseph Gulla explores IBM Watson AIOps, IBM Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management and more.

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Last week, I focused on DevOps Agile Tools and Practices. The discussion in that article was about three DevOps products from IBM. This week, I focus on four more offerings from IBM that support DevOps initiatives across a diverse set of organizations and companies.

Focus Areas for DevOps Offerings

DevOps aligns with the approach of the project team. This could be incremental change to an application or a major transformation—both with the goal of modernizing the target application. DevOps has organizational and procedural implications as development and operations personnel work closely together to both develop and support applications. DevOps has a toolset focus that eliminates many manual steps, resulting in fewer errors. DevOps tool focus is typically on the lifecycle of the application so the impacts of the tools are often comprehensive not piecemeal. Let’s explore four more offerings that help realize the desired approach, organizational support and promise of DevOps as employed for organizational projects and programs.

Intelligent IT Operations With AIOps From IBM

AIOps uses AI to simplify IT operations management and automate problem resolution in modern IT environments. We need AIOps because many organizations are transitioning from a traditional infrastructure of separate, static physical systems to a dynamic mix of systems and technologies. This new “mix” consists of on-premise, managed cloud, private cloud and public cloud environments. These environments depend on virtualized or software-defined resources that scale and reconfigure frequently. To meet the operational challenges of this environment, there are two offerings that feature IBM’s intelligent IT operations strategy:
  1. IBM Watson AIOps
IBM Watson® AIOps connects signals across structured and unstructured data from multiple sources to provide a clear view of irregularities. The connections provided by Watson AIOps supplies linkages to sources, making for faster investigation and resolution. Through real time monitoring, Watson AIOps is able to provide deep insight and visibility that allows teams to more quickly diagnose and resolve mission-critical issues. Watson AIOps utilizes pre-trained AI models that become fine tuned by data from existing IT monitoring tools. 
Watson AIOps correlates disparate data across an organization’s existing IT tools. This data includes events and alerts, logs, tickets, topology and metrics. Watson AIOps uses this input data to generate insights and advice that is shared using ChatOps and APIs for process integration like REST.
  1. IBM Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management
The IBM Cloud Pak® for Multicloud Management offering is an application-focused and AI-driven management platform. It’s designed to provide visibility and control regardless of where a workload runs. This Cloud Pak utilizes a single control point that organizations use to instill AI across their IT operations toolset. This product is a vehicle to automate time-consuming management tasks and to help remotely manage development, security and operations workloads.
The features of the product cover a broad scope including infrastructure, application, service, cluster and access management. Monitoring, event management and automation are also included. Hybrid governance and compliance are supported and the product has a license advisor that aggregates the license usage data that is collected and presents the overview of an organizations license usage on a dashboard.

DevOps Practices With IBM Garage Methodology

The main ideas with the methodology are industry practices for design thinking, lean startup, agile development and continuous delivery. The method integrates practices that are rooted in experience into a single end-to-end approach. The methodology drives enterprise design thinking at scale and is built on agile principles for different team configurations. The method also leverages DevOps tools and techniques for continued delivery and operations.
One instance of the method is IBM Garage Method for Cloud that was created to enable business, development and operations to continuously design, deliver, and confirm new solutions using cloud technologies. There is a useful document called the Garage Method for Cloud Field Guide that documents the method, toolchains and architectures that are fundamental to transforming the entire product lifecycle.

Cloud-Native DevOps With IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery

With IBM Cloud® Continuous Delivery, organizations can quickly provision an integrated toolchain. The product makes use of customizable, shareable templates with tools from IBM, third parties and from open source. The product also supports automated builds and tests with Tekton-based delivery pipelines and analytics that give the visibility needed to support quality control.
The product has two pricing plans
  1. The Lite plan, which offers the full capabilities of IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery, with usage limits, to small teams at no cost. This is an easy way to get started with a pilot project.
  2. The Professional plan, which offers the full capabilities of IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery to all users in your organization for a monthly per-user charge.

Next Week

Next week, I’ll explore analytics solutions used to discover meaningful patterns in data and gain insights that organizations can interpret and communicate to others.
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