Many software delivery teams focus on output from the development teams rather than the overall challenge of delivering applications and services into production efficiently. The result is that projects run over-budget because of the lack of consideration given to the difficulties in propagating complex systems efficiently through various environments and the associated dependencies. An efficient process should aim to deploy code running in production multiple times a day. In order to achieve these efficiencies, it is necessary to examine the entire value chain and to understand how each part of it can have a downstream effect: for example, a development team that releases code which their operations teams cannot deploy, perhaps because of configuration and/or environmental dependencies. The ability to deploy new features to production every day and make these features available to users is called Continuous Delivery. It is achieved by automating the entire value chain so that the software deliveries occur in small independently deployable batches and typically takes organisations months or years to achieve.
But doesn’t this come out-of-the-box with PaaS platforms like OpenShift and EKS? Looking at the marketing material, you’d think it would: there’s much talk of standardised developer workflows and simplified container management. However, whilst these software vendors give you many of the capabilities, they don’t tell you how your process should run. Of course they don’t: their value proposition is efficient container management, not prescribing how your teams should deliver software. And here’s the problem: every organisation is different and will want pipelines and environments that test or prove their own product’s needs for example if you’ve dealt with personal data, there’s going to be some serious security testing; public or machine-facing applications may need to be tested for scale, and algorithmic trading platforms will care about performance. You cannot, therefore, have a single process that suits all products and teams, it needs to be adaptive. You will need a bunch of automation to create build processes, environments, monitoring etc., and then you need to draw these together into a process that works for you.
So whilst Boost solves many of the typical friction points that otherwise prevent customers from achieving multiple deployments per day, to consume it effectively, we need to understand your context. This is why we have developed a simple, 1-Day workshop that helps us map your needs onto Boost’s capabilities so you get the best out of your PaaS platform. By the end of the day, we will have an agreed approach to applying CD with OpenShift to your candidate project using Boost, typically a 6-week exercise from zero to end-to-end delivery on OpenShift with multiple environments, connecting pipelines and automated quality gates.
Before the workshop takes place, we send you a questionnaire covering DevOps maturity, current delivery process, business goals, the benefits you seek from OpenShift, candidate projects etc. This gives us insight into what you want to achieve and the constraints you are currently facing so that we don’t waste time on the day. We also encourage you to bring along stakeholders from across the delivery process including Product / Business Owners, Architects, Devs, QAs, Release and Ops teams. This is because delivery spans multiple teams with competing interests and we need to understand each other’s needs and pain-points if we are going to build friction-free processes.
The workshop itself comprises:
- Boost Overview – How we automate and manage your infrastructure resources; how to achieve frictionless development using microservices by removing dependencies; provide on-demand automated environments for all roles; provide transparency for delivery for an entire product; incorporate test-driven delivery, and provide zero downtime for your production applications.
- Delivery Problems and Friction – based on your current process and pain points, we consider each issue your facing, determine how we can solve those using out-of-the-box features and where fresh innovation is required
- Boost Delivery Process – how to build an adaptive delivery process that allows stakeholders to track and test entire stories from idea to production. This involves the identification of environments (including their purpose, owners, SLAs and the quality gates that protect them) and how they are linked with delivery pipelines to form software value chains
- Live Demo – showing how code or test changes propagate through the delivery pipeline, quality gates and environments
- Ambition and Vision – based on your business goals, what do we need to achieve from the Rapid Start
- Planning – using our evaluation tool on your candidate projects to select the most effective, we plan how to upskill your teams by applying our knowledge and experience to the delivery of your chosen project.
The workshop gives you insight into Boost, how it can be applied to your context, the costs of doing so and the timeline for realising the benefits of your Paas platform. We can do this because the workshop also yields the high-level Boost artefacts which the software value chain (including environments) and scopes the implementation project – typically 6-weeks during which your teams learn and apply everything they need to achieve Continuous Delivery on OpenShift.