APMdigest posed the following question to the IT Operations community: How should ITOps adapt to the new normal? In response, industry experts offered their best recommendations for how ITOps can adapt to this new remote work environment. Part 5, the final installment in the series, covers open source and emerging technologies.
Start with: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 1
Start with: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 2
Start with: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 3
Start with: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 4
Although 2020 has been a year of change, ITOps teams have been building for scale for quite some time, and our teams have become more distributed than ever. By utilizing new capabilities in cloud native architectures, where observability is embedded in our open source stacks teams have more options than ever. Open source is the new normal.
We should ensure the teams are up to date with new emerging technologies. While the new norm influences our physical presence, technology continues to progress and we want our team to have the ability to learn, develop and find ways to advance the organization (and themselves) by leveraging new technologies and solutions. The organization should assist the Ops engineers in being up to date from this perspective as well.
Chief Delivery Officer, Aqua Security
The new normal already has large parts of the workforce WFH and away from the office. ITOps teams will continue to focus on organizational solutions that provide stability and easy integration into pre-existing environments. This gives an advantage to SaaS solutions, which can be updated remotely, typically with high uptimes.
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station
PUBLIC CLOUD IAAS
COVID-19 has dramatically amplified several existing trends and needs across teams. For ITOps, I think it has shown the importance of the move to Public Cloud IaaS — which means a reduction in their role, but it's the only route to scale/reliability. Where ITOps do still run systems, the mass migration to remote working has forever changed the infrastructure needs and cadence of evolution. Although most of what the team does can be done remotely, as everyone has moved to WFH, there is a considerable impact on the SREs and ITOps teams that manage the infrastructure data centers. They need to work in capsules to not to infect each other and maintain a working force that physically administers the data center. All clouds are basically physical servers that need maintenance at the end of the day.
Division President, Amdocs Technology
One key to navigating these challenging times is for ITOps to look at underlying network infrastructure to make sure it can handle the evolving demands of the business, and then plan a network upgrade in a way that's not disruptive to the business. Many organizations have turned to SD-WAN as the answer — and rightly so, because it provides a way to control application performance while centralizing and simplifying network and resource management. However, pretty much all SD-WAN vendors require an overhaul of the network infrastructure in order to implement, which is time-consuming, costly, disruptive, and slow to deliver results. Our recommendation is that ITOps consider a solution that doesn't require re-engineering of the network. Take advantage of transparent hybrid technologies in order to gain the application performance and network management benefits of SD-WAN immediately (rather than the typical 6-18+ months you'd be looking at with most solutions), without having to re-architect the network. The ideal SD-WAN solution enables a « hands-free » migration, which involves placing a device that is essentially invisible to the network and delivers instant end-to-end application visibility and control. Meanwhile, the business can migrate to a complete SD-WAN at their own pace, avoiding the risk, disruption, and delayed ROI associated with a complex network project. Additionally, the enterprise should consider whether an SD-WAN solution offers multi-cloud capabilities and supports work from home scenarios, because in the long term ,the network edge is expanding beyond the physical boundaries of the corporate perimeter. Lastly, cost flexibility is essential; the enterprise should insist on consumption-based pricing models in order to control costs and maintain flexibility as they grow or shift workloads and sites up or down. Ultimately, ITOps needs a network that can grow and scale with the business, as they adapt to unpredictable circumstances facing their business today and beyond.
Director of Product Marketing, Infovista
The move to 100% remote ITOps underscores the importance of reliable, scalable, automatable infrastructure up and down the stack. Every part of your application stack, particularly the oft-overlooked foundational parts (think: servers, load balancers, VPNs, DNS), need to be just as agile and easy to deploy, update, and scale as your core application. This will enable you to react to changing business needs rapidly. The ability to scale your internal back-office application by 10x in 10 minutes is fantastic, but if none of your employees can access the system because your VPNs are overloaded, you've got a problem. Take the opportunity to look at every piece of software and hardware that powers your business and ask: "How agile and fragile is this?" "How does it scale?" "How can it be automated?" Because when it comes time to deliver on new goals and KPIs in the future, companies that have invested in making their entire stack more reliable and scalable will have a massive advantage.
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