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Datical 2018 Predictions: The DevOps Big Three of 2018 - AI, Security and the Database

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Robert Reeves, co-founder and CTO, Datical

The DevOps big three of 2018 : AI, Security and the Database

This past year was good for DevOps: we saw more enterprise adoption of containers, microservices and cloud native applications. Organizations are increasing their reliance on modern software development and delivery as part of their business model. Interest and adoption of DevOps is happening on a much broader scale, especially within the enterprise. As we head into 2018 here are a few things the future has in store for DevOps.

Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing in DevOps

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds great promise for DevOps. As humans, we learn from trial-and-error and we share our tribal lore with less experienced members of our tribe. That is exactly the promise of AI and machine learning. We prize our database administrators (DBAs) with 20 years of experience because they have vast experience in what has (not) worked in the past and because they can see patterns in the issues they deal with daily.

However, humans are limited in amount of data they can consume. Enter machine learning: if we are able to collect vast amounts of data on application change and its corresponding impact to our customers and systems, then it's known problem to identify patterns in that data. In turn, we can prevent bad behavior and encourage good behavior, all without having to wake up at 2 a.m. to respond to an on-call issue.

Security will shift-left and development will claim it was all their idea

The portmanteau of DevOps continues to be "portmanteau'd" with DevSecOps. Of course, security has always been in operations and tasked with enforcement in dev, so the idea of calling it out is little more than marketing air cover. Nevertheless, the continued enforcement of security in development will increase and become more prevalent as development realizes the security team is serious...this time.
With cloud adoption continuing, security teams must enforce compliance at all levels. Previously, dev and test were wide open and allowed for no supervision for deployments. This was to enable speed. Security was only enforcing in production or "prod-minus-one" environments.  With DevOps, that process breaks down because it teaches us to have the same deployment mechanism for all endpoints. That means operations teams deploy the way development does...it also means development has the same scrutiny and standards as production.

Once that requirement is made clear to development, the dev team will immediately begin to look for ways to automate that security enforcement, but in a development way. In turn, those tools and processes will be then adopted by operations. And the circle of life DevOps will continue.

Fewer and fewer companies will forget the database with DevOps

The database is the hardest part in the application stack to manage, so it just doesn't make sense that it's always the forgotten piece of the puzzle. IT teams have been so focused on time-to-market and getting development to push out applications at the speed of light, but still manually manage the change process of databases that contain massive amounts of information. The good news is that as more enterprises continue to modernize and adopt DevOps processes, it'll become harder to ignore the database. This is because DevOps is a process, an algorithm. It's not static and it can't be done some of the time. DevOps is about identifying friction that is slowing down software releases. Sometimes, it's the testing team setting up environments manually. Let's make this the year we really get serious and start to automate environment creation to solve not just this one problem, but all problems across the IT department. Let's stop having DBAs perform manual SQL script review prior to a release and start automating the review so that they can continue to innovate and bring strategic value to their organization.

In 2018, more and more IT teams will start to see the benefit of bringing DevOps to other areas such as security and the database, and many will start to treat the database as a first-class citizen. This means a continued focus on shifting security left to keep data safer, producing high quality applications and delivering a great customer experience.

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About the Author

Robert Reeves 

As Chief Technology Officer, Robert Reeves advocates for Datical's customers and provides technical architecture leadership. Prior to co-founding Datical, Robert was a Director at the Austin Technology Incubator. At ATI, he provided real world entrepreneurial expertise to ATI member companies to aid in market validation, product development and fundraising efforts. Robert cofounded Phurnace Software in 2005. He invented and created the flagship product, Phurnace Deliver, which provides middleware infrastructure management to multiple Fortune 500 companies. As Chief Technology Officer for Phurnace, he led technical evangelism efforts, product vision and large account technical sales efforts. After BMC Software acquired Phurnace in 2009, Robert served as Chief Architect and lead worldwide technology evangelism.

Published Monday, November 27, 2017 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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