DevOps Managed Services: An Overview

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DevOps Managed Services

DevOps has revolutionized the way software is built and deployed. DevOps enables faster release cycles and more reliable software by integrating development and operations. However, implementing DevOps can be complex for organizations without the right skills or resources. This is where DevOps managed services come in. 

 What Are DevOps Managed Services?

DevOps managed services provide consulting, tools, and infrastructure to help companies adopt and run DevOps efficiently. Managed service providers have deep expertise in DevOps principles and technology. They work as an extension of your team to set up, maintain, and optimize your DevOps toolchain.

 Some common services provided include:


  1. Consulting

DevOps consultants assess your current workflows. They determine improvement areas and create a roadmap for implementing DevOps methodologies like continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD). Consultants recommend tools, define processes, and provide training.


  1. Toolchain Management  

Service providers handle installing, configuring, upgrading, and monitoring your DevOps tools. This includes orchestrating tools like Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, and Ansible into an integrated toolchain. 


  1. Infrastructure Provisioning

Managed providers can quickly spin up and manage the infrastructure needed to run DevOps pipelines. This infrastructure may include container orchestration, build servers, testing environments, and production infrastructure.


  1. Monitoring and Optimization

Ongoing monitoring and maintenance ensures your toolchain runs smoothly. Metrics identify bottlenecks to be addressed. Providers tune infrastructure and tools for optimal performance.


  1. Security and Compliance

Reputable providers implement security controls and compliance policies to protect your DevOps environment. This includes access controls, encryption, vulnerability monitoring, and regulation compliance.

Key Benefits of DevOps Managed Services

 Adopting DevOps through a managed service offers many advantages:

  • Quick Setup

Getting a DevOps toolchain running from scratch requires significant effort. Managed providers accelerate setup with proven blueprints, automation, and experience setting up DevOps tools.

  • Reduced Risk

Managed services reduce the risks of DevOps adoption. You avoid toolchain integration issues and misconfigurations. Providers also ensure robust security and compliance.

  • Increased Efficiency 

You no longer have to dedicate precious internal resources to install, manage, and troubleshoot your DevOps tools. Your teams can stay focused on building and releasing software.

  • Flexibility

Reputable providers work as an extension of your team. They customize processes and tools to match your organization’s needs. You also can scale DevOps infrastructure up and down as needed.

  • Improved Stability 

With ongoing monitoring and maintenance, providers keep your DevOps environment running smoothly. They quickly resolve issues and optimize performance. 

  • Access to Experts

Leveraging experienced DevOps engineers and consultants accelerates your DevOps adoption. You gain access to experts who can overcome challenges and apply industry best practices.

Key Capabilities to Look For

Here are some key capabilities to look for when evaluating a DevOps managed service provider:

  • Experience with Diverse Tools 

Look for experience managing various DevOps tools – from leading CI/CD tools to container orchestration, infrastructure provisioning, monitoring, and more. This demonstrates the ability to integrate diverse tools into an effective toolchain.

  • Automation Expertise 

Expertise with infrastructure-as-code and configuration management tools like Ansible, Terraform, and Puppet is essential. This allows providers to automate the setup and management of your DevOps environment. 

  • Containerization Skills

Given the prevalence of Docker and Kubernetes, Kubernetes, strong container skills are mandatory. Providers should demonstrate success managing containerized workloads at scale.

  • Public Cloud Experience

Most DevOps environments leverage public cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Choose providers with deep experience architecting on these platforms.

  •  Security Focus

Security should be top-of-mind. Look for sound access controls, encryption, vulnerability management, and compliance with data protection regulations.

  •  CI/CD Design Skills

 Providers should be experts at CI/CD design and optimization for accelerating software delivery. Optimal pipeline design balances speed and stability.

  •  Cultural Alignment  

The provider’s culture and processes should align well with yours. Look for flexibility, transparency, and commitment to your success.

Key Questions to Ask Potential Providers

 Here are some questions to ask when researching DevOps managed service providers:

  •  How long have you offered DevOps-managed services? What is the background and experience of your engineers?
  • Which DevOps tools and technologies do you have expertise with? Are you certified in them?
  • What does your typical DevOps toolchain integration and management process look like?
  • How do you monitor and optimize DevOps toolchains? What metrics and methods do you use?
  • How do you secure access, protect data, and address compliance requirements?
  • How do you ensure flexibility and customization based on our needs?
  • Do you focus on transferring knowledge and building internal skills?
  • What happens when issues arise? How do you troubleshoot and resolve problems?
  • Can you provide DevOps infrastructure on demand? How fast can you scale it up and down?
  • What are some example DevOps successes you have enabled for clients?
  • How do you communicate progress and ensure transparency?
  • What types of long-term service agreements do you offer? How are fees structured?

Evaluating Providers

 Here is a summary of key considerations when evaluating DevOps managed service providers:

  •  Proven experience – Look for substantial experience setting up and running DevOps toolchains for organizations similar to yours. Review case studies and client references.
  • Talent and expertise – Confirm talent has depth and breadth of DevOps skills. Cultural fit and commitment to your success are also key.
  • Toolchain design skills – Providers should follow proven patterns for architecting optimal CI/CD pipelines tailored to your needs.
  • Management capabilities – Evaluate the provider’s ability to seamlessly install, configure, manage, monitor, and enhance your DevOps environment.
  • Security and compliance – Ensure the provider has the necessary security skills and processes to protect your environment and data.
  • Reliability – Ask for uptime SLAs and reliability metrics. The provider should meet stringent requirements.
  • Scalability – Look for the ability to dynamically scale your DevOps infrastructure on demand.
  • Cost – Compare the cost of managed services vs. building in-house. Factor in both short and long-term costs.
  • Customer service – The provider should offer robust customer support and work as an extension of your team. 

Following a thorough evaluation process ensures you choose the right partner to accelerate your DevOps success.

Conclusion

DevOps managed services provide a fast track to achieving DevOps benefits like accelerated release cycles, improved quality, and enhanced security. Leveraging experienced providers allows you to implement best-in-class DevOps tools and processes without the cost and effort of building in-house skills. 

When evaluating service providers, look for proven DevOps expertise, extensive tooling knowledge, security capabilities, reliability, support for modern infrastructure, and cultural alignment. With the right partner, you can realize the full potential of DevOps and take your digital initiatives to the next level.

Read More: Do You Really Need Managed IT Services?