Pros and Cons of DevOps-as-a-Service

If a business wants an instant access to top-notch DevOps skills, they can try to hire them in-house or outsource the project to a dedicated team. Here is why the latter is better.

DevOps, in general, is the incorporation of CI/CD pipelines into all stages of the software delivery process to ensure the product is always operational and the improvements are constant, incremental and traceable.

How can this state of operations be reached? First, you combine the Dev and Ops departments to destroy the siloed approach to tasks and responsibilities. This removes the “works on my machine” situation and stops the practice of tossing the code over the wall to be somebody else’s problem. When your Devs and Ops work close to each other and the project success KPIs are the same for them, communication and collaboration are bound to thrive.

Thus said, knowledge exchange leads to the situation when the Ops engineer can fix some minor bugs on the staging server and push the code to production, instead of rolling it back to the Devs and QA to rinse and repeat. Just the same as a Dev understands how his code will work in production and plans the architecture accordingly, building a monolith, microservice or serverless app.

As time goes, the cases of repetitive fixes are analyzed and either scripted to be done automatically, or the code/infrastructure/workflows are improved to remove these bottlenecks for good. This paves the road to automation, when the developers are able to push the new code to build, testing and staging environments on their own, without creating the tasks for Ops. From the other side, the Ops can build the deployment manifest for the Dev to fill with required artifacts — so the Devs can create the required environments in one command.

The combined team also understands that success is not always the only outcome and some procedures for service continuity should be in place. They unite the efforts to implement the Continuous Integration (CI) / Continuous Delivery (CD) pipelines to ensure uninterrupted product availability and incremental improvement. When the routine tasks are automated, the team is an all-around capable group of inspired professionals sharing the same goals, the CI/CD processes are in place — then you can speak of successful digital transformation and implementation of DevOps in your company.

However, this approach takes time and cost much money and effort. Therefore, many businesses decide to outsource this side of IT operations to a trustworthy contractor, who have already finished their transition to DevOps and are now ready to provide DevOps-as-a-Service. Thus said, they can lend their expertise to deliver bespoke cloud solutions, ensure smooth cloud transition, IT infrastructure monitoring and smart alerting, etc. Therefore, the customers can skip the lengthy process of training a team, and jump to the point of reaping the benefits of DevOps culture at once.

DevOps-as-a-Service benefits

Here is why ordering DevOps-as-a-Service from a reliable Managed Services Provider is a good choice:

  • You gain instant access to experienced DevOps engineers, who can lend their expertise to your project from day one.
  • The MSPs engage with lots of projects for multiple companies in various industries. This provides invaluable R&D experience to the teams, so they can tell at once, which approaches and solutions will work, and which ones will not. This helps save time and money while avoiding costly mistakes in your project.
  • A dedicated DevOps team provides the developer documentation and mentorship to help your in-house IT department master your new DevOps tools and systems. Once again, one must learn on other’s mistakes, instead of making their own.

DevOps-as-a-Service disadvantages

However, this approach is not a panacea for several reasons:

  • IT infrastructure management is one of the most resource-intensive parts of your business, crucial for the survival of cloud-based companies. Therefore, one must engage a reliable Managed Service Provider to ensure your product/service uninterrupted availability
  • As a logical consequence of the previous point, the business lowers their security a bit by outsourcing the DevOps operations. Therefore, working with the IT outsourcing market leaders is essential to ensure the safety of operations
  • Your internal IT department should have a certain level of skills and understanding of the integration between various software modules, cloud systems and bespoke DevOps solutions delivered by your DevOps contractor. Otherwise, they will not be able to support the system in production.
  • Therefore, some additional training will definitely be needed, meaning more time and money investments. The only workaround is a long-term partnership with a DevOps service provider, so they handle all aspects of your IT operation for you.

Final thoughts on opting for DevOps-as-a-Service

To sum it up, outsourcing the DevOps operations to a reputable company allows you to concentrate on growing your business and delivering more value to the customers. You will not have to worry about product development, maintenance, monitoring or backups — it will simply work.

The only condition of succeeding with this project is choosing a reliable MSP, who will get the job done. How to find one? Perhaps, the unbiased customer reviews on Clutch can provide some insights.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +396,714 people.

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