Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, October 3, 2022

DevOps Emerges in the Enterprise 

The DevOps culture that is shifting from hyper-scale datacenters to the enterprise may also be fueling demand for toolsets like Chef and Puppet, according to a new market survey.

Market researcher Gartner, which defines DevOps as a "tool-centric philosophy" rather than a traditional market, forecasts the approach will transition from a niche to "mainstream strategy" by 2016 for one-quarter of global enterprises. Market or not, that shift could help drive demand for toolsets by more than 21 percent this year to an estimated $2.3 billion.

As the shift from datacenters to enterprises speeds up, Gartner identified "a cultural shift that merges operations with development and demands a linked tool chain of technologies to facilitate collaborative change."

As we have reported, emerging tools like Chef are allowing enterprises to manage systems more efficiently. In broader terms, their adoption reflects how the barriers between application development and system administration are breaking down. A key reason is the artificial wall between development and production environments that has persisted in the datacenter makes it harder for IT departments to adapt applications to changing business conditions.

According to some estimates, more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than 80 percent of Global 2000 companies are using either the open source version of the configuration management tool, or the Chef Enterprise variant.

The shift to digital business is driving the internal requirement to expand DevOps, and with it, the demand for toolsets, Gartner found. "Digital business is essentially software, which means that organizations that expect to thrive in a digital environment must have an improved competence in software delivery," Gartner research director Laurie Wurster, said in a statement.

Gartner noted that most DevOps tools exist as part of a larger IT operation and software development capability. Growing enterprise demand is now placing greater emphasis in support of DevOps, transforming how these tools are perceived and positioned in a marketplace increasingly dominated by digital businesses.

"Many IT organizations want to achieve the scale-out and economies of scale achieved by world-class cloud providers," Wurster added. "Nevertheless, there are still several gaps that prevent implementation of DevOps as a comprehensive methodology."

Even as barriers between system administration and application development break down, the market watcher sees plenty of false starts for enterprise DeveOps initiatives owing to persistent cultural resistance and undisciplined business processes. Still, Gartner predicts the majority of enterprises seeking agile scaling will at least recognize the need for DevOps initiative over the next five years.

Indeed, tools like Chef are already gaining traction within large enterprises. Chef is a systems and cloud infrastructure automation framework designed to make it easier to deploy servers and applications to any physical, virtual or cloud location, regardless of infrastructure size. As of the middle of 2014, nearly 300 of the Chef community's 2,000 contributors were large corporations.

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