Operational excellence is the focus on running and monitoring systems to deliver business value. It is also about making the improvement of processes, procedures and activities the center of interest.
Excellence in ongoing operations includes ways to:
- Manage and automate changes
- Respond to events
- Define successful daily operations standards.
Operational excellence is especially challenging to achieve in a traditional on-premises environment where an isolated silo of operations supports multiple lines of business and development teams. And many systems require direct human control without much systems automation.
Devek enables users to shift many operational burdens to occur automatically and chosen by the development teams, providing an easy way to take advantage of best of breed tools and services, and known industry best practices. Taking advantage of automated systems and tools is an easy way to greatly reduce the isolation of infrastructure operations from lines of business, reducing time to market.
Devek allows the design and provision of architectures that provide insight into their status, which enables a more effective operation and event response, and to continue to improve and support business goals.
Design Principles for Operational Excellence
Several design principles are essential to acquire the ability to run systems and gain insight into their operations to deliver business value, and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures.
Perform Operations in an Automated Fashion
Apply the same engineering discipline with Devek to all environments with that used for application code. Define applications and their infrastructure as saved designs and templates and improve them over time. Script operations procedures and automate their execution by triggering them in response to events. Perform operations in an automated and codified fashion, putting a limit on human error and enabling a consistent reaction to events.
In an on-premises environment, documentation is created by hand, used by humans, and hard to keep in sync with the pace of change. Devek is used to visualize architecture and systems as they are configured. Devek enables users to annotate actual systems with inputs and generate documentation to represent the actual state of the system.
Make Frequent, Small, Reversible Changes
Devek enables the design of architectures that allow components to be updated regularly to increase the flow of beneficial changes into workloads. Making changes in small increments enables rollback when they fail to aid in the identification and resolution of issues introduced to environments without affecting customers when possible.
Refine Operations Procedures Frequently
Using codified operations procedures presents many opportunities to improve them. When workloads are evolved, evolve the designed systems appropriately. Devek enables visualising and modifying designs with simple drag and drop. Devek shows the last time a design was modified. Set up events at regular intervals to review and validate that all procedures and designs are valid and that teams are familiar with them. Allow teams the time and place to suggest their improvements to existing designs and procedures.
Perform “premortem” exercises to identify potential sources of failure so that they are removed or mitigated. Test these failure scenarios and validate the understanding of their impact. Test response procedures to ensure they are effective and that teams are familiar with their execution. Set up events at regular intervals to test the workload and team responses to simulated events. Use Devek to quickly and consistently create sandbox environments and create simulations of failures to learn the best way to resolve or prevent these.
Learn from All Operational Failures
Drive improvement through lessons learned from all operational events and failures. Share what is learned across teams and through the entire organization. The sharing of designs , which is the heart of Devek, allows users to modify and share learning and improvements across the enterprise.
Operations teams need to understand the business and customer needs to effectively and efficiently support business outcomes. The role of operations is creating and using procedures to respond to operational events and validate their effectiveness to support business needs.
Collected metrics are used to measure the achievement of desired business outcomes. Everything continues to change - business context, business priorities, customer needs, etc. - so it is essential to design operations to support evolution over time in response to change, incorporate lessons learned through their performance, and use the correct tools to do so.
Operational excellence in the cloud is comprised of three main topics:
Operational excellence is an ongoing effort. Every operational event and failure is treated as an opportunity to improve the operations of architecture by understanding the needs of the various workloads, predefining runbooks for routine activities and playbooks to guide issue resolution, using the automated provisioning and interaction of services available in Devek, maintaining situational awareness, and making operations ready and responsive when events occur. Through focusing on incremental improvement based on operational priorities, and lessons learned from event response and retrospective analysis, business success is enabled by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
Devek helps build and operate architectures that maximize efficiency while enabling to build highly responsive and adaptive systems and deployments.
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