Intelligent Continuous Delivery - Is it really the last part of the DevOps story to be transformed?
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I have been thinking about the state of the art in Digital Transformation, as it applies to DevOps. There is no question in my mind that it is needed. However much I like cloud-native, microservices, containerisation, I have to admit that they make applications and the development process more complex, compared to the old monolithic transaction-based applications – balanced by increased agility and a better end-user experience. Multiple tools, from different vendors and even the Open Source movement don’t help; and, of course, there is always a skills shortage issue.
Automation is the key, of course, and I was talking to OpsMX, purveyers of an Intelligent Continuous Delivery Platform, based on its own augmented intelligence modules and Argo CD and Spinnaker. Argo CD is a low-code (declarative), GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes; Spinnaker a pipeline management system with integrations to the major cloud providers.
OpsMX’ thesis is that software development and IT operations have been transformed but that, although Software Delivery has been automated, it breaks at scale, particularly if you want ultimate delivery velocity. This is largely because of the necessary governance approvals, risk evaluations and security checks, which remain fairly manual. Time in the queue is what doesn’t scale and slows you down.
The OpsMX ISD 2.0 Architecture (launched 2022) has a strong integration layer, supporting many Devops tools including Jenkins and Servicenow. But the key to its offering is its AI/ML (augmented intelligence/machine learning) based, decentralised, control layer, using governance policy rules to automate risk management, approvals, security intelligence and continuous verification. This, with the help of Argo and Spinnaker, is what transforms the CD story (full integration with ArgoCD was provided in 2022, a few months after the ISD 2.0 launch).
OpsMX is certainly saying all the right things and the need for further transformation of the Continuous Delivery pipeline, is plausible. It has an impressive customer list but, without actually talking to existing customers, it is hard to say how effective it is compared to the opposition – if any – at high scale. Even so, if you are looking for a scalable, highly automated, continuous delivery capability, we think that OpsMX is well worth a look – Cisco, for example, used it to deliver 4,000+ apps and microservices to some 12,000 engineers.