Is it possible to outsource DevOps?!

We asked ourselves that exact question before Xi Group Ltd. ventured into offering DevOps services. And the answer did not come easy. DevOps is cultural phenomenon. DevOps relies on close communication and by extension is location-dependent. DevOps is also technological phenomenon. Software has to be created to implement it. So it seemed that outsourcing is not really viable for DevOps …

Several projects and many months later, we know that this is not true. DevOps can be outsourced. External company can be integral part of DevOps strategy and day-to-day operational activities. Such cooperation can be beneficial from cultural and technological perspectives.

From a cultural perspective, choosing specialized DevOps partner can help you in several ways. They will help you break the “enterprise silo” model and mindset. This one is especially hard, even with some form of internal governance and support. Developers under pressure will keep writing code and let “ops” deal with it later. Any operational shortcomings will be attributed to the “ops guys” because once you ship it “it’s their problem”. Knowledgeable third party, not invested in any of the teams, can facilitate a communication flow between those teams speaking their language, explaining core architectural and operational principles, demanding proper implementation and keeping eye on the final goal: easy deployments of functional components. Communication is key! And successful outsourcing partner will know this. Will be vocal and active in all phases of the Software Development Lifecycle. It is the experience that comes from complex deployments of large scale distributed systems, that you should look for in your DevOps partners.

From a technology perspective, choosing specialized DevOps partner can also be beneficial endeavor. The chance is they already have several projects behind their back. They have the basic tooling already developed and can shorten your implementation lifecycle with components and know-how you should otherwise develop on your own. Proper DevOps partner will supply you with proper technology choices for the components you develop/operate. And NO, Docker is not always the answer! There are other ways to achieve immutable infrastructure. Build process automation, deployment automation, monitoring and log processing are already part of our daily arsenal of tools. We developed those, validated their usability in production environments … and now you can benefit from them too! Those the basics you should expect from a DevOps partner. You should expect active input on technology, operational requirements, non-functional requirements, predictability requirements, monitoring and scalability. Anything less … is not DevOps.

So … Is it possible to outsource DevOps?! Yes, we believe it is!

What should you look for in a partner? Experience with complex deployments and proper tooling to shorten your implementation cycle … as a start.

Do you want to know more?! … Contact us!