On a mission to level up Engineering
Table of Contents
- Can you really outsource DevOps?
- What is DevOps outsourcing?
- 6 benefits of outsourcing DevOps operations
- 1. Fast recruitment of top talent
- 2. Expertise at a lower price
- 3. Access to certifications
- 4. Flexibility
- 5. Best practices and experience
- 6. Cost and risk control for technology R&D
- 5 steps to Outsourcing DevOps Successfully
- 1. Clearly define areas of improvement
- 2. Evaluate risks
- 3. Check for technical expertise
- 4. Check the tech stack of tech experts
- 5. Pick a DevOps vendor with a proven track record
- The bottom line
Do not index
Do not index
Related to Authors (1) (Content)
In 2020, Forrester anticipated that the business value of DevOps would become the most favored metric over velocity. And in 2021, 83% of IT decision-makers say they are implementing DevOps practices to unlock higher business value.
A rising number of companies are looking to optimize their operations and adopt cloud services. Due to the massive increase in interest over the last decade, experts, however, are in short supply.
This creates the perfect environment for companies to emerge that offer DevOps Services.
In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know about outsourcing DevOps - all the way from the basics to a detailed 5-step guide on how to successfully outsource DevOps.
The short answer is yes. You can absolutely outsource DevOps. In fact, there are clear benefits to choosing the outsourcing route versus building your own in-house team.
Outsourcing is commonly recommended as the best way to hire DevOps services. For instance, a DevOps team like FVST can offer any business a high level of engineering skills and knowledge.
86% of the Respondents of Harvard Business Review Analytics Services said that it is important for their company to develop and put new software into production quickly. In comparison, only 10% said their company is very successful at rapid software development and deployment. Leveraging external help can make all the difference.
Read on as we'll get to the benefits of outsourcing DevOps in more detail below.
Usually referred to as DevOps as a Service (DaaS), DevOps outsourcing means a third-party service provider helps your business design, build, and integrate DevOps solutions to accelerate product delivery and improvement. This is achieved by using different tools and practices and a unique cultural philosophy.
Your DevOps partner will manage the business infrastructure and work closely with your in-house software teams to find and implement the best processes and tools. This, of course, means that you can free up precious time and resources to focus on other critical areas of the business.
Hiring great engineers for a DevOps team is a costly and lengthy process, sometimes lasting up to months. And that's if you can attract the talent you are looking for.
An established DevOps provider, on the other hand, will have a team of experienced specialists on board whose skills you'll be able to leverage to reach your business goals.
Outsourcing your DevOps can make a big difference in cost. You'll get access to a team with a broad skill set at a lower price versus keeping each individual developer on payroll in-house. Hard-to-find specialists like Database Administrators (DBAs), commonly needed for shorter periods, may also be available through DevOps providers.
Developers who work in outsourcing companies and share knowledge also have increased expertise compared to their solo-working peers, thanks to mentoring from senior colleagues and continuous training provided by the third-party DevOps provider.
Sourcing a DevOps employee with all of the necessary certifications can become a difficult task, which is why sometimes companies will instead choose to train a new or existing employee. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, which is why it makes more sense to outsource and get immediate access to the certification you need.
If you can't quite find the right fit or there's a lack of a necessary skill with the developer assigned to you by a DevOps provider, you can easily ask the company to send you someone else. A correction like this isn't easily manageable with a full-time employee - finding a better-suited engineer would mean spending money on possible severance and legal costs as well as restarting the whole hiring process again.
In general, you can always rely on outsourcing companies to have proper documentation in place and access to significant expertise in many different approaches and solutions, thanks to their varied work with various clients.
One of the costs to be aware of is technology research and development (R&D), which is baked into an in-house team's work.
Your team would need to constantly keep experimenting in order to deliver technological and cost advantages as well as to keep your company's systems robust and scalable.
An outsourced DevOps team will have existing experience with other clients, lowering the cost, as well as risk, for you.
Handing your product to someone else's care can be a challenging step, both psychologically and in practical terms. But let's remember that many very successful companies have already done it. SAP, Basecamp, Cars.com, Lebara, Orbus, and many others have gone via the outsourcing route. Here's how you can make it work, too.
In order to reach your specific business KPIs, you need to know which areas are critical to improve. Here's what you should consider:
- Scalability: DevOps's most significant impact is helping facilitate fast growth in an environment that requires constant monitoring and support.
- Cost auditing: Not sure which cloud-based services you really need? DevOps can optimize your spending by offering services that work best for your business's needs.
- Migrations: Moving from cloud to cloud or transitioning from a physical data center to a cloud-based one is around 30% of DevOps work in most cases.
- Big data: Are you processing and storing large amounts of data? Make it a priority to optimize DevOps data flow and how it is handled.
- 24/7 support: Developers shouldn't handle on-call support as a general rule. DevOps can automate the process for you so that your valuable developer-hours are spent on more important things.
- Legal risks: Legal restrictions might limit how a third-party provider can access Personally Identifiable Information (PII). A DevOps service provider will need specific certifications to be able to support particular environments, like real-data environment (production).
- Architecture: Make sure there is a high-level vision of the architecture and a concrete plan for how the team will reach it. Commitments to different platforms like AWS or Azure come with their own set of specific requirements.
- Integration: Good teamwork is paramount when it comes to working with a DevOps vendor. Communication needs to be a priority to ensure all necessary information is shared and there are no unnecessary delays.
The first thing to do is to check how long the DevOps vendor has been in business. A successful service provider should have years of experience. Here's what you should be looking for:
The ability to work with public and private clouds and handling all associated operations is a must.
An experienced partner can help you in setting up a CI/CD pipeline in order to:
- Shorten lead time - the time from the start of a unit of work and putting it into use.
- Improve the quality of apps and/or services delivered.
Containers are the standard for IT infrastructure, having replaced virtual machines (VMs). When used right, containers help businesses to:
- Improve the use of hardware.
- Provide faster server provisioning.
- Create reliable backup systems by automating data backups that take place every minute.
- Cut down DevOps teams' work and free them up for the most critical tasks.
- Cut costs of running and managing an IT team.
Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a new way to manage computing resources. Here are some of the benefits IaC brings:
- Infrastructure is better understood and clearly documented.
- Infrastructure maintenance knowledge is easily accessible
- Connections the infrastructure to different environments
DevSecOps aims to ensure that both applications and infrastructure are safe. DevSecOps tools help to provide the following testing:
- Analysis of Software Components (SCA)
- Security Testing for Static Applications (SAST)
- Testing the security of dynamic applications (DAST)
- Interactive Testing of Application Security (IAST)
- Static Code Analysis
- Checking for vulnerabilities
Monitoring & Logging
The purpose of monitoring is to always have a clear overview of every area of the product. Monitoring is in place to increase availability by minimizing essential metrics measured in terms of time. There are several types of monitoring:
- Application monitoring
- Infrastructure monitoring
- Network monitoring
There will be variations between the specific tech stack used for each project; here are examples of some well-known and widely-used tools:
CI/CD: GitHub Actions Bamboo Gradle Gitlab Cl Jenkins Maven Octopus Deploy TeamCity Spinnaker
Containerization: Docker Docker Compose Kubernetes Azure AWS
Virtualization: Openstack VMware vSphere VMware ESXi Xen KVM Microsoft Hyper-V
Infrastructure as code: Ansible Chef Puppet Saltstack Rundeck Terraform Vagrant
DevSecOps: Aqua Contrast Fortify Invicti Sonar Snyk Synopsys
Logging and Monitoring: Grafana Logstash Kibana Datadog Prometheus New Relic Sumo Logic Splunk
Release management refers to the process of planning, designing, scheduling, testing, deploying, and controlling software releases. It defines goals and long-term strategy as well as specific tactical actions that are taken to achieve those goals.
Here are some advantages of this process:
- A clear path for the development process from initial changes to production.
- Users can create workflows that allow for structured releases.
- Makes parallel development possible.
- Enhances developer productivity without adding any overhead.
- Makes for faster release cycles.
Make sure you know what kind of expertise you need, as you may need different types of specialist help. This is, of course, all based on your specific business needs, the project requirements, and KPIs. Check that the engineers or team you hire have the expertise you need in the core areas we've covered above and have worked with the tools you use or will be using.
In addition to a track record of successfully completed projects, a reputable DevOps outsourcing company should have a wide range of competence with cloud platforms, technologies, and tools.
Building your own in-house DevOps team can be costly and time-consuming. Opting for a third-party specialist provider like FVST can make for a better investment instead. Just follow the steps in our DevOps outsourcing guide, and you’re well on your way to finding the right provider for your business.