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The bright future of Agile and DevOps

DevOps has a bright future for cloud-based app development. It can improve efficiency and help companies better leverage public and private clouds.

Two application development and deployment trends -- Agile and DevOps -- are changing the development game. But what does DevOps have to do with cloud computing? Pretty much everything, if you're building and deploying cloud-based applications.

Agile leads to the rise of DevOps, which provides more focus on removing barriers between understanding the needs of the end user, translating those needs into software and then quickly moving that software into production. DevOps, however, isn't just about technology; it's also about people and processes. The core notion is to release high-quality, well-performing code more rapidly than traditional approaches to development, testing and deployment can.

The key concept of DevOps is "continuous," which means we think in terms of how to build, test and deploy applications, as well as how to use automated methods for deployment. Continuous integration and continuous delivery are keys to a successful DevOps program -- with automated releases going out many times a day. The objective is to meet the demands of the end user with as little latency as possible. And that can lead to a return on investment.

Teaming Agile and DevOps with public and private clouds

The days of going from design to development to testing to deployment in very tightly controlled and slow processes are coming to an end. Developers now can press a button to test, integrate, validate and deploy their code into production. And the rise of public and private clouds created the ideal environment for developers to provision centralized application platforms on demand.

Developers building apps on public clouds, such as AWS, know the power of integrating DevOps. AWS has an array of tools and processes available to support the concepts of DevOps, including AWS OpsWorks, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeCommit.

Private cloud concepts are very similar, but the platforms differ. OpenStack distributions and VMware rule the land in the private clouds, and both actively support DevOps concepts and technologies. In many instances, it's just a matter of pointing code deployment, testing, integration and operations at a public cloud platform -- except that you own and pay for the hardware and software.

The future of Agile and DevOps is bright. DevOps drives efficiency and can better leverage emerging platforms such as public and private clouds. Innovation will occur in the ways developers alter apps to better meet the demands of business users.

About the author:
David "Dave" S. Linthicum is senior vice president of Cloud Technology Partners and an internationally recognized cloud industry expert and thought leader. He is the author or co-author of 13 books on computing, including the best-selling Enterprise Application Integration. Linthicum keynotes at many leading technology conferences on cloud computing, SOA, enterprise application integration and enterprise architecture.

His latest book is Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence in Your Enterprise: A Step-by-Step Guide. His industry experience includes tenures as chief technology officer and CEO of several successful software companies and upper-level management positions in Fortune 100 companies. In addition, he was an associate professor of computer science for eight years and continues to lecture at major technical colleges and universities, including the University of Virginia, Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin.

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