Going Big with DevOps? Scale it Right with Four Key Ingredients

Success of your Agile and DevOps initiatives might often be a double-edged sword for technology teams. Happier customers, positive sales numbers, and increased opportunities inevitably lead to only one thing for the CTO — the need to scale. The question is, how? In this blog post, we draw out an overview of some of the capabilities you need to develop a strategy for scaling and keep yourself ahead of new organizational demands as your company matures.

Consistent performance at scale

As distributed teams grow, it becomes critical that their software is available around-the-clock and performs at a level that enables the teams to do their job. Applications need to maintain consistent performance and response times, irrespective of increasing number of users and workloads and support the collaboration needed across teams to drive shared business goals. Downtime and slowdowns can have a direct impact on business metrics and are unacceptable to a growing organization. 

Teams relying on single servers in their network architecture face a substantial outage risk, whenever server loads increase dramatically due to factors such as concurrent usage of the application, performance intensive workloads, or even for routine maintenance like patching and version upgrading. Systems should be designed to facilitate instant scale-out by adding new nodes for uniform redistribution of load and ensuring dedicated bandwidth priorities. With an infrastructure architected for improved resilience and business continuity performance, you can keep your mission-critical apps up and running and manage continued growth.

Improved data capacity and speed

It is no secret that with an increase in the number of users, data volumes continue to grow. Both users and the associated higher data volume can have a negative impact on performance at scale. The need for speed and increased data capacity mean that single server systems are often not able to meet the needs. A single server architecture typically has a fixed amount of ingest throughput as it runs on a single machine. These constraints can become a serious liability for applications (or organizations) aiming to scale.

Adequate visibility and control

As your growth accelerates, you are faced with increasingly challenging requirements around security and regulatory compliance. Large organizations face the added complexity of having several distributed users working from multiple locations, multi-jurisdictional global structures, and extensive legal demands. Without proper visibility or control, it becomes impossible to coordinate disparate teams, create consistency and prevent bad actors from negatively impacting your tools or teams. 

The challenge that many organizations face is in balancing team autonomy with the right level of control and governance. Administrators of large organizations cannot afford to become a bottleneck, especially as the number of users accessing different applications increases and there is a growing pressure to deliver customer value rapidly and regularly. It, therefore, becomes important to provide administrators better ways to delegate work, while ensuring they are able to monitor the actions of users and maintain appropriate oversight as teams grow.

Moving on at the right time

If you are looking to scale your DevOps practice across the entire organization, the need for enhanced scale, speed, user support and data capacity mean that single server systems are often unable to address the needs of modern applications. You need to identify and transition to more robust solutions that can alleviate the constraints of single server systems, and help you stay ahead and manage complexities as your organization matures. We recommend planning ahead by choosing the right foundation, which is designed to stay efficient and stable against heavy usage and also handle other complexities around ease of administration, security, and compliance.

If you are thinking about the broader deployment of DevOps and not sure about what to anticipate while scaling, we are here to help you take an informed approach.