- The IT management toolkit consists of at least a dozen or more management tools to address element management, event stream correlation and trending, business process automation, virtualization control, to name a few, it’s a complex task to integrate and one that falls to consulting or the DevOps.
- APIs and pre-tested integrations will become priority feature enterprises will evaluate when making technology decisions.
Gone are the days of being able to choose a point management product for a specific problem or vendor device and installing that parallel to other, dedicated task tools. Today’s IT management buy centers must also evaluate the integrations with their existing toolsets, many of which were not tested by the vendor. Network management vendors partner programs assist in integration and testing with other vendors but are limited to a small subset of third parties that joined the program. These systems include element management, virtualization software, an event framework for operations and security streams, server and storage optimization tools, network tools, business process toolsets all of which should, but may not work together today. The list of an average enterprise management software is much longer, rarely integrated well, and a hurdle to greater IT efficiency. Much of this integration falls to a role that has always been a jack-of-all (integration) trades, the DevOps administrator.
The burden ultimately falls to DevOps to integrate not only the tools that have been tested and pre-integrated but also those that may be strictly accessible via an API set. The following are but a few of the protocols that Devops must wrestle with to integrate these: REST, XMPP, Java, SOAP, Atom, RSS, XML-RPC etc. It’s a complex task and one that increasingly requires forethought as to the overarching integration mechanism. You need your DevOps focused on tuning the environment and administering it, not programming. This is where commercial toolsets such as Puppet or open source endeavors such as CHEF provide the “glue-ware” to stitch the various systems together and provide a tight integration. It is uncommon to see vendors message the integration into these platforms in their own go to market messages, but the time is near that this will become a top five qualifier for enterprises when evaluating new technology for their own environment.
Enterprises don’t want their IT admins to program. The API and integration strategy will become a top priority for technology evaluation in addition to the other features traditionally evaluated. Developers and administrators are two uniquely different roles with one focused on error control, code Q&A, and regression, and the other on process, business alignment, and monitoring. Today, these integrations fall largely to the enterprises IT staff, though in time vendors, VARs, or more likely a combination of the two will deliver a well integrated system.
“Mr./Ms. DevOps, my hat is off to you”