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June 5, 2018

State of DevOps: Puppet’s Drill Down

Puppet has surveyed more than 27,000 tech professionals for its annual State of DevOps reports. Here's what the company's first ever market segmentation report reveals

By CBR Staff Writer

Software automation specialists Puppet have released their first ever market segmentation report on the back of the Portland, Oregon-based company’s annual State of DevOps survey.

Over the past six years, Puppet have surveyed more than 27,000 technical professionals, for the report; arguably the most comprehensive and longest-running study on the topic of DevOps.

The findings are intriguing, detailing differences by region, operating system and industry.

What’s DevOps Again?

It is an approach to breaking down silos between the development (of new software or applications) for a company or organisation and operations (their administration, upgrading and support).

Why? Because the days of shipping software in monthly or quarterly releases is ancient history; daily and even hourly updates are not unusual and the process needs to be smooth and rapid.

In Practice this Means…

Some typical practices in DevOps include Infrastructure as Code and Continuous Integration/ Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.

These mean bringing processes like automated testing and code review to IT infrastructure, rather than using custom code or manual approaches, and, crudely, blending the work of individual developers together into a repository, then automatically deploying/building after major code changes.

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What Does the  Report Reveal?

India’s high; the UK’s low… 

Puppet defines IT performance as high throughput of code and stability of systems.

The report’s best performers had 46 times more frequent code deployments and 440 times faster lead time from commit to deploy, along with 96 times faster mean time to recover from downtime than the rest.

India and Japan led the high performer field, with 24 percent high performers; the UK came last, with 11 percent. The US and Canada had the highest percentage of low performers.

If you’re a low performer you may be using AIX

Windows continues to dominate the installed OS base for most responding to Puppet’s survey (nearly 100 percent have Windows servers of some kind), although nearly 63 percent use Linux, too.

Regardless of OS platform however — including the lesser-used Oracle’s Solaris, IBM’s AIX, and BSD — all respondents reported about the same level of high IT performance, roughly 17 percent.

“At the same time, the highest percentage of low IT performers were those running AIX (60 percent), Solaris (53 percent), and Windows (50 percent). Linux and BSD users reported the smallest percentage of low performance, roughly 35 percent.”Nearly half do manual configuration management

About 40 percent of the survey respondents said they still do manual config management and deployment.

As Puppet put it: “The tools are maturing in this area and so is user confidence in automating these repetitive, but important tasks. Again, the media and entertainment industry leads the pack, reporting that they’re relying on manual processes for these common tasks only about 28 percent of the time. Manufacturing lags at about 50 percent.”


Entertainment good, financial services bad… 

IT performance gains resulted from applying DevOps practices, Puppet said, but added that industry variability was significant, with retail performing well and financial services performing poorly.

“The proportion of low IT performers by industry varies greatly. The media and entertainment and retail industry have the lowest percentage of low IT performers, at 23 percent and 31 percent respectively. Financial services, insurance and industrials and manufacturing companies had the highest proportion of low performers at about 53 percent each.”

Automation is not as pervasive as you think

The majority of respondents reported high levels of manual work across configuration management, deployment, testing and change approval processes.

“Today, every company around the world has the same priority – automation at scale – and they’re achieving this through DevOps,” said Alanna Brown, the original State of DevOps Report author and Puppet’s director of product marketing. “While the data shows that companies of all types and sizes are making progress, we still have a long way to go to eliminate manual work that slows down the business.

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