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October 3, 2016

The DevOps Handbook | Debunking DevOps Myths

DevOps HandbookDespite its rise in popularity, there are still a number of fallacies circulating around DevOps. While successful business and IT transformation case studies abound, these myths have unfortunately led some leaders and organizations to believe that DevOps principles and practices are not suitable or relevant to their unique situations. The DevOps Handbook co-authors and DevOps pioneers – Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois and John Willis – have found that companies generally face similar problems when it comes to software delivery. Together, through extensive case studies and personal experience reports they unpack these myths and demonstrate how DevOps can help large organizations of all kinds become high performers and win their marketplace.

Here is a snapshot of some of these myths. They each are addressed more fully in The DevOps Handbook.

  • Myth #1DevOps is Only for Startups

Although DevOps practices were pioneered by web-scale, Internet “unicorn” companies, each has risked going out of business because of the problems associated with traditional “horse” companies. However, these organizations were able to transform their architecture, technical practices and culture to create the amazing outcomes that are associated with DevOps.

  • Myth #2—DevOps Replaces Agile

DevOps does not bump heads with Agile, in fact the principles and practices are compatible. Many have observed that DevOps is a logical continuation of the Agile journey. Agile is an effective enabler of DevOps because it focuses on small teams delivering high quality code to customers.

  • Myth #3—DevOps is Incompatible with ITIL

To support the shorter lead times and higher deployment frequencies associated with DevOps, many areas of the ITIL processes become fully automated, solving many problems associated with configuration and release management processes. Because DevOps requires fast detection and recovery when service incidents occur, the ITIL disciplines of service design, incident and problem management remain as relevant as ever.

  • Myth #4DevOps is Incompatible with Information Security and Compliance

The absence of traditional controls may dismay information security and compliance professionals. However, that doesn’t mean that DevOps organizations don’t have effective controls. Instead of security and compliance activities only being performed at the end of the project, controls are integrated into every stage of the daily work in the software development lifecycle, which results in higher quality, security and compliance outcomes.

  • Myth #5—DevOps Means Eliminating IT Operations, or “NoOps”

Many misinterpret DevOps as the complete elimination of the IT Operations function, but this is rarely the case. While the nature of IT Operations work may change, it remains as important as ever.

  • Myth #6DevOps is Just “Infrastructure as Code” or Automation

While automation is a requirement for many DevOps patterns, DevOps also requires cultural norms and an architecture that allows for the shared goals to be achieved throughout the IT value stream.

  • Myth #7DevOps is Only for Open Source Software

Although many DevOps success stories take place in organizations using software, such as the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), achieving DevOps outcomes is independent of the technology being used. Successes have been achieved with applications written in Microsoft.NET, COBOL and mainframe assembly code, as well as with SAP and even embedded systems.

The authors of The DevOps Handbook collaborated for years to capture details of the DevOps transformations they’ve helped lead or observed. These success stories are aimed at helping organizations understand how they too can overcome the problems they face as they scale software delivery for the enterprise. The DevOps Handbook will guide technology organizations on their journeys to increase agility, reliability and security by leveraging the right DevOps tools and practices.

To order a copy of the book, please visit:

What myths do you think exists about DevOps? Share your thoughts!

- About The Authors

Trusted by technology leaders worldwide. Since publishing The Phoenix Project in 2013, and launching DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014, we’ve been assembling guidance from industry experts and top practitioners.

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