Total NoOps, the notion of achieving completely automated IT operations that don’t require human intervention – will never happen However, is it actually desirable? This article will explain the way NoOps operates in addition to its advantages and disadvantages.
NoOps, which is short for no operations can be described as an IT environment in which many of the processes required to control, optimize and secure IT applications and services can be automated or abstracted or executed by an individual other than a traditional centralized operation unit. NoOps is a vague concept that has different vendors, analysts and clients employing it to define different levels of automation and in addition to the IT components it is used with, and the organizations are given the IT operations tasks.
According to Paul Nashawaty, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, NoOps is “full automation and abstracting of the infrastructure layer, rendering it unnoticeable and eliminates the requirement for an operations or infrastructure group to oversee it. This means that you don’t require any human capital to run the infrastructure itself since it’s completely automated, and tedious tasks completely gone.” Nashawaty believes that only 10% of companies have achieved this level of total automation.
NoOps could refer to an outsourcing from IT operation responsibility over to an internal department or DevOps team, as well an external service provider, like a cloud provider, says Roy Illsley, chief analyst of IT operations and ecosystems at market research firm Omdia.
This model does not mean that “you do have an operations department” claims Nashawaty. “It’s being transferred to a cloud provider.” Nashawaty prefers to consider NoOps in terms of “a self-service model that lets citizens developers, or the business units, are able to offer the resources they need without having to work with operational departments.” This uncertainty makes NoOps an unpopular term that could cause some rage or even resistance from those in the operations field who fear that it could jeopardize their job.
NoOps could be viewed as the outcome of the automation based on policies that is achieved through projects that focus on other components of IT infrastructure, including DataOps, AIOps and DevSecOps. While some companies or customers claim that they have accomplished it, other argue that the reality of NoOps which is an entirely automatized IT environment that doesn’t require human intervention – is not possible or not desirable.
Some others suggest NoOps could mean lessening the central IT department, and transferring more of the responsibilities locally-based business groups or teams that manage IT operations as well as the development and protection of the services and applications that are most important to them.
What’s the process behind NoOps?
NoOps is built on automated, policy-based processes that are triggered by IT or business-related events to ensure that applications and services function effectively, efficiently and securely with the least cost.
The creation of highly automated IT infrastructure “encompasses microservices, APIs for various types of infrastructure and also automation that is built into everything,” says Forrester. The implementation in the form of code infrastructure (through tools like scripts to automate system administration and configuration) blurs the lines between infrastructure and applications. This could also mean automated self-healing for the environment of application.
NoOps should take into account DevOps practices like changing changes in small and frequent increments, rather than making changes that are deployed within a set timeframe and restricting accessibility to commands which allow human beings to alter the configuration of systems, suggests Forrester. Also, it recommends testing, monitoring and analyzing the performance of IT infrastructure components regularly and avoiding custom configurations for systems which are hard to automate.
Additionally, Forrester recommends pairing sense-and-adapt automation with advanced analytics in order to find out if something is not working quickly, as well as tracking the effects of automated processes and changing the actions as required. “The final thing you’d like to do is to fire off an untested automation tool and forget about it” states Forrester. Examine its actions and outcomes and “[u]se the feedback to make improvements to the efficiency of the system.”
What are the advantages of NoOps?
To the extent that it’s implemented NoOps does not just reduce IT management costs, but also allows businesses to react more quickly and efficiently to the changing demands by bringing new services and applications to market swiftly and effectively. The process of automating and outsourcing IT operations can help free up staff to concentrate on higher-value tasks like the development of new services and applications.
This greater flexibility for IT personnel is among the most significant advantages of NoOps. It is evident in the way that hiring patterns are conducted according to Nashawaty. An earlier ESG survey found that over the coming year over two-thirds of respondents are planning to employ IT generalists, who are employed to address a variety of requirements of business rather than experts in particular fields of IT.
What are the disadvantages of NoOps?
The biggest obstacle to complete automation of the IT administration that is required for NoOps according to the 2021 Forrester Research report, are organizational cultures that deter the risk associated with technology for managing IT and the inability of past attempts to transform the IT process.
The company’s failure can be caused by automating processes that are flawed as well as “mass producing” errors through the creation of inadequate scripts to control the configuration of thousands or hundreds of servers and various infrastructure elements, as per In the Forrester report.
“If you don’t have the right rules to use AI you may create errors in the automation process,” says Nashawaty. “If you’re using machine-learning or AI to control processes without human intervention,” the business lacks information about how these rules are being used or if they need to be changed.
There are some concerns about job losses due to NoOps could be legitimate. Forrester estimates that one-third of the infrastructure and operations (I&O) job opportunities will be gone and one-third of the personnel are “passionate advocates of change, who are willing to create and automate themselves to create new and more efficient jobs,” another group who will sit and watch how their first cohort performs while a third that won’t be able master the new skills required in an NoOps environment, or who refuse to change and be forced to leave the company.
“The major drawback is that when you stop using these abilities, you are likely to never regain them,” says Illsley, who suggests that rather than attempt to eradicate the IT operations component, look at it as an inevitable cost of business even in the event that it doesn’t distinguish the company from its rivals.
What are examples for NoOps tools?
Nearly any IT management, monitoring , or automation technology is as a NoOps-related technology. Some of the tools that are required to implement NoOps according to Nashawaty are those that offer the ability to control code version managing and orchestration of containers microservices, cloud platforms and cloud platforms as well as monitoring the performance of applications and automated configuration of infrastructure and testing.
The most frequently mentioned products by analysts include:
It is a product of Progress Software called Chef Automate, which the company claims offers an Analytics and dashboards for enterprises, “enabling cross-team collaboration with practical insights regarding compliance and configuration as well as an audit-able record of any changes made to the environment.” Chef Automate presents information from Chef to give users a clear view of the configuration, security, and compliance.
Digital workflow tools, such as the ones from ServiceNow which help you detect potential issues, and then resolve them automatically or forward them (with the data needed to fix the issues) to the appropriate personnel. ServiceNow’s drag-and drop interface lets businesses to automatize everything from resolving problems with passwords and running scripts for configuration.
Puppet Enterprise can be used by system administrators automation of repetitive work, continuously provide new systems, rapidly deploy essential applications, and to proactively and incrementally manage infrastructure. It can be used with various operating systems and cloud environments. It also allows automatic restoration of components in applications to the desired state.
It is Red Hat’s Ansible automation platform is open-source software that provides provisioning tools for configuration and deployment which work in conjunction with monitoring, observability , and workflow platforms to streamline IT processes. Red Hat claims Ansible can manage software-defined, physical networks, as and cloud-based networks. manage and automate Kubernetes-based clusters; manage containerized applications on a scale; orchestrate security systems and provide cloud-based networks, instances and infrastructure.
VMware’s vRealize Automation SaltStack Configuration that automates and orchestrates the optimization of infrastructure and security. It’s able to “create an easy human-readable, code-based infrastructure,” configure and control operating systems, and then automatically implement desired state as per VMware.
It is the Dynatrace Software Intelligence Platform, which offers capabilities ranging from monitoring of infrastructure to cloud automation , to vulnerability detection in the run-time. It promises to offer not just metrics, logs, and tracks but also a complete topological model, detail at the code level as well as user experience and behavioral information.
If the dream concept of “total NoOps” is achievable or even desirable, the implementation of NoOps techniques and principles will allow you to focus more on your company and your customers rather than your IT infrastructure. You will also be able to speed up the development and deployment of new apps and services in order to meet new demands of your business.
“While the majority of I&O professionals are wringing their hands over the notion that operations will one day be so automated that nobody will require their services.” states Forrester In fully-automated systems “someone is required to manage resources, model configurations , and optimize” infrastructure in code.
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