[3-minute reading time…]
Are DevOps and ITIL event management mutually exclusive?
We often hear that DevOps is agile, while ITIL is heavy and bureaucratic. Some DevOps supporters see ITIL as an obstacle to rapid creation of new business value, while some ITIL practitioners tend to view DevOps as a disruptive risk – a threat to operational stability.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not an either/or choice. DevOps and ITIL are complementary – especially in areas such as ITIL event management. ITIL addresses a key set of IT needs, and those needs don’t go away with DevOps. The question isn’t “How you get rid of ITIL?” Instead, we need to be asking:
- How do we use something that makes ITIL as agile as DevOps?
- How can ITIL add value to DevOps?
- What do we need to do to get there?
DevOps Still Needs ITIL Event Management
To illustrate the point, let’s look at ITIL event management in more detail. DevOps is all about delivering more value more quickly. By breaking down organizational barriers, adopting agile methodologies, and moving to a continuous delivery model, DevOps dramatically accelerates application delivery. However, these applications still have to work reliably in a production environment. In fact, DevOps emphasizes this by stressing continuous monitoring – both in production and across the entire application lifecycle.
That’s exactly what the ITIL event management process is designed to do. With DevOps, we still need to set up monitoring mechanisms, filter and correlate events, and initiate appropriate responses – whether that’s simply logging information or opening an incident. The event management process still makes sense. DevOps changes the way it works – for example, by incorporating monitoring setup into an automated deployment and configuration processes – but it doesn’t fundamentally change what the event management process does.
Manual Event Management Processes Management Systems Create an Enormous Bottleneck
So, the real question is how do we make the ITIL event management process agile? How can event management keep up with the increasing velocity and complexity of DevOps-driven applications?
First, let’s start with the uncomfortable truth. For a significant number of IT organizations, event management isn’t agile – in fact, it’s a huge bottleneck. Why? Because it’s still a manual process. IT operations staff spend their time wading through enormous numbers of events from multiple monitoring tools, event logs, etc.. And, because that data isn’t automatically filtered and correlated, they end up drowning in irrelevant noise. Instead of being an agile partner to DevOps, IT operations becomes a black hole that sucks in everything around it – including development resources.
However, this isn’t a process issue – it’s a technology issue. To deal with the deluge of events, IT operations needs capable event management tools and service health status information that includes visibility into configuration item ci attachments, etc.. There’s simply too much data for humans to cope with – and, with DevOps increasing application volume and complexity, the problem is growing exponentially. That’s why DevOps demands an event management platform. Otherwise, both IT operations and development will continue to drown.
Legacy Event Management Tools Don’t Solve the Problem
Of course, operations management platforms have been around for a long time – and many IT organizations use them. These platforms do normalize, filter and correlate events across multiple monitoring sources, turning large numbers events into a small number of meaningful, actionable alerts. In the past, this is made it much easier for IT operations staff to identify and remediate service issues.
However, these legacy event management platforms are no longer enough. Why? It’s because they can’t keep up with rapidly evolving IT environments – and DevOps is accelerating that evolution. They rely on coded logic – scripts and so on – to process events, which doesn’t scale to today’s application velocity and creates enormous maintenance overheads. Plus, they lack native integration to ITSM and CMDB, which means that they can’t add intelligence to events. Ultimately, it’s not the ITIL process that’s lacking…it’s outdated, rigid tools that are the real problem. A modern system will support these functions, while easily integrating DevOps tools as well.
DevOps Demands a Modern Event Management Platform
Fortunately, modern event management platforms are designed to keep pace with DevOps. Leading event management platforms now use configured logic and machine learning to prioritize events, automatically identify their root cause, recommend remedial actions, and even predict future service issues before they happen. The best event management tools also look beyond events, analyzing ITSM data to add further context – such as likely business impact and resolution time forecasts. IT operations now works faster and smarter and has the agility it needs to support an ever-increasing flow of application releases.
The benefits for development are equally profound. Support demands are dramatically reduced, with incident resolution shifted to the left. And, development now has access to clean and meaningful operational data. This creates continuous feedback – another key element of DevOps – allowing developers to radically improve application quality and supportability.
DevOps and ITIL event management aren’t enemies. In fact, they create a virtuous circle, with event management dramatically increasing service operations supportability and providing a tight feedback loop into DevOps. This breaks down barriers between development and operations, unlocking the true potential of a DevOps culture. Modern event management platforms deliver the agility that IT operations needs to prosper in a DevOps world – and gives development the visibility it needs to drive continuous service improvement. To learn how Evanios addresses all of these issues, contact us or request a demo.