Back in 2020, Forrester predicted that the business value of DevOps will overtake velocity as a favored metric. Now we see that more and more companies are looking to automate their operations and adopt the cloud. That and shortage of the needed experts will lead to an even bigger interest among companies that plan to outsource DevOps services.
As a company that has been delivering DevOps services for many years (30+ successfully completed projects), we understand how challenging it might be to find a DevOps outsourcing company that can both understand and meet your specific needs. This blog post covers key guidelines for choosing a reliable IT services provider. Also, it features 5 critical tips on how to make your DevOps journey smooth and safe.
What is DevOps outsourcing?
Due to the extreme shortage of local tech talent in the USA, UK, and Western Europe, the demand for outsourced DevOps services is booming. Finding experienced DevOps engineers quickly might be a tall order. That's why many companies go for DevOps as a Service (DaaS) approach. DevOps experts either help you set up the processes from scratch (e.g build a CI/CD pipeline for the future product) or assess your current processes, offer ways to improve them, and help you implement all the necessary changes.
DevOps outsourcing services can be adjusted to your needs and project specifications. And they typically cover:
- Cloud services (adoption, migration, and infrastructure);
- Delivery Pipeline and Continuous Integration;
- Security audit and infrastructure;
- Optimization and automation of the processes, etc.
5 ways you will benefit from outsourcing of DevOps operations
Whether you need to scale up the existing product, move it to the cloud or set up an infrastructure, you will face an inevitable choice: either hire an expert locally or choose a partner to outsource these processes to. Here are 5 key reasons to opt for outsourcing DevOps processes:
- Easier recruitment. Finding and hiring reliable DevOps engineers is a lengthy and expensive process, which in some cases can take months. Whereas, a DevOps outsourcing company has a team of experienced specialists aboard and can pull up additional resources from their reserve if needed.
- Tech expertise. Specialists working for outsourcing companies have better expertise than their fellow colleagues working on their own. Knowledge sharing and support from experienced teammates, as well as professional training, are the benefits of partnering with a DevOps vendor.
- Necessary certifications. Finding a DevOps engineer with all the needed certifications locally can often be a hard task, so companies sometimes choose to hire a person and train them, which (in a longer perspective) turns out to be even more expensive. On the contrary, outsourcing can help you find specialists with all the needed certifications already in place.
- Experience and best practices. Typically, outsourcing companies have more expertise as they have tried and tested various solutions and approaches. They also properly document the solution, which helps to maintain it in runtime.
- Additional competences. Companies that offer DevOps as a service can also provide more specific specialists like DBAs, who are hard to find and usually are needed for a short period of time.
5 tips for smooth DevOps outsourcing
DevOps outsourcing may be a complicated process. And it might be hard to trust your product to a third-party vendor. However, many successful companies such as SAP, Cars.com, Lebara, Basecamp, Orbus, and others have benefited from it. They moved their product to the cloud, set up the CI/CD pipeline, and improved the overall performance. So how to make it work?
1. Define areas you can improve if you outsource DevOps services
Identifying key areas that call for improvement will help you find the right company to meet your specific business KPIs:
- Scalability. Having an environment that requires instant observation and support for further growth is the main area DevOps outsourcing can help you with.
- Cost audit. DevOps can help you optimize the costs for cloud-based solutions by choosing the services that would be the best fit for your business.
- 24/7 support. Using developers for on-call support of an application is not the best practice. DevOps can help you automate the process and let engineers focus on their jobs.
- Migration. When moving from a traditional data center to the cloud or in the case of cloud-to-cloud migration, DevOps can make up around 30% of work that needs to be done.
- Big Data. If your software solution stores and processes large amounts of data, it is highly recommended to invest in DevOps to optimize data flows and their processing.
2. Assess related risks
It is crucial to consider these aspects to avoid potential risks:
- Legal issues. There can be legal restrictions for accessing PII by the third party, so DevOps outsourcing vendors will need to have specific certifications, or they won’t be able to support certain environments (real-data environment, a.k.a - production).
- Architecture vision. For effective DevOps outsourcing, there must be a high-level architecture vision as well as a road map. Remember, your choice of the platform (such as AWS or Azure) is a commitment that comes with specific requirements.
- Integration. DevOps outsourcing calls for extensive knowledge sharing and integration with development teams, which usually may take additional time.
3. Assess the tech expertise of a DevOps outsourcing vendor
An experienced and reliable company should have long-standing experience in DevOps outsourcing services.
Your vendor should have experience with both public and private clouds, as well as all related operations.
If a potential tech partner has extensive expertise in CI/CD tools, they can help you set up a proper CI/CD pipeline and, in turn
- Reduce lead time: time between starting on a work item until it is deployed;
- Improve the quality of deliverable services or applications.
Containers have become the industry standard of computing infrastructure, replacing traditional virtual machines (VMs). If applied properly, this tool helps businesses to:
- Reduce workload by enabling DevOps teams to focus on critical tasks.
- Improve hardware utilization.
- Faster server provisioning.
- Create reliable backup systems by automating the data backup that occurs every minute.
- Ensure resource efficiency.
- Reduce IT overhead and management costs.
Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) offers a new take on traditional management of computing resources. What value do you get from Iac? To name a few:
- Infrastructure is more clear and documented
- Infrastructure knowledge maintainability
- Infrastructure unification between environments
DevSecOps is an approach that aims to ensure the security of applications and infrastructure. DevSecOps tools provide the following testing:
- Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
- Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)
- Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST)
- Software Composition Analysis (SCA)
- Static Code Analysis
- Vulnerability Scanning
Monitoring & Logging
Effective monitoring systems provide relevant insights, allowing businesses to have a clear view of every part of the application. Monitoring aims to maximize availability by minimizing essential metrics measured in terms of time. In general, there are several types of monitoring:
- Infrastructure monitoring
- Network monitoring
- Application monitoring
And while the specific tech stack for an individual project can vary, here is an example of some popular and widely used tools.
The release management process involves overseeing the development, testing, deployment, and support of software. In addition to the objectives and long-term strategic planning, it includes individual tactical steps taken to help reach those objectives.
Here're some advantages of this process:
- Provides a clear path for the development process from initial changes to production.
- Allows users to create workflows that lead to structured releases.
- Enables parallel development.
- Optimizes developer workflow without adding any overhead.
- Enables faster release cycles
4. Check the tech stack of tech experts
You may need DevOps experts with different expertise. It depends heavily on your business needs, project requirements, and specific KPIs. However, make sure that the engineers you are hiring have expertise in the core areas mentioned above and have worked with specific tools that are (or will be used) on your project.
5. Choose a vendor with a proven record of successful DevOps outsourcing projects
A reliable DevOps outsourcing company should have a proven track record of successfully delivered projects, as well as diverse expertise with cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud), technologies, and tools.
N-iX provides a wide range of DevOps outsourcing services, including on-premise to cloud migration, cloud-to-cloud migration, infrastructure setup, and more. We partner with North American and European clients in fintech, telecom, retail, healthcare, etc. Our recent projects include:
- Design, development, and integration of a fully automated CI/CD pipeline, as well as cloud migration for Lebara, one of Europe's fastest-growing mobile companies. We also implemented infrastructure and services by using the Azure cloud provider and Microsoft automation solutions for delivery applications.
- Migration of legacy infrastructure to the cloud, setting up production and monitoring, as well as the implementation of multi-tenancy for Orbus Software, a leading global provider of software solutions for enterprise architecture, business process analysis, and application portfolio management.
- Assessment of the existing DevOps processes, streamlining and standardizing CI/ CD processes, as well as help with configuration management and OS patching of all the products for a global telecom provider. We have worked with the client on setting up a DevOps Center of Excellence.
- Design and development of AWS infrastructure from scratch, environment optimization, fully automated CI/CD for a Singapore-based company in the fintech domain.
Outsourcing DevOps services helps you tap into the tech talent pool way beyond your local one as well as achieve faster delivery and better results. However, the success of DevOps outsourcing depends on the expertise, experience, and knowledge of a company you choose to work with. Thus, when looking to outsource DevOps services, search for a reliable vendor and follow these tips. They will help to make your outsourcing journey smooth and risk-free.
Why choose N-iX for outsourced DevOps services?
- We have extensive expertise in Cloud, all aspects of DevOps, and other related technologies.
- DevOps teams and experts at N-iX support a wide range of technologies, including AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Docker, Kubernetes, and many more.
- We partner with North American and European tech companies and enterprises, including Lebara, Gogo, Currencycloud, TuneIn, Fluke Corporation, Travelport, and HotSchedules, to help them bring their businesses to the next level.