DevOps outsourcing: How to get it right

DevOps outsourcing: How to get it right
N-iX
2020-02-14T17:44:18+00:00

Forrester predicts that in 2020, the business value of DevOps will overtake velocity as a favored metric. Thus, even more companies will go for automating their operations and adopting cloud. That and shortage of the needed experts will lead to an even bigger interest in DevOps outsou...

DevOps outsourcing: How to get it right
By Nadia Serheichuk February 14, 2020

Forrester predicts that in 2020, the business value of DevOps will overtake velocity as a favored metric. Thus, even more companies will go for automating their operations and adopting cloud. That and shortage of the needed experts will lead to an even bigger interest in DevOps outsourcing. 

As a company that has been delivering DevOps services for many years (25+ 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. The blog post covers key guidelines for choosing a reliable IT services provider.  Also, it features 5 critical tips on how to make your DevOps outsourcing 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 outsourcing 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 DevOps outsourcing

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:

  1. Easier recruitment. To find and hire 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. 
  2. 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 outsourcing vendor. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 DevOps outsourcing work?

  1. Define the areas that can be improved with DevOps outsourcing

Identifying key areas that call for improvement will help you find the right company to meet your specific business KPI's:

  • 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 its processing.
  1. Assess the risks related to DevOps outsourcing

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.
  1. 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 set up, 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.
  1. Assess the tech expertise of a DevOps outsourcing vendor

 An experienced and reliable company should have long-standing experience in DevOps outsourcing services :

  • Cloud adoption (architecture, migration, optimization)
  • Configuration Management, Delivery Pipeline and Continuous Integration (CI/CD)
  • Infrastructure Automation and Orchestration, Monitoring, Logging, and Alerting
  • Security Infrastructure

DevOps outsourcing: what expertise do you need to look for?

  1. Check the tech stack of DevOps engineers

You may need DevOps outsourcing experts with different expertise. It depends heavily on your business needs, project requirements, and specific KPIs. However, here are a few key areas high qualified DevOps engineers need to be well versed in:

  • Cloud:
    • public clouds: Amazon AWS, Google GCP, Azure, DigitalOcean
    • private clouds: OpenStack, DCOS Mesosphere
  • Data Centers: Hetzner, Rackspace, Unicept, etc
  • Infrastructure as a Code: Terraform, Helm, AWS CloudFormation, PowerShell, Azure Resource Manager
  • Automation and Orchestration: Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, Python, Bash, PowerShell
  • CI/CD: Jenkins Pipelines, Bitbucket Pipelines, TeamCity, Azure DevOps, AWS, CodeDeploy/CodePipeline
  • Monitoring & Logging: Prometheus, Grafana, DataDog, Zabbix, Nagios, ElasticSearch, Kibana, Splunk, AWS CloudWatch
  • Secure Infrastructure:
    • Web attack detection/prevention: e.g. AWS WAF, Azure Firewall and Application Gateway)
    • Intrusion detection/prevention: Snort, Suricata, OSSEC.
    • Firewall as a service: AWS SG, Azure NSG
    • Hardware firewall (e.g. Cisco ASA)

DevOps outsourcing tech stack

Summary

Outsourcing DevOps services helps you to 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 DevOps outsourcing company you choose to work with. Thus, when looking for a reliable vendor to outsource DevOps to, follow those tips. They will help to make your DevOps outsourcing journey smooth and riskfree.

5 tips for DevOps outsourcing

Why choose N-iX for DevOps outsourcing? 

  1. We have extensive expertise in DevOps outsourcing services, including Cloud adoption (architecture, migration, optimization),  building and streamlining CI/CD processes, security issues detection/prevention (DDOS & intrusion), firewall-as-a-service, and more.
  2. DevOps teams and experts at N-iX support a wide range of technologies, including AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, Ansible, and many more.
  3. We partner with North American and European tech companies and enterprises, including Lebara, Gogo, Currencycloud, RateSetter, TuneIn, Fluke Corporation, Travelport, and HotSchedules, to help them bring their businesses to the next level. 

If you have any further questions about DevOps outsourcing services we can provide, contact our experts.

DevOps outsourcing expertise at N-iX

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By Nadia Serheichuk February 14, 2020

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About N-iX

N-iX is an Eastern European provider of software development services with 1000+ expert software engineers onboard that power innovative technology businesses. Since 2002 we have formed strategic partnerships with a variety of global industry leaders including OpenText, Novell, Lebara, Currencycloud and over 50 other medium and large-scale businesses. With delivery centers in Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, and Belarus, we deliver excellence in software engineering and deep expertise in a range of verticals including finance, healthcare, hospitality, telecom, energy and enterprise content management helping our clients to innovate and implement technology transformations.

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