From Application Release Automation (ARA) to Orchestration (ARO)
Application release automation (ARA) involves packaging and deploying an application/update/release from development, across various environments, and ultimately to production. ARA tools combine the capabilities of deployment automation, environment management and modeling.
By 2020 Gartner predicts that over 50% of global enterprises will have implemented at least one application release automation solution, up from less than 15% in 2017. Approximately seven years old, the ARA solution market reached an estimated $228.2 million in 2016, up 31.4% from $173.6 million in 2015. The market is continuing to grow at an estimated 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2020.
The ARA market is evolving fast in response to growing enterprise requirements to both scale DevOps initiatives and improve release management agility across multiple cultures, processes and generations of technology. We are seeing ARA morph into a new discipline, Application Release Orchestration (ARO).
One layer over ARA, Application Release Orchestration (ARO) tools arrange and coordinate automated tasks into a consolidated release management workflow. They further best practices by moving application-related artifacts, applications, configurations and even data together across the application life cycle process. ARO spans cross-pipeline software delivery and provides visibility across the entire software release process.
ARO forms the cornerstone of Enterprise DevOps.
Enterprise DevOps: Scaling Release Quality and Velocity
Enterprise DevOps is still new, and competing definitions are appearing. Think of it as DevOps at Scale.
Like Bimodal IT, large enterprises use DevOps teams to build and deploy software through individual, parallel pipelines. Pipelines flow continuously from development to integration and deployment iteratively. Each parallel pipeline use toolchains to automate or orchestrate the phases and sub-phases of the Enterprise DevOps SDLC.
At a high level the phases in the Enterprise DevOps SDLC can be summarized as plan, analyze, design, code, commit, unit-test, integration-test, functional-test, deploy-to-test, acceptance-test, deploy-to-production, operate, user-feedback.
The phases and tasks of the ED-SDLC can differ within each pipeline or there can be a different level of emphasis on each phase or sub-phase. For example, in bimodal mode 1 on a SOR the plan, analyze & design phases may be of greater importance than in bimodal level 2. In bimodal mode 2 on a SOE the frequency of the commit, unit test, integration test and functional test may be emphasized.
Risk of deployment error is high in enterprise environments because toolchains in each pipeline differ, and dependencies exist between artifacts in distinct pipelines. Orchestration is required to coordinate the processes across the pipelines. Orchestration equates to a more sophisticated automation, with some built in intelligence and an ultimate goal to be autonomic.
How to transition Legacy systems to DevOps?
In response to the challenges of Bimodal IT, we have reached a point where classic DevOps and Release Management disciplines converge.
For over 25 years Arcad Software has been helping large enterprises and SMEs improve software development through advanced tools and innovative new techniques. During this time, we have developed deep expertise in legacy IBM i and z/OS systems. Today we are recognized by Gartner Research as a significant player in the Enterprise DevOps and ARO space for both legacy and modern platforms.
Many ARO vendors assume greenfield developments on Windows, Unix and Linux and hence legacy systems become an after-thought. ARCAD is different; we understand the need to get the most from your companies’ investment in legacy systems over the past decades, and also the demands and challenges of unlocking the value within these legacy applications. ARCAD can ensure you can offer your application owners and stakeholders a practical, inclusive step-by-step solution to deliver both DevOps and ARO for both new and legacy applications vs. an expensive and risky rip-and-replace project.
Leveraging existing CI/CD pipelines
There are a huge number of tools available to organisations to deliver DevOps today. Tools overlap and the danger is “toolchain sprawl”. Yet no one tool can address all needs in a modern development environment. It is essential therefore that all selected tools can easily integrate with each other.
The ARCAD for DevOps solution has an open design and integrates easily with standard tools such as Git, Jenkins, JIRA, ServiceNow. It is capable of orchestrating the delivery of all enterprise application assets, from the most recent cloud-native technologies to the core legacy code that underpins your business.
ARCAD has a proven methodology to ensure we leverage the value in your Legacy applications and avoid a rip-and-replace approach. ARCAD solutions extend and scale your existing DevOps pipeline into a frictionless workflow that supports ALL the platforms in your business.
Modernizing your IT assets
If the future of legacy application assets is your concern, then complementary ARCAD solutions can automate the modernization of your legacy databases and code – increasing their flexibility in modern IT architectures, and making it easy to hire younger development talent and ensure the new hires can collaborate efficiently with older legacy team members.
With 25 years of Release Management experience working with the largest and most respected Legacy and Digital IT Teams across the globe, ARCAD Software has built in security, compliance and risk minimization into all of our offerings. This is exactly the place that DevOps is headed.
(*) Source: IDC