The WebOps role is to work alongside the development team to build software services that are easy to deploy, operate, scale and are secure. WebOps get to work in all areas of infrastructure, naturally progress further in areas of interest, while still gaining a broader knowledge across the spectrum.
I see so many organizations that run a project to launch external and/or internal websites, and then do little to maintain them. Web technology is very complex and requires continued care. To mention some of the main operational tasks:
- The deployment of web applications
- The monitoring, error isolation, escalation, and repair of problems
- Performing performance management, availability reporting, and other administration
- Configuring load-balancing and working with content delivery networks to improve the reliability and reduce the latency of the system.
- Measuring the impact of changes to content, applications, networks, and infrastructure
How are you going to do this!
You need WebOps, you may be familiar with the idea of DevOps and the role of WebOps are still relatively new to the IT industry and there is still a level of confusion about what the role actually entails and the fact that different people have a different interpretation of what WebOps is.
What is DevOps
So let me try to explain, DevOps is not a role, it is a way of working that the whole organization has to buy into, from Management to Ops to Dev to Security and Testing. It is about breaking down the silos in the IT department and the communication barriers and supporting collaborative working across multi-disciplinary teams, through the entire project lifecycle from design through development to production support.
WebOps fits into this DevOps culture as one of the roles within the multi-disciplinary teams. The primary function of the WebOps role is to work alongside the development team to build software services that are easy to deploy, operate, scale and are performant and secure utilizing automation tools.
Historically Web operations consisted of expertise within IT systems management that involves the deployment, operation, maintenance, tuning, and repair of web-based applications and systems. In the development/project model, operations were seen as a late phase of the Waterfall model process. After engineering had built a software product, and QA had verified it as correct, it would be handed to support staff to operate the working software.
The operation took over and it would have involved the manual configuration of all aspects of infrastructure such as: building virtual machines, configuring networks, securing platforms, etc. Which if done manually, would be an incredibly repeatable, monotonous and difficult process to manage and maintain.
Web applications are unique in many ways:
- Their use by a distributed, often uncontrolled, user base
- The many independent networks between end-users and the data center from which content is served
- The three-tiered model of web, application, and database components (such as LAMP environments consisting of Linux, MySQL and PHP)
The web application can be very complex and involves many specialists, but it takes WebOps to ensure that everything works together throughout an application’s lifetime. WebOps are specialists that understand the complexities of running a web application.
WebOps automate many functions that previously were done manually, they use tools such as Vagrant, Puppet, Ansible and Jenkins (to name a few) to automate every aspect of the infrastructure build through infrastructure as code.
This removes the need for time to be spent completing mundane, monotonous tasks, therefore freeing up time to focus on developing and improving innovative solutions.
WebOps is a capability, not a silo. In the past, a lot of companies may have split their infrastructure roles into specialist sub-departments. So individuals may specialize in one area i.e. Networking, Security, Database Administration, etc. WebOps is the opposite.
Signs that you need to get WebOps
- Resource constraints (they probably working on mundane tasks).
- You can not keep up with the project demand from other parts of the organization.
- Poor communication in your team.
- Lots of overtime (your ops team is probably busy with mundane tasks)
- Inconsistent Management – If it keeps changing course, how can it possibly meet its goals? It can’t and often leads to Lots of overtime. The key is to remain as consistent as possible.
- Ops Team Gets Pulled onto new projects – When resources continue to get pulled, which causes lots of overtime.
- New Projects suffer as the ops team busy to fight fires.
- No time to do performance management and availability reporting
- No time to measuring the impact of changes to content, applications, networks, and infrastructure
- Teams in your unit are not on the same page
- Trying to resolve issues by adding more processes without understanding the root cause and solution.
Get started today, review your team, your processes – do not get left behind. Any questions, leave a comment below or contact me.