Automation is the key to increase time to production, reduce costs, and even act as a workforce multiplier but many companies struggle to know where to start with automation.
In this episode of TFiR Let’s Talk, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Dormain Drewitz, Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing at PagerDuty, to discuss the evolution of DevOps and the role of automation. She goes into detail about the challenges of automation and shares her advice on how organizations can get started.
Key highlights from this video interview are:
- Drewitz defines DevOps as having a focused set of activities in order to drive outcomes with the intention of delivering higher quality code to production faster and more frequently. She goes on to discuss the factors that go together to achieve this such as increasing the release frequency and improving mean time to resolution and how SREs can help drive these processes.
- Automation is used in two key ways to make DevOps lives easier, automation before the release to product and automation after the release to production. Drewitz explains why it is better to automate smaller activities that happen all the time rather than big tasks when getting started with automation. She tells us how PagerDuty is helping teams get started with common components.
- Drewitz explains that platform teams who run the tool chains that developers use have a substantial focus around automation; however, developers themselves are primarily focused on writing apps and on the business logic to drive the business forward. She discusses how development teams are using automation to speed up how you deliver to production and after production.
- Drewitz explains how they integrate with CI/CD pipeline tools to be able to understand those changes of events, because they can be correlated with incidents and further down the line in production. She talks us through how PagerDuty’s process automation tool, Rundeck, helps with time to production and how process automation helps provide governance around automation for configuration management.
- Kubernetes is a powerful orchestration engine that provides a level of automation. Drewitz takes us through the example of restarting a system and the instructions and steps Kubernetes is going to need to do this successfully. She explains how an automation system can be used to automate the process to help navigate the complexity of Kubernetes.
- Drewitz feels that there is a lot of awareness around automation but companies struggle to see the next steps to take. She explains the trust you need to place in the system doing the automation and why it is important to get it right. She discusses how some companies are using automation as a workforce multiplier and the long-term benefits of it.
- Drewitz emphasizes the need to start off small with things that happen a lot and to concentrate on thinking about the practical realities of implementing automation. She discusses how automation can be used to empower teams and the value automation can bring.
The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.