Leading the datacenter revolution: How composable infrastructure is perfectly suited for the DevOps movement

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By Paul Miller, HPE Vice President of Marketing, Software-defined and Cloud Group

Every 10 years or so, IT goes through some form of major revolution. A decade ago it was server virtualization. This transformation changed IT organizations and allowed virtualization adopters to find and capitalize on new opportunities while experiencing incredible efficiency. Today, the new revolution brought about by the DevOps movement is underway. The idea economy demands that IT become part of the innovation process in every company... IT must keep up, even lead, if the business is to remain competitive.

This pressure to rapidly innovate has led to the rise of the DevOps culture that is transforming the IT landscape. For organizations seeking to embrace DevOps, collaboration has to become the new normal. In a successful DevOps environment, development teams and IT ops staff work side-by-side to support applications across their entire lifecycle. From initial idea to production, infrastructure has to be flexible to support DevOps.

Composability is another rising transformation trend underway in the datacenter. Composable Infrastructure was designed using much the same principles as the DevOps movement, which makes it well suited to be the infrastructure of choice for both DevOps and IT Ops activities.

What do we want? Collaboration! When do we want it? Now!

Wikipedia defines DevOps as “a set of practices that emphasize the collaboration and communication of both software developers and information technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes.” It aims at establishing a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.

Likewise, Composable Infrastructure is designed to enable better collaboration and communication between IT equipment and the professionals who manage it, which includes software developers, especially those in a DevOps environment.

A true Composable Infrastructure includes a unified API that enables programmability or infrastructure as code. Through the combination of the unified API and software-defined templates, developers and IT can collaborate in a very automated manner. Historically, developers would need to make a request to stand up IT infrastructure for an application. In more recent years, cloud-based technology has enabled this to be automated through a self-service portal. Composable Infrastructure takes this a step further by allowing the infrastructure request to be made as code. This means developers can simply request the infrastructure they need for their application though writing a single line of code – the same thing they already do for a living!  In other words, the hardware appears to them as software. The infrastructure provisioning request is automated and becomes available in a matter of minutes.

At the same time, IT can control precisely how the requested infrastructure is actually composed. IT can create software-defined templates that specify the compute, storage, and networking requirements. In this way, IT can create a policy on how infrastructure is to be consumed by the application developer team.

HPE has partnered with several leading DevOps software companies including Chef, Docker, Ansible, and Puppet to enable the seamless automation of apps to infrastructure. Through these integrations, DevOps teams can leverage HPE Composable Infrastructure – specifically HPE Synergy — using the same tools they already use.

To learn more about how DevOps and Composable Infrastructure can assist you in automating your apps and infrastructure together, check out Building an Agile Infrastructure for DevOps or Composable Infrastructure for Dummies.