Forrester looks to a "NoOps" future

April 29, 2011 at 12:55 PM

When application development professionals and infrastructure and operations administrators think and act collaboratively, good things happen for an enterprise.

Forrester Research labels this merging of the two disciplines “DevOps,” and heralds such collaboration as a means of speeding deployment and improving application service levels. “We must all promote and support the goals of the DevOps movement, because both app dev pros and ops pros should have the same goal: to serve the business by developing, deploying and running applications quickly, smoothly and cost effectively,” Forrester says in a report published this week.

But, as Forrester spells out in the report, titled “Augment DevOps with NoOps,” cloud computing is set to change the relationship between the two groups like no technology model before it.

For example, application development and operations teams at effective enterprises work together to understand each application’s capacity requirements. But in the cloud, where capacity is available on-demand, application developers do not need input from operations professionals as they once did.

“Developers will design applications to self-monitor and elastically scale up and down, and ops pros’ role in capacity planning and infrastructure capital acquisition will diminish. … Where cloud does apply, the changes it brings to the context for DevOps will be irreversible,” Forrester says.

Going forward, Forrester says it sees DevOps morphing into “no” + “operations,” or “NoOps,” which it defines as “the goal of completely automating the deployment, monitoring and management of applications and the infrastructure on which they run.” Whereas DevOps is about collaboration, NoOps is about automation, the firm says.

This isn’t to say that DevOps deserves a diminished focus, Forrester points out in the report. “DevOps is a noble and necessary movement. Whether you use cloud services or not, you must embrace DevOps principles. If you already exhibit these principles, congratulate yourself, for you are among the fortunate leaders in business value,” the report says.

But as companies embrace the use of cloud services, DevOps must begin transitioning to NoOps. “In NoOps, the collaboration between dev and ops is at its strongest because the collaboration is in the planning and engineering of a service life cycle. Because of automation, standardization, and self-service capabilities, collaboration focused on manual hand-offs will dwindle as collaboration in serving business priorities grows,” Forrester says.

“NoOps is not about the elimination of ops,” Forrester stresses. “It is about the elimination of manual hand-offs and low-value, rote administration.”


Beth Schultz

Beth Schultz , contributing editor, has more than two decades of experience as an IT writer and editor. You can find her work at a number of leading IT publications, where she writes on a variety of topics including cloud computing, mobility, network/systems management and security. Find her Linkedin profile here or e-mail her here.

Please add a comment

Posted by Chris Haddad on
Hi Beth, do you see NoOps running counter to IT governance? How does one layer cost control, help desk, service catalogue standardization, and solution support in a NoOps world? I've authored a blog post describing a cautionary perspective to NoOps:
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