What is Rugged DevOps?


Most readers should be familiar with what is a DevOps pipeline – the process that encourages teamwork and collaboration among development and operations teams for faster and better delivery of services. At RSA 2016, I had the chance to sit in on some thoughtful discussions on DevOps, where I came across an unfamiliar term – rugged DevOps.

It was my first time hearing this term despite working in the technology industry, so I pinged three developer friends to see if they had heard of the term before. No, they hadn’t heard of rugged DevOps either. And that brings me to why I’m writing this article.

So what’s rugged DevOps? Before you write it off as another marketing buzzword or try conceptualizing the term yourself as some image of lumberjacks hacking on keyboards, let me explain.

A frequent argument that arises among IT and developers who are wary of DevOps is that it’s increasingly difficult to keep pace with security thanks to DevOps’ mantra of rapid iteration and deployments. Stated differently, if you’re putting all your eggs into a basket that focuses only on pushing new functionalities to production, then you run the risk of overlooking the stability and security of your software.

In a sense, this mindset is understandable, and there’s no doubt that both dev and ops teams experience pressure to kick new functionality out the door. But that’s where rugged DevOps comes in. Think of it as the next maturation of DevOps, where rugged DevOps stems from these security concerns and encourages teams to find new solutions to overcome them.

Rugged DevOps tells us that we can’t simply push deployments without consistently upholding security standards. It tells us that teams should be adaptive in the ways they work by communicating and finding viable alternatives.

This really just touches the tip of the iceberg, and I learned so much more by attending these sessions. I’ll cover more of what I’ve learned in the coming days, so stay tuned. In the meantime, are you using a rugged DevOps strategy in your own organization? What challenges do you face in terms of being successful with DevOps? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the article comments below or reach out to me on Twitter via @blair_greenwood.