How to Align Development and Operations for Workload Optimization – A Playbook For Success

August 23, 2018 1:21 pm Published by

Boulder, CO / New York, NY

How to Align Development and Operations for Workload Optimization – A Playbook For Success

‘Flying blind.’ Odds are you’ve heard of the phrase before, coined by aircraft pilots describing the experience of flying when their navigation instruments go down or fail them in a moment of need.  When it comes to managing workload environments in growing businesses, the idea of ‘flying blind’ is actually a fitting term. While workload engines themselves may not necessarily fail users, companies are often confronted with the challenge of managing workloads without sufficient analytics and understanding of their workload processing. In a sense, they are ‘flying blind’ because they have to make critical decisions related to the workload without the necessary information to do so. Such scenarios can often lead to highly ineffective and inefficient workload environments that can often create chaos for businesses, put service levels at risk, and even jeopardize revenue and profitability.

A couple years ago, a large U.S.-based bank with a complex workload environment decided to outsource their workload development efforts to an offshore service provider, while keeping their workload operations team in-house. Around the same time, the bank introduced a new stream of workload processing into their production environment. When a company adds new workload processes, this can often present a host of challenges for development and operations teams. Imagine a company doing this with their operations and development teams segregated either organizationally or geographically and sometimes both. Needless to say, several challenges ensued.

This scenario described is not uncommon, however, as many companies often outsource some or all of their development and operations efforts. Where this becomes problematic is when the development and operations teams aren’t aligned in terms of how they test, monitor, and manage their workload environments. Such was the case with this bank. They were actually using Terma Software products for their operations to better monitor, manage and report on workloads, yet the development team was not using Terma’s platform. As a result, both teams struggled to effectively collaborate with each other, as they were using different tools and working from different data and information systems. When it came to collaborating with each other, in essence, both teams were ‘flying blind.’

There were several critical issues at play in this situation:1) Since the development team wasn’t using Terma’s platform, they lacked analysis, simulation and modeling capabilities that often serve as the workhorse to test out the workload updates and changes before they are released; 2) The operations team was struggling with new and updated applications delivered by the development team because there wasn’t an effective platform to facilitate communication and provide the operations with necessary advanced notice of what was being delivered and when; 3) The operations team had no clear understanding of the workload processing, including the potential impact to other processes and expected outcomes to monitor for service level assurance.

Complete chaos overtook the workload as well as the two teams, and the new production workload actually had to shutdown for three entire days. This was a result of the newly introduced workload processing introducing anomalies into the live production environment. For this bank, where minutes and seconds can significantly impact bank activity and transaction effectiveness, three days was an eternity – and a very costly one, as it delayed the startup of a new service offering to their customers

The Turning Point: From Development and Operations to ‘DevOps’

One of the key issues for the bank was that their development and operations teams were working as two separate entities, rather than one cohesive unit. Nothing illustrated this more than the fact that there were no common tools or platforms for both teams to manage the workload collaboratively. The operations team relied on Terma’s solution and the development team used in-house developed tools and processes. Recognizing the problem from the operations side of things, Terma performed an analysis of the entire workload from development to operations, specifically pinpointing issues, the exact cause, and resolution opportunities.

As part of this process, Terma demonstrated how operations and development could actually collaborate much more effectively and efficiently by having both use a workload analytics solution that allowed them to visualize and communicate workload activities. Both teams quickly realized the incredible power that Terma’s solution offered – being able to develop new workloads, test them ahead of production, and visualize their activity with one comprehensive tool that could be utilized by both teams. Using Terma’s solution, development and operations could truly become an aligned and unified team – ‘DevOps.’

Following the Same Playbook Was a Game Changer

When the bank had both its teams on the Terma platform with Terma’s end-to-end workload capabilities, a monumental change took place. Bank upper management better understood the complexity of the entire workload process through Terma’s dashboards, causing the communication and decision making to become more efficient and reliable. At the same time, the development and operations team could troubleshoot issues together, as they were now using the same workload ‘playbook’ – Terma’s platform. This then led the newly integrated DevOps team to significantly reduce the amount of errors and downtime it took to get new workloads running, resulting in massive time and money savings. The bank’s management was so pleased with the results of having both development and operations using Terma’s solution that the bank subsequently purchased additional Terma licenses to expand the Terma footprint to include other business areas across the entire bank organization.

To learn more about how Terma provides DevOps solutions for your company, contact Terma Software for more information.

About Terma Software

Terma Software has developed the industry’s most comprehensive platform for workload intelligence and the ability to leverage it to provide measurable predictive analytics. Terma’s products TermaVISIONTermaUNIFY, and TermaINSIGHT enable optimization of workload processing to help realize more value from Workload Automation tools by providing SLA management, forecasting, predictive analytics, prescriptive actions and reporting through analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning. The products ensure that companies can lower their costs and improve the reliability and performance of mission-critical workload processes. Terma supports any job scheduler, including IBM Workload Scheduler (IWS), CA AutoSys, CA7, and Tidal Workload Automation. Terma is the only supplier of management solutions in cross-vendor and cross-platform scheduling environments providing a single perspective (aka single pane of glass) into the environment. The products are available on-premise or SaaS. For more information or to arrange an overview of the solution, contact Jim Anderson, Vice President at Terma Software. Jim can be reached by email at Jim@TermaLabs.com, or www.termasoftware.com.

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