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What is CloudOps (Cloud Operations)?

Myra Nizami

Wondering about CloudOps? We explain what CloudOps is, how it relates to DevOps, and how teams can use CloudOps to best manage cloud-native development.

What is CloudOps?

CloudOps, or cloud operations, is a series of methodologies and best practices that help teams work together to keep cloud-native applications up and running. The primary objective of CloudOps is to eliminate downtime for cloud computing.

The role of CloudOps

Before we talk about CloudOps responsibilities and tools, let’s take a step back and look at cloud-native application development first. Cloud-native application development refers to building, running, and improving apps based on cloud computing architecture.

CloupOps enables teams to scale out, work across infrastructures without too much involvement with physical servers, and increase automation for a smoother DevOps process. 

What are the best practices of CloudOps?

Because CloudOps is an emerging concept, best practices and patterns are still being solidified. The practice is rooted in being proactive, rather than reactive. That’s why teams are focused on high availability and reliability as the foundational requirements as they develop processes and workflows. 

There are two main goals that go hand-in-hand in CloudOps: achieve continuous operations and eliminate downtime. Continuous operations essentially means that the cloud-based system is built in a way that there’s no need to take the application itself or even parts of it out of service for builds and improvement. Being able to make changes without stopping availability allows you to achieve the zero downtime goal. 

There are a few ways teams can accomplish these goals by creating updates and deployment plans that do not stop operations. Another way is by creating strategies and solutions to work around situations where downtime would be needed. Creating redundancy is one of the key practices for CloudOps, and eliminating reliance on a single server to avoid single points of failure.

CloudOps tools that track metrics and offer monitoring help teams work towards these goals. Without monitoring how uptime and deployments are affected, teams won’t know how well their CloudOps policies are working. Similarly, constant feedback is another way for teams to work together to prioritize improvements and increase efficiency.   

DevOps, CloudOps, and SRE

CloudOps encompasses many different functions such as software development, IT operations, security, and more. The main goal of CloudOps is to bring these functions together in the context of cloud architecture and improve their accessibility, availability, and functionality. 

With that in mind, there is a lot of discussion around CloudOps versus DevOps and how the two are related. The main difference is that CloudOps leverages DevOps best practices and applies them in a cloud-based architecture. In turn, this enables continuous operations to become a team goal and optimizes workloads and services. 

SRE, in this context, is about managing the change and focusing on quality and reliability. SREs will watch over end-user performance stability and own Service Level Agreements (SLA) of the application. As with DevOps, in a CloudOps setting, SREs will manage the collaboration between cloud development teams and operations teams to ensure reliability while maintaining business objectives.

What are the benefits and challenges of CloudOps?

If done correctly, CloudOps is an effective way to deliver cloud services with more efficiency and better performance across different cloud platforms. Using DevOps best practices, CloudOps can enhance security, automate and streamline workflows, and enable faster deployment to customers.

Using cloud infrastructure can help companies save money since it eliminates the need for physical hardware. The lack of hardware has other benefits too. There’s a level of flexibility with CloudOps that’s difficult to achieve otherwise as companies can scale up and down as needed without investing significant amounts into hardware and physical IT infrastructure. Teams have greater freedom to automate tasks such as testing and reporting, which frees up a significant amount of time for teams while ensuring customers have accessibility and availability. 

However, CloudOps does come with its challenges. In order for it to really work, teams need to come together to ensure that all space is being used effectively, as idle or unused space can end up costing companies more. 

Careful attention and care is needed to configure systems, as otherwise, improper configurations increase security risks. In addition, because CloudOps increases the speed of deployments, it can be challenging for teams to get their workflows and processes established while also dealing with deployment and feedback coming in at such fast speeds.

How do I get started with CloudOps?

Cloud management platform tools are an integral part of CloudOps. These tools should help manage cloud services, provisioning, and automation to help achieve team goals. Another part of starting CloudOps is doing a deep dive, as a team, to understand what needs to improve for continuous operation to happen and for downtime to go to zero. Testing and automation are key components to accomplish this, but it’s just as important to identify the right workflows for testing before automating. 

Not every test will be valuable, and there need to be parameters and tools in place to help teams spot and resolve issues quickly. Based on the continuous operation goal, what system failures are most likely to cause downtime or disruptions to operations? What testing helps address these issues, and where can those essential tests be automated?

Once that part of the workflow is established, it’s time to think about metrics and monitoring tools. These tools will be invaluable in helping spot issues quickly since they gather large amounts of data automatically. They can help flag issues more precisely and allow teams to create targeted automated workflows to resolve those problems.

CloudOps can provide immense benefits to an organization, and that’s why investing in SRE practices and tooling can help. Blameless’ features include SLOs, incident retrospectives, runbooks, and more that can help you stay reliable at all times. We can make your transition to the cloud smooth. To see how the platform works in action, check out a demo. For more articles like this, sign up for our newsletter today.

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