NoOps – A Big Lie or a Political Shift?

NoOps – A Big Lie or a Political Shift?

NoOps – look up the term on Twitter search and you’ll see tweets such as this:

@GeorgeReese: “NoOps is as stupid a term as NoSQL.”

@allNoOps: “beats “cloud”, “agile”, and “SOPA” as the dumbest marketing term ever coined in my field.

@DevOpsBorat: “In startup we have NoOps. All sysadmin request are go direct to CEO.”

@allspaw: “As I’ve said before, to say that “NoOps” doesn’t mean “no ops” is disingenuous and confusing for people.”

Why are people so pissed off about this term? First, it’s clearly marketing speak, created by AppFog and its Founder and CEO Lucas Carlson for an infographic the company developed. AppFog is an awesome platform that we have written about a lot on ServicesAngle.  But with NoOps, they’ve made up a term that has a certain emptiness to it. It’s also hostile to some extent. IT ruled for decades but developers now have more political power and they’re showing their muscle. The use of the NoOps term is demonstrative of that power play.

To AppFog’s credit, the infographic is based in fact. It provides a well thought out evolution of the infrastructure for app development and the operations requirements it entails. AppFog says it points to a future where developers require no operations whatsoever.

AppFog chose to take such a partisan stance that plays to the crowd. But my stance has softened a bit after talking with my knowledgeable colleague Krishnan Subramanian. He makes the point that operations is fading into the background, just as infrastructure has less importance. Platform providers are increasingly relevant and that will lead to another shift to a stack with data services feeding apps that live on service providers such as Heroku, Cloud Foundry, OpenShift and the others in the market. The data services may be from SaaS providers, raw machine data or unstructured information from any number of sources. In any case the data services will be automated. So you can see the shift. Developers do have more power and it will continue to increase as platform and data service providers makes the developer’s job easier.

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Thankfully, @cwebber brings a bit of sanity to the conversation:

Everyone has Ops responsibilities, just like everyone has Security responsibilities, just like everyone has Dev responsibilities. This is at the core of the DevOps movement. Make Dev responsible for the way their apps work in production and make Ops responsible for making sure that the environment is suitable for Dev to get work done.

Operations is everyone’s responsibility. Just as everyone has a stake in development. Forget the feuds, the infrastructure has to work. That’s why NoOps is a lie but also represents a distinct political shift.

Alex Williams

Alex Williams is an editor for SiliconAngle and lives a charmed life in Portland, Or.


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  1. The term “NoOps” is threatening to Ops folks. Just at the term “NoDev” would be to developers.

  2. DevOps is the strategic intersection of what-is in stable production and what could be in innovative development via quality assurance as it often manifests itself in the form of collaborative tools in the cloud, shared responsibilities, and cross-functional collaboration. We build bridges where you might have found arcane walls before.

    Asher Bond

    DevOps Culturist and lover of cats and haters and unrecoverable Ops.

    Elastic Provisioner, Inc.

  3. I mean I’m an unrecoverable ops [:

  4. I also think of PaaS as a ToolCloud.

  5. I guess from the Silicon Angle PaaS might look like developer-as-a-customer.

  6. @kurtmilne This is why I keep saying NO to PESSIMISM.

  7. Every IaaS cloud needs a silver lining… in terms of infrastructure. This is what PaaS is. It provides workload-awareness-as-a-service and an economy-of-scale in multi-tenant paravirtual library management to abstract the complexity of developer relations… from the unrecoverable ops perspective.



  8. @furrier You know your site is borked, right? Well at least for Internet Explorer, which, hey, who really cares about that?

  9. @Jakewk site issues all with provider .. Not pleased with it

  10. @Jakewk sorry it should be fixed Tuesday #iteratefast

  11. @furrier Just making sure you knew. Could envision everyone using FF or Chrome and no one being aware if it was Iexplorer only issue.

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