The debate on whether the Agile principles that have been making waves in software development can be applied to infrastructure continues even as enterprises adopt and reap the benefits of implementing Agile methodologies to boost their infrastructure. Though the inherent principles of Agile’s iterative design strongly indicate that Agile concepts would indeed work in infrastructure, challenges occur at any of the multiple layers that make up an enterprise’s IT infrastructure — hardware, OS, enterprise software and middleware and so on. The key is to work around these challenges to put together an on-demand, self-service computing resource that is able to rapidly meet changing business needs.
So, what are the components of an Agile infrastructure?
Agile methodologies in infrastructure involve the virtualization of computing, with infrastructure automation, orchestration, and provisioning migrated to the cloud. It helps achieve dramatic reductions in cycle times and costs for delivering capabilities to customers. A delivery time of over two months is cut to days, with a shift to the Agile format of short sprints of Request->List and confirm technical specs required->Check virtual repository for possible solutions->Work together (Infrastructure and Development teams) to install and customize the required solution.
Virtual Local Area Networks (VLan), and Storage Area Networks (SAN)/Network Attached Storage (NAS), in tandem with Backup, Archiving, Snapshot, and Block Storage solutions offer obvious savings over on-site, physical servers. Typically ITIL process managed, non-generic, and scalable, Agile storage solutions enable data centers to work in synergy with the business and development teams to ensure viable planning of release dates. Agile backlog storage, organized to offer prioritization, enables rapid re-prioritization based on business needs.
Connecting a group of end stations with a common set of requirements, regardless of whether they are located physically on the same LAN segment, offers the advantages of efficient connectivity with reduced energy and computing costs, and ease of disaster recovery. Virtual IoT platforms can link exponentially, facilitating the usage of IoT devices, and enable enterprises to securely collect, process, and organize data coming in, to use and/or monetize the same.
Agile principles that require the definition of priorities for the sprints, also apply to non-functional requirements like security, logging, and monitoring. Compiling these requirements of infrastructure and setting the priorities for each sprint help enterprises set their regulatory systems in place.
Agile infrastructure can pack in Web Access Management (WAM), Single Sign On (SSO), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Information Rights Management (IRM), Masking, Provisioning, Access Governance, Authentication and more.
Agile, by definition, works towards orchestration of provisioning (making available) environments rather than workloads. Towards this, Agile infrastructure offers various options to self-help, self-heal, and self-support. It empowers users by providing functional and non-functional stories that users can utilize off-the-cloud. Scalability on-demand is a major advantage here, enabling rapid infrastructure scale ups/downs and scale outs/ins.
In all, Agile offers the benefits of a cloud-empowered infrastructure that can power constant improvements, with increasingly better working releases after every sprint. Given that, it’s time that enterprises seriously consider moving away from their existing expensive-to-run, skill-based siloed infrastructure, to rapidly evolving Agile practices.
ABOUT HAPPIEST MINDS
Happiest Minds enables Digital Transformation for enterprises and technology providers by delivering seamless customer experience, business efficiency and actionable insights through an integrated set of disruptive technologies: big data analytics, internet of things, mobility, cloud, security, unified communications, etc...