The move to cloud native is as much about people and relationships as it is about technology. Change is difficult for people. As part of a team we rely a lot on routine and we feel comfortable with role models. Changing the way we work, creating new routines and different relationships is not easy. I sometimes tell my clients that moving to cloud native and moving to continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI / CD) is a bit like getting married. You have to leave your familiar routines and your original family behind. If we’re being honest, despite the excitement of embracing the latest and greatest, it can all be a little uncomfortable and even scary.
I work with many service providers to move from established methods of operating and managing networks to the new software-defined paradigm of the cloud. I know that I miss the practical relations I had with the material. Adding a layer of software between me and the functional components of the network and relying on automated routines certainly looks like a loss of control. I know my clients struggle with this. As I work on some of these issues, I have a few hard-learned lessons that I want to share to help ease this transition.
At the base of any good marriage, we find mutual respect. When I go to a client to help them with CI / CD, they usually have their own strategy to manage it and often have already implemented some of it in their own way. That might not be the way I would choose to proceed, but I respect their process. So our CI / CD implementation process is heavy on customization to make sure it conforms to theirs. Sure, it takes a bit longer than delivering a product, for example, but it’s worth it if the customer feels they are being given due respect.
Welcome to parents-in-law
Your original family does things one way, your spouse another. Adapt! CI / CD processes go hand in hand with Software Lifecycle Management (LCM) actions. The customer may have already installed their own LCM, which means that the artifacts produced by the LCM are not easily convertible from their format to that used by Nokia. Its good! Model standards are not where they need to be, but it is a short-term problem.
In any marriage or partnership, giving and receiving is always the best policy. Sometimes your spouse cares more about something than you do. Recognizing this helps you be more flexible.
For example, clients are often pressured into using the same internal processes with external partners, even though there may be serious issues. The use of the customer’s perimeter network domain (DMZ demilitarized zone) by the telecommunications provider, for example, is outside the comfort zone of the customer’s IT security team. There are patches that use industry-based security best practices for privacy, hardening, and virtualization, but they often don’t match the customer’s organizational structure. Certificate / Trust Management activities expand due to the integration of Trusted Root Certificate Issuer and other CI / CD related Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) requests. Yes, it slows down the projects ?? again, be flexible!
Old habits die hard. Many customers already have clearly defined CI / CD workflow process notification requirements, but no clear new software introduction approval process requirements. This process is usually worked out during the CI / CD implementation project, which takes time and slows down delivery. Be patient, you will get there!
Being adaptable is always an asset in any relationship. For example:
- Comparing target release sets and baseline release sets will require some customization in the pipeline workflow process.
- The staging / testing network can be divided into multiple security domains with test orchestration workloads in one domain and system under test (SUTs) in another. This requires complex routing and networking between the CI / CD components and the SUT.
Build your relationship on solid foundations
Having the right know-how is the starting point of any good relationship. Nokia was the inventor of the Robot Framework in 2000. It is the source code for most of the test cases provided by Nokia. Our vast experience in using and even adopting it for the needs of our customers, even when they have their own robot frame test, provides a reliable foundation to build on.
Balance reliability and openness
Finding the right balance between what to adopt and where to fit is a key success factor for any long-term engagement. Nokia CI / CD is a pre-integrated, end-to-end solution that offers our customers the flexibility to be adopted entirely or to be adapted to their unique environment in a modular fashion.
Presentation of the Nokia Continuous Delivery (NCD) solution
This is how good marriages are built ??
I have found that the best consultations with our clients follow these basic rules. This is one of the advantages of engaging with Nokia in the transition to CI / CD. We know how to be good partners and we have experience in this area. As with any good relationship, respect, flexibility and patience will ensure that your CI / CD deployment achieves your goals.
Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1L2LLIy1DI
This content is sponsored by Nokia.