Seven Obstacles to Successful DevOps

Why a Binary Repository Manager is Essential for Speed and Security

In today’s enterprises, software is your company’s competitive advantage, interfacing with your customers through desktop, cloud, or mobile device, all across the globe. Cars are computers on wheels. Thermostats are data terminals. Banks live on your phone. In our technology-driven world, software updates serve customer demands. Each one you deliver is your opportunity to renew — or, if botched, destroy — their trust. How can you make every update topnotch at top speed?

Repository Management to the Rescue

When you can speed the delivery of quality software, customers get their needs met, and you can respond rapidly to shifts in market demand. That’s why DevOps is critical for your organization. DevOps speeds the delivery of quality software by reducing friction as it moves between stages and stakeholders for testing, evaluation, and release. Identifying and resolving these pain points forges successful DevOps. A binary repository manager can help keep those builds moving. It organizes and stores your artifacts and metadata, controlling all inputs and outputs of the development process, reducing uncertainty, and enabling your automation tools to run freely and frictionlessly.

These seven obstacles to speedy release are all too common in software delivery pipelines. Keep reading to learn how a binary repository manager can help resolve them, for swift, constant updates from code to production.


Obstacle 1: X

Lack of Visibility Into Your Builds

Your developer teams can produce many builds every day. How will you keep track of them all? Without a versatile solution, you may know which build is most current, but not which build is best. Nor can you reliably trace their history, or track where their many components came from. When your builds fail, can you identify the problem and easily roll back to the previous version? To prevent a cascade of further issues, you’ll want to pinpoint which builds are having problems and where they occur in the build process so you can quickly provide a fix.


A Common System of Record

A single source of truth for all artifacts moving through your pipeline should act as the central home for your builds. Organizing and versioning your build outcomes into repositories means you can readily find the best-functioning, most current builds.
A repository manager that tracks where artifacts are used and their prior versions provides a rich set of data that helps you trace everything to its source or ancestor. You can quickly see the differences from one version to the next, gain visibility into how each was made, and find insights that help you fix your builds when they go wrong.


Obstacle 2: X

Too Many Manual Processes

Every place in your pipeline that requires human involvement is susceptible to risk. Individual signoffs add delays. Redundant rebuilds as software matures towards release introduce uncertainty. Scripts for tool management or build deployment that have to be manually changed, maintained, and executed cost time and are prone to mistakes. Any of these blocks slow getting the right code to the end user.


Automation and Process Management

A central binary manager that holds your builds and artifacts offers convenience. But one that also collects intelligence about them gives you power. The more you know about your binaries, the better you can automate, and enable your build production tools to make smart decisions that can streamline your delivery pipeline all the way to deployment. Your repositories solution will need to provide your build tools with a rich, versatile interface for queries and commands, so they can do their work without your intervention. If it uses a standard, platform-independent interchange technology, such as REST APIs, you’ll be free to choose whichever CI server fits your needs best. Once you automate your pipeline, you can be more confident that every build released into production adheres to the same process and conforms to a common standard.


Obstacle 3: X

Wild Dependencies

Developers pull open source dependencies for many technologies from public registries, each with its own requirements and interface. These external resources can change at any time, and quality control ranges from fierce oversight to none at all. How can you be certain of what’s in every build? How can you reliably reproduce one? What harmful code might sneak in? What’s more, your build processes can’t run any faster than your link to those remote resources allows. A heavy load slows builds down; an outage forces your otherwise sound builds to fail.


Dependency Management

Bring your dependencies under control with your own repositories that proxy the remote resources where dependencies are stored. With a locally-held cache of those dependencies, the version you need is always available to complete your builds, and to do so at top speed. Even better, once your binary management system governs your dependencies, it can maintain the same kind of information about them as other artifacts. Track their history and usage, and always know which version of a dependency is employed in every build.


Obstacle 4: X

Manually Moving Builds Across Your SDLC

Today, many pipelines require a fresh, complete or partial build of the code at each staging transition: testing, validation, and release. Each new build takes additional time, and might require stakeholders to manually evaluate and launch. Even worse, as developers continue to make changes to shared code, every rebuild introduces uncertainties that require repeating the same redundant quality checks in each stage. Once a build has passed through a given checkpoint, how do you physically advance it to the next stage? A manual process to promote a build to the next staging location is prone to errors. Plus, you’ll need an efficient way to communicate the status of that build to the entire team as it transitions through your pipeline.


Immutable Build Promotion

You can speed your pipeline by creating separate repositories for each evaluation stage, and promote immutable builds from one repository to the next. As the identical build ascends through successively more rigorous approvals, it accumulates more information that follows the build through the promotion chain. This helps your pipeline automation make even smarter decisions, and makes use of ready mechanisms, like web hooks, to communicate changes to the entire team.


Obstacle 5: X

Meeting Growing Demands

You need to operate big today, and bigger tomorrow. A heavy load from many line-ofbusiness teams can slow down your entire development pipeline, while any single point of failure in your infrastructure can be catastrophic. Geographically distributed teams need to be able to reach the same resources with equal consistency and velocity. And any interruption of service to update or to upgrade capacity wastes vital production time.


Enterprise Readiness

Enterprise-ready solutions provide the flexibility and muscle to adapt as you grow. A hybrid repository manager — as a managed service in the cloud and/or self-hosted — can help scale costs of storage and computing with your needs. And the more cloud providers your binary management tool can work with, the greater control you’ll have. Bonus: a SaaS subscription option ensures your resources are always available and up-to-date. A high-availability, active/active clustering configuration can assure repository responsiveness under load. That redundancy also provides failover for disaster recovery, and enables expansion and maintenance with zero downtime. A binary manager that supports multi-site replication can provide the regional proximity distributed teams need to share the resources of their pipelines speedily across the globe.


Obstacle 6: X

Cost of Adapting to Change

Reaching all your customers means developing in many languages, across many runtimes, and each technology has its own requirements and supporting tools. What kind of infrastructure will you use for DevOps? Today, it might make sense to run securely in your own data center. Tomorrow, you may need the flexibility of the cloud, or hybrid. You’ll want to be free to choose the vendors that fit your requirements best, and to change nimbly when your needs shift.


A Universal Solution

A universal binary repository manager automates your delivery pipeline no matter what language used or platform run on. Control through REST APIs enable working with the tools you already use. As the core of your DevOps system, your binary repository manager must function equally well in the cloud as on your own servers on premises. And integrated support for all major providers, such as AWS, Google Cloud and Azure, empowers a multicloud strategy that prevents vendor lock-in. You should be able to choose how to pay for it, too. Whether you need the fixed licensing costs or a flexible SaaS subscription, a solution available as both will support your needs now and in the future.

Obstacle 7: X

Securing the Supply Chain

Today, application security is everyone’s problem. With software supply chain attacks on the rise, organizations are empowering security teams to demand more validations of the software that is being released. But these extra security measures typically slow down developers and are hard to enforce. Furthermore, adopting multiple security tools leads to alert fatigue and has security and DevOps teams operating on different sources of truth.


A Universal Solution

Your binary repository manager with built-in security capabilities is an ideal place to apply and manage security measures as it controls all inputs and outputs of the development process. You can curate approved open source packages for use by developers and scan builds as they are promoted across stages of your SDLC. A centralized platform for Dev + Sec + Ops also allows for policies to be built and enforced from a single place and provides contextualized results that prioritize developers’ work and eliminate efforts to address security issues that aren’t actually a problem.

Next Steps

A fully featured binary repository manager will help you automate your software delivery pipeline and guide you to a new way of work. It can provide you with maximum control over and insight into your processes so you can resolve problems as they arise and continuously improve your methods. When robustly designed, your repository manager can flexibly adapt to the unique needs of your organization. Just as important, you’ll need a solutions provider that can be a good support partner in your DevOps journey. They should be expertly knowledgeable about various approaches and industry trends. Most of all, you’ll want a partner that’s invested in your success.

Trusted Releases Built For Speed