Depending on who you ask, the answer to “What is WebOps” ranges from: “Never heard of it”, to “it’s like DevOps for your website”, to “is that like a sysadmin?”. WebOps is a fairly new discipline in and of itself but what we do know is that it is squarely focused on web based applications.
The need for WebOps (or Web Operations) was established in the late 90’s early 00’s as many businesses began to transfer their software delivery from on-premise installations to cloud-based delivery. The most notable example of this was the founding of Salesforce by Marc Benioff in 1999.
With delivery of software steadily moving to the cloud, businesses with a web presence began to realize a few key things:
- The Waterfall Model for development wasn’t going to work out so well as it assumes production software is largely stable
- Traditional deployment methods were proving frustrating to developers
- Performance of web-based applications was important in terms of both business goals, and for reducing technical debt
With these catalysts, organizations began to create operations teams that were able to work along all phases of the deployment and ongoing operations processes. Today we see WebOps as comprising the following:
- Proactive Monitoring
- Ongoing Maintenance
- Custom Development and Implementations (CI/CD, Git etc.)
- Insightful reporting
As a WebOps focused agency, at FlowPress we do a whole lot more than the above but these are the broad categories that we find our WebOps work falling into.
So you might be saying “okay, okay, I get it…sorta. But isn’t this still DevOps?”. Well yes and no. Some of what businesses label as DevOps very well might be WebOps and vice versa. At a high level, DevOps is the marrying of communication and collaboration between Software Development teams and IT Operations. This has lead to what’s known as the DevOps tool chain and it looks like this:
DevOps is commonly viewed as a “culture shift” that is aided by software such as New Relic whereas WebOps has earned a more functional meaning within that umbrella of DevOps.
Okay, so now that we know a little bit about what WebOps is and how it compares to DevOps, let’s dive into its benefits to YOU. Because, and let’s be honest, that’s what you care about. To do this, we’ll break up the FlowPress WebOps tool kit and provide the benefits of each subsection:
- Availability reporting gives you the ability to track your websites’ uptime. You may get this from your host already but the difference is that your hosting provider measures your website uptime based on whether their servers are online. A WebOps availability report focuses on whether or not end users can actually see and browse your web properties.
- Performance management at FlowPress means consistently finding and fixing bugs across your web properties in a proactive manner.
- Deployment Management processes aim to schedule and control the release of new code from test environments to production.
- The end goal of Deployment Management is to protect the stability of the live environment
Maintaining version control repositories
- Here we’re tracking the states of all of your code repositories to ensure that they are all updated.
- Tricky bugs can be difficult to find and costly. Maintaining error isolation in a WebOps tool kit ensure that you and your team are on top of outstanding bugs. Ultimately, this increases the performance of your web properties and decreases future technical costs.
- Your web properties are like cars in that need constant upkeep and attention in order to keep them on the road (or online). Maintaining a repair schedule will help you not only keep your website online, but also running smoothly.
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment is really more of a DevOps term but nonetheless, if your Enterprise benefits from rapid development, testing, and releasing of new features, then the CI/CD process is one in which you really need to nail down.
- Obvious one! Git protects your source code and keeps new feature and task creation in separate branches. Using Git will protect the integrity of your production code.
It’s important to note that not every business you work with (whether pure dev shop, DevOps, or WebOps) will employ the same tools and processes as those listed above. That being said in enlisting the tools above has given our clients the edge they need in order to stabilize and grow their web presence and their businesses.