DevOps as a Service—How to Implement It In AWS In 2023 (And Beyond!)

How To Implement DevOps As A Service In AWS (And Never Look Back!)

You’re a small to medium size software company. You’ve been operating since the day you opened your doors without a dedicated DevOps engineer.

No big deal, one of your coders has been covering the duties, and they’re actually doing a pretty good job, all things considered.

Your releases are not always getting out on time, and the team has to work a lot of overtime. But they’re an awesome group and always willing to go the extra mile.

Courtesy of AWS-CodePipeline

You’ve asked yourself how long that will last before they get frustrated.

You have an open req and budget for a dedicated DevOps engineer, but it’s been difficult to fill.

Does this sound familiar?

There is an alternative. It’s time to revisit DevOps as a Service, aka DaaS, with some new context and perspective.

This post will tell you how to implement DaaS on your terms, without ever looking back to second-guess your decision.

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started with the basics.

What Is DevOps As A Service? (In 200 Words Or Less!)

We like to share information, especially terms and terminology, that describe our space. And we found a short and sweet definition for DevOps as a Service in the tech jargon reference guide at Techslang recently:

DevOps-as-a-service is a means (either a delivery model or set of tools) for a company’s software development and operations teams to work together efficiently. It aims to track each move the software development team makes to ensure that project delivery goes smoothly.

Now let’s drill down a bit deeper. At Ayont, we view DaaS as a managed service delivery model, a cloud service, and a set of tools that automate the software development lifecycle.

We pointed this out in a recent post.

In a nutshell, DevOps as a Service orchestrates numerous automated processes, services, infrastructures, workflows, and tools. The goal is to enable software development teams to automate and deploy high-quality releases in the shortest amount of time.

You can accomplish that goal of delivering error-free, or as close as possible to error-free code, to your end-user community with an internal DevOps team or by using a managed service.

That choice is made by software companies every day, and there are always valid reasons for choosing a direction.

So Who Should Consider Using DevOps As A Service And Why?

This post will focus on small and midsize software businesses, aka SMBs, deployed in AWS. SMBs are generally considered companies with 50 or fewer employees.

Software development team sizes can vary widely in SMBs, depending on the company’s development stage, software scope, market and product focus, etc.

But if your development staff is less than 20 people, you’re an excellent candidate for DevOps solutions, including our DevOps as a Service model.

Why? There are three primary reasons:

  • You’re exposed to unnecessary risks associated with a suboptimal DevOps platform
  • You’re paying excessive opportunity and direct costs without release automation
  • You’re up against a lengthy time to hire the right DevOps engineer

Let’s look at a simple hypothetical, but realistic, example.

Consider a software company with a core team of five developers, a QA specialist, a project manager, and a product manager. The monthly payroll averages $10k each, so $80k total. This excludes double-duty roles in startups, executive teams, etc.

According to Coursera, the average compensation package for a full-time DevOps engineer is around $11 per month. DevOps professionals are also scarce right now, and competition is fierce in the hiring arena.

So, consider the decision to wait until you can hire an FTE, in a highly competitive market, while increasing the payroll cost of your core team by almost 14% per month with one DevOps engineer.

Now compare that option with the alternative of implementing DevOps as a Service, either temporarily or permanently.

You can think of DaaS in the context of a Fractional CXO. Fractional C-Level resources companies, like FastCTO, provide temporary C-Level resources, usually the CTO, for startups.

FastCTO, for example, does not profit from startups, since they legitimately want to help software startups like yours succeed.

We feel the same way, and that’s why our DaaS solutions are always affordable and significantly less expensive than an FTE. Our solutions can also be temporarily deployed, as you engage in the search process for an FTE.

So you still want to hire an FTE? We get it, and we totally respect your decision. But you can still use DaaS as an effective interim solution. More on that later in the post.

We can help you fill in the blanks in a 30-minute no-obligation phone call.

So what does a DaaS implementation look like?

The How-To Of Empowering Your Dev Team With DevOps As A Service

What are the essential steps to follow to implement DaaS successfully? It’s easier than you think. We’ll help you walk through the basics of assessing your current practice in the context of your DevOps automation services objectives.

Here’s what the process looks like:

  • Define your goals, objectives, and gaps
  • Assess your current DevOps environment and processes
  • Choose the tools and technologies necessary to achieve your objectives
  • Create a plan for implementation—i.e., your implementation schematic
  • Implement your pipeline and generate IaC based on your schematic
  • Train your team
  • Go live
  • Measure and track success

Remember, the ultimate goal is to automate, streamline, and optimize your software development lifecycle. That starts with you and your team sharing what is and what isn’t working.

We’ll help you select the tools and implement the end-to-end processes it will take to reach your goal of release automation in AWS. This includes—security, identity management, code build, continuous-seamless integration, test and QA, code deployment, auto-scaling parameters, monitoring, and continuous improvement.

AWS Code Pipeline Courtesy of AWS

We’ll make recommendations along the way, but most importantly, we’ll listen to your team first.

Once we’ve agreed on the toolset and process implementation, we’ll memorialize the configuration in a working schematic.

This schematic is your DevOps playbook. It will define every aspect of your DevOps ecosystem. This document won’t change unless all stakeholders agree and memorialize the changes in a new schematic version.

In a nutshell, your schematic defines every operational detail and aspect of your DevOps ecosystem.

Now we’ll implement your IaC infrastructure. Our code will live in your repo, and you own it. It’s your IP now, regardless of how long we’re your DevOps as a Service partner.

Simple IaC example

Sound simple? It is, and it should be.

Now let’s discuss the benefits you should expect and some additional considerations.

What are the must-have benefits of DevOps as a Service? (Without these, don’t bother with DaaS!)

The overarching goal is to streamline, automate, and optimize your release process from build to deployment. That means optimizing the continuous integration and deployment process for everyone on your team as an individual contributor and as a whole.

Here’s what you should expect:

  • Increased efficiencies across the SDLC spectrum with DevOps automation
  • Accelerated time-to-market with solid, error-free releases
  • Improved team collaboration and communication
  • Motivated and more productive software teams
  • Reduced costs and risks with the added benefits of auto-scaling resources and enhanced security
  • Ownership of DevOps IaC
  • No onerous contracts

When we do our job and get your DevOps environment up and running smoothly, our service will be transparent to your team. Now you’re in our DaaS partnership’s continuous monitoring and improvement phase.

Are There Specific Challenges And Risks Associated With A DaaS Implementation?

The short answer is yes, and we want to be open about them. It’s important to note that the principal risks are associated with your exposure by not implementing industry-tested DevOps solutions.

Without robust DevOps automation services in place, you’re at risk for suboptimal software development performance, including:

  • Tool misalignment
  • Inefficient Cloud and DevOps Services
  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Testing and QA limitations
  • Inconsistent release process and timing
  • Lack of continuous improvement
  • Dissatisfied teams

There may also be some initial resistance to change, so be aware that your team will have questions and concerns during the transition. It’s always good to let them know that DevOps as a Service is just that, a service.

Let your team know that it’s not DevOps consulting services that you’re engaging in. DaaS from Ayont is like any other cloud service—it delivers infrastructure and functionality transparently to its user community.

So what does DevOps as a Service pricing look like?

We like to keep this part simple. A typical transaction is open-ended and typically won’t exceed $3500 per month. Prices usually range from $1500-$3500 per month (including participation in one monthly standup).

If it looks like there will be any anomalies in our pricing model, we’ll both know what they are and discuss them during the initial call.

So where do you go from here?

That’s the easy part, you’re already here.

Will you continue to sweat the competitive hiring process while your team struggles without a rock-solid DevOps platform?

Or are you ready to take the next step toward DevOps optimization and an optimized software development lifecycle?

If so, let’s book a 30-minute call. Thirty minutes is enough time to determine if we’re a good fit for your DevOps requirements.

Every great relationship starts with that first phone call. We’re looking forward to it!