Monday, April 4, 2016

DevOps in the IoT

DevOps in the IoT

Last Wednesday over 30 DevOps professionals filled LogMeIn’s new space to hear Brian Del Vecchio, Digital Lumens; Daniel Theobald, Vecna; and Steve Vance, Zipcar, talk with Paddy Srinivasan, Xively by LogMeIn about what it means to conduct DevOps in the IoT. 

While DevOps teams in software companies have become common-place, it is still very much in its infancy within the IoT space. And while there are challenges: rolling out things quickly, effectively, frequently, and safely to a fleet of robots - having a dev ops model has really helped to expand Vecna’s business according to Daniel.

And its fundamentally changed Digital Lumens business process, where when they first developed their smart, connected lighting, they had “many boots on the ground” and now their goal is to have as “few boots on the ground” as possible.

Unlike in a typical software product, when updating the software on top of a hardware device in the IoT space, you must account for when it is going to be accessible to manage the updates and rollouts. For instance Zipcar must work around garages or remote areas where their cars are located.

A critical component of DevOps is always to test. But when dealing with hardware, especially when it is sitting in a customer’s location, there is no room for error. This could mean a multi-step process including simulating the device, then moving to a test device, then rolling out to a sample size with just a small group of close customers, and only then rolling out to the full fleet.

Paddy closed the panel with some general observations including:
·        DevOps in the IoT is a much more shared approach across engineering teams but as it becomes more commonplace we will begin to see dedicated teams.  

·        Just recently using a DevOps model in the IoT has started to evolve and we are seeing more off the shelf tools, especially for monitoring and remote management. This is will continue to be a huge opportunity.

Check out the video here for the full panel.

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