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Automic lets big firms play with DevOps in private sandbox

Learning to love your legacy

Automation vendor Automic has sought to counter the DevOps “whatevs” folk by offering a try-as-you-buy taste of its technology, as part of a slew of initiatives to entice companies to tuck into its full fat product line.

The vendor is offering a try before you buy sandbox service for customers, operated on its own cloud, so that punters can get a feel for how its platform may – or may not – help life in a world of multiple rapid releases and deployments that little bit more bearable. At the same time, it is offering a DevOps assessment service, so they can benchmark themselves against the industry on where they are in their DevOps journey. Though of course, this depends on them realising it’s a journey they want to make in the first place.

Automic has added a pipeline visualisation dashboard plugin to its platform to help ops and dev people visualise the entire deployment pipeline – even if they are viewing it from sometimes very different perspectives. It said it recognises developers may be spread across the globe, and using a vast range of different tools, while all wanting to get releases out as quickly as possible to gain feedback. Meanwhile ops people’s key focus is often to simply be able to manage and control those deployments – while protecting the organisation’s legacy systems.

The vendor has also added an Action Builder plugin to its marketplace to allow users to build and package their own scripts, which can then be shared on the marketplace. Boorman said it currently has around a few 100 apps available in its app store. The firm has also added a Plugin Manager to allow customers to deploy other plugins directly.

“We will never be able to do all the things our clients want us to do,” said Automic CMO Chris Boorman.

The firm’s customers are typically in financial services, telecoms, retail and energy, meaning that while the needs of modern business mean they might well in investing in mobile apps and the like, they're still largely based on legacy systems.

Boorman said its aim was to bridge the gap between the front-end dev teams in medium to large organisations who are throwing out mobile and web-based services with gay abandon, the more sober ops types who look after the legacy Oracle databases and SAP enterprise systems that underpin most real businesses.

“Our view point is you can be agile in the back end, and be compliant and scalable in the the front office,” he said.

“I see a lot of people saying we need to be faster, we need to be more agile, and yet you’ve got a lot of the traditional organisations have got this legacy of complex computer systems that are very reliable very compliant very scalable and move slowly.”

At the same time. Try as you buy might be a much more financially palatable way for customers to sample Automic’s services before committing. The starting price for buying into the full platform is $100,000 over a couple of years. Although that’s not necessarily that out of whack. Many of the platforms used in CD and DevOps may offer free or low cost community editions, but the costs soon mount up once you're talking enterprise scale. ®

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