Change Management with nOps
The only constant in business is change. Whether it is change to company policies or IT infrastructure, organizations undergo changes all of the time-including new hardware, moving to a new facility, or changes in software. To manage these changes, it is vital that organizations have standard processes and procedures to assist with transition. Efficient IT change management software allows you to create, evaluate, and implement changes to your IT infrastructure seamlessly.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library, referred to as ITIL, is a set of IT service management (ITSM) practices that aligns services with business needs. ITIL provides guidelines for managing changes by IT, which help to ensure that service reliability and customer satisfaction are not jeopardized.
While reducing negative impacts of change is vital, IT also needs to be able to make changes fast, especially if you are on the cloud. One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is that you don't have to wait months or even days for resources; you can typically obtain them almost instantly. This is extremely advantageous, but it still requires proper processes and tools so IT can ensure reliability and responsiveness in services.
Utilizing the cloud makes rapid changes easy, and this is necessary as changes are constantly and endlessly increasing. Typically, each department within a company has its own workflow to launch resources. Some departments may launch these specific resources using Terraform, others use AWS CloudFormation, and still some don't use any automation software at all. But, that begs the question, what constitutes change management in cloud?
Three key elements are imperative for effective change management in cloud.
Normal Changes vs. Manual Changes
All infrastructure changes are not the same. Some changes are normal, for example, during auto scaling, Amazon DynamoDB table throughput might update automatically -- these changes shouldn’t require approval. But if someone changes that table manually, the change needs to be approved. And your change management software should allow you to cut through the noise by filtering manual changes from normal.
One of the most appealing benefits of cloud is that you can scale up and down based on your needs. Most companies heavily leverage auto scaling, where new resources can be launched based on specified metrics. However, this behavior makes change management difficult. If new resources are appearing and disappearing, how do we track what truly changed in the infrastructure? To gain a true picture, we need an infrastructure delta, which shows resource updates for a given time period of time for the resources that are still running.
Define the Ideal Infrastructure
If your organization is already on the cloud, and you are truly taking full advantage of it, then you should have noticed a huge increase in your team’s productivity. Developers don't have to wait for resources, and everyone can launch new resources when needed. This, however, is where it is necessary to explicitly define the infrastructure’s appearance. For example, every resource should have a tag, and each tag should contain Terraform. If anyone launches resources that violate the defined policy, IT will receive real-time alerts with the context. Context is extremely important. If you know who launched the resource, the resource name, which environment the resource belongs to, and which policy it’s violating, then IT can work with developers to resolve the issue.
nOps was built with these key elements in mind. Our change management features allows you to review all of the newly introduced resources, be it changes or documents, and gives you the agility you want from the cloud, as well as the dependability you need in management software. nOps is a proven and trusted tool that provides real-time security monitoring for your AWS infrastructure, and is exactly what your organization needs to ensure all changes are effective and efficient.