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Enable Cloud Native Service Ownership

The importance of cloud native service ownership starts with the consumer and meeting their expectations that a service will just simply work. That means whatever service you are providing must be reliable, it must be fast, and if there is downtime, it must be minimal. With full-service ownership, teams can improve accountability, reliability, and make continuous improvements to applications and services because any sufficiently large organization cannot gate keep everything through an Ops team.

Adopting cloud native solutions enables DevOps teams to truly embrace the “code it, ship it, own it” mentality otherwise known as full-service ownership. As opensource.com wrote:

Full-service ownership is the philosophy that engineers are responsible for the code and services they create in production. Using the "code it, ship it, own it," mentality means embracing the DevOps principle of no longer throwing code over the wall to operations nor relying on the site reliability engineering (SRE) team to ensure the reliability of services in the wild.

With all the talk in security circles about DevSecOps and the need to “shift left”, service ownership is a strong way for ensuring that this can actually happen.

What’s a Service Owner Got to Do?

Service owners are responsible for developing, shipping to production, and owning their services. That’s a lot of responsibilities, including:

  • Ensuring application reliability and performance
  • Delivering new features
  • Acting as a point of contact for the security team
  • Fixing and patching bugs and vulnerabilities in their code and misconfigurations in their containers
  • Planning staff availability to answer questions
  • Keeping documentation updated
  • Ensuring observability
  • Planning and adapting capacity

The challenge is that this can be a lot to achieve, so teams struggle to truly adopt the mentality of service ownership. Some research shows the most common challenges are cultural issues, lack of tooling, and a gap in understanding of both what and how to hand off responsibilities from infrastructure teams to service owners.

In addition, beyond coding, shipping, and owning, when a vulnerability patch is required due to a security risk, is the service owner responsible? How can the security team know that the risk is being actioned? In a cloud native environment, this lack of visibility between DevOps and security is a real problem. A Splunk blog said:

“Although, in theory, DevOps means everyone “owns” everything within the realm of software delivery, the reality is that few organizations can achieve this exact arrangement. It just isn’t practical for every engineer to master every part of the codebase or deployment.”

But service ownership is possible if the right tooling is in place to support everyone across Dev, Ops and Security teams.

Resetting Service Ownership for Cloud Native

John Laban wrote that “If we want to get back to shipping code even faster, more securely, and with less risk, we need to reset DevOps so that it’s synonymous with Service Ownership.” This call to reset service ownership is also a call for many to embrace it in the first place.

When using containers and Kubernetes, service ownership can truly help organizations with multiple teams and multiple clusters. For example, if you are an organization with 40 clusters and a CVE is announced, who is responsible for identifying a way to patch the vulnerability and then checking every cluster configuration to ensure the patch was applied and your organization is not at risk due to that CVE?

DevOps teams need to:

  • Establish policies for determining who takes service ownership of which parts of the application
  • Gain visibility into service ownership to monitor what’s happening in a cluster
  • Empower service ownership across Kubernetes and containers

Fairwinds Insights Enables Cloud Native Service Ownership

If you have multiple teams and multiple clusters, cloud native service ownership can help you ship applications faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk. Fairwinds Insights unifies dev, sec, and ops by simplifying complexity and enabling full service ownership. To help teams overcome cultural challenges and embrace service ownership, Insights enables:

  • Enablement — By using Insights, the Dev team can own security and efficiency configurations — so it isn’t just an Ops problem.
  • Reliability — With Insights, service owners can configure Kubernetes following best practices to ensure fast, reliable applications and avoid downtime.
  • Continuous improvements — By integrating service ownership from CI/CD through production, Insights empowers your team to continuously improve how Kubernetes is used.

Fairwinds Insights arms your DevOps team with visibility into your Kubernetes environment by providing a dashboard view of your clusters; helping teams understand misconfigurations causing security and compliance risks; and reducing the time required for vulnerability management. It also helps teams with some of the tricker aspects of managing cultural change by identifying misconfigurations and vulnerabilities and assigning ownership to the person or team responsible for resolving those issues.

Get Kubernetes security, cost allocation and avoidance, compliance and guardrails in one platform for free with Fairwinds Insights.

Learn more about how Fairwinds Insights helps organizations successfully adopt cloud native services ownership with ticketing integrations, policy enforcement, security, and vulnerability management.

Use Fairwinds Insights for Free Security, Cost and Developer Enablement In One