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Understanding the Critical Nature of Culture and Enablement When Running Kubernetes

There’s a lot to say when it comes to Kubernetes service ownership. Once your organization understands the ultimate goal of comprehensive service ownership, as outlined in this recent article, it becomes possible to establish the robust security and accountability needed to keep software development running smoothly and without delays.

But in order to cover all the critical bases of Kubernetes service ownership, it is important to know a bit about culture and enablement. More specifically, how this shift into more collaborative and effective ownership can take shape within any organization. How can you enable it? And equally as important—why should you care?

The How & Why of Enablement

Greater developer independence is one of the main reasons to enable better service ownership. When they own this piece of the puzzle—along with deployment, operations and monitoring of their stack—many of the roadblocks to innovation and security vanish. The elastic nature of cloud native environments allows developers to readily manage their infrastructure without relying on traditional operations teams. 

Easy access to infrastructure, compute power and server resources empowers developers, allowing them to provision infrastructure and spin servers up and down at scale using various tools. Developers can configure deployment environments more effectively, while also packaging, maintaining and configuring microservices using Docker and Helm charts. 

Another goal of effective service ownership is to ensure different teams are working well together. Operations teams provide development and DevOps folks with enough context about how their applications run that they can find success without losing velocity, maintaining a speedy development and deployment pace. When teams function together like this to build, deploy and run their applications and services, they have greater autonomy with fewer hand-offs to other departments. 

This shift creates a full experience, whereby customers find they have a closer relationship with organizations who own the business value of the software they code. And this relationship helps to prevent issues of all kinds, mostly because teams better understand what customers want and need. 

The Importance of Culture

In today’s cloud-first world, this change—or shift among the ownership of teams—is largely cultural. By definition, culture is slow to change and always brings with it certain challenges. Kubernetes full-service ownership is no different. When altering the paradigm from “Ops owns everything” to “Ops enables service ownership,” organizational support from the executive team will be necessary to advance such a change. Breaking down silos is already tough, which means without leadership promoting the advantages of new “ownership,” it’s unlikely to take root in the organization. 

Development teams are typically successful when they feel supported and empowered to select the right tools for their own self-service model—when they have visibility into their applications and can run them successfully. But this cultural shift is not just about development teams. Operations folks also struggle with the challenge of consistency. For them, success means having multi-cluster visibility and integrated tools to drive feedback to developers. 

The Right Questions 

Creating workflows around shared tooling can help organizations find this level of consistency and enhance collaboration across teams. And more consistency reduces complexity, increases productivity and reduces the overall cost of running a Kubernetes platform. 

Have you learned how to simplify Kubernetes chaos?

To fully understand your Kubernetes environment, you’ll need to ask the right questions:

  • Where is the code being deployed?
  • What are the default cloud settings?
  • Does the developer understand each part of what’s being deployed?
  • Does the developer understand how each underlying piece is handling that specific security posture? 

The Fairwinds Solution

Fairwinds Insights unifies development, security and operations by reducing complexity and enabling full-service ownership. To assist teams in overcoming these inherent cultural challenges and embracing this new model, Insights facilitates development teams to own security and configurations. The Insights platform also promotes reliability by allowing service owners to configure using best practices guidelines, a sure way to discover continuous improvements to Kubernetes ownership. 

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