In this blog I’m going to share my own DevOps journey with you, based on CSC’s MyWorkStyle® SaaS offering.
First what is it?
CSC MyWorkStyle is a SaaS offering consisting of the following services:
• Enterprise Email
• Unified Communications Lync
• Business & Social Collaboration
• PC device Management
• Virtual Desktop
• Enterprise Mobility
All services come with a self-service portal, on-demand elasticity. They support multi-tenancy, charged on a per–user, per-month basis and are available via the WAN or the Internet.
Think of it like AWS or Azure, only it’s Digital Workplace SaaS services offered by CSC. We currently have a platform running in CSC and plan to deploy to a number of other countries within the next 12 to 24 months.
The DevOps journey that we’ve embarked on in the MyWorkStyle offering can be best described in the context of three domains: people, process and technology.
In the people space, we’ve created a DevOps team based in Asia. They’re a team of engineering experts that cover the product skills we need. Currently they’re taking over the operational support of the first production deployed MyWorkStyle platform, which is based in the Asia-Pacific region on a platform known as the MyWorkStyle Shared Platform (MWS SP). They will also continue the engineering journey which has been started through the engagement of local Australian engineers. The key difference in orchestrating this team is that they have a mindset of using code to improve engineering and operational tasks, using mainly PowerShell.
The use of PowerShell within the Agility product has been a cornerstone of our DevOps strategy and leads us into the technology space. We use Agility purely for provisioning of the application workloads and configuration of the offerings onto the Hyper-V platform through the Designer View using blueprints. This hypervisor agnostic strategy allows us to port blueprints between different cloud platforms. We demonstrated this porting capability early-on in the journey, with our initial work on the AWS platform. Porting to Hyper-V was a very simple and seamless transition, after our very first 45-day sprint back in 2014.
PowerShell and C# are weapons of choice in our world, as our offerings strongly align to our Microsoft and Citrix partnerships that were announced by Mike Lawrie around 3 years ago. The use of these languages opened up some limitations in Agility, which were mostly resolved in Version 10.
Today we have nine offerings that are automated using the Agility platform with ongoing development in progress to document and prototype a software development lifecycle approach. This brings us to process. The combination of Enterprise GitHub for code management, Agility as the orchestration and automation engine, together with Visual Studio C# code to automate 90 percent of our functional and non-functional testing provides us with a clear automation roadmap for the next three to six months. The workflow allows us to open source our code within CSC using Git, bring the best innovations into the codebase, test in development, port to pre-production, test again and then deliver the final production releases to clients.
Agility, GitHub and Visual Studio will continue to be built upon over the next 12 months, likely seeing technologies such as Ansible, Docker, R and Chaos Monkey principles being brought into the frame, as we embark on our continuous improvement journey to realise the MWS platform vision.
This vision is to utilise predictive analytics and an automation mindset to realise a fully automated, self-healing, evergreen platform to provide the best service in the world at a highly competitive price point. Clients that are moving early to the MyWorkStyle, will benefit from these DevOps innovations, through lower pricing, non-disruptive upgrades and added features and a seamless service to their end-users. It will revolutionise the corporate workplace as we know it, in a similar way that Amazon and Google did for infrastructure and development hosting.
Paul Colmer is a Principal Cloud Architect of the CSC MyWorkStyle Shared Platform offering, Fellow of the BCS and Fellow of the London College of Music, State Emergency Service Volunteer and a Music Composer based in Brisbane, Australia. His areas of expertise and passion include cloud systems, big data/analytics, meteorology, music composition/orchestration and storm damage operations. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.