F5's State of Application Delivery finds DevOps still hasn't moved up to the C-suite yet

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The second F5 Networks "State of Application Delivery" report is now out, and although many of the survey results conform to expectation, there are a handful of surprises.

Last year, F5 launched the survey and focused exclusively on answers from North American companies, but this year, the company took it global. It received answers from more than 3,000 IT professionals around the world. Lori MacVittie, senior technical evangelist at F5 and the company's resident subject matter expert on cloud computing, cloud and application security, and application delivery, noted that many things remained the same from the inaugural report, but there were also some shifts.

One interesting finding is how companies perceive both software-defined networking and DevOps. Overall, the survey found that SDN is seen as more of a strategic initiative than DevOps, which is seen as more of a tactical thing.

It makes sense when you dive deep into the data, though, MacVittie noted. SDN is tied directly to reducing operating expenses and improving time to market – of which will have a significant effect on the business, its workers and its customers. Those are the two things companies really want to see out of their SDN investments, MacVittie said.

DevOps, on the other hand, hasn't yet filtered up to the C-suite, so it's not seen as strategic at this point in its maturity. C-level executives do see tactical importance in it, she noted. IT professionals are using many of the technologies and tools associated with DevOps – automation tools, Python, OpenStack, etc.

When it comes to programmability, such as using APIs, templates and being able to inject code into the data path, MacVittie said respondents across the board placed high importance on it.

"This was a big deal. And we had respondents that were across all areas of IT. We had security folks, network folks, infrastructure, application, dev and architects. We had people who titled themselves DevOps managers, cloud architects. They all pretty said the same thing. APIs were important. The app architects, absolutely this was the big thing for them," MacVittie said.

Also interesting is that when it comes to Layer 4-7 application services being deployed, security services have become as important as availability services, which alone held the number position in last year's report.

Last year was a big year for security, with several high-profile incidents, MacVittie noted.

Perhaps of note is that performance-related application services were at the bottom of the priorities list. Considering how important app performance can be to the end user, I was a little surprised. MacVittie surmised that many IT professionals don't see a correlation between performance and productivity, which would account for performance app services being placed low on the list of services being deployed.

There's plenty more data to dig into in the report. We'll revisit some other topics in next week's issues.

For more:
- read the press release

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