How many vendors does it take to implement DevOps?

I was recently reading a post titled “5 Secrets of Enterprise DevOps”.  It is a very interesting read but what really stood out to me was the number of vendors listed.  So I began to wonder, how many vendors does it take to implement DevOps?

After reading just the first point we were already up to three vendors (ravello, Jenkins and Chef). The second point added three additional vendors (AWS, Google and VMware) bringing our total to six.  You could argue we are only at five vendors because you would most likely choose AWS or Google Cloud and not both.  So let’s just say we are at five vendors (ravello, Jenkins, Chef, AWS and VMware).

After finishing the document I realized many areas needed to implement a true DevOps solution were not even mentioned, for example version control, project tracking, bug tracking, test case management, test automation and production monitoring just to list a few. There are vendors that also have point solutions for each of those areas of DevOps.  If we were to select additional vendors for the areas I just listed that would bring our total vendor count to approximately eleven!

Does it really take a dozen vendors to implement DevOps?

The post mentions the challenge of “how quickly you will get bogged down by the details”.  But what about getting bogged down by the vendor explosion? Don’t under estimate how difficult it is to deal with multiple vendors and afterwards getting all these separate products to communicate.

DevOps would be much easier to tackle if all the tools you needed just talked to each other out of the box. Getting two products to communicate that were written by different companies is a challenge in and of itself. When trying to implement DevOps the last thing you need are additional challenges. Why hasn’t a company developed a family of products to solve this issue?  Why hasn’t a company developed a series of products that communicate out of the box and cover all the needs of a company trying to implement DevOps in their organization?

They would need software to support full Application Life Cycle Management (ALM) that includes:

  • Tracking the requirements
  • Version control
  • Continuous integration
  • Test case management
  • Bug tracking

They would need all levels of testing including:

  • Unit Test
  • Mocking Framework
  • Integration Test
  • Exploratory Test
  • Load Test
  • UI Automation Testing

They would need full automated deployment to cover:

  • Notifications
  • Approvals
  • Application Installation
  • Application Configuration
  • Environment Provisioning
  • Environment Configuration

They would also have to support the move to the cloud via:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

Once the application is in production they would also require Application Performance Monitoring (APM).

So how many vendors does it take to implement DevOps? One.  That is right, there is one vendor that actually supplies all the needed technology to build a complete DevOps solution.  From ALM to APM from on premises to the cloud and Windows to Linux, Microsoft is the only vendor that has everything.


Team Foundation Server or Visual Studio Online



Automated Deployment

Release Management or Release Management Online


Microsoft Test Manager


Application Insights

Comments (1) -

  • Graham Smith

    2/26/2015 12:35:07 AM |

    My own experience is that "where the rubber hits the road", ie implementing DevOps / ALM / Continuous Delivery in *your* organisation with *real world* applications there are often huge obstacles to be overcome and the last thing you need is the added issue of making disparate tooling play nicely. For me this is where the integrated Microsoft offering really shines. For anyone wanting to experience this for themselves I am writing a soup-to-nuts blog post series on implementing continuous delivery with TFS and Release Management using Azure as a rapid way to create a demo environment. Index page here:

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