DevOps

Why PagerDuty Is a DevOps Hub with Jira Software from Atlassian

31 Jan 2018 6:00am, by

Microservices and service integration change the way we think about how information passes between applications. That, in turn, affects how people think about operations, as services find deeper use in enterprise and cloud environments.

With deep roots in helping companies proactively manage incidents and events in their data centers and distributed infrastructure to minimize impact to their customers, PagerDuty is emerging as a platform for automated continuous delivery in this new world of microservices.

Service integrations that use APIs are now standard in modern enterprise environments. These APIs serve as markers for intersecting technologies such as notification systems with project management software to create new, more deeply integrated DevOps hubs.

PagerDuty’s new integration with Atlassian Jira Software reflects just how these new DevOps hubs are developing in order to help large organizations transition to the DevOps processes and mindset necessary to support microservices-based applications.

PagerDuty’s Roots

PagerDuty’s origins date back to 2009, a time early in the market when operations people were starting to require a more automated way of managing infrastructure. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was new to most developers but it represented a core infrastructure that could be relied on for scaling compute, storage and networking.

Services were emerging that helped in the management of AWS and complex data center infrastructure but there were no hubs, no services that managed the numerous IT systems designed to holistically monitor IT environments. The traditional platforms were insufficient. Lacking available options, most companies scaling out their applications built their own monitoring environments.

The system PagerDuty built came, in many ways, based upon the experience of people like the company’s co-founder Alex Solomon, who worked at AWS during the time the cloud services provider was building out its monitoring system for its already massive infrastructure.

PagerDuty developed a SaaS solution that allowed IT monitoring tools to provide alerts to IT workers and make it simple to distribute on-call responsibilities across multiple teams. The service is core to PagerDuty and is now a trusted platform by hundreds of thousands of operations people.

Recently, PagerDuty announced an integration with Jira Software from Atlassian. The partnership demonstrates how PagerDuty is moving beyond operations to the entire DevOps lifecycle. The integration with Jira Software connects PagerDuty across the entire application lifecycle automating processes from build, test, and deploy to operate, learn, and improve. Such integrations help larger organizations, especially, to transition to DevOps and retain familiar tools and processes while speeding delivery times and improving overall code quality.

Jira Software Integration

Jira Software is the industry standard in project management and an essential component of the DevOps toolchain. Organizations of all sizes have adopted Jira Software as a collaboration tool in enabling continuous delivery of applications. Beyond creating a PagerDuty incident for new Jira Software issues, this integration provides some distinct advantages:

  • When an issue is created in Jira Software, a PagerDuty incident is generated which, in turn, helps get the right people to tackle the issue quickly. With this integration, the resolution of any issue can be accelerated leading to much better business value than traditional alerting and notification processes. For example, critical issues like build fail or unit test fails will require immediate resolution instead of going through a queued prioritization process. Using a Jira Software query language clause, it is possible to automatically escalate certain types of issues requiring immediate attention and get them fixed quickly.
  • With a single click, it is possible to create a linked Jira Software issue from a PagerDuty incident. This links postmortem and response data directly to the Jira task connecting incident response back to the code and build processes. Critical data is captured within PagerDuty such as the incident timeline which keeps track of all the actions and people who worked on the issue, and also fed directly to the Jira task. This integration helps avoid the repetition of the issue as the offending system can be fixed using the information captured.
  • When this kind of information is captured along the DevOps pipeline, it gives the developer responsible for the application all the information and context around the issue, helping them fix problems faster and get it to production.

At a high level, this model scales well in large enterprises with complex systems. DevOps receive so many signals coming from many monitoring systems and other components that are part of these complex systems. PagerDuty takes all the signals, removes noise or irrelevant signals and compresses them into a more actionable issue in Jira Software. This helps increase DevOps productivity in large organizations, helping them transform into an agile organization.

Machine learning is applied on this to identify patterns which can then be used, along with automation, to drastically improve DevOps efficiency. With PagerDuty and Jira Software, even larger organizations can embrace DevOps and increase agility across the entire application delivery lifecycle.

PagerDuty is a sponsor of The New Stack.

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