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The rise of non-traditional DevOps tools vendors

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The DevOps tool market is said to be valued at $ 6.78 billion in 2020, according to Allied Market Research which also projects the market to reach $57.90 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 24.2% from 2021 to 2030.

On top of that, the IT industry has hit a period of PeakOps – AgileOps, AIOps, and NetOps, to name a few – as other practice areas outside software delivery seek their own definitions of agility that’ll resonate with potential customers. Thus, it’s easy to see how non-traditional vendors may want to enter the DevOps market. Networking and security vendors are natural candidates for offering DevOps-related solutions.

CSPs enter the DevOps market

I rank the major cloud service providers (CSPs) as non-traditional DevOps tools vendors. While AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) have DevOps tools among their burgeoning lists of services, none have been significant parts of the DevOps discussion thus far. While it’s possible to craft a CI/CD pipeline that lives entirely on a CSP cloud, it’s vendor lock-in, which is an anathema to DevOps culture.

However, as 2023 progresses, it’s safe to say that we’ll see more DevOps-focused offerings from CSPs. AWS is a case in point with the releases of Code Whisperer and CodeGuru, which telegraph an AWS desire to further its domination into the DevOps world.

Network and security vendors meet DevOps

The more interesting developments I’ve seen with non-traditional DevOps vendors are the network and security vendors who want their slice of the DevOps market. It makes sense.

The thing about these vendors is that they don’t always get DevOps entirely. First, they’re not attuned to DevOps culture or even software developers, for that matter. Sure, some of these vendors can sneak into the DevOps world through the side door of acquisition, but that doesn’t ever seem to solve their inherent disconnects. For example, a vendor that’s made their living selling hardware has a lot to learn to sell into the cloud and DevOps markets. These companies have to retrain their sales teams and partners then to sell to DevOps personas which can be like speaking a different language if you’ve been selling to network engineers your whole career.

For example, one of the most underserved discussions in DevOps is the security of the actual toolchains. We talk enough about software security, but IAM and other security measures for toolchains are still lagging. There’s also the matter that networking and security vendors attempting to diversify into the DevOps market don’t seem to be doing enough to tell their security stories.

DevOps platform providers

Nowadays, there are enterprises moving their toolchains to cloud-based DevOps platforms that offer complete toolchains at consumption-based pricing. That puts traditional OSS-based toolchains at an inflection point because while some organizations can build toolchains in the public cloud, that’s not everybody. There’s also the time involved which is overhead work when the current economy demands a focus on billable customer work for so many teams.

This growing class of platform providers has a lot to offer regarding tooling and security, especially now that many teams are working hybrid or remotely. GitLab and GitHub are examples of this class of DevOps platform. There are also some Unicorn startups trying to capitalize on this market segment.

On the one hand, I welcome the advent of the DevOps platform for security and compliance, and such platforms are much easier for business stakeholders to understand. Then again, I’ve had doubts about some unicorns trying to enter this market. I find their messaging somewhat detached from the DevOps community

OSS DevOps tools as a managed service

Open source tools are foundational to DevOps and DevSecOps, for that matter. There’s an opening in the market for a vendor or vendors (or even an OSS project) that’ll enable enterprises to bring their familiar OSS DevOps tools to the cloud as a managed service.

I came across a startup called Opsverse that could potentially fill this new niche, but I expect more vendors or even an open source project to rise up to fill this potential requirement as

Final thoughts

Looking into 2023 and beyond, I see the DevOps market continuing to grow and diversify. That’s a good thing. I envision the CSPs becoming a more dominant force in DevOps as they take advantage of their leadership in AI and infrastructure. The DevOps platform providers will rise and fall as the over-valuated unicorns face additional stress from their investors. The future of OSS DevOps tools remains bright. However, I see an inflection point as more enterprises seek managed solutions for increased security and compliance but want to be able to maintain choices over the tools in their pipelines.

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