Data Centers

A DevOps dashboard for all: Capital One's Hygieia project offers powerful open source resource

Capital One has set out to enable metrics for the DevOps pipeline via their open source project Hygieia.

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Image: Capitol One

When do you know a technology or process has reached the peak of its hype cycle and crossed over to the mainstream? When there's an executive dashboard to track key performance indicators.

US-based financial services company Capital One birthed an open source project that provides a dashboard for DevOps projects. The project, called Hygieia, is notable for several reasons.

The goddess of health

Recently, some peers and I were debating the term DevOps. Ultimately, we agreed the term simply means to do your job. In small, agile environments such as startups, DevOps is simply the best mode of operations for building and maintaining applications. Of course larger, traditional organizations need to ensure investments in DevOps transformations are effective.

Named after the Greek goddess of health, the Hygieia project is the result of the desire of Capital One engineers to measure the health of DevOps-powered projects in a visual manner. According to the promotional video, there isn't a way to measure the collective status of the various components of a DevOps-based project.

Continuous feedback

DevOps concepts enable continuous development feedback. Continuous feedback leads to process improvement. Components of DevOps rely heavily on automation. For example, this includes the creation and execution of test scripts.

Enterprise IT managers benefit from understanding the success rate of code at various stages of testing, and the Hygieia project provides metrics for the success rate of testing at different stages. A manager or process improvement engineer can use the Hygieia dashboard for process improvement.

SEE: The three flavors of DevOps: Developer-driven vs. operations-driven vs. Platform 2.5 (TechRepublic)

For example, the Hygieia dashboard may show a higher rate of failure for the quality assurance (QA) testing compared to development. After analysis, developers may discover the dataset used for development is malformed and fails a more rigorous QA check. A new development test dataset is created, reducing the code failure rate and speeding production time.

Hygieia is meant to be a holistic dashboard that manages the entire development pipeline. The above example is just one set of metrics used for feedback. Others may include the number of commits and build metrics.

All from a bank

The most interesting factor to me is that this project originated at a bank. I've read stories of banks embracing DevOps and leveraging open source code, but Hygieia is a concrete example of the change that's occurring in the most traditional of enterprise IT.

While the primary contributors are from Capitol One, the project has commits from companies such as Survey Monkey as well. Besides the number of commits, another metric of success of an open source project is the diversity of the contributors. Capitol One is accepting code commits from outside organizations while continuing to contribute to the project itself.

Open source projects are no longer originating from technology startups or powerful webscale technology companies. Organizations from a wide number of industries are both sponsoring and contributing to open source.

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About Keith Townsend

Keith Townsend is a technology management consultant with more than 15 years of related experience designing, implementing, and managing data center technologies. His areas of expertise include virtualization, networking, and storage solutions for Fo...

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