SysOps vs DevOps


Successful software development is not just about focusing on satisfying requirements. It is about ensuring that the end product is robust and earns the trust of its users. For the longest time, software engineering methodologies have tried to achieve quality and efficiency together. However, as time passes, the software is getting more complex, and so are the expectations of enterprises. 

One such methodology that has managed to create a name for itself is DevOps. While implementing its infrastructure may be challenging for some, its benefits greatly outweigh these barriers. It has delivered better collaboration, improved systems availability, and a faster time-to-delivery. However, it has also inspired other methodologies which can serve as its alternative for some enterprises, like SysOps.

This article will help to define SysOps and its foundational principles. It will see how it compares against DevOps and what are the main differences between the two. Even though SysOps and DevOps are similar-sounding but significantly different in approach.  

The Bigger Picture Of DevOps

DevOps is a software development methodology that recognizes the divide between two of the most crucial departments: Development and Operations. As the name implies, its philosophy builds on bridging the gap and enabling inter-departmental collaboration. With such an approach, many hassles with creating, maintaining, and testing software are reduced or eliminated. The processes and responsibilities of traditional development and operations become intertwined.

The stages of DevOps lead to one another in such a way that no one is responsible for anything in particular. Instead, the tools enable anyone to solve an issue that may arise. It pushes for automating most repetitive tasks like unit testing and allows for easy access to the codebase through a shared repository. For most of the processes in its pipeline, DevOps utilizes cloud computing and storage. 

DevOps not only provides a framework and tools to help bring it to reality. It also gives benchmarks that help measure the organizational efficiency of a specific DevOps setup. Such benchmarks include:

  • Execution Speed: This metric refers to the time it takes to bring a particular feature or fix to reality. It is measured from the time work begins on the objective until it can be successfully deployed to production. By focusing on this metric, DevOps promises a significant competitive business edge.

  • Productivity: DevOps focuses on automating as many of the processes as possible. It is an attempt to maximize productivity without having to add manual costs or potential drawbacks. To achieve maximum productivity, one of the main steps is standardizing and streamlining manual processes.

  • Quality of Service: While focusing on improving productivity and speed, it is also essential to close customer satisfaction. Through the CI/CD pipeline, DevOps ensures that feedback from the end-users is immediately resolved.  

There are a variety of tools that help bring the DevOps framework to life. DevOps uses different applications mainly for automation processes and streamlining the CI/CD pipeline. DevOps also utilizes cloud computing and storage facilities to enable access for all personnel involved. Many enterprises have come to accept DevOps because it helps adapt to customer feedback quicker than before and has led to better customer retention.

What Does SysOps Entail?

The world of SysOps focuses on guaranteeing that an application, once deployed, is functioning optimally and at maximum performance, if possible. SysOps professionals are essentially System Operators. It requires knowledge of network infrastructure and analytical abilities to choose the best infrastructure and storage methods. SysOps involves network administration and analysis to ensure the best working capabilities. 

SysOps revolves around working with systems and networks at all scales, from small-time enterprises to enormous corporations. It requires managing an environment that is among the most-used components of an enterprise’s technology resources. SysOps administrators also have to secure the systems under them and solve any issues that may cause the network to go offline. It also involves deploying new systems or building infrastructure from the ground up.

SysOps have recently witnessed a significant surge of interest as cloud technology has gotten more robust, and cybersecurity incidents have also risen. Industry-leading cloud services like AWS offer plenty of content on learning crucial SysOps skills, along with globally accepted certifications.

Main Differences Between SysOps & DevOps

Having gone through a broad picture of both SysOps and DevOps, it is easy to get confused between the two. Both are becoming fairly popular among enterprises that are actively switching to cloud services. However, there are plenty of fundamental differences. The main differences between the two fields are as follows:

  • Different Approaches: Both SysOps and DevOps take wildly different approaches to what they wish to achieve. For SysOps processes, the nature of code development is predictable, and deployment happens at regular intervals. DevOps takes a more Agile-based approach. With the CI/CD pipeline, development and deployment can happen whenever needed and are continuous processes. Due to the difference in their approach, DevOps and SysOps systems handle change differently as well. While the former constantly evolves to automate as much as possible, the latter is restricted once set up and is not as flexible. 

  • Different Aims: SysOps and DevOps have different aims to accomplish. DevOps attempts to take advantage of the fact that development and operations can weave into one another and accelerate software development. SysOps mainly tries to maintain systems and networks to the best performance levels by regular maintenance and monitoring.
    With different aims in place, it is evident that the organization’s requirements should be scrutinized to see whether they should focus on SysOps and DevOps. 

  • Different Sets Of Tools Involved: As SysOps and DevOps have different approaches and aims, their toolsets look different as well. DevOps utilizes version control software like Git, CI/CD tools like Jenkins, and container applications like Docker. For SysOps, it is crucial to know the ins and outs of the cloud service in use. A famous example is AWS and its cloud database and cloud networking products. While both heavily involve cloud technology, DevOps and SysOps use it as means to different ends. DevOps uses it to deliver software faster, and SysOps uses it to build and maintain secure network infrastructures. 

  • Different Skill Sets Needed: Since SysOps and DevOps come to life through other tools, they both require skill sets respective to their aims. One thing to note is that there is some overlap in the needed skills as both involve operations. DevOps requires strong development and automation skills, along with significant expertise with the cloud. For SysOps, it is essential to be skilled at operating systems, systems engineering, and network administration. The skills required for DevOps or SysOps is not universal and may change depending on the role and its responsibilities. The skills described above are the fundamental ones that are necessary to be proficient at DevOps or SysOps.  

SysOps Or DevOps?

As the world increasingly moves towards cloud technology, a shift in focus on cloud-heavy methodologies like DevOps and SysOps is obvious. However, both differ significantly in their methods and other aspects as well. In such a case, whether to go for DevOps or SysOps depends on the end mission. 

If the aim is to develop software faster while ensuring quality, DevOps is the choice. If the objective is to make sure you have a reliable and robust network system, SysOps is the key. Regardless, both are significantly popular approaches and will indeed produce results through a skillful implementation.  

Topics: DevOps

Tags: Management