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How Does NoOps Work?

Total NoOps, the notion of achieving completely automated IT processes that do not require human involvement – could not be realized however is it desirable? This article will explain the way NoOps is implemented in addition to its advantages and disadvantages.

NoOps, which is short for no operations can be described as an IT environment in which many of the tasks required to control, optimize and secure IT applications and services can be automated or abstracted, and/or executed by an individual other than a traditional centralized operation unit. NoOps is a vague concept that has different companies, analysts, and customers employing it to define different levels of automation and in addition to the IT components it could be used with, and the departments are responsible for the IT operations tasks.

According to Paul Nashawaty, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, NoOps is “full automation and abstracting of the infrastructure layer, rendering it unnoticeable and eliminates the requirement for an operations or infrastructure group to oversee it. In essence, you won’t require any human capital for managing the infrastructure itself since it’s completely automated, with the tedious work being removed.” Nashawaty believes that as low as 10% of companies are at this stage of complete automation.

NoOps could refer to an outsourcing responsibility for IT operational responsibility from an in-house development DevOps team, as well an external service provider, like a cloud provider, says Roy Illsley, chief analyst of IT operations and ecosystem at market research firm Omdia.

This model does not mean that “you are still an operations department” claims Nashawaty. “It’s simply transferred to a cloud service.” Nashawaty prefers to consider NoOps being “a self-service model that lets people who are developers, the business units, are able to provide the resources they require without having to work with the operations division.” This uncertainty makes NoOps a controversial concept that could cause opposition or anger from those in the operations field who fear they could lose their jobs.

NoOps could be viewed as the outcome of the automation based on policies implemented through initiatives that target other aspects that comprise the IT infrastructure, like DataOps, AIOps and DevSecOps. While some companies or customers claim to have succeeded, others claim that the reality of NoOps is a fully computerized IT environment that doesn’t require human involvement is either impossible or unattainable.

Some others suggest NoOps may mean reducing the importance of a central IT department, and transferring greater responsibility locally-based business groups or teams who manage IT operations as well as the creation and security of the software and services they consider most important.

What’s the process behind NoOps?

NoOps is based on automated, policy-based processes that are triggered by IT or business-related events to ensure that applications and services function efficiently, effectively and safely with the least cost.

Automating the creation of IT infrastructure “encompasses microservices, APIs for various types of infrastructure and also automation that is built into the whole,” says Forrester. The implementation for infrastructure-as-code (through tools like scripts to automate system administration and configuration) blurs the lines between infrastructure and application. It could also involve automatic self-healing of the application’s environment.

NoOps should take into account DevOps principles , such as changing changes in small regular increments instead of making changes that are deployed within a time-bound change window and restricting the access of command line commands that permit human beings to alter the configuration of systems, suggests Forrester. It also suggests testing and monitoring and analyzing the performance of IT infrastructure components frequently and avoiding custom configurations for systems which are hard to automate.

Additionally, Forrester recommends pairing sense-and-adapt automation with advanced analytics in order to find out if something is not working quickly, as well as tracking the effects of automated actions and altering the actions as required. “The final thing you’d like to do is launch an untested automation tool and forget about it” According to Forrester. Be aware of its actions and the results and “[u]se the feedback to enhance the efficiency of the system.”

What are the advantages of NoOps?

To the extent that it’s implemented, NoOps does not just reduce IT management costs, but also lets businesses react more quickly and efficiently to the changing demands by bringing new services and applications to market swiftly and effectively. By automating, or outsource routine IT operations can help free up personnel to focus on more valuable tasks like the development of new products and services.

The increased flexibility of IT personnel is among the main advantages of NoOps, and it is evident in the way that hiring patterns are conducted Nashawaty says. Recent ESG survey found that over the coming year over two-thirds of respondents intend to recruit IT generalists that can be utilized to fulfill various requirements of business rather than experts in particular fields of IT.

What are the drawbacks of NoOps?

One of the obstacles to more complete automation of the IT administration that is required for NoOps as per the 2021 Forrester Research report, are organizational cultures that deter the risks that come with the introduction of new technology for managing IT and the inability of past attempts to change the IT process.

Companies can also fail due to automating inefficient processes as well as “mass producing” mistakes by constructing inadequate scripts to control the configuration of thousands or hundreds of servers and different infrastructure parts, according to in the Forrester report.

“If you don’t have the right rules to use AI it is possible to create errors in the automation process,” says Nashawaty. “If you’re using machine-learning and using AI to run processes without human intervention,” the business lacks information about how these rules are being used or if they require to be changed.

There are some concerns about job losses that are caused by NoOps might be justifiable. Forrester estimates that one-third of the infrastructure and operations (I&O) job opportunities will be gone and one-third of the personnel are “passionate advocates for change who are willing to create and automate themselves to create new and better jobs” another group who will be patient and wait to see what the other group performs as well as a third group that won’t be able master the new skills required in an NoOps environment, or will not change and who will eventually be forced to leave the company.

“The biggest drawback is that when you stop using these capabilities, you’re likely to never regain them,” says Illsley, who believes that instead of trying to eliminate the IT operations component, look at it as a necessary cost of business even when it does not differentiate an organization from its competitors.

What are some examples for NoOps tools?

Any IT monitoring, management or automation technology could be considered as an example of NoOps. The tools needed to support NoOps according to Nashawaty are those that offer versions control for code managing and orchestration of containers microservices, cloud platforms and cloud platforms and monitoring of application performance; and automated configuration of infrastructure and testing.

Some of the most popular products mentioned by analysts include:

The software from Progress Software is Chef Automate, which the company claims offers an analytics and dashboards for the enterprise, “enabling cross-team collaboration with practical insights regarding compliance and configuration as well as an audit-able record of any changes made to the environment.” Chef Automate presents information from Chef to allow for observability of the configuration, security, and compliance.

Digital workflow tools like those offered by ServiceNow which can help find potential problems and then resolve them automatically or send them (with the data needed to fix the issue) to the right personnel. ServiceNow’s drag-and drop interface lets businesses to automatize everything from resolving password issues and running scripts for configuration.

Puppet Enterprise is a system administrator’s tool that allows them automation of repetitive work, continuously create new systems, swiftly deploy essential applications, and also proactively and incrementally manage infrastructure. It can be used with different operating systems as well as cloud environments, and allows auto-remediation of components in applications to their optimal state.

The Red Hat Ansible automation platform includes open-source software provisioning tools for deployment, configuration and configuration that integrate together with monitoring, observability and workflow platforms to streamline IT processes. Red Hat claims Ansible can manage software-defined, physical networks, as well as cloud-based networks. manage and automate Kubernetes clusters , and run containerized applications at a large scale; manage security systems; and also provide cloud-based cloud-based instances, networks, and infrastructure.

VMware’s SaltStack Config vRealize Automation that automates and orchestrates optimization of infrastructure and security. It is able to “create an easy human-readable, code-based infrastructure,” configure and control operating systems, and then automatically ensure desired states in the words of VMware.

It is the Dynatrace Software Intelligence Platform, that offers capabilities that range from monitoring of infrastructure to cloud automation , to vulnerability detection in the run-time. It promises to offer not just metrics, logs, and tracks but also a complete topological model, detail at the code level as well as user experience as well as behavioral data.


If the dream concept of “total NoOps” is achievable or even desirable, the implementation of NoOps concepts and tools can allow you to concentrate more on your company and your customers, rather than your IT infrastructure. You will also be able to increase the speed and deployment of new apps and services that meet the latest demands of your business.

“While numerous I&O professionals are wringing their hands over the notion that operations will one day be so automated that they no longer require their services.” states Forrester Even in completely automated settings “someone has to manage models, resources, and optimize” infrastructure in code.