DevOps vs. InfraOps – What’s the difference?


We are hearing clients frequently use the terms “InfraOps” and “DevOps”. Providing some information to add clarity about the differences between the two, we think, would be useful.

What is DevOps?
We’ve become more than familiar with this term and it’s at its simplest form the effective combination of Developers, Operations and QA working together and collaboratively to produce faster, reliable, and secure changes and move them more frequently into production.

What is InfraOps?
If you simply try to take this term and break it down like the DevOps term, i.e. Infrastructure Operations, you may want to re-think it. Although, any term you want to use within your organisation can be adopted if the appropriate definitions are applied and accepted.

Two common meanings of ‘InfraOps’ are:

  • Infrastructure Operations
  • Infrastructure Optimisation

If you perform DevOps well, you probably won’t call it DevOps, as it becomes your operational work practice standard. Therefore, terms like InfraOps are useful (when properly defined) to encourage a change in approach to better cope with the various IT demand and for adding more value to the business. Once it’s a standard practice, it becomes business as usual and the need to label it becomes redundant or at least less important.

Infrastructure Operations is the layer consisting of the management of the physical and virtual environment, which may very well be within a cloud environment. On top of this layer would be Service Operations (‘SvcOps’) and Application Operations (‘AppOps’).

Infrastructure Optimisation may be close to the opposite and could be an attempt to optimise the infrastructure to the point, where few components are required, e.g. by using containers to remove the need for an operating system or hypervisor. Less ambitious approaches to infrastructure optimisation could include software-defined technologies and converged hardware.

In conclusion, don’t get caught up in the hype. As leaders in any organisation, if you want a new mindset created for the advancement of people and the way they handle challenges, you could create a term and define it appropriately to drive the outcomes needed for the team to succeed in the face of business demand.