What Is DevOps?
The rise of technology has significantly contributed to the change and creation of cultures, especially in organizations. When it comes to IT and Software businesses, DevOps culture is adopted and implemented.
What Is DevOps?
Well, this article will teach you all about it!
DevOps, an abbreviation of Development and Operations, is a mix of practices and specific tools designed to increase delivered applications quality and deployment speed, and improves organizational workflows. Compared to traditional methods, DevOps allows organizations to provide better customers services and increases quality of delivered software products.
The whole idea behind DevOps was to remove any barrier between the development and operations teams. Under this culture/model, both teams work together throughout the product life cycle, from start to finish, with no actual conflicts.
The origin of this concept was developed long ago by forward-thinking IT specialists. They were the ones who planted the seeds of DevOps and nurtured it into existence.
The two main birth-givers of DevOps are:
- ESM (Enterprise Service Management): At that moment, few other than system admins understand how DevOps works. Such professionals brought key ESM best practices, like configuration management, system monitoring, automated provisioning, and the toolchain approach
- Agile Development: We can review DevOps as a projection of Agile. While Agile focuses on developing customer relationships, managers, and developers, DevOps is one step ahead. This model understands that a fundamental part of the value is the relationship of service delivery and how the product interacts, giving it an essential and top-tier position. So, the principle of the two is quite similar, but this model has proven to be more beneficial.
This method has gone through quite an evolution of its own. In 2009, Patrick Debois first introduced the term DevOps which primarily addressed the imperfections of Agile Software Development.
That is where the journey begins with IT admins focused on stable and reliable IT, and Agile continued to advocate for collaboration and change.
Fast forward to 2013; The Phoenix Project popularizes the concept of DevOps with fictional problems and ideal solutions. All the while helping managers understand the concept and inform them of the benefits of collaboration.
Companies defined DevOps techniques as DevOps grew more prominent. Target, for example, invented the DevOps Dojo training approach. From collaborative chatbots to CI/CD suites embedded into cloud services, vendors claimed DevOps-enabling features in products. A new job title has emerged: DevOps engineer.
Even today, DevOps continues to evolve in the field of artificial intelligence.
Now you might be wondering how one can implement this method. Well, the feat is not easy. DevOps, like other cultures, has numerous versions on the topic. Most experts, however, would agree that all DevOps cultures share the following skills.
Even though the initial goal of DevOps was to fulfill the needs of development operations, it does extend to other organizations and their procedures as well. In this culture, Development and IT operations work together, knowing that the essential thing is flawless delivery and keeping clients happy.
This method heavily depends on automation, which means you need loads of tools to build and buy. These can be open-source and propriety tools, but they cannot be left lying around. This method depends on toolchains to automate significant portions of the software development and release process from start to finish.
Since DevOps technologies are so great, it is easy to dismiss DevOps as merely a collection of tools. While it is true that DevOps is heavily reliant on technologies, there is so much more to it.
Continuous Integration (CI)
Since DevOps comes from Agile culture, continuous integration is a fundamental part of it. The integration principle is quite similar in that developers are forced to share and unite their work with other developers.
It is quite beneficial since it allows the developers to pick on any integration issues or conflicts beforehand. This condition means that for every problem, there is a timely resolution. However, it does require a lot of open communication between the two for continuous integration to work.
You might not give testing the same amount of importance as integration and delivery, but you will be putting security, reliability, compliance at risk if you decide to do so.
Testing should not be done at the end of the project but should start in the development stages. You can test the codes and make necessary changes so that the product is top-notch when the project parts fully integrate.
Operations functions play an essential role in testing. Operations can guarantee that diagnostic tools and testing requirements are correct. They may participate in functional, load, stress, and leak testing and provide analysis based on their previous experience with similar programs in production.
The payoff is ideal quality and speedy service.
Continuous Delivery (CD)
DevOps defines as “software development practice”. Codes are automatically built (compiled/prepared/compacted), tested, and brought into a release-ready state. Now, this is an ideal situation where an organization will always have a fully tested, and is prepared to always deliver an updated product at hand.
However, the reality might be different. Every organization works at a different speed, with other goals and legacy, and might only be producing one product update a week or month. That is a medium performance, and not be bad at all.
The ideal continuous delivery performance might be too hectic for the developers and result in having to deal with more updates.
We have already discussed continuous testing, only possible in an environment where failures are found and fixed in time. In the DevOps model, continuous integration, testing, and delivery, continuous monitoring is the basis for all.
It assists in swiftly identifying underlying causes of errors to avoid disruptions and reduce user complaints proactively. Some monitoring specialists even argue that developers should include monitoring in service description because it is essential to service delivery.
The skills may be different for each organization, but the benefits of DevOps remain the same for all. There have been many credible sources who have claimed that the method has the following benefits.
DevOps methods enable you to operate as fast as you can adapt to changing markets and become more successful at achieving business results.
Since the speed of innovation is faster than before, so is delivery. It means that you can entirely focus on the improvements required in your products and ensure that it is unique to gain leverage over your competition.
Moreover, DevOps services are more reliable since they ensure quality by continuous integration, testing, and delivery. An optimum experience for all customers!
Improved collaboration under this model means combined workflows but shared responsibilities—a great recipe for reducing inefficiency and saving loads of time.
Lastly, high security means your team will be wasting less time trying to protect the product and code rather than spending 50% of it on enhancing security.
I am sure the entire method sounds the perfect fit for your organization, and it is! Especially when you can find and create the right tools for your business.
A DevOps workflow consists of the following phases: Planning, Building the Code, Testing and Deploying, Delivering, Monitoring, and Logging, and Gathering.
By focusing on the following 4 phases and their tools, you can effectively use the DevOps method and culture.
- Planning: When planning, your primary focus will be on tasks right away and still pending charges. You can keep track of them by making a schedule to avoid missing your delivery date. Keeping that in mind, you can create your tools or use ones like Confluence and Jira.
- Build and delivery: DevOps is all about continuous integration, testing, developing, delivering, etc. It means that you will need tools to ensure that team members follow release cycles during the production phase. You will also need a tool that can build a time-efficient process for your product as well. Hence, tools like Terraform, Chef, Ansible, etc., can be a fantastic addition.
- Testing: When it comes to testing, you need to put in as little time and effort as possible. However, this cannot be done at the expense of compromised quality, missed errors, or a horrible user experience. Hence, investing in tools like Jenkins and CircleCI will be great for your organization.
- Software monitoring and logging: Performance analysis, customer feedback, and intelligent alerts are the last step. Once moved to production, it is essential to monitor your software to ensure that the performance is outstanding, and the customer is satisfied. A personalized tool can be beneficial for this stage but relying on Prometheus, Grafana, and Splunk is not a bad idea.
With all that needed to be said, it is safe to say that DevOps is here to stay. And why won’t it? With the benefits that it provides, it works excellently when merged with Agile. With its fantastic software and production techniques, DevOps will find its way into every business quite easily.