DevOps: The Future of Collaboration
The tech industry is always on an innovation model. Obsolescence creeps in at an alarming rate. Technology becomes redundant because of the arrival of a new one. However, there are some which create a buzz in the industry. The appearance of Dev Ops on the tech scene has transformed the concept of continuous development into a mass movement.
Companies like Etsy, Netflix and Facebook are at the forefront of DevOps, though Reed Hastings of Netflix would like to give it another name.
What is DevOps?
The usual definition of DevOps, as stated by Wikipedia is:
” DevOps (a portmanteau of development and operations) is a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and Information Technology(IT) professionals. DevOps is a response to the interdependence of software development and IT operations. It aims to help an organization rapidly produce software products and services.”
DevOps is primarily a premise where the sole focus is on continuous delivery. It is a portmanteau of the words Development and Operations and that says a lot about what it stands for.
IBM defines DevOps as “designing processes for coordinating software development teams with IT operations teams.”
Hence, by all means, and definition, it is the methods by which the development teams drive operations in conjunction with the IT operations team, thereby creating a centralized decision-making platform.
Hence, without much ado let us delve deeper into the nuances of this incredible concept.
The DevOps Architecture
DevOps Architecture is one of the most important tools that have a direct bearing on the outcome of the entire ecosystem.
It is pertinent to understand the software deployment flow:
- Client Requirements
Any development cycle not adhering to this flow is bound to have challenges at the software implementation stage.
The above-mentioned list is part of the responsibilities being borne by the development team.
The operations team look after the following:
- After-sales Support
The main idea behind the arrival of DevOps has been to entwine these two sections and bring them under one single form.
The advantage is the savings that are generated, both in terms of time and money.
Build: The Build stage defines the actual need of the client and the cost involved. Hence, a mechanism is created where both resource allocation and finance is controlled for the optimization of results
Code: Codes can be used and reused as long as the development requirements remain the same. There are changes which will be recorded and the reasons behind it. Tracking code changes are an important part of any development process. They can be used for future reference too.
Test: No application will be deployed without undergoing rigorous testing. Most processes indulge in manual testing which is time-consuming and the timeline between deployment and production elongates. Automation has inherent advantages. Automated testing eliminates time-consuming processes since the majority of the manual steps are removed.
Plan: With Agile at the helm of things, planning for development becomes a structured journey. The planning stage involves both the Development and Operations team which makes it easier for the project lead or the manager in organizing the entire project and drive productivity.
Monitor: Continuous monitoring of the processes is a necessity. This reduces risks of failures as they can be identified early. Tracking the development also leads to a better understanding of the functionalities of the application.
Deploy: The application will now be deployed. This can be done manually or automated. With DevOps making the best possible usage of cloud, the inbuilt management system helps users to accurately track deployment processes as well as gain valuable insights. This is done through a plethora of dashboards. Deployment can also be done through an automated system based on a scheduler.
Operate: The method of operating has undergone major transformations ever since DevOps appeared on the tech scene. An ecosystem has been built based on collaboration between the development and the Operations team.
Release: Deployment can be done through automation. But if it’s done in the production environment, then manual triggering needs to be done. Release Management depends on manual intervention to lessen the impact of any failures that may arise during release.
DevOps Life Cycle
The DevOps Lifecycle is defined as the flow in its entirety.
It is also an agile relationship that is based on the collaborative spirit of the Development and the Operations team which oversees the entire project from the beginning to the end.
Continuous Development is the key mantra to DevOps. It has to be in conjunction with planning. The parallel coding and planning are what DevOps development is all about.
Similar to continuous development. Integration too is continuous. This is decided at the beginning of the project and enshrined in the vision of the project.
This too is a continuous process since it has to go hand in hand with both development and integration. Tools such as TestNG, JUnit, Selenium are used.
This is a continuous process too since at any point in the development life cycle, a discrepancy or a challenge may crop up. The identification of key problem areas is the pillar on which the success of the project will stand.
Continuous feedback is necessary for the team to understand the status of the project and the next steps. Each iteration has to be an improvement on the prior steps. Continuity also helps in removing duplication and enables the team to focus only on the relevant parts.
Continuous deployment helps the DevOps team to continuously stage the code on to servers and keep testing them. With continuous deployment, one can overcome errors that may have occurred during the coding phase.
Continuous operations are based on the automation which has been embedded into the systems while development. Continuous operations also allow an organization to accelerate the deployment time and minimize the release period.
Principles of DevOps
- Responsibility: There has to be an end to end responsibility on the part of the DevOps team towards completion of the project.
- Improvement: This has to be a continuous process and iterative too. The earlier iteration has to be an improvement over the previous one.
- Automation: Continuous development often leads to greater automation which would lead to fewer resources required to build the newer steps.
- Customer-first: It always has been a customer first. The DevOps team needs to ensure that it focuses on solving the issues of the customer.
- Monitor: Every small change has to be monitored since it is the building blocks which have to fit well.
- Test: Continuous testing the key towards successful project completion.
- Team: The DevOps team is one cohesive unit and has to work as one. Planning and development, as previously mentioned, will be going hand in hand.
Best practices of DevOps as recommended:
Continuous Build – Continuous Integration – Continuous Delivery – Testing – Iterative Improvement – Automation – Release
The market is replete with DevOps tools.
The hallmarks of effective DevOps tools are the following:
- Real-time content awareness
- On the spot reporting
- Defined Infrastructure enforcement
- Eliminates manual work
- Encourage greater automation
- Quicker delivery of the package
Some of the most popular DevOps tools in the market are:
There is a mix of subscribed and open source tools which assist the team in the effective delivery of projects.
DevOps automation is one of the key areas. Automating the entire process is central to the idea of DevOps.
From infrastructure set up to configure the entire system to software deployment, the entire process has to be automated. This is key to the success of DevOps.
Advantages of Automation:
- Improves speed
- Improves consistency
- Provides higher accuracy
- Increases reliability
- Deliveries improve
- Log Management
A DevOps Pipeline is defined as a set of process which is automated and will allow the team to effectively compile, build and deploy their code.
A DevOps can be categorized as:
- Source Control
- Build tools
- Configuration Management
- Continuous Monitoring
A DevOps pipeline is of two types:
- Continuous Integration Pipeline
- Continuous Delivery Pipeline
It is also known as the Microsoft visual studio team services (VSTS). It is a group of tools which collaborate in a cloud environment.
Azure DevOps has the following products under it:
- Azure Test Plans
- Azure Boards
- Azure Repos
- Azure Pipeline
- Azure Artifacts
The main purpose of an Azure DevOps tool is to transform an idea into a software.
Azure DevOps also has two other categories:
- Azure DevOps Server
- Azure DevOps Services
Now that we know in details what is DevOps and what is DevOps model, we dive into the world of the cloud and who better than Amazon Web Services (AWS)
AWS DevOps is broken into:
- AWS CloudFormation
- AWS EC2
- AWS CloudWatch
- AWS CodePipeline
This combination is one of the reasons why AWS is one of the most sought after DevOps packages in the tech world.
The following features make AWS DevOps a winner:
- Improved developmental cycle
- Greater Integration
- Minute monitoring capability
- Simplified management of code sets
- Integration with third-party tools like Jenkins and Git.
Any IT professional working in a DevOps environment under the principle of DevOps is a DevOps engineer
They can be system engineers, software developers and other IT production staff
DevOps teams also boast of communicative consultants who will have to liaise between different sections of the team.
The engineer has to be conversant with the different aspects of the software development life cycle.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science is sufficient for a person to become a part of the DevOps team. Some teams may encourage experience while many do provide an entry to newbies.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Manage projects effectively
- Increase Project visibility
- Improve the quality of the project through effective Quality control
- DevOps teams required not just coders but problem solvers and individual with effective communication skills
- Correct Analysis of situations and environment
- Effective system Troubleshooting
- Ensuring the resolution of critical bottlenecks
DevOps and Agile
Both deal with continuous development and deployments. However, there are key differences.
|Combination of Development and Operations||a continuous iterative approach, which focuses on collaboration, customer feedback, small, and rapid releases.|
|Management of end to end processes||Manage complex projects|
|Continuous testing and delivery||Focuses on constant change|
|Large teams||Small teams|
|Varied team skill sets||Narrowed skill sets|
|Focused on collaboration||Combination of safe, scrum, and sprint|
|End to end delivery with improved timelines||Solely Software development|
DevOps has changed the way teams approach a project. It is no more working in silos but collaboration is the key to success. DevOps does not only require software deliveries but leaders too, who will guide the team through thick and thin. The scope of work in a DevOps environment is vast and allows varied talents to be a part of the team. The inherent advantages of a DevOps environment permit teams to improve quality and shorten deadlines. This is good for the project.