Traditional software release cycles and timelines do not cut it In today’s fast-paced world. As businesses struggle to adapt to the pace of updates, challenges and to keep up with their competition, it seems that there is nothing else to do except getting more hands-on deck.
However, more does not necessarily mean fast. In traditional IT environments, teams often work in the silo with archaic processes, making dependencies and delays the norm. With speed being a need, modern businesses require a framework that encourages structured, yet faster application development and deployment to meet customer needs in time. The answer to this problem lies in DevOps.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a practice that encourages collaboration, integration, visibility, transparency, and communication between development teams and operations. This creates an efficient life cycle for continuous delivery and continuous integration (CI/CD) of highly resilient, world-class systems. Combining the talents of both these teams, DevOps also ensures that application and user security is key from the outset.
What are the goals of DevOps?
The primary goal of DevOps is to code, build, test, release and monitor updates in real-time. This leads to improvements in the existing product and processes, along with rapid releases of necessary feature changes to customers.
DevOps goals are grouped into four distinct categories. These include:
Also known as CAMS, these goals intend to use DevOps tools to make operational workflows streamlined, collaborative and automated. This reduces risk and the time spent in static tasks such as integration, development, testing, deployment and monitoring.
Why is DevOps important for your live or new project?
The DevOps lifecycle encourages safer, quicker, and faster delivery of value to end-users. Customers get frequent product updates, new features, and releases, resulting in reduced user churn and an enhanced customer satisfaction index for your product.
The DevOps process also facilitates high performance, high availability and high reliability of your infrastructure and software applications as a whole, as the software is first developed, tested and deployed on test and staging environments before being released into production. This directly translates to near-zero downtime and high customer satisfaction for any kind of software including mobile and web applications.
Why do I need DevOps for my product or website?
DevOps has several significant business benefits—one of which is a happy and loyal customer base. Using a Dev-Test-Beta-Live approach for software deployment, DevOps ensures quality across the software development, testing and delivery chain.
Whether you are using DevOps to ensure quality in your software, mobile apps, cloud-based solution or website, DevOps will inculcate a culture of responsibility for quality across the organization.
The DevOps lifecycle will help you ensure:
- Faster delivery of high-quality product releases
- Reduce business risk with high-quality
- Release new features with no downtime
- Address and resolve issues faster
- Provide a stable operating environment
- Utilize resources effectively
- Promote innovation
- Automate redundant processes
- Gather meaningful analytics to make informed business decisions.
What is a DevOps toolchain?
A DevOps toolchain is a collection of phases (processes and tools) to streamline, automate, and shorten the software delivery workflow, also known as a pipeline. These tools or phases facilitate and promote the core tenets (automation, collaboration and integration) of DevOps between dev and operational teams. Here is a list of some of the DevOps lifecycle tools we use for both live and new projects:
- Plan: This phase is an essential part of the DevOps toolchain and helps you to define the business value, business metrics, release plans and other requirements of your project. Tools such as Jira, Git and many others can facilitate easy project management and issue tracking.
- Code: Also known as Create, this phase involves designing and creating (coding) the actual software. Tools used to facilitate the process include GitHub, BitBucket, Stash, CVS and many others.
- Build: This phase helps you manage software version control and builds, along with using automated tools to compile and package code for moving items between development and production environments. Tools used in this phase include Jfrog Artifactory, Maven, Ansible, Docker amongst many others.
- Test: The testing phase allows teams to verify and maintain optimal software quality. This is accomplished with constant manual and automation testing that allows beta testing of software before release. Tools used in this phase of DevOps include Selenium, Vagrant, Junit, Codeception, TestNG and many others.
- Deploy: The deployment (also known as a release and deploy) phase involves managing, coordinating, scheduling and automating the release of software into the production environment. This phase ensures that your customers get timely access to software updates. Tools used in this phase include Kubernetes, OpenShift, Docker, Jira, Puppet, Chef and Ansible.
- Operate: The operational phase involves managing the software environment in production. Tools used in this phase include Chef, Salt, Otter, Ansible and Puppet.
- Monitor: Collating information, providing customer behaviour analytics, identifying issues and monitoring the performance of the IT infrastructure in real-time are the core functions of the monitoring phase of DevOps. This phase also helps teams to plan the activities required for any changes needed to new software release cycles, helping DevOps become a seamless, continuous cycle of improvement and innovation. Tools used in this phase include Slack, Splunk, Grafana, Datadog and many others.
What are the various practices of DevOps for new and existing products?
The intent of DevOps practices is to foster a culture of continuous improvement and automation. Many DevOps practices focus on multiple development cycle phases, which led to the phrase “Continuous Everything.” This is because continuity is at the very core of DevOps real time projects and each phase leads to another continuously, as long as the software is in production.
Important DevOps practices include:
- Continuous Development: Spanning the planning and coding phases of the DevOps lifecycle, continuous development mirrors Agile methodology in DevOps perfectly. An additional mechanism involved here includes software version control.
- Continuous Testing: Automation of test scenarios is at the core of DevOps. As pre-scheduled, automated code tests run while code is updated or checked in, this ensures high-quality at the outset and speeds up code movement to production.
- Continuous Integration: Also known as CI, this DevOps change management practice brings together configuration management and testing+development practices and tools together to verify the readiness of code for production. This involves providing rapid feedback between the processes of testing and development to find and mitigate issues in code.
- Continuous Delivery: Delivery automation of code will move tested code from development to the staging or pre-production environment. This can then trigger a notification that allows team members to make decisions about code promotion to the production environment.
- Continuous Deployment: Also known as CD, this practice automates the movement of code to production. Containerization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes are used to maintain code consistency and enable continuous deployment across platforms and environments. In CD, builds that pass all checks of the pipeline are automatically moved to production.
- Continuous Monitoring: Also known as continuous feedback, this practice completes the DevOps loop by leveraging analytics and data from the operate and monitor phase in the planning phase for the next build. Both code and supporting infrastructure are monitored consistently for effective data tracking and development analytics.
- Infrastructure as Code: Often, developers create on-demand storage volumes from tools such as Docker, OpenShift or Kubernetes. This automated, on-demand infrastructure provisioning helps teams to monitor environmental configurations, track changes and simplify configuration roll-backs.
For a successful online business, DevOps is not just a buzzword, it is a culture that allows development teams to build high-quality, highly resilient software faster than ever before. As software is created, tested, and deployed constantly, teams are well-informed and well-equipped to tackle any incidents that occur to quickly deploy roll-backs or fixes to end-users.
DevOps is the first step towards business continuity—with continuous development, continuous integration, continuous testing and continuous everything to help you and your customers get more done! Give your product the power of Volumetree’s DevOps expertise and make downtime history, today.