An Overview of DevOps

The quest for quicker time to market has given rise to software development concepts such as Agile and DevOps. The DevOps methodology, in particular, is meant to convert business ideas to customer value and speed up application delivery.

DevOps’ success is dependent on the ability to use the right technologies and tools, build well-designed pipelines, and understand the importance of value stream management. DevOps done correctly can improve market responsiveness and profitability.

This article talks about DevOps, why it matters, and DevOps best practices, the challenges of adopting DevOps in an organization, microservices adoption, and the role and responsibilities of the management.

What is DevOps?

The term “DevOps” refers to the merger of development and operations. It is a collaborative approach that enables an organization’s Development and IT Operations teams to collaborate seamlessly with improved communication.

DevOps bolsters automation, iterative development, and programming infrastructure deployment and maintenance.

DevOps is all about breaking down boundaries between people and technology and getting them to work together. DevOps fosters open collaboration, close interdepartmental ties, and a better team spirit than an individual mindset.

Popular DevOps methodologies include Scrum, Kanban, Lean Development, Extreme Programming (XP), and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).

Benefits of DevOps for Developers

DevOps is a concept that promotes cooperation and coordination between development and operations teams in an enterprise. Organizations that use DevOps can efficiently and quickly design and execute business software.

DevOps integrates cultural philosophies, tools, practices, and other elements to improve an organization’s agility in the software development process.

Here is a quick rundown of the advantages of DevOps for developers:

  • Improved speed
  • Improved collaboration
  • Better security
  • Faster delivery
  • Reliability

DevOps Tools

Here are some of the most popular DevOps tools that can help in the seamless functioning of DevOps in an organization:

How does DevOps Work?

DevOps includes practices such as continuous integration and continuous deployment. This ensures you always have a ready-to-deploy build.

DevOps is an approach to improving work in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) process. DevOps may be thought of as an endless cycle consisting of the following steps: plan, code, build and test, release, deploy, operate, monitor, give feedback, and finally reset the loop.

The developers write code that fulfills the requirements and then deploy the application. To align software with expectations, stakeholders and developers must effectively communicate about their project and its requirements.

Developers work on minor updates that are independent of each other. The IT teams take advantage of CI/CD pipelines to automate moving code from development to staging. To ensure standards are adhered to, teams can review and enforce policies as applicable.

The DevOps Lifecycle Phases

The DevOps lifecycle phases include the following:

  • Continuous Development
  • Continuous Integration
  • Continuous Deployment
  • Continuous Testing
  • Continuous Monitoring

Continuous Development

Continuous Development refers to a process in software development that involves multiple DevOps methods, such as continuous integration, continuous testing, and continuous deployment. It improves the software’s quality, detects, and fixes errors more easily, reduces risks, and increases productivity.

Continuous Development means that every change to your software can be integrated, tested, then verified. This allows your team to deliver a reliable, safe, secure, and high-quality product on time.

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration is a software development discipline in which engineers incorporate code updates into a common, central repository. After such modifications are combined, automatic tests and builds are run. The primary goal of this approach is to detect vulnerabilities early in the software development life cycle, thereby reducing the time required for launching the software.

Continuous Integration allows developers to:

  • Minimize integration problems
  • Detect and fix errors quickly
  • Increase visibility
  • Communicate more effectively.

This allows developers to spend most of their time building new features for your application and much less time fixing bugs.

Continuous Deployment or Continuous Delivery

Continuous Deployment (or Continuous Delivery) is a strategy that allows a piece of software to be released automatically after passing the automated testing phase.

There are many deployment tools you can take advantage of to accomplish this. Faster feedback enhances the quality of the software provided since you get feedback sooner rather than later.

Continuous Testing

Continuous Testing is an integral part of the continuous integration-deployment pipeline in DevOps is a method of testing software during every stage of the development process.

Continuous testing aims to assess the quality and reliability of software at each step of the CI/CD cycle by testing early, often, and frequently. Jenkins is one of the most popular continuous testing tools available.

Continuous Monitoring

Continuous Monitoring is an automated process that monitors and identifies compliance issues and security risks at each stage of the DevOps process. Continuous Monitoring is a final stage in the DevOps pipeline. This is an essential step in the DevOps process and can help you achieve actual efficiency and scalability.

Continuous Monitoring will notify developers and QA teams if specific issues occur after the software is released in the production environment. Continuous Monitoring gives feedback and allows relevant people to address the problem as soon as possible.

What is Microservices

Microservices architecture is an architectural approach that organizes an application as a conglomeration of small, independent, interconnected services that interact over well-defined APIs.

Although microservices architecture provides greater flexibility and performance, its complexity is a significant challenge. Microservices architecture is more complex than legacy applications.

There are several moving parts in a microservices-based application. Adding more and more microservices to your application becomes excruciatingly challenging to scale and manage. Moreover, the risk of failure also increases.

Hence, it is essential to take advantage of new technology and tools to mitigate the complexity. The team should also be proficient at applying and learning new technologies and tools quickly. Here is where a DevOps approach helps.

Read: An Introduction to Microservices.

DevOps and Microservices

Microservices and DevOps work nicely together – Microservices enables the DevOps teams to create small pieces of functionality in isolation. Hence this enables seamless cross-functional communication and cooperation in developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. Microservices facilitate continuous deployment and delivery, resulting in quicker software delivery.

Moreover, the modular nature of microservices facilitates incremental releases of the software, making DevOps teams more productive. Combining DevOps with microservices allows teams to be more productive and produce better software quickly.

DevOps Challenges

Let’s now look at some of the possible obstacles you and your company might encounter while introducing DevOps. DevOps will only work if the correct technologies and capabilities are accessible.

To be effective in DevOps, you must design, prototype, execute, track, and handle the entire software development lifecycle using a mix of the right technologies, tools, and resources.

Here are some of the challenges you might have to encounter to get development and operations on the same page for the success of DevOps in an enterprise:

  • Shifting from legacy architecture to microservices
  • Adoption of new tools and technologies
  • Resistance to change
  • Embracing the change in Culture
  • Implementing a test automation strategy
  • Cost and Budget

DevOps and the SDLC

DevOps is a practice that encompasses continuous development, continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous implementation, and continuous tracking at all levels in the software development life cycle.

However, if your organization is thinking of adopting a DevOps culture, many things to consider. Transitioning to a DevOps culture is not easy; it necessitates a cultural and mental transition.

When your organization decides to implement DevOps, it is critical to choose the best tools and technologies and include training as part of the development life cycle to get the staff updated on such tools and technologies.

Joydip Kanjilal
Joydip Kanjilal
A Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in ASP.NET, Speaker, and Author of several books and articles. More than 25 years of experience in IT with more than 18 years in Microsoft .NET and its related technologies. He was selected as a Community Credit Winner at several times. He has authored 8 books and more than 500 articles in some of the most reputed sites worldwide including MSDN, Info World, CodeMag, Tech Beacon, Tech Target, Developer, CodeGuru, and more.

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