DevOps - A brief overview

Developers and operations professionals formed DevOps to share their thoughts on the business and the best ways to carry out their tasks. It's a concept that evolved from the types of people it's meant to assist. The strength of DevOps is in the culture that fosters it and helps break down silo thinking.

Around ten years ago, startups and tech companies were the only ones interested in DevOps because they understood how important automation and speed were to the development of apps. However, as business applications swiftly grew in complexity and were used by many, DevOps became essential to survival by providing flexibility, speed, and responsiveness.

Only 9% of IT experts responsible for the creation and caliber of online and mobile applications reported not using DevOps or having no plans to do so as of 2018. A majority of teams within an organization, or the entire company, have implemented DevOps, according to 30% of respondents. As another 42 percent report that a few teams are implementing DevOps or are just beginning their DevOps journey, this number is anticipated to increase significantly.

Establishing a DevOps culture inside your company is more complex than purchasing new enterprise software platforms (though many can aid the process). Since the requirement for adaptation and continual improvement led to the development of DevOps, it is not a standalone product. Since the system should continuously advance and be improved, the DevOps transition process can never be considered complete. Cross-disciplinary team members who work on improving teamwork make up DevOps teams.

In conventional IT, the waterfall model for developing software started requiring several steps, from design to implementation and testing. This structure necessitates frequent change, which is ineffective without the right strategies, leadership, and organization. This is where agile approaches like Scrum emerged, which assume an ongoing cycle of improvement and the dismantling of procedures resulting in unnecessary delays to increase efficiency.

Agile development is the foundation of DevOps, which emphasizes speeding up Delivery by developers while incorporating other team members in support, design, and operations. A complete procedure is created from conception through Delivery, guaranteeing quality and stability.

The cascading effect technology improvements have had throughout history impacts the health of the IT industry today. Technology occasionally advances, fundamentally altering how society runs. Technological advances seem to have started to occur at a breakneck pace more recently. The dissemination of knowledge and the technological innovation rate has accelerated since the internet's creation.

As new uses for the technology are found, cloud computing signaled another change in technology that continues to impact how businesses run. Blockchain is just another example of cutting-edge technology that has the power to fundamentally alter numerous industries, including banking, real estate, and even the video gaming sector. Both new technologies and cultural changes impact the software industry.

It's not the technologies that make DevOps possible, but rather the teamwork they foster, that allows teams to build, test, and deploy at a faster rate and with a higher quality standard. You can only go so far using a technology stack for DevOps without appropriately modifying organizational culture and philosophy. The communication and common objectives between each team member give DevOps its power.

DEVOPS OVERVIEW

When compared to conventional approaches, DevOps increases the effectiveness, speed, and security of software development and Delivery. Businesses and their consumers benefit from a competitive advantage brought about by a more elegant software development lifecycle.

Combining the terms "development" and "operations," "DevOps" refers to a cooperative or shared approach to the duties carried out by an organization's application development and IT operations teams.

The best way to describe DevOps is as a team effort to create, develop, and quickly deliver secure software. DevOps principles help software development (dev) and operations (ops) teams expedite Delivery through automation, cooperation, quick feedback, and iterative improvement.

DevOps signifies a shift in the way the IT culture thinks. On top of Agile, lean methodologies, and systems theory, DevOps emphasizes incremental software development and quick product delivery. Building a culture of accountability, better collaboration, empathy, and shared ownership for business outcomes is essential for success.

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What is DevOps

Software developers (dev) and operations are combined in DevOps (ops). By fostering a culture of collaboration and shared accountability, it is described as a software engineering process that tries to unify the work of software development and software operations teams.

DevOps is a combination of cultural concepts, practices, and tools to deliver applications and services at high velocity—evolving and enhancing products more quickly than firms utilizing conventional software development and infrastructure management processes. Organizations can provide better customer service and engage in more profitable market competition thanks to this speed.

The term "DevOps" refers to a cooperative or shared approach to the work carried out by an organization's IT operations and application development teams. All stages of the DevOps lifecycle—from original software planning to the coding, building, testing, and publishing phases, and on to go live, operations, and continuous supervision—have a close working relationship between "Dev" and "Ops." Clients are continuously updated on improvements, development, testing, and go-live through this connection. The quicker and more frequent deployment of essential feature upgrades and additions may be one outcome of all these efforts.

Teams adopting a DevOps mindset and using DevOps technologies and techniques can respond to customer requests more effectively, boost confidence in their applications, and accomplish business objectives more quickly. It is an ever-evolving structure and concept that encourages the quick distribution of new or updated software features or goods to clients and better application development in less time.

Application development (Dev) teams and their technology operations (Ops) counterparts are encouraged to collaborate, communicate, integrate, and operate in complete harmony as part of DevOps.

History of DevOps

The term "Developments and Operations," or DevOps, was developed particularly to replace the Tower of Babel mentioned before. But where does the DevOps story begin?

In contrast to development methods or architectural patterns, the DevOps movement did not start in a single place or from a single source. Numerous factors shed light on the origins of the phrase. It's important to remember that the concept was born out of continuous Delivery, agile development, and continuous deployment (all of which are present in the Agile Manifesto from 2001). This movement expanded upon the ideas contained in this Manifesto while introducing fresh ideas.

DevOps is being discussed once more right now. Not just ourselves but the whole world. In 2016, 38% of firms actively incorporated the DevOps culture into their IT processes, and 50% expected to do so by the end of the same year, according to a Gartner report. And note how some people argued in the middle of 2010 that this tactic was another technology trend.

But when did this beginning occur? Who was the first to recognize how closely related the software evolution and environment stability processes were and how it made sense to merge them, removing the division between development and operations teams? What is the history of DevOps? We'll go through DevOps' background and, more importantly, how it's headed in the world of information technology.

The DevOps movement started to take shape between 2007 and 2008 when the IT operations and software development groups expressed their worries about what they viewed as a fatal degree of dysfunction in the business. The traditional method of software development, which demanded organizational and functional isolation between those who produce code and those who distribute and support it, was criticized by them.

Debois is now acknowledged as one of the founding members of the DevOps movement and has increased in importance as one of its gurus as more businesses adopt DevOps into their operating systems. Before attempting to answer the nagging question of when it started, let's first look at how the term "DevOps" was established. The name "DevOps," which combines the terms "development" and "operations," effectively offers a basic beginning point for understanding what individuals mean when they use the term. The DevOps methodology isn't a technology, a process, or something that has been fully established. Therefore you should be aware of that.

DevOps is frequently described as a cultural perspective. Most crucially, "DevOps" now encompasses the culture, procedures, and mindset utilized to shorten and optimize the software development life cycle by utilizing quick feedback loops to regularly deliver features, updates, and fixes.

With the release of books like The Phoenix Project by writers Gene Kim, George Spafford, and Kevin Behr, DevOps' popularity expanded. The novel, published in 2013, is narrative and depicts a fictitious American firm going through a digital revolution. A chronology of DevOps' development across time and significant events that shaped the idea.

The profound impact of DevOps goes beyond its straightforward founding story of breaking down boundaries between development and operations teams. Websites naturally became more complicated and grew organically as technology and customer needs to be progressed, and this was the logical outcome of what became a ground-breaking movement in software development and deployment.

Knowing the history of DevOps is crucial for understanding how it has endured ten years after Patrick's conference. Developers, testers, and operation managers came up with the concept because they wanted to talk about the issues facing their sector and offer suggestions for how to get work done most effectively. The people it was meant to assist made it feasible.

DevOps is becoming standard practice at many large software businesses and startups, and it is swiftly spreading across industries as the world grows increasingly dependent on technology. Looking back at how the discipline evolved over time, we can better understand how DevOps has impacted IT and business as we know it today.

Patrick Debois, a Belgian engineer, founded DevOps. The uncomfortable conflict between developers and system administrators propelled Debois to look for answers in 2007 when he was in charge of testing a significant data center transfer project as a database administrator. He explored using the agile attitude to handle the infrastructure process because he is a member of the agile community. Agile system administration is the term Debois used to describe this novel database and system management strategy.

Nevertheless, the ongoing disputes between the dev and ops teams had not just irritated Patrick Debois. Software developer Andrew Clay Shafer suggested an impromptu "Agile Infrastructure" session during the 2008 Agile Conference in Toronto. Shafer had to end his session since the criticism of his discussion about closing the gap between development, and operations was so negative. Nevertheless, only Patrick Debois arrived. Debois followed Shafer to the conference room in search of a fellow engineer who shared his enthusiasm. There, they had a stimulating conversation that resulted in the formation of the Agile System Administrator Google Group.

How we got to DevOps

The combination of the development and operations teams is not for the weak of the heart. Learn from others who have successfully made the switch to a DevOps organization. Extending agile development teams into a DevOps delivery train has recently emerged as the standard nextgeneration methodology covered at tech conferences worldwide. Fair enough, the definitions and recipes have been well-documented, and there is little question that as cloud-based apps grow more and more common, "agile ops" will take the role of innovation centers.

According to Right Scale's State of the Cloud report, DevOps adoption increased from 74 to 78 percent in 2017, so it's clear that organizations appreciate close cooperation between development (dev) and operations (ops) teams. Understanding the idea (and giving it a snappy name) is one thing; successfully implementing a DevOps culture across the entire organization is quite another. DevOps is often either not implemented at all by enterprises, or it is implemented but not as effective as it may be.

The journey to DevOps is fraught with difficulties, including outdated mindsets, inadequate tools, and a lack of knowledge about the process. But preserving a competitive advantage requires a strong culture of collaboration between development and operations.

The Issue

Historically, development and operations have pursued distinct—and frequently at odds with one another—goals. Developers seek innovation and independence in their work. In general, they face pressure to release new code quickly to keep up with the hectic pace of contemporary business. Operations want to execute the code in a dependable, precise method and check. It might be challenging to prevent issues and downtime when deployments happen quickly.

Both teams are both correct and incorrect.

There is no escaping the fact that firms must move quickly across practically all industries today. Your clients anticipate a quick development cycle and reaction time from you because your top competitors likely have it. At the same time, it's crucial to your business' success that crucial systems continue functioning properly and that product quality isn't compromised.

To put it another way, in a DevOps culture, development and operations need to stop seeing each other as rival teams and realize that the company's success depends on the fusion of numerous objectives, including innovation, speed, quality, and control.

Another error businesses, particularly small ones, occasionally commit is not separating the roles of development and operations. The efficacy of development and operations isn't maximized by leaving developers in charge of the full cycle and the production environment, despite the importance of communication and collaboration across the disciplines.

The Answer

Technology, procedures and people are all included in DevOps. DevOps will only be successful in the correct cultural climate, regardless of the tools you have. Here are some pointers for company executives implementing DevOps in their settings.

  • Recognize the viewpoint of each side.
    Spend some time hearing what developers and operational experts say about their present aspirations and challenges.
  • Begin modestly.
    DevOps adoption across an entire organization takes time. There will be less opposition to a large-scale transformation when tiny modifications are successful, and the outcomes are shared with the teams.
  • Be innovative and experiment.
    You should never consider your shift to agile DevOps as "complete." Maintain your learning and process improvement.
  • Establish common KPIs for operations and development.
    These objectives may include things like app performance or user feedback.
    It's also crucial to base your DevOps approach on the appropriate technological infrastructure.
    Key DevOps tools include the following:
  • Automation.
    According to the State of DevOps 2017 report, top teams automate more configuration management, testing, deployment, and change approval procedures than other teams.
  • Cloud computing.
    The cloud improves agility and expands cooperation possibilities.
  • Integrations of applications.
    Silo-busting is a key component of DevOps. This will be possible if all of your essential software can function together.

Your firm can benefit from DevOps to achieve speedier delivery times, greater ROI, quicker mistake detection, and continuous improvement. Even though putting your DevOps plan into practice (and optimizing it) can be difficult, it enables firms to provide more value in less time.

Fortran and Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a business analyst firm, recently collaborated to explore the state of DevOps, major mistakes to avoid throughout your DevOps transformation, and key DevOps tools.

LET'S BUILD TOGETHER ON DevOps

DevOps Approach

Organizations use a variety of common DevOps techniques to improve and speed up product development and releases. They are frequently marketed as approaches and procedures for software development. The most well-liked methodologies are Scrum, Kanban, and Agile.

Scrum: Scrum outlines how team members must collaborate to expedite project development and quality control. Major procedures, particular nomenclature (sprints, time blocks, daily scrum meetings), and assigned roles are all part of scrum practices (Scrum Master, product owner).

Kanban: Kanban was developed due to the efficiency improvements in Toyota manufacturing. According to Kanban, a Kanban board should track a software project's "work in progress" (WIP) status.

Agile: DevOps tools and procedures are substantially influenced by earlier Agile software development methodologies. A lot of these techniques, like Scrum and Kanban, involve agile programming components. Some of these methods include case study documentation requirements, daily catch-up meetings, increased response to ongoing changes in requirements and needs, and continual customer interaction to learn about their viewpoints. Agile mandates quicker software development cycles than the lengthy traditional "waterfall" development techniques.

DevOps Tool Chain

Followers of DevOps practices often incorporate into their particular DevOps "toolchain" some tools that are perfectly suited to these methods. These tools aim to streamline, shorten, and automate the various stages of the software creation workflow (or "pipeline"). Many of these tools also promote the core tenets of DevOps, such as automation, collaboration, and Integration between development and operations teams. Below is an example of tools used in the various stages of the DevOps cycle.

  • Planning: In this phase, business requirements and values are defined. Some sample tools are Jira or Git, with which you can track known issues and perform project management.
  • Coding: This phase involves the software's design and the code's creation. Some sample tools are GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, or Stash.
  • Compilation: This phase manages software releases and builds and uses automated tools to help build and package code for later release to production. Source code or package repositories also "package" the infrastructure needed to release the product. Some sample tools are Docker, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, Gradle, Maven, or JFrog Artifactory.
  • Test: This phase includes continuous testing (manual or automated) to ensure programming quality. Some sample tools are JUnit, Codeception, Selenium, Vagrant, TestNG, or BlazeMeter.
  • Startup: In this phase, tools are used to help manage, coordinate, schedule, and automate the production tasks of product versions. Some sample tools are Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Jenkins, Kubernetes, OpenShift, OpenStack, Docker, or Jira.
  • Functioning: In this phase, the software is managed during its production. Some sample tools are Ansible, Puppet, PowerShell, Chef, Salt, or Otter.
  • Supervision: This phase identifies and collects information about problems arising in a specific software version in production. Some sample tools are New Relic, Datadog, Grafana, Wireshark, Splunk, Nagios, and Slack.

DevOps Practices

The IT sector as a whole has changed because of the DevOps methodology. Businesses flourish when the development and operations teams work together to produce something extraordinary and beneficial for the end users. It is worthwhile to take the plunge and adopt the DevOps mindset. DevOps may help your business reach its full potential if you know how to use it effectively.

But the entire DevOps transformation project must be treated seriously. 90% of infrastructure and operations firms that try to implement DevOps without paying attention to their cultural roots are expected to fail, according to a prediction.

Implementing best practices that cover the full scope of a project, from cultivating a collaborative culture to employing the appropriate toolchain, is required if you want to fully capitalize on the advantages of DevOps. Seven DevOps best practices over the past few years are presented here.

Top DevOps Practices

To foster a collaborative culture, a culture must encourage cross-functional cooperation and joint accountability. Changes must be made from the top down if traditional ways are to be replaced while relying on the DevOps methodology. Instead of concentrating solely on tools and technology, the DevOps transformation approach focuses more on empowering and motivating people to change their direction and move toward a path of success.

The empowerment of each team member across departments, team cooperation, and continual learning and improvement are all key components of a DevOps culture that organizations must foster.

Transitioning to a DevOps methodology is a significant investment that calls for endurance and ongoing supervision. DevOps's main goals are moving away from the conventional siloed approach, removing barriers to collaboration, and promoting an inclusive culture.

Collaboration between the development and operations teams facilitates the production of effective products that truly benefit customers. Additionally, teams can improve collaboration by using pro-communication tools like HipChat, Slack, Yammer, etc.

  • Exercise patience
    Implementing DevOps may appear simple, but it's pretty difficult. Similar to moving, implementing DevOps methods within your firm is like doing so. From letting go of outdated ideals to embracing new ones, a lot must be done. The DevOps implementation undergoes a thorough transformation, and such situations always cause irritation and disappointment.
    It may be difficult for developers to adjust to the new needs. In this case, it is your responsibility as an organization to intervene, support them through their difficulties, and soothe them. It is crucial to implement appropriate education and training regarding DevOps and its associated tools. Sit down with your staff to discuss the change, get everyone on the same page, and address any questions or concerns they may have.
    Remember that a strong team is essential to DevOps, and your investment in developing a culture of cooperation and trust will pay off in due course.
  • Specify performance measures
    Organizations must establish specific goals and provide performance indicators at the outset of the DevOps transformation to be smooth and seamless. The organization should identify the appropriate benchmarks before involving developers in the DevOps technique. A benchmark may include several elements, such as the number of engineers needed or the number of automated procedures, etc. With the aid of this exercise, your business may start the DevOps transformation process.
    Setting goals is essential to the DevOps transformation program; otherwise, there would be no sense in starting the trip. Here, project teams can define performance measures in collaboration with stakeholders. They can use the DevOps transformation software development approach to move backward toward accomplishing those goals.
    When you need sufficient data to show the top management the present level of your DevOps transformational initiatives, metrics can also be used as evidence.
  • Use the appropriate DevOps toolchain
    DevOps' fundamental component of automation, which has more advantages for your company than you might imagine, is automation. Your developers' workload will be greatly reduced by automating the process of creating, testing, and releasing software, which will also benefit the operations team. You must use the appropriate DevOps tools to alert you when something goes wrong and constantly track and monitor your performance indicators.
    A DevOps toolchain is a group of tools that makes it simple for the development and operations teams to collaborate on projects related to development, design, construction, testing, measurement, and deployment.
    One of your most crucial choices will include your DevOps tools. A wise choice of tools can aid in the avoidance of conflicts between the development and operations teams. Although there are many tools on the market, it's vital to remember that employing more than you need can complicate your approach and lead to confusion. This is why it makes sense to give processes top priority over tools. It makes sense to utilize toolkits that are compatible with your system and are simple to integrate to maintain excellent configuration management practices.
  • Seek out long-term objectives.
    Businesses need to realize that DevOps is not a panacea. As an alternative, it is a long-term transformation process solution. The firm won't see results for all of its solutions with DevOps simultaneously.
    Larger, more complicated transformation projects take a lot of time and resources. The corporation also has to invest considerable money to finish these initiatives. As a result, businesses considering DevOps must understand their needs before joining the bandwagon. Organizations frequently commit the error of defining unattainable goals or deciding on goals too quickly and expecting instantaneous results. For instance, it is impractical to automate everything at once. Instead, concentrate your efforts on winning the support of important organizational POCs. Here, having the support of internal and external stakeholders is essential. To get their opinions, you can conduct a thorough survey.
  • Put automatic dashboards in place.
    For engineers, an automated dashboard is nothing short of a blessing. They can maintain a database of server updates and follow the SDLC procedure. Automated dashboards can be useful in this situation. They give a comprehensive overview of all the changes and updates that have been made. It can offer thorough insights and reports regarding various operations thanks to automated dashboards. These specifics comprise each test's duration, success and failure rates, overall test completion rate, etc.
    Data and records of deployment across the system will also be provided by automation in dashboards. Real-time insights are essential for the team to choose the best testing instrument. Automated dashboards also provide a comprehensive picture of all the modifications. These dashboards include metrics, graphs, and logs to make it simple for users to comprehend the data being shown.
    Dashboards track data, the overall DevOps deployment procedure, and the degree of collaboration between the development and operational teams. They also give an overview of the platform's current state. By automating dashboards, stakeholders can find problems and bottlenecks early in the process.
  • Put security precautions first.
    Organizations must be aware of the risks and install flawless protection to protect their software due to the alarming rise in data breaches and security threats. Organizations should adopt automated security monitoring and assurance procedures and remember that implementing automated security controls won't limit DevOps' agility.
    The app software should only be developed using tried-and-true version control techniques, whether it be for scripts, software, templates, or blueprints. Organizations should ensure that only reputable individuals with verified credentials have access to the source code of the intellectual property. There shouldn't be any credentials accessible from any system in test and build scripts. The reduction of risks and improved collaboration in software development are promised by this DevSecOps integration.

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