DevOps is an acronym for “Development and Operations”. The development includes a team of developers and processes that they use to create software. Operations include a team of people and processes that they would use to deliver, monitor and maintain the software created by the Development team. Developers want to positively contribute to the success of their company by bringing in innovation by quickly adding new features and providing fixes for bugs. These changes are rapidly incorporated so that these features or bug fixes can be released often and measure the team’s success by the rate of delivery. Operations ensure the quality of the software by maintaining the stability of the application. Frequent releases are seen as a threat by the operations team as they raise a concern towards the quality of software in terms of reliability and stability of the application on the supported platforms during high network traffic.
The principles of DevOps
The principle of DevOps focuses on bringing together various members from the development, IT operations, security, and quality engineering teams. This is intended to break the wall of silence between these siloed roles as they were communicating passively and did not realize the efforts of other teams in the release cycle stages. This active collaboration would optimize the productivity of developers and the reliability of operations. DevOps combines cultural philosophies of development and operations teams to remove barriers between the two and share end-to-end responsibility along with the processes that streamline team members‘ work and tools that go hand in hand with processes and automate a lot of repeatable tasks. This priority of people over process over tools will make the development activities more agile and of high quality, the release process more efficient, and releases more stable and reliable.
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DevOps Practices include Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Infrastructure as Code, Microservices architecture, Monitoring and logging and Increased Communication and collaboration. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, popularly known as CI/CD, are software development practices wherein Continuous Integration intends developers to merge their code changes regularly into a shared codebase so that build and test stages can be triggered automatically from this commit action on the central repository. Continuous Delivery aims at preparing for release to production by automating the build, test and staging phases of a release cycle. Continuous Delivery is an extension to Continuous Integration so that all the stages of the release cycle can be set up using a CI/CD pipeline. This pipeline can be set up to orchestrate the execution of stages sequentially, and failure at any stage can stop the execution of the pipeline. This kind of automated pipeline helps in deploying all code changes to a testing environment, production environment, or both after the build stage whenever the developer commits his code changes frequently. Thus, the CI/CD Pipeline is a way of making the release cycles agile, providing lots of interesting features and products to customers and adding value to the company’s business.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is another best practice in DevOps that targets to provision and manage the infrastructure using automation. Infrastructure provisioning and management are handled by writing code, which are also called architectural templates. This IaC approach relieves the team in automating redeployments and recovery from disasters as these templates are reusable and can be stored under version control so that all modifications to infrastructure can be done through different versions of the template.
Microservices architecture is a design approach followed by architects to decentralize a single application as a set of multiple small services that are independent and capable of doing one thing well.
Monitoring is a critical activity in the software development lifecycle that assesses the operational health of resources used in the infrastructure, gets insights on resource utilization and application performance, conducts security audits and threat detection. DevOps also emphasizes automation for the collection of metrics and logs to monitor and increase observability.
Collaborating Development and Operations teams to be part of DevOps is one of the important cultural aspects of DevOps because by physically bringing them together, communication between them will be increased, and each one would understand the responsibilities of others in the team and would accelerate the Development and Operations activities for high-velocity releases of good quality software.
Benefits of DevOps
Inherent benefits of moving towards DevOps include Speed, reliability, scalability, security, increased collaboration and communication.
- Speed: High-velocity releases will help teams provide more and better features of their products to customers by proactively innovating and adapting to continuously changing markets. Innovation being the key to the success of any business, the DevOps model helps teams to become agile.
- Reliability: DevOps transformation ensures high velocity of releases without compromising on the quality of software being released. Adopting CI/CD pipelines benefits the team in automating the release process right from when developers check in code to a centralized repository. This will ensure every single functional change is tested and ensured to be safe.
- Scalable: Infrastructure as Code practice has been a value addition to the release process as infrastructure provisioning and management tasks are now automated, and cloning more units for increasing the capacity as part of scaling would be an easy accomplishment.
- Security: Along with continuous integration and continuous delivery, security is also part of the DevOps movement, making it DevSecOps. This clearly signifies that security is never sacrificed in DevOps transformation. Fine-grained controls, automation of configuration management, and compliance policies ensure security is built into the system.
- Increased collaboration. Combining the philosophies of the Development and Operations teams has inculcated positive collaboration among the teams and built a healthy platform for communication. This collaboration has helped the teams to combine their workflows and share many responsibilities.
The goal of DevOps is to follow a continuous delivery model for software releases that is repeatable, reliable, stable, resilient, and secure and improves operational efficiency.
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WRITTEN BY Aparna R