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What is Devops? (Development & Operations)

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The DevOps culture was introduced around 2007 when experts started highlighting the limitations of traditional software development models. In the traditional approach, the developers used to write code without collaborating with the operations teams who deploy and test the code.

DevOps breaks the silos between software developers and IT operations. It’s a combination of development and operations that integrate these processes into one continuous process.

This blog post will help you understand DevOps and how it helps developers and the operations team to acquire efficiency in software development. Let’s discuss this in further detail.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is an organizational cultural paradigm that ensures efficient and faster software development, QA, deployment, and monitoring. The DevOps culture lets development and operations teams work in a collaborative environment at each stage of software development.

The DevOps environment reduces time to market through automation, collaboration, and agility. The Agile nature of DevOps is the primary reason behind its cross-functional abilities to develop and deliver apps faster.

DevOps Cycle – Explained

The DevOps cycle reflects an agile and iterative process, with each phase initiating the next one. The agile nature of DevOps helps organizations in improving the efficiency and reliability of development and deployment practices. It also helps troubleshoot errors quickly and address clients’ needs more accurately.

8 stages of the development-operations cycle lead to the robust delivery of complex applications. At each stage, the teams collaborate to achieve agility, speed, quality, and synchronization.

  • Plan

At this stage, developers define the project objectives, outline, technology, features, modules, resources, etc. It involves creating a detailed roadmap up to the project’s completion.

  • Code

In this stage, developers write and test code for different modules. A version control system like Git repository is used to develop, track, and collaborate on changes made to the code.

  • Build

In the third stage, the developed code is built in a development environment for testing. The testing at this stage ensures that the code is bug-free and not conflicting with the required functionality.

  • Test

In this stage, the QA team tests the code again to check if it is behaving as expected and performing smoothly. The test stage involves manual and automatic testing routines.

  • Release

The QA approves the code and sends it for deployment. The QA team performs the last check for any vulnerabilities or errors before sending the code for deployment.

  • Deploy

It is then deployed to the production environment and made accessible to the end-users.

  • Operate

At this stage, the operations team configures and provisions applications or infrastructure. The operations team ensures the steady, secure, and smooth delivery of applications to the user.

  • Monitor

The DevOps team monitors the application set in production. During monitoring, the DevOps team uncovers insights into how the application responds to user actions. This information is used to improve and optimize the application to improve reliability and performance.

DevOps tools for each stage of the DevOps lifecycle

The tools used to facilitate different stages in the cycle are divided into two main categories.

An all-in-one toolchain – A collection of tools that fulfill all the requirements of the development & operations teams and facilitate all stages. Some renowned all-in-one toolchains include

  • Azure DevOps,
  • GitLab,
  • AWS CodePipeline.

An open toolchain – Different vendors, offer these tools as open-source utilities that users can customize and integrate with other tools to fulfill different requirements of the cycle. Some  open toolchains are

  • Jenkins,
  • Ansible,
  • Docker.

Below is the list of tools used in each stage of the DevOps cycle.

Stage of DevOps CycleTool/Platform
PlanJIRA
Asana
Trello
CodeGit
Subversion (SVN)
Mercurial
BuildJenkins
CircleCI
Travis CI
TestSelenium
Appium
TestComplete
ReleaseAnsible
Puppet
Chef
DeployKubernetes
Docker
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
OperateNew Relic
Datadog
Splunk.

 

Why choose DevOps?

DevOps culture can help companies to be more flexible, agile, and quick in addressing evolving challenges throughout the SDLC.  Below are some of the advantages of DevOps:

  • Speed – The main attributes of this agile framework, like automation, CI/CD, and Infrastructure as a Code (IaaC), help organizations automate and optimize their development and deployment practices.
  • Collaboration – The transparency and synchronization achieved by collaboration ensure the maximum efficiency of a software project.
  • Reduced Time to market – Automating iterative processes help organizations reduce the lead time required to introduce new features and software updates to the end user.
  • Reliability – It focuses on continuous testing and monitoring of code during the development and production phase. It helps organizations maximize the quality and reliability of their software while ensuring continuity.
  • Security – By automated testing and continuous delivery, experts can effectively find even minor security loopholes and fix them quickly. It eliminates the likelihood of any intrusions made to the application or infrastructure.

Challenges in implementing DevOps & its solution.

The following reasons can make it difficult for any organization to adopt a DevOps culture without a suitable governance plan.

  • Culture – The most significant roadblocks in adapting DevOps is organizational culture and people’s mindset. Most people find it challenging to learn new things and consider it a threat to their authority and comfort zone.
  • Resource Limitation – DevOps entirely change how software applications are developed, tested, and delivered to customers. Organizations with limited resources may find it challenging to implement DevOps.
  • Tools – Implementing DevOps means using different tools to streamline and monitor SDLC Opting for the right tools and making them support the existing infrastructure and processes is challenging.

To address these challenges, organizations can take the following steps:

  • Team Motivation – Motivate team members to share knowledge, collaborate, and break silos. Equip them to learn and experiment with new tools and methodologies.
  • Agile Model – Following Agile methodologies, like Scrum meetings after regular intervals, can help team members to be more flexible and responsive.
  • Train & Educate Employees – Arrange training sessions and workshops for employees to help them understand the best practices in DevOps.

Conclusion

Around 47%  of organizations have already moved to the DevOps or DevSecOps framework in 2022. DevOps not just break silos but encourage organizations to optimize the entire system. It improves overall business efficiency by ensuring more flexible and data-driven activities aligned with customer needs.

Haziqa is a Data Scientist with extensive experience in writing technical content for AI and SaaS companies.