Devops—short for development and operations—is an approach to software development that focuses on collaboration between people who are developing new software and those who are responsible for managing the production environment. Although Devops sounds like it’s just another buzzword, the approach is actually quite old and has been proven effective in many large-scale production environments. This guide will discuss why devops works, how to get started with it, and how to make sure you’re doing it right, as well as some of the pitfalls that you may encounter along the way.
Introduction to DevOps
DevOps (Development Operations) is a term used to describe a particular methodology of software delivery. It started out as a portmanteau word combining development and operations but in recent years has come to mean so much more than that. At its core, DevOps means building quality code through collaboration between developers, IT operations staff, and other teams that make up an organization. The process of deploying code with DevOps aims for fewer steps with reduced risk by using automation, coding standards, code testing and measurement across all servers on which code will run. In doing so DevOps allows for speedier changes to be made without causing breaks in services or significant downtimes for users. So what does DevOps have to do with running a business or even your career?
Advantages of DevOps
One of DevOps’s greatest advantages is that software development, application deployment, and IT operations can be done in a collaborative manner. Rather than running separately through various channels, collaboration reduces bottlenecks or setbacks that would otherwise occur. In other words, working closely together means no one has to go back and redo something that’s already been done—and we all know how much time can be wasted when communication breakdowns occur. Another advantage of DevOps is improved speed; by working closely together, developers have a more in-depth understanding of what they are deploying while ops teams are able to bring on board real-time feedback. Ultimately, an increase in transparency results—which ultimately benefits everyone involved.
Challenges in DevOps
Large organizations usually have a team that handles software updates. In smaller companies, employees are responsible for installing updates themselves, but things can go wrong because they don’t always have time to test everything before releasing it to production. As much as we try to use version control with git or something similar, mistakes happen all too often in deployment. It is important to follow simple rules on how to get every bit of code from source control into production without breaking anything else.
How to Implement DevOps
DevOps, which combines development and operations teams to ensure systems are deployed quickly, efficiently, and maintainably, has become an increasingly important topic for businesses large and small. There are countless DevOps tools out there; choosing just one can be a challenge. Here’s how to do it: Developers select a DevOps tool for a couple of reasons—for starters, it makes their life easier. It also lets them showcase their skills to hiring managers because many employers prioritize DevOps engineers who use third-party tools over in-house developers. With those goals in mind, here’s what you need to know about three leading DevOps tools on the market today: Ansible: Open source automation software that offers pre-made playbooks (basically software scripts) for thousands of configurations and allows users to build on top of existing playbooks or create new ones as needed Jenkins/Hudson: Source code management system that monitors continuous integration builds Docker Containers: An operating system designed specifically to run applications inside multiple containers with little overhead
The Components of a Continuous Delivery Pipeline
Understanding how each part of a CD pipeline fits together will help you understand where DevOps fits into your organization. The CD pipeline typically consists of three main components: Continuous Integration, Automated Testing, and Continuous Delivery. In addition to these three main parts, there are often other tools that support or compliment continuous delivery, such as continuous deployment tools (for example, Travis CI) or monitoring tools (New Relic). If a company has no automated tests in place on their application it can be hard to know if new code introduced by developers is even causing any issues. Just because an issue isn’t happening at 11am doesn’t mean it won’t happen at 11:05am! Running automated tests gives a level of confidence that bugs are being caught early. These same same types of tests also work for databases, APIs and anything else in an application stack — if all layers of an application have unit or functional testing in place then it means you’re far less likely to see regressions when introducing new code. Functional testing on core business applications may not be necessary but they do provide peace-of-mind that everything works properly with infrastructure that supports your software applications when integrating them into an existing production environment.