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What is DevOps : The Complete Guide

Piyali Banik| DevOps | 7 months, 1 week




Introduction

 

DevOps is a software engineering process that encourages collaboration, integration, and automation between software developers (Dev) and operation team (Ops), to increase the frequency of deployment and to improve the service and quality of the product. It replaced siloed development and aims at efficient development, deployment, and monitoring at all phases of software development from coding, testing, releasing to deployment and monitoring. Continuous delivery and automation are practiced to deliver more reliable software. DevOps practices short phases in development cycles, allow developers more control over the entire production environment, boost deployment frequency and high-quality releases for customer satisfaction. Growth in agile and lean methods of software development over the last decade pushed the need for adopting a system that is faster and reliable throughout the software delivery life-cycle.


 

How it Works

 

DevOps comprises a stack of tools which help in fast and reliable automation of the development and operation of a software product. These tools help in collaboration between development and operations team and allow engineers to accomplish tasks like deploying or monitoring, independently. It is mainly about breaking the barriers between two traditionally siloed teams to enable them to work together to improve effectiveness and productivity of developers and reliability of operations through frequent communication and collaboration with an aim to provide reliable and high-end products to customers.


 

Stages of DevOps

 

The following stages are carried out on loop to produce a quality product that fully accords the desired result.

Continuous Development

This is the stage in the DevOps lifecycle where the Software is developed continuously. Software development is multiple sprints of short development cycles, where applications are developed and delivered over a short period of time. Tools such as Git and SVN maintain the different versions of the code, and tools like Ant, Maven, and Gradle are used for building the code into an executable file ready for testing.

 

Continuous Testing

This is the stage where the developed software undergoes bugs-testing using automation tools like Junit and TestNG. QAs test multiple files thoroughly in parallel to ensure that all functionalities are error-free. In this phase, Docker containers are extensively used to simulate test environment for reliable end-product.

 

Continuous Integration

This is the stage where the error-free functionality is integrated with the existing code. Continuous Integration is carried out using tools like Jenkins where developers can extract the latest code from GIT repository, integrate the latest code in it and build the final code into executables for testing and then deploying the final release to the production server. The process improves the quality of the software quickly and efficiently through rigorous and continuous testing.

 

Continuous Deployment

In this stage, the final release is deployed and hosted on the production server. Since this process is carried out on a continuous basis, configuration management tools like Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and SaltStack play a key role in deploying the revised application quickly and frequently.

 

Continuous Monitoring

This stage monitors the performance of the released package to improve its overall quality for full satisfaction of the end-users regarding the outcome. Dedicated monitoring tools like Nagios, Splunk, ELK Stack, and Sensu are used for monitoring the product performance. If the performance doesn't meet the desired standards, the operation team highlights the issues and reports them to the development team. This is a crucial stage for delivering high-quality and reliable product to the customer.

 

Why do we need DevOps?

 

Traditional application development process followed the waterfall-style where the development team and operation team were fragmented into siloed groups, working in an isolated environment. They have no information regarding the work-flow of the overall life-cycle of the application development, deployment and monitoring phase. These lack of communication and integration resulted in slow and flawed end-product with many security and technical loopholes where development teams have no idea about the operational roadblocks. This defect in the traditional system has necessitated the evolution of DevOps methodology. This new innovation supports agile and lean techniques by adopting continuous coding, testing, integration, deployment, and monitoring. This new technique of application development, unlike the traditional waterfall-style, recognizes that both the teams, development and operation, need to be smoothly collaborated and integrated to deliver software quickly and frequently which are inherently adaptable, agile and secured. It allows the operations team to be completely aware of the stages of the development process. They interact with developers and jointly develop a system that caters to the desired business needs.

 

Benefits of DevOps

 

Faster release. DevOps team practices transparency and collaboration to resolve issues quickly. It encourages open communication at every stage to produce, release and improve the build faster. Prior to DevOps, in absence of collaboration and continuous integration, each stage suffered a huge downtime.

 

Better Product. DevOps teams are more productive compared to the traditional disparate team as they release higher-quality software more frequently using high-end automation tools in all stages of the life-cycle. The stages run in a loop to provide an innovative and improved product at a fast pace, thus helps in building a competitive advantage over the siloed system of application development.

 

Better administration of unexpected work. The DevOps teams can better handle unplanned work through proactive teamwork between developers and operation team. Both the teams have more clearity in the overall workflow of the system and thus better prepare to anticipate and handle discrepancies, loopholes and unexpected work if they ever crop up.

 

Reliability. Through continuous integration, monitoring, and logging, DevOps team ensure delivery of functional and reliable modules. They continuously work on the defects that arise in the build and each time provides a better product on the release pipeline for full customer satisfaction.

 

 



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