Development + Operations, today software development requires these both processes to present the best products. DevOps is more than just a simple method delivering a project, it is the set of cultural philosophies, techniques, and automation tools encouraging a development team to deliver applications at a faster pace, enhance their products, improve management, and evolve software development on the whole.
We are certain that DevOps advanced approach ensures efficient competitive advantage of applications in the market. And we put an emphasis on its practices in our work to deliver the best software product possible.
Software development has been radically transformed with the DevOps concept. The traditional approach, which involves major but rare updates, long cycles of development and testing, often leads to users’ frustration. The DevOps approach allows to publish small but frequent updates, reduces errors and strengthens critical relationships between engineering, QA, and IT teams on the whole. DevOps creates a comprehensive working environment within the company to facilitate agile planning and accelerate decision-making.
Long traditional upgrade cycles certainly bring major changes and add key functionality, but can also create significant bugs or have unintended consequences. The following update is published several months after the discovery of these bugs. Long development cycles often create a gap between business and software teams. The risk of the fact that the software can never meet the objectives of the company exists. Here comes the reason why you should opt for DevOps. Case in point, if a company loses customers because of bugs, one of the reasons to choose DevOps approach might be to shorten cycles and spread bug fixes in several releases, improving customer feedback.
DevOps has more to do with project management than with special languages and platforms. Today, engineering, development, and quality assurance must work together to ensure DevOps practices’ best execution. Organizational management tools are to begin with. But equally important, DevOps engineers use other tools to improve the product:
- Git and Gitlab offer code repositories that support version control;
- Code testing can be performed by open source tools like Jenkins and TeamCity;
- NetData, Nagios, Icinga, Cacti, OMD monitor how code changes influence the environment;
- Elastic Stack reviews logs for code performance;
- Docker is ahead of containerization;
- Configuration management is performed with the help of Puppet and Ansible;
- Big Data is introduced with Hadoop;
- Terraform makes possible Infrastructure as Code.
These are just some of the tools that highlight a DevOps approach. There are a lot of them, and it’s up to you to test and evaluate which ones you might need depending on the specific needs of your company.
Obstacles in DevOps
New approaches to software development process create new challenges. The short development cycles of DevOps projects offer extensive possibilities for capturing users’ feedback and estimating the impact of development products. In fact, a DevOps approach can miss its goal if the right criteria are regularly taken into account. For example, when it comes to a bug problem, it is a matter of deciding how to monitor customers’ retention or satisfaction criteria and then regularly analyzing these metrics to evaluate the success of a DevOps project. Companies can quickly understand what works and what does not work, to make the necessary tweaks in time.
Another issue can be the project management. Development and operations are often under different managers. Each manager have their own vision of project run and team collaboration. Different teams may be not comfortable to work with different managers.
Also, when development is mixed with operations, there can be requirements to formally track time or costs. That gets in the way of the fluidity of the project run that is the defining feature of properly implemented DevOps.
Is Cloud Computing an integral part of DevOps?
Ideally, the cloud computing is preferable because it offers scalability and self-service possibilities without running the risk of exhausting IT resources internally. When tests are complete, resources can be released to reduce costs until the next test phases.
With traditional development practices, new versions are rarely tested in production environments. Functional or performance-related errors go unnoticed in development environments that are not constrained by production constraints. The sizing and self-service capabilities proposed by the cloud allow resources to be provided and new versions to be installed for testing without being overly reliant on IT administrators. This makes it possible to speed up the tests and simplify the requests to the IT.
Where DevOps Benefits
As mentioned, DevOps is a bridge between development and system administration. And it may seem that various tools for CI/CD, infrastructure as a code, monitoring, automated testing and on the whole for server management compose the work of DevOps specialists. But actually, as DevOps touches every part of the application lifecycle and it can be considered as a complex of worked out skills in software development and infrastructure management, practices and tools, that makes DevOps engineers universal specialists who really improve the project on the whole. Involving of DevOps into the project assures its better performance and seamless work along with on-the-spot issue elimination and fast improvements.
Agile and Lean principles were never that easy to implement since DevOps has appeared. Now complex projects are easier to maintain and improve. It has its perks for the whole development team, not only particularly for the developers and sysadmins. Beginning from the designing stage and ending with marketing and tech support, this advanced philosophy (as one can say based on a vast range of skillset needed for it) influence every stage of the development, helps share responsibilities and coordinate tasks in the team. It accelerates the processes and guarantees a quick release.
Such method helps to speed up the development and deliver the application with scalable and reliable infrastructure. Automation helps to reduce possible risks during the development, bug fixing, and production stages. CI and CD uncover testing as safe and fast. With configuration management and automated compliance policies, security is no more neglected.
Why DevOps becomes more and more irreplaceable
With the popularity and efficiency of Agile and Lean methodologies in software development, DevOps is one of the best approaches that helps to maintain their principles and make them better. The collaboration, visibility and processes optimization can provide a wider and more rewarding experience for teams to develop great software products.
No matter that it is still a pretty young approach, it gains its popularity as it shows efficient results. It is proved to be collaboration and self-service oriented, automated, business and customer focused and efficient for changes. The practice shows that customers are more satisfied with their projects when it is developed regarding DevOps techniques. Team brainstorms, fast solutions, thought-through design, immediate bug-fixing, comprehensive support and successful marketing, who would be against it?