What makes Devops stand apart from all other technological discussions and trends?? Is it because there is an anomaly about Devops concepts, or maybe because its definitions vary from company to company depending on their business needs? In order to find out answers to these, let’s dive into this immeasurable ocean of software development process termed as Devops.
This has to be the most complicated part of Devops, it’s definition. The more you search for a perfect definition, the harder it gets to understand. Every other page will define a different flavor of Devops depending on their technological and business needs. Moving forth, considering Wikipedia as an acceptable definition, DevOps is a set of software development practices that combines software development (Dev) and information technology operations (Ops) to shorten the systems development life cycle while delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives. Caught in the whirlpool of technological jargons? Let’s break it down.
Consider DevOps is a model that amalgamates the terms Development and Operations, which let these teams work hand in hand in order to achieve their business goals. These teams follow a common Software practice and work across the entire application lifecycle, starting form development to testing to deployment and then to operations. These Software practices are commonly termed as methodologies.
Primary objectives of DevOps:
What the modern IT organization needs isn't DevOps -- it's BizDevOps. IT exists to serve the business, but that relationship must be fully reciprocal. The following objectives helps Developers and Operational team to adhere to their vision-
- Faster deployment frequency.
- Quick pace fixes.
- Lower bug(failure) rate with new releases.
- Accelerate Time To Market (TTM) rate.
- Enhance Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR).
“Teams that practice DevOps deploy 30x more frequently, have 60x fewer failures, and recover 160x faster.” — Puppet Labs 2016 State of DevOps Report
The Pillars of DevOps
A strong technology exist because of its strong structure, and for a strong structure, a strong foundation is of umpteen importance. The pillars on which DevOps is growing taller and stronger are CI, CD, CT CF and CIM.
Continuous Integration (CI)
Continuous Integration is a process of merging all coding works of a software development model on a continuous basis. For instance, committing all code changes to a centralized repository can be considered as a simplified version of CI. The concept is further enhanced using automation tools, processes and culture that drive rapid integration of iterative code developments. The build is therefore available at a single accessible machine location for further testing. The cultural component is an integral part of a CI strategy – collaborating, communicating and learning how to perform and merge small code changes faster requires a cultural shift at an individual and collective level within the organization. CI strategies encourage small and frequent code commits that can be integrated faster, without breaking the resulting software functionality.
The actual list of steps depends highly on the language and platform used, but typically consists of (at least) checkout, compilation and running unit tests. Some pipelines also add steps to perform code analysis and run additional tests (such as integration tests).
- The pipeline should give early feedback and be as fast / short as possible. Try to keep pipelines finish within 15-20 minutes. To achieve this, it makes sense to parallelize steps as much as possible, so that test failures or other problems can be reported quickly.
Continuous Deployment (CD)
CD extends CI to incorporate automated software release within the SDLC pipeline. The builds with continuously integrated code changes are automatically released to production after initial testing such as automated unit tests. At the production stage, the software build is available for in-depth testing and therefore ready for production, although a release may require further manual approval for business or technical reasons. If the release process is also automated, the process is called Continuous Deployment.
Continuous Testing (CT)
In this phase, there is a requirement of adopting the three areas to have a best continuous testing process.
- Test Environment provisioning and Configuration
- Integration, Functional, Security Testing and High Performance
- Test Data Management
Continuous Monitoring and Feedback (CF)
The feedback from the customer can be any of the ways like formal change request, tickets opened by customers, ratings in the app store and informal complains. With the help of the monitoring of data only, the main feedback comes. Generally, the data will be from servers running through the applications that will be the process of development, Quality Assurance, and Production. It also plays a vital role to take the user actions from the metric tools that are embedded in the application.
Continuous Improvement (CIM)
The process of improvement is not a one-time action which is said as an on-going process where organizations have to build-in. It is the phase to identify the bugs and rectify them for further improvement process. Mostly, it is considered as the build-in process for identification for enhancement as the Organization matures and learns from the process of the improvement team.
The infinite loop Theory
DevOps done well can lead to a continuous loop where teams plan, code, build, test, release, deploy, operate and monitor.
Why pursue DevOps as your future ambition?
DevOps expertise is in high demand. Job postings with “DevOps” in a title or keyword are sprouting up everywhere. DevOps practitioners are among the highest paid people in IT, and it’s the number one most difficult tech job to fill.
You can easily get started in DevOps as a developer, sysadmin, DBA, QA, or elsewhere, as long as you’re willing to take on learning new tools and technologies and get thoroughly involved in what the other teams in your organization are doing.
A career in DevOps calls for curiosity, and a willingness to cross-train outside the comfort zone and assumptions of your current role. Being a successful bridge across teams requires a big-picture understanding of the business. The wide (versus deep) approach will help to gain hands-on expertise in different roles and environments. You’ll be constantly learning new technologies and skills that can be applied elsewhere, so DevOps will keep you from getting pigeonholed into one path.
The DevOps practitioner personally acts as a trusted bridge between development, operations, and QA. This means having your feet in multiple camps, and that means you should be willing to spend time with the other teams. Your resume will look a little more T-shaped than the typical sysadmin, developer, or QA engineer, but that’s exactly what you want.
Must have skill sets for DevOps-
While new technologies and tools crop up continuously on the DevOps landscape, it's important for a good DevOps engineer to have a broad understanding of those in the following areas, according to Sadasivan:
- Source Control (like Git, Bitbucket, Svn, VSTS etc)
- Continuous Integration (like Jenkins, Bamboo, VSTS )
- Infrastructure Automation (like Puppet, Chef, Ansible)
- Deployment Automation & Orchestration (like Jenkins, VSTS, Octopus Deploy)
- Container Concepts (LXD, Docker)
- Orchestration (Kubernetes, Mesos, Swarm)
- Cloud (like AWS, Azure, GoogleCloud, Openstack)
While many DevOps engineers are excellent software engineers, they sometimes lack the ability to look at the big picture and identify what makes sense for the client.Because DevOps combines the needs and wants of multidisciplinary teams and applications, a successful DevOps engineer can't lost sight of the big picture for DevOps and digital transformation at the enterprise level—especially in a large organization, Gidron said. This helps avoid creating contention points and constraints that carry from one project to the next.
Following is a pictoral representation of all that there is regarding Devops. You can pick languages you know or want to learn and kickstart those Devops Engineer flames kindling inside you.
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