Welcome to DevOps Tutorials. The objective of these tutorials is to provide in-depth understanding of DevOps. In addition to free DevOps, we will cover common interview questions, issues and how to’s of DevOps.
DevOps attempts to solve this problem by developing a partnership between Development and Operations (hence, the name). In this structure, the development team supports operational requirements such as deploy scripts, diagnostics, and load and performance testing from the beginning of the cycle; and the operations team provides knowledgeable support and feedback before, during, and after deployment. DevOps is the direction in which many software development teams are going. They have to, given the pressures organizations are under to produce higher-quality code faster with less time available for QA. This is a new environment and many developers will need to adjust if they want to prosper.
With timelines compressed, the walls separating development, QA, and production are barriers to agility. DevOps attempts to break through those walls. Now, team-playing skills are as important as technical skills. So, too, is a singular focus on the end-user experience and how that is affecting the business. Rather than a new set of tools or organization, DevOps is a new culture and process. It's development, QA, and operations working together to expedite the development and problem resolution. DevOps is good for developers. There are three principal reasons a developer would want to work in a DevOps-oriented organization.
A better quality of life. Developers working in DevOps-mode receive fewer calls in the middle of the night to resolve production issues. That's because they see issues before they become catastrophic problems due to an orientation of proactive monitoring rather than reactive alerts.
Pride of ownership. In a traditional software process, once the software is developed, it's "thrown over the wall" to QA, which later throws it over another wall to production — so what the end-user ultimately sees might be quite different from what the developer wrote. But under the DevOps model, what you write goes live because you continue to have visibility and access to the code even after it goes to QA and production. In other words, developers own the delivery of the code from creation to implementation.
More relevant work. Developers, like most human beings, get greater satisfaction from work that has relevance in the real world. Because developers in a traditional organization are isolated, they often work on simulated problems in made-up user scenarios — and they only find out that these approximations were wrong when something breaks. In a DevOps model, scenarios are real. Environments are load-tested, for example — before they're put into production — to see if they work correctly. Another example is that test scripts are, themselves, tested for realism by being deployed in the production environment, not just test labs. Sharing these test results with developers gives them the opportunity to see how their code performs under real-life conditions.
Benefits of DevOps
DevOps is a powerful idea because it resonates on so many different levels. From the perspective of individuals toiling in hands-on development or operational roles, DevOps points towards a life that is free from the source of so many of their hassles. It’s by no means a magical panacea, but if you can make DevOps work you are removing barriers that are both a significant time-sink and a source of moral killing frustration. It’s a simple calculation to make: invest in making DevOps a reality and we all should be more efficient, increasingly nimble, and less frustrated.
Some may argue that DevOps is a lofty or even farfetched goal, but it’s difficult to argue that you shouldn’t try. For the business, DevOps contributes directly to enabling two powerful and strategic business qualities, “business agility” and “IT alignment”. These may not be terms that the troops in the IT trenches worry about on a daily basis, but they should definitely get the attention of the executives who approve the budgets and sign the checks.
A simple definition of IT alignment is “the desired state in which a business organization is able to use information technology (IT) effectively to achieve business objectives — typically improved financial performance or marketplace competitiveness” DevOps helps to enable IT alignment by aligning development and operations roles and processes in the context of shared business objectives. Both development and operations need to understand that they are part of a unified business process. DevOps thinking ensures that individual decisions and actions strive to support and improve that unified business process, regardless of organizational structure.
A simple definition of agility in a business context is the “ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to market and environmental changes in productive and cost-effective ways”
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Developers also have their own specialized meaning of the word “agile“, but the goals are very similar. Agile development methodologies are designed to keep software development efforts aligned with customer/company goals and produce high-quality software despite changing requirements. For most organizations, Scrum, the iterative project management methodology, is the face of Agile. Agile promises close interaction and fast feedback between the business stakeholders making the decisions and the developers acting on those decisions. If you look at the output of a well functioning Agile development group you should see a steady stream improvement that is in tune with business needs.
However, when you step back and look at the entire development-to-operations lifecycle from an enterprise point of view, that Agile stream and it’s associated benefits are often obscured. The Wall of Confusion leads to a dissociation of the application lifecycle. Development works at one pace and Operations works at another. The long intervals between production deployments, in effect, turn the Agile efforts of an organization right back into the waterfall lifecycle it was trying to avoid. No matter how Agile the development organization is, it’s exceedingly difficult to change the slow and lumbering nature of a business while the Wall of Confusion is in place. Andrew Rendell has a great post that tells the anecdotal story of how an organization’s cumbersome release processes turn their agile development efforts right back into a waterfall. DevOps enables the benefits of Agile development to be felt at the organizational level. DevOps does this by allowing for fast and responsive, yet stable, operations that can be kept in sync with the pace of innovation coming out of the development process.