As of 2020, we see that there are many advancements in the technologies, leading to high demand for the different applications being developed. It is vital that the applications developed have to meet customer requirements without any failure. Collaboration is one of the essential aspects to attain the software application's success or any application being built. Not every organization is being successful as it lacks collaboration and maintenance. As multiple teams involve and work together, success also depends on integration and collaboration. DevOps is one of the popular platforms best in collaboration between the different teams like the operations and development teams. In this tutorial, you will understand DevOps, its features, architecture, lifecycle, principles and workflow, and the advantages and disadvantages of using DevOps in the current era of living and technology.
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.
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What Is DevOps
As the naming states, DevOps is usually a combination of two different words Development and Operations. DevOps is a platform that allows the handling of the entire lifecycle as a single team. As development includes different phases like testing, requirement gathering and many more, DevOps helps avoid the disconnections that establish between the other teams like the quality assurance engineers, software developers, system administrators, etc.
DevOps is responsible for promoting the collaboration between the operations and development so that the code deployment takes place faster in an automated and repeatable way. DevOps also provides its extensible support in improving the organization speed to ensure the delivery of the services and applications. Strong competition in the market and best customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal.
DevOps is one of the business disciplines that has gained value in recent times and turned out to be an asset for an organization. DevOps is referred to as a methodology or practice or approach that will bring the developers and operations together. DevOps has brought up a drastic change in the IT culture with its focus on the agile principles and practices that are using the system-oriented approach.
In simple terms, DevOps refers to the integration of the processes that belong to the development and the operations teams. As per recent surveys, it is observed that there is an increase in software quality and application development. It also brought up an improvement in the level of customer satisfaction. It is the ultimate source used by organizations to build strong competition in the market.
It is common that new technologies and updated versions come up based on suggestions or limitations. We need to know why DevOps has got high demand rather than the other IT technologies or methodologies.
When compared to the other methodologies, the development team and the operations team worked in complete isolation. There was not much interaction and collaboration between the different teams. The time taken for performing the testing and deployment is high when compared with the other practices. The testing and the deployment are performed respectively. Without DevOps, the multiple teams are spending a lot of time performing the different phases like designing, testing and deployment.
There are different timelines set up for the coding and the operations teams. This is causing further delays. DevOps are essential as they help develop and enhance the applications, making them more usable when the operations and the development teams work together. Hence, it is responsible for rapid innovation and shorter development cycles with fewer development failures.
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”
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.
Architecture Features in DevOps
There are different architecture features in DevOps. Let me give you a brief explanation of each feature in the Architecture of DevOps.
The automation concept helps in reducing the time required during the deployment and testing phases. There is a high increase in the productivity level, and automation has made things earlier. Automation helps catch the bugs before it becomes a larger issue within the early stages. The errors or bugs will be fixed early, and also each code will be defined based on the automated tests, builds and cloud-based services.
DevOps is known for its collaboration, as the operation and the development team will collaborate, with more productivity. This is strengthening the ownership and accountability, which is also improving the cultural model. The teams will work together closely by sharing their roles and responsibilities. This would make production faster.
There would be multiple components that would need to be integrated with the applications. The integration phase refers to the combination of the code with the new functionality and performs the testing accordingly. There will be continuous development if there is continuous integration and testing. To overcome any possible operational challenges, integration during the early stages when required is the best option.
DevOps helps in interacting with the resources based on the environment. The configuration files will not be created, but the application's external configuration will be separated from the source code.The configuration file is written during the deployment phase, or can also be loaded at the run time, and this is purely based on the environment in which they are running.
Lifecycle of DevOps
As mentioned earlier, DevOps is an integration and collaboration between operations and development. It is a good thing to know the different steps in the life cycle of DevOps.
Below is the step by step procedure process in detail.
The development of the software process is constant in DevOps. The complete development process will be divided into short development cycles. This will bring up and add a benefit in order to speed up or improve the software development and delivery process.
In the testing phase, the Quality Assurance team will use the testing tools like Selenium to identify and fix the bugs within the early stages itself.
In the integration phase, the primary aspect is to integrate the new functionality with the existing code. There would be continuous integration and testing. You also need to know that there would be continuous development only if there is only continuous integration and testing.
Usually, during software development, the deployment process will be continuous. The deployment has to take place so that the functioning of the website should not be affected if there are any changes made to the coding.
In the Monitoring Phase, it is the operations team's responsibility to look after the bugs or errors, identify them in the system, and at the production level.
Principles and Workflow of DevOps
Every platform has its principles to be followed to attain success in the right way and right time. You also need to know the principles of DevOps before you adopt DevOps. You need to know the principles of DevOps. Six principles are to be followed when you adopt DevOps. Let me give you a brief explanation of the six principles which are very useful for you to understand and implement the same value work on DevOps.
1. End to end responsibility: The performance level should never go down, and the DevOps team is responsible for providing the performance report before it comes to the end of life. This also leads to an improvement in the responsibility level and the quality of the product that has to be engineered.
2. Automate everything: Automation is one of the essential things in the DevOps process. It is also referred to as an important principle among the six principles available in the DevOps. The automation process is not specific for software development but is also included in every product's operation, which could be an entire infrastructure and landscape.
3. Customer-centric Action: Customer satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of any organization. The organization strives hard to meet the requirements of the client efficiently within the given time frame. Hence, the DevOps team has to ensure that they take the customer-centric action that would help attain the best customer rating and the constant investment in the different products and services that we are going to launch.
4. Team involvement: As there are different parts of the development phases, different roles have additional responsibilities. All the individuals from different teams should work together to achieve the success for the development of the product they are working on. This would help them gain an idea of the different processes involved in the development of the software. The designer, developer and tester in the DevOps team have to be working together with complete collaboration as one team.
5. Continuous improvement: DevOps follow a culture of continuous improvement and will strive hard to minimize the waste or the needful things involved in software development. There will be a greater improvement in the speediness of the products and services offered by the organization or the client.
6. Testing and monitoring everything: DevOps Team should be flexible enough to work with the different testing procedures and the monitoring procedures that would help in creating a robust application in DevOps.
Workflow in DevOps
DevOps is one of the crucial platforms which is also known for its high performance and success levels. It is essential for you to see the workflow as well, which will help you understand how processes go.
In general, workflow refers to the concept of a visual overview, giving you an idea of the sequence in which the input is provided. It is the same in the case of DevOps as well. Also, help us determine the action is the type of form and even the output generation for the process in the operations.
The workflow in DevOps also helps you provide the capability to separate and arrange the jobs that are on top priority by the Users. It is also helping in giving an option to mirror the ideal process in the job configuration and also helping in leading their best out of the available technologies.
Below is a workflow diagram that will help you understand how the DevOps workflow will go on.
Roles and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer
Firstly you need to know who a DevOps engineer is. A DevOps engineer is referred to as an IT professional capable of working with the software developed for system administrators and any other IT staff product. DevOps engineers should also have good communication skills so that they can collaborate with the different teams that include the developmental, operations and testing teams.
DevOps is a methodology that comes up with multiple changes, frequent changes to the coding part, adding new functionalities, etc. The DevOps Engineers should have a basic idea of the different programming languages. The DevOps Engineer has to start coding from the beginning if there is any change that needs to be implemented during software development. The DevOps engineer is responsible for working along with the development team and involved in tackling the coding and scripting part required for connecting the different elements of the code like software development kits or libraries.
Roles and responsibilities:
DevOps engineer is a full-time employee responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the software program or the application and the production.
Below are the roles and responsibilities that are expected from a DevOps engineer:
1. A DevOps engineer is responsible for digging and finding out the resolution for a problem caused, troubleshooting the issue accordingly across the platform and the different application domains.
2. A DevOps engineer should have the capability to increase the project's visibility through traceability.
3. A DevOps engineer should also have the skills to analyze, perform the designing and evaluation of scripts and systems in the automation process.
4. A DevOps engineer is responsible for improving the quality and avoiding and minimizing the developmental cost with the collaboration with multiple teams.
5. A DevOps engineer should also be capable of utilizing the critical resolution for a problem that could be either with the system issues by using the best cloud security solutions.
6. A DevOps engineer should also have the soft skills of problem-solving and also should be a quick learner in learning and identifying the new things and issues that arise during the production level.
DevOps Automation Tools
Automation is definitely required to automate all the testing processes. There is also a need to configure the speed and agility of the application. The DevOps team are facing many difficulties which are broadly classified into six categories.
1. Infrastructure Automation
2. Configuration Management
3. Deployment Automation
4. Performance Management
5. Log Management
Tools used in each category:
Infrastructure Automation: Amazon Web Services
Configuration Management: Chef
Deployment Automation: Jenkins
Log Management: Splunk
Performance Management: App Dynamic
Differences between Agile and DevOps:
You also need to know the differences between DevOps and Agile platforms.
Agile: Agile is a platform that will break down the existing barriers between the developers and the management.
DevOps: DevOps is a platform specifically for software deployment and operations to break down the miscommunication between the multiple teams.
Agile: Agile is responsible for addressing the gaps between the development teams and customer requirements.
DevOps: DevOps is responsible for addressing the gaps between the operations team and the development team.
Agile: The primary focus of Agile is on both the functional and the non-functional readiness
DevOps: The primary focus of DevOps is based on operational and business readiness.
Agile: Agile development will ensure that the team members are trained on different varieties with similar and equal skills. Whenever anything goes wrong, any team member will be able to get assistance from any other member in the absence of the team leader and will get the issue resolved.
DevOps: DevOps Makes use of the divide and conquers method where they will be spreading the skill set and between the operation and the development teams. There will be consistent communication and collaboration between the multiple teams in DevOps.
Agile: Agile development is responsible for managing sprints. This usually refers to the time table is short and multiple features to be produced and released in that time period.
DevOps: DevOps will have deadlines and Benchmarks to understand and consolidate with the major releases rather than implementing frequent and smaller ones.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using DevOps
DevOps is associated with multiple benefits which could be technical benefits of business benefits. Let me give you a brief explanation of each advantage of adopting DevOps in your projects.
1. Continuous application delivery: In DevOps, the code base has been made accessible to the different teams like testing and production teams. Continuous application delivery is one of the principles of DevOps. Many different organizations like Amazon are using continuous delivery principles to ensure that the new features are added to the products or services they offer efficiently. His continuous delivery is referred to as an integrated and Critical factor that is considered the most of the organization and is being supplied by DevOps which is one of the major advantages.
2. Faster resolution for the issues: As DevOps is one of the platforms that utilize the different portions of the business by collaborating the different together, it is also compatible with providing the resolution for the issues that arise when deployed the maintenance and production level. There is no need for you to wait for the other teams to get the issue resolved because you have all the team access and all the tools access and you are aware of the information that needs to be changed. It provides flexibility for you to jump into the system and get the issue resolved by yourself.
3. List intricate issues to fix: As we all know that the DevOps are all about the improvements that occur, the developer changes might affect the system. DevOps is the platform that is flexible to work and get small intricate issues fixed faster when it is deployed. It is also easy to perform the Transaction or rollback for any other operation to be performed.
4. Faster delivery of the attributes: DevOps focuses on continuous delivery which is one of the important principles of DevOps. DevOps and sure that the features that are deployed in the production will be working right after the deployment is done. DevOps uses different automated processes for the tasks to be performed like logging and monitoring, infrastructure and the testing parts, which is also leading to the enhanced speed of the application in DevOps.
5. Stable working environment: The continuous delivery of the DevOps applications will help decrease the problems that arise. There is greater stability, as well. As per the recent survey performed, it is observed that the DevOps organizations that use DevOps have been more stable than expected.
Disadvantages of using DevOps:
Every platform has its disadvantages based on customer feedback and expectations. Below represented the set of disadvantages that are identified in DevOps.
1. The number of DevOps professionals and their expert developers in the current era of living or very less.
2. There will be a high cost incurred when developing the applications using DevOps, so DevOps are very expensive.
3. If you have less knowledge in DevOps or lack DevOps knowledge will be a problem in the continuous integration of the projects that include automation.
4. It's very hard to manage where DevOps is adopted in the organizations and when the time frame is less.
As of now, we see that there are less developed engineers and less insight towards DevOps. We see that there we will see that there will be a height in mind for DevOps in the coming future. There will indeed be many organizations that will be shifting their needs to DevOps and utilized DevOps in their application management for software development. DevOps requires a fully qualified IT professional or IT skilled individual, and I would recommend you to get trained and certified in DevOps. DevOps will make your career bright and will bring you bright colours in the future.