Whenever an organization wants to deliver a fantastic software project which is not only delivered at the right time but also well accepted by the clients, their first resort is DevOps. DevOps not only makes the software project a success but is also embraced by both the Development and Operations team. No doubt it is one of those technical terms that have gained enormous popularity as the technological world expands. A lot of huge organizations have shifted to DevOps while some are now planning to do the same and make their business a success. In this article, you shall learn the basics of DevOps and everything necessary for a beginner or a dummy to get started with DevOps.
DevOps is a methodology or a culture or a setup that brings together two important verticals of any organization that works on Software Development projects. The two verticals here are Development and Operations, hence the name DevOps (Development + Operations).
The culture focuses on bringing together the two big verticals as they work in close collaboration with each other so that there is no gap between the two. This not only enables effective communication between the two teams and smooth delivery of the project but makes sure that the two teams are in harmony.
Now, when the two teams are so closely related, even the biggest of problems can be communicated and a rightful decision can be made. With all of this running so smoothly, there are no lags in the deadline which in turn keeps the client happy as well.
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When you know the basics of DevOps, let’s just have a look at what DevOps is for Dummies.
For beginners or dummies, DevOps can be defined as a perfect amalgamation of the Development team and the Operations team. Here, the development team refers to the team that is responsible for developing the code which includes writing it, testing it, reviewing it, and finally integrating it. While, the Operations team is the team that takes care of the entire Ops part whose work is to take care of everything that happens in the production environment which includes maintenance, troubleshooting, deployment and monitoring of the software or the application.
With DevOps, these teams work closely with each other, not like the traditional model when the teams used to work separately. So, when they are closely related there are no lags in the work and the work is completed rapidly. Not only does the speed improve, but also the quality of the software project.
Now, to have a better understanding of the DevOps concept, let’s have a look at the problems or challenges this culture solves.
Now, to complete any project keeping in mind the DevOps principles of continuous improvement along with top-notch collaboration, some practices must be followed:
The first practice includes the overall planning and development (coding) phase.
Then whatever the code is being developed it will be tested using automated and continued code tests.
This practice keeps an eye on the code that is ready for production. The quick feedback and resolution system keeps on running on the sidelines to save time and make rapid deliveries.
As the code changes happen automated deliveries take place. Post the testing and integration, the code changes are pushed into production.
Somewhat similar to Continuous Delivery, here the code is automatically released and changed into production. This fastens the process, even more, when the consistency of the code is maintained using tools like Docker and Kubernetes.
Whatever code is being deployed is continuously monitored and checked if that is good to go concerning the infrastructure. A continuous feedback loop is on the sidelines to monitor the bugs before going back to the development phase.
Infrastructure as code is a practice that can be used across all DevOps practices to automate the software release by automating the infrastructure. This helps the Operations team to keep an eye on the environment configuration and monitor the changes that are taking place.
Lastly, to understand how big of a difference the DevOps culture can make, let’s have a look at some of its benefits.
DevOps is making all the difference in the world and innumerable segments. Let’s have a look at the verticals that continue to get better with DevOps :
One of the most prominent reasons why industries are moving towards DevOps is the collaboration and trust it brings with it. The two major verticals of any software development process can now collaborate with utmost ease and can now rely on each other. DevOps changes the overall mindset of the Development and the Operations team as the teams progress together.
Who doesn’t prefer fast deliveries? So, if you use DevOps you are guaranteed to take your product to the market in less time. The best part is that it is not just the turnaround time (TAT) that is less but the quality of the product is also good. Since DevOps automates all the tests and other steps of the life cycle, production becomes faster. Also, now when the Development team and the Operations team work in close collaboration with each other, communication becomes easy which leads to the effective and simple fixing of issues.
Now, when the teams will be close to each other the issues can be resolved within no time. You would know that the sooner you resolve an issue, the more you will be preferred by the client. So, opting for DevOps enables the suppliers to reduce their downtime, resolve the issue at the earliest, and most importantly ensure customer satisfaction.
No matter how much everything is planned and the work is going in flow, there will be times when something or the other falls apart, whether it is because of the client's requirements or some other reason. So, DevOps is the key to everything unplanned as the processes are well established, the teams work in close collaboration, transparency is top-notch, everyone has the project visibility at hand, and the concept of prioritization is well clear in the minds of all the team members.
DevOps has come as a revolution in the Software Development Industry. Whether it is about security, collaboration, data analysis, deployment, automation, etc, DevOps has contributed in all possible fields.
Earlier there were separate teams for everything. One team used to acquire business requirements and write the code, then one team used to test that code in a suitable development environment, and then another team released that code for operations to deploy. Furthermore, the deployment team was broken into small teams and because of that, the software took longer than it should have, even though sometimes it got derailed because of another project.
So, the teams were unaware of the problems or concerns of other teams. They did not have an idea about the other team and even did not value them much. They were all eager to complete their targets and move on to the next project, instead of seeing the project as a common interest. This not only hampered customer satisfaction but the overall growth of the company.
Now, when the Development team and the Operations team work in close collaboration with each other now, several challenges can be solved. Some of the major challenges solved by DevOps include Time to Market, Productivity, and App Quality.
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CALMS an acronym for Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement and Sharing is a framework that is used to check if a company can adapt to DevOps and its practices.
As stated above DevOps is a culture, not just some technical term or process to be implemented. The culture works on one main principle, collaboration. It is important for the Development team and the Operations team to collaborate and work in harmony. DevOps is the evolution of teams not just the implementation of tools.
Once the collaboration of teams is in place, all the processes are well automated and the manual work reduces. The reduction in manual work proves its worth when it comes to creating a reliable system, saving time, and delivering fast.
Here, concerning DevOps, Lean does not simply mean eliminating some irrelevant processes and being agile, it is more about continuous improvement. So, once continuous improvement is in place, the team can continuously learn from mistakes and improve which is extremely important for customer satisfaction.
Any process can be deemed impactful when you have supporting data for it. Similar is the case with continuous improvement, you can say the processes are improving only when you measure them. The measurements can be of several things concerning the time taken from development to deployment or how often the bugs occur, how fast can the system recover from a setback, and many more.
When collaboration is the main key, sharing comes with it. It is all about sharing a common ground for both teams. They share goals, responsibilities, and rewards too. Here, when the teams work in close collaboration, they must share everything whether it's issues, patches, grievances, feedback, and defects. If anything goes south, both the development team and the operations team must be available.
Not everything is so smooth for DevOps, and no matter how much the DevOps culture has evolved, there are several myths about it in the market. So, with everything you know and everything coming forth, it is equally important to know about the myths of DevOps technology.
Though the process is well established and preferred by companies across the globe, there are several myths about DevOps Technology that continue to be in the air.
Let’s have a look at some of those myths :
There are times when people are mistaken that if they take up some DevOps tool and start using it in their day-to-day work, they have implemented DevOps or have mastered DevOps. While that is not true as DevOps is not just about tools, it is a concept or a culture that must be implemented from the ground level. The tools like Chef, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and many more can be used as a means to implement DevOps.
If you are implementing DevOps as a one-stop solution for all your organizational problems you are certainly on the wrong track. DevOps can be used to create a continuous delivery pipeline or bring teams on the same page or refine the operation processes but that is all to be taken care of. Teams have to make sure that they adequately implement DevOps and that there are continuous feedback loops in place.
No matter how well the DevOps principles are implemented, an Operations team is always a necessity for any environment. After DevOps, the Ops teams can efficiently use Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools to improve their processes and further refine the processes.
It must be understood that DevOps and Cloud are two different technologies. Some people interchangeably use the terms and think that the two technologies are interrelated, but that’s not true. They can complement each other but are certainly not the same.
Another very common myth is that once DevOps is in place Agile can be replaced which again does not make sense. DevOps is a culture that uses agile principles to put continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous deployment and continuous delivery in place.
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By now, you would know everything there is to know about DevOps and how a beginner can go about this learning curve. In the beginning, you saw the basics of DevOps and how that culture can be defined for dummies.
Then to simplify it even further and understand the importance of the methodology, you learnt about the challenges solved by DevOps. Then you saw what are the DevOps practices that are relevant to make the overall flow of DevOps principles a success.
Furthermore, you saw the CALMS framework to have a better understanding of the overall framework that makes DevOps what it is. Then before jumping to the benefits of DevOps, you also learnt about the myths that persist in the market, which in turn sometimes hinder the growth of an industry.
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DevOps is a combination of Development and Operations that automates various processes between the IT and software development teams. In other words, it is a methodology that improves the software development lifecycle workflow.
The following are the key DevOps principles that explain the full potential of DevOps.
DevOps has different key pillars: Deliver, Automate, CI, Development, Scaling, and Monitoring.
There are different types of DevOps methods that most organizations use to speed up development and improve the process of product release. These include Scrum, Agile, and Kanban.
The following are the key components of DevOps that complete its life cycle.
DevOps lifecycle is a methodology and an approach that software development teams use. They use it to make the product release to the market much quicker with good quality. It includes phases like continuous software development, testing, integration, monitoring, and deployment.