DevOps Life Cycle

With Industry 4.0 dominating the landscape, the digital world is undergoing phenomenal development and growth. The growth was spurred even further as the COVID 19 pandemic brought to the forefront the need for new-age digital solutions across various fields. Unfortunately, traditional software development life cycles have not been able to keep up with the unprecedented pace of consumer demand. This is where DevOps steps in. The DevOps Life Cycle is shorter than the traditional methods and allows for a significantly better product development process. DevOps is a blend of Development and Operations. It allows previously fragmented roles, development, IT operations, and quality assurance, to interact and cooperate towards developing better and high-quality products. The DevOps process allows the teams to quickly respond to customer requests, boost customer confidence in the apps they produce, and upgrade organizational performance quicker by embracing a DevOps culture, principles, and technologies. In this article, we will delve deeper into the DevOps Life Cycle, its phases, and the tools generally used in each phase.

DevOps Life Cycle

DevOps Life Cycle is a sequence of automated software development activities within a repetitive development lifecycle. It gives the project a framework that allows the team or individual working on it to see what will happen next. Following this method will allow you to create a high-quality project in a short amount of time.

The DevOps LifeCycle consists of 7 Phases (also known as the 7 Cs of the DevOps Life Cycle). The phases are as follows:

Continuous Development
Continuous Integration
Continuous Testing
Continuous Deployment
Continuous Monitoring
Continuous Feedback
Continuous Operations
We will now learn more about each of the phases ahead.

1) Continuous Development

The planning and coding of software occur during this phase. Project needs are obtained and addressed with stakeholders at this stage. Furthermore, for continuous software development, the requirements document is managed based on customer feedback and is divided into individual releases and checkpoints.

The development team then begins coding for the solicited criteria once the team has agreed on the company requirements. It's a continual procedure in which developers must modify the code anytime the project's requirements change or if there are any performance problems.

Several tools prove helpful during this stage, especially for maintaining the code. Some of the most commonly used tools are:

  • Git
  • Slack
  • JIRA
  • CVS
  • Maven, etc.

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2) Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration is a key Phase of the DevOps Life Cycle. During this phase, updates to the code or new functionalities are continuously developed and added to the source code. This process may be performed on a daily or weekly basis which allows for quicker detection of bugs if any. Code development encompasses not just compilation but also reviewing the code, testing the unit, integration testing, and packaging.

Additional functionality-supporting code is regularly integrated with old code. Because software is updated on a regular basis, the revised code must be seamlessly connected with the devices in order to represent modifications to end users. 

Some of the most commonly used tools for Continuous Integration include:

  • Jenkins,
  • Gitlab CI,
  • Bamboo,
  • Buddy,
  • Circle CI, etc.

3) Continuous Testing

In DevOps, the continuous testing phase examines how an application is actually used. During this phase, the code generated by developers is passed to testers, who utilize automated tools to analyze it for problems. The advantage of this step is the fact that it allows the testers to arrange the test runs at a specific time. Testers yield results while assuring that the application can be used in a real-world setting. The developers receive the report created in this phase and make the necessary changes to the code to eliminate the bugs.

 Automating the testing process considerably reduces the time and effort that goes into the process while at the same time ensuring the delivery of quality results. Furthermore, continuous testing also improves the test assessment report and lowers the cost of delivering and maintaining test environments.

Some teams prefer to perform the continuous testing phase before the integration phase, while others lean towards doing it post integration.

Some of the most commonly used tools used in this phase include:

  • Selenium
  • JUnit
  • TestSigma
  • TestNG, etc

4) Continuous Deployment 

During the Continuous Deployment phase, the finished code is sent to the production servers to make it available to the target audience. 

The continuous deployment includes in it, Configuration management to ensure that code is deployed accurately and smoothly on servers. The development teams distribute the code to servers as well as pre-plan and schedule the server updates, ensuring that the configurations remain constant all across the production phase. 

Containerization solutions, which form a part of Continuous Deployment, also perform a crucial role in the process as they aid deployment by ensuring consistency between development, testing, production, and staging environments. This method enabled the generation of new functionalities on a constant basis. Dock and Vagrant are some of the most commonly used Containerization tools.

Some of the most commonly used tools during this phase are:

  • Dock
  • Vagrant
  • Ansible
  • AWS
  • Puppet

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5) Continuous Monitoring

Continuous monitoring is an operational phase, the goal of which is to ensure a 360⁰ improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of the application. It entails keeping track of the application’s quality, performance, and dependability, as well as its supporting infrastructure.

 During this phase, vital data about application usage is gathered and carefully evaluated in order to uncover trends and pinpoint issue areas. This phase determines the underlying cause of any problem. It ensures and maintains the security and availability of services.  Network issues, if any, are also resolved in this phase.

 Some of the most commonly used tools during this phase include:

  • Splunk
  • Nagios
  • ELK Stack
  • Sensu
  • PagerDuty, etc.

These tools allow you to keep a close eye on the application's efficiency and the servers, as well as to conduct proactive system health screenings. They also aid in boosting productivity and system stability as a result of which in turn lowers the IT support expenses.

6) Continuous Feedback

The Continuous Feedback phase exists to gather and evaluate the influence of each deployment on the customer experience. This assessment is then sent back to the development team to make necessary improvements in the subsequent iterations.

There are 2 ways of collecting feedback, which are:

  • Structured, and
  • Unstructured

The structured method of Feedback collection includes Polls, Surveys, focus groups, and questionnaires. Social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others are used to collect unstructured feedback. The Continuous Feedback stage ensures that consumers are able to participate in the DevOps process by offering their feedback, similar to how users review apps on the Google Playstore.

Some of the most commonly used tools during this phase include:

Qentelli’s TED
Overall, this phase is critical in enabling continuous delivery so that a better version of the program can be introduced.

7) Continuous Operations

 This is the last phase of the DevOps Lifecycle and is crucial for minimizing the planned downtime including scheduled maintenance.  The server needs to be taken offline from time-to-time so that new updates may be installed into it. This increases the downtime of the application and may even open the company to the risk of significant losses at times. Continuous Operations help in automating this process, significantly reducing the downtime. Therefore, it is safe to say that the main goal of this phase is to increase the software's uptime so that services can continue uninterrupted. Continuous Operations allow the developers to save crucial time, which can be leveraged to reduce the application's time-to-market.

To achieve the same, Continuous Operations make use of various tools such as:

  • Kubernetes, and
  • Docker

The above are container management tools that help in reducing downtime by simplifying the process of creating, testing, and releasing the application in various environments.

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 In A Nutshell

DevOps has undoubtedly ushered in a new era throughout the software development sector by ensuring that each software product that is developed maintains optimum and consistent quality. The primary goal of the DevOps lifecycle is to ensure consistency and maximize automation. It all comes down to how well the responsible teams (developers, testers, and operations) collaborate and work together to provide a high-quality software product with the best possible user experience.

Related Articles:

1. Agile vs DevOps

2. DevOps Tools

3. DevOps Workflow

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.

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