Development + Operations = DevOps.
That is the simplest way one could summarise DevOps. The beginning of DevOps can be traced back to 2009 when Patrick Debois, an independent IT consultant first coined the term in a conference. Ever since then, DevOps has become the war cry for most major software development projects.
“The DevOps approach to software development facilitates frequent releases, higher quality assurance and consistent enhancements attuned to stakeholder requirements”
IBM says that 69% of the companies that leverage the continuous software delivery approach outlined by DevOps outperform their competitors.
IT enterprises that adopted DevOps was able to achieve several benefits like:
- ❌ Complex processes
- ❌ Longer release span
- ❌ Slow response to stake holder requirements
- ❌ Manual testing processes
- ❌ Average code quality
- ❌ Wastage of man hours
- ✅ High on collaboration
- ✅ Faster time-to-market
- ✅ Frequent releases
- ✅ Automated testing process
- ✅ Almost zero-bug quality
- ✅ Proactive monitoring
- ✅ Highly productive
In the IT landscape, DevOps brings together Development, Operations, and Quality Assurance.
DevOps enforces an organizational culture where teams and processes come together like different pieces in a jigsaw puzzle to form the bigger picture. The collaboration and continuous enhancements deliver high on developer productivity, helps release stable software, achieve lower bug instances and also attain quick time-to-market.
There is a specific way how DevOps works. It resembles a chain of events, or like a cycle.
The DevOps Cycle – From Sprint to Launch, Continuous Innovation in Action
DevOps basically runs like a cycle. The process reiterates from the planning phase to deployment and continuous monitoring. Once a release is successfully deployed, the next planning and coding phase for product enhancement or new feature inclusion begins.
To ensure that the cycle is running faster and smoother, it uses a variety of coding tools, CI/CD tools, monitoring tools, and IT infrastructure that is high-end, scalable and also flexible.
The DevOps cycle is commonly depicted as below:
The DevOps process has 4 main phases:
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
- Continuous Testing
- Continuous Release and Deployment
- Continuous Monitoring
At each C or stage of DevOps, a specific set of functions and tasks are carried out.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
CI/CD can be called the cornerstone process that has accelerated software delivery using DevOps. CI/CD brings together developers and their code into a single repository which helps in spotting bugs. These bugs which are commonplace when multiple codebases are integrated can be quickly traced and sorted out before the code is ready for release.
Continuous integration begins with pushing the code ahead in the pipeline where it is compiled, analyzed and made ready for deployment. Once the compiling and analysis are completed the code is pushed to live stage, either using an automation tool or using manual processes.
To make things faster and fault-free in the continuous integration stage, a range of automation tools are used, Jenkins to cite the most popular one.
Collaborative developments facilitates continuous testing. QA personnel are able to test each phase of the code before it is certified for release. DevOps engineers are also able to spot processes in coding and QA that can be automated for better agility.
Continuous testing ensures that there are no major bugs that will need firefighting when the date for final releases closes in. This leads to stable releases and a high quality of code. Another benefit of this approach is that the software can be developed dynamically to meet stakeholder requirements.
Continuous Release and Deployment
In the Continuous delivery phase, the code changes are built, tested and automatically prepared for release to production. Continuous delivery helps maintain consistent code quality and also ensuring the code is free from bugs that can rattle the user experience.
Continuous deployment ensures that the entire code or application need not be stopped to put the changes in effect. This helps run the operations smoothly without resulting in user dissatisfaction or breakdown of operations.
Continuous monitoring is a validation phase where the working of the code is checked for conformity of stakeholders instructions. In this phase, the DevOps engineer addresses questions like, is the application working as per scope of work, is the code free of bugs, are there are areas which can be automated for better productivity. Also, recurring issues if any which can be remedied through code corrections are also carried out in this phase.
In a Nutshell
DevOps is a game-changer for software developing enterprises. It removes the guesswork and steps on the gas pedal to accelerate service delivery at high quality. It also brings together siloed teams ensuring that their efforts are integrated with each other to reduce bugs. The end result is stable software releases in quick time attuned to stakeholder requirements.