DevOps (“development” and “operations”) is the combination of practices and tools designed to increase an organization’s efficiency to deliver applications and services at a greater pace than the traditional software approach to development processes.
This efficiency and pace empower organizations to better serve their customers and compete in the market.
Succinctly putting, DevOps is about removing the barriers between traditionally siloed teams, development, and operations. Under a DevOps model, development and operations teams work together across the entire software application life cycle, from development and test through deployment to operations.
Benefits of DevOps
- Speed: DevOps practices allow you to move at the pace you required to innovate fast, more adaptive to changing market dynamics, and become more efficient at driving business results.
- Rapid delivery: When you increase the frequency of releases, you will get more time to improve your product faster for a competitive advantage.
- Reliability: DevOps practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery can ensure the high quality of application updates and infrastructure changes so you can reliably deliver at a more rapid pace while maintaining a scalable experience for the end-users.
- Improved collaboration: As the DevOps model follows, developers and operations teams collaborate at close quarters, share responsibilities together, and combine their workflows. This reduces inefficiencies and backlogs.
- Security: You can adopt a DevOps model without negotiating on any security concern by using automated, integrated security testing tools.
The DevOps market is expected to grow from USD 3.42 Billion in 2018 to USD 10.31 Billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24.7% during the forecast period
DevOps Security and DevSecOps
DevOps security, more commonly referred to as DevSecOps, refers to the discipline and practice of safeguarding the entire DevOps environment through strategies, policies, processes, and technology. The DevSecOps philosophy is that security should be built into every part of the
DevOps life cycle, including inception, design, build, test, release, support, maintenance, and beyond.
Traditional security operates from the position that once a system has been designed, its security defects can then be determined and corrected before release. With the change to a DevOps model, traditional security practices occur too late in the development cycle and are too slow for the design and release of software built by iteration. Thus, they can become a major roadblock to delivering applications and services at speed.
With DevSecOps, security becomes the focus of everyone on a DevOps team. DevSecOps has the goal of implementing security decisions at speed and scale without sacrificing safety.
DevSecOps involves ongoing, flexible collaboration between the engineers of release and security. The concepts of “speed of delivery” and “building secure code” both integrated into one streamlined process. Through this merger, security testing is done in iterations without slowing down delivery cycles. Critical security issues are dealt with as they become apparent, not after a threat or compromise has occurred.
How to find the right DevOps tools
DevOps practices rely on effective tools to help teams rapidly and reliably deploy and innovate for their customers. These tools should automate manual tasks, help teams manage complex environments at scale, and keep engineers in control of the high-velocity pace that is DevOps.
The DevOps workflow consists of phases:
- Planning the next iteration of the product’s development
- Building the code
- Testing and deploying to the production environment
- Delivering product updates
- Monitoring and logging software performance
- Gathering customer feedback
Planning: Schedule planning and task tracking tools are needed to ensure the DevOps team knows what tasks are at hand, what is currently being done, and whether there are any risks of falling behind schedule. Tools like Confluence and Jira help DevOps teams achieve a seamless and efficient project management cycle and ensure timely product delivery.
Build and deliver: Developers need rapid deployment of development and testing environments and can’t wait long for repairs when something goes wrong. Docker containerization ensures consistency across multiple developments and release cycles and provides repeatable development, build, test, and production environments. Other popular tools for this phase include Kubernetes, Terraform, Chef, Ansible, and Puppet.
Testing: Look for tools such as Jenkins, CircleCI, and GitLab CI, which are there to assist to minimize the time and pave the way for testing without negotiating on the code quality or user experience.
Software monitoring and logging: Once the software is moved to production, it must be frequently monitored to ensure stable performance and increased customer gratification. This stage involves performance analysis and logging, raising smart alerts on various issues, gathering customer feedback, and so on. Tools for performing these tasks include Prometheus, Grafana, Elastic (ELK) Stack, Splunk, and Sumo Logic.
DevOps is the direct descendant of agile software development, born from the necessity to cope up with the increased software development velocity and throughput agile methods. Any update in agile development highlighted the need for a more comprehensive approach to the software delivery life cycle, resulting in DevOps.
“Agile development” is an umbrella term for several iterative software development methodologies, many of which have carried over to DevOps:
- Scrum—A framework in which people can address complex adaptive problems while delivering products of the highest possible value.
- Kanban—A method for managing the creation of products with an emphasis on continual delivery while not overburdening the development team. Like Scrum, Kanban is a process designed to help teams work together more effectively.
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)—A set of organization and workflow patterns intended to guide enterprises in scaling lean and agile practices. SAFe is one of a growing number of frameworks that seek to address the problems encountered when scaling beyond a single team.
- Lean development—A translation of lean manufacturing principles and practices to the software development domain. Lean offers a conceptual framework, values, and principles, as well as best practices derived from experience, that support agile organizations.
- Extreme programming (XP)—A software development methodology is destined to improve software quality and responsiveness to frequently changing customer requirements. XP supports frequent releases in short development cycles, improve productivity, and introduce various checkpoints at which new customer requirements can be adopted easily. Some other elements of extreme programming include programming in pairs or doing extensive code review, unit testing of all code, not the programming of features until they are needed, a flat management structure, code simplicity, and clarity expecting changes in the customer’s requirements as time passes the problem is better understood, and frequent communication with the customer.
Features and advantages of DevOps practices and processes
Multiple key practices can help organizations innovate faster through automating and streamlining the software development management process. One fundamental DevOps practice is to perform very frequent but small updates. These updates are usually more incremental than the updates performed under traditional release practices. Organizations using a DevOps model deploy updates much more often than organizations using traditional software development practices.
Communication and collaboration are keystones of the set of DevOps practices. Automation of the software delivery process establishes collaboration by physically bringing together the workflows and responsibilities of development and operations. Communication across developers, operations, and even other teams, such as marketing and sales, allows all parts of the organization to align more closely on goals and projects.
DevOps practices such as continuous integration and continuous delivery let DevOps teams deliver rapidly, safely, and reliably. Monitoring and logging help DevOps teams track the performance of applications so they can react quickly to problems.
Microservices architecture is a design approach to build a single application as a set of small services. Each service runs in its own process and communicates with other services through a well-defined interface using a lightweight mechanism. You can use different frameworks or programming languages to write microservices and deploy them independently, as a single service, or as a group of services.
Organizations may also use a microservices architecture to make their applications more flexible and enable quicker innovation. Typically, each service is paired with a small, agile team that takes ownership of the service.
Continuous integration and continuous delivery
DevOps practices such as CI/CD empowers DevOps teams to deliver rapidly, safely, and reliably. CI is a kind of software development practice where developers can merge their code changes into a central repository, followed by automated builds and tests. The main or prime goals of CI are to fix bugs quicker, improve software quality, and decrease the time it takes to validate and release new software updates. CD expands on CI by deploying all code changes to a testing or production environment after the build stage.
Monitoring and logging
To capture and analyze logs generated by applications, DevOps teams have a better understanding of how software changes or updates affect users.
Building a secure DevOps model
Moving to DevOps and DevSecOps is not a proper destination. It is a whole lot of a journey. DevOps is a fundamental change in how development and operations are executing today. One can follow the DevOps practices, processes, frameworks, and workflow, based on the DevOps philosophy, to build security into your software development life cycle at speed and scale without negotiating on the safety concerns like minimizing risks, ensuring compliance, and reducing friction and costs.
With DevSecOps, multiple elements like development, operations, and security teams to balance security and compliance with the speed of delivery and to build security into the full SDLC.
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