When you think of any software application or platform’s life, you can clearly segregate it into two sections. The first is a software development and the second is the IT operations surrounding the software application. Once the software system goes out of use, the process starts all over again. Even for necessary bug fixes and software upgrades, you will notice this same routine.
Common sense tells you to house them under the same roof for cooperative working, especially in in-house instances. Yet, since the advent of digital technology, this has not been the case. It was only sometime in the second half of the 2000s that software engineers noticed this discrepancy in theory and practical. In response to this, pioneers developed DevOps solutions.
What is DevOps?
Etymologically, DevOps is a portmanteau word derived from Software Development and IT Operations. Thus, it is easy to deduce that DevOps is a combination of the two stages of the life cycle of software - development and application or usage. It is not exactly a technology or tool - as such, there is no fixed definition either.
Punching the definitions of many software gurus together, DevOps is an inter-departmental culture, effort, or set of practices that intend to combine the different stages of the software life cycle in a single-flow approach or model to reduce the time and steps between conceiving an idea and incorporating it into the system.
Goals of DevOps Model
DevOps services bring with it the following benefits for a company:
- It helps bring agility to software development and delivery.
- DevOps services reduce the load of the development and testing process.
- It can reduce most of the miscommunication and communication gaps between developers and the IT team.
- DevOps solutions help reduce the period of the software life cycle.
- It allows for better tailoring of the process to suit the specific needs and resources of the company.
- The cyclical manner of software development and integration ensures more robust testing and solutions for critical issues.
- It allows for implementing a lean business strategy.
- Better reuse of both talent and resources becomes possible.
Important Aspects of DevOps
When you are thinking about availing DevOps services, either independently or through a DevOps consulting company, there are certain terminology and points that you should accustom yourself with. These are:
Framework and Tool Stack
DevOps services make your system ready primarily by helping you build a framework or scaffold to integrate your existing tools and resources in. Along with that, new or modified tools and applications may also be necessary to make the software journey in your company DevOps-ready.
In some cases, you might need an entire overhaul to get this done. In any case, the different stages of the process are assigned different sets of tools depending on your needs, forming toolchains. These toolchains form your DevOps tool stack. You can change or upgrade tools at any time to suit your changing requirements.
Software Life Cycle
DevOps solutions mold your siloed development and maintenance departments with chain-system operations into a cycle. The software moves from inception to planning, coding, building, testing, packaging, integration, operation, monitoring, and feedback, in this cycle.
Each stage may have branches and decision trees and loops, but all of it is part of the big picture - the software life cycle. When you detect a bug, want a modification or upgradation, pinpoint a redundancy, or require any sort of change, the process starts all over again for that specific change. The cyclical structure maintains a definite, concise path that always leads to the resolution of the issue.
The one thing that is quite clear is that implementing DevOps solutions require collaboration between different departments in your office or even outside for smooth operation. DevOp’s whole concept is built on the foundation of collaboration to eliminate communication gaps between software engineers at different stages of the process. It is this property of DevOps that makes quicker and leaner software development and deployment possible.
One of the ways to further make the operations lightweight is to go for DevOps automation. This can be achieved by repackaging tools, toolchains, or platforms into modules or blocks for reuse and recycling. By creating standardized environments, one can automate many repetitive tasks as well as modulate and combine them for efficiently accomplishing more complex tasks. This creates a CI/CD pipeline for keeping the development and integration cycle running at all times.
One of the flaws that many noticed in DevOps services is the neglect of security measures in a bid for speed and economy. However, a software system with questionable protection from malware is not one that customers will subscribe too. That is why, instead of adding security as an afterthought, DevSecOps or SecDevOps came into being. This advocates for the integration of security measures individually at every stage as well as ensuring system integrity as a whole.
What to Keep in Mind for Adopting DevOps
Moving from your silo development and operation model to DevOps solutions does not happen in the flick of a finger. It requires extensive planning, resource assessments, onboarding, and adaptation.
One misstep can entirely derail all processes. Similarly, while respecting the system is important to keep it running, do not have blind faith in it. If something is not working out within the cycle, then take it out of the DevOps chain and handle it individually. Chances are, you will detect an issue that has nothing to do with the software development, testing, or integration process, but an error in an integral judgment.
Besides knowing the right way to go about managing your DevOps system, you must also understand that employing the right DevOps services can make a huge difference.
A good start ensures a smooth journey. That is why you should exercise good judgment when choosing a DevOps consulting company for upgrading your work arena. When the consultants know what they are doing, it automatically becomes smoother for you to ease into the system.