DevOps is a combination of culture, practices and tools that enables software teams to deliver applications and services at higher velocities. Organisations that embrace DevOps can deploy code releases more often, with improved quality and greater stability.
Development and Operations teams historically operated in silos which led to poor communication and inefficiency.
In contrast, DevOps addresses these problems by building a culture of collaboration between teams and promoting efficiencies through automation wherever possible. The combination of these factors produces a continuous stream of business value with benefits such as faster product time to market, gaining a competitive edge, increased software quality or an overall reduction in project costs.
What makes it work?
DevOps success does not necessarily lie in the availability of a large transformation budget. The road to DevOps can begin by making small, incremental steps in the following key areas:
Fostering a culture of shared responsibility is essential to building a high performing DevOps team. It’s important to consider how your work can impact other people and teams involved in the release process. Viewing the coding and deployment activities as an end-to-end process helps break down the barriers between Development and Operations.
Another important DevOps principle is that a degree of failure is inherent in product development and should not be punished. Instead, a culture of continuous improvement should be promoted where good practices and efficiencies are nurtured. In this way, continuous improvement and failure can go hand in hand.
2. DevOps Practices and Principles
The agile practice of iterative development of features in collaboration with the business has shown that a minimal viable product (MVP) is more valuable than a perfect product delivered in six months’ time. It makes sense that the chances of customer satisfaction will be greatly increased if the software product is developed with the business involvement from day one.
The emergence of DevSecOps has brought its own efficiencies where security considerations are built-in early to the software development. Automated checks for known security vulnerabilities can be incorporated early into the DevOps pipeline. This can help reduce scope and cost of penetration/security tests that would traditionally be run towards the end of a project.
3. DevOps Automation Tools
Teams usually begin automation with Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD). These processes involve the execution of an automated test pack for each code change followed by the automated deployment of the code to production. The return on investment, by implementing these activities, can be considerable with hourly releases replacing traditional quarterly releases.
Other important areas that utilise automation include the concepts of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Configuration as Code (CaC). Developers can create code to deploy infrastructure components and configure application settings. This results in the repeated and reliable deployment of applications across multiple environments including on-premise and Cloud.
As regards to quality, the benefits of deploying a thoroughly tested application release to identically provisioned environments can be considerable, especially if thousands of deployments are required throughout the year.
At Automation Consultants we have realised the benefits of implementing DevOps practices when building our own software. These benefits include a thriving development culture, a higher frequency of delivery and an improved quality of products. Our own DevOps journey has helped us to implement DevOps pipelines for our customers based on our experience. To this end, we have forged partnerships with the leading DevOps tool vendors enabling us to provide the highest DevOps service capabilities.
4. Reporting & Communication
A DevOps implementation requires a different approach to reporting as well as amended KPIs to control, communicate and rapidly come to decisions. Often it is difficult to determine the progress of an agile project or when a specific feature will be delivered to the business. Delving into different tools to find a specific metric to determine progress can be time consuming and frustrating. For a successful DevOps deployment, these reporting tools can be tailored to the company’s goals and desired business outcomes. AC has considerable experience in measuring the benefits of DevOps on small to large-scale agile deployments.