The term DevOps represents mainly a combination of two words — development and operations. Its job is to showcase a shared approach to the tasks which PC application development and IT operations teams perform.
It also refers to a philosophy that promotes improved communication and collaboration between teams and others. Finally, in the most narrow interpretation, the term indicates the adoption of iterative software development, automation, and programmable infrastructure deployment and maintenance.
DevOps represents different cultural changes, such as:-
- It makes trust and cohesion between developers & systems administrators
- It aligns technological projects with business requirements.
- This one can change software delivery chains, services, IT tools, job roles, and best practices.
What is DevOps?
It combines cultural philosophies, practices, and tools using which an organization can provide services & apps more easily at high velocity. Besides, it enables organizations to improve products more quickly than those that use traditional software development and infrastructure management procedures.
It is not a technology. Instead, it can apply fundamental methodologies, which are as follows:-
- continuous integration and continuous delivery or continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools,
- systems and tools which are compatible with DevOps adoption, like real-time monitoring, incident management, configuration management, and collaboration platforms.
- Cloud computing, microservices, and containers are implemented with their methodologies.
IT staff uses a DevOps approach. It is a technique that permits staff to execute IT projects so that they can meet business requirements. Besides, it coexists with the following things:-
- Agile software development,
- IT service management frameworks like ITIL;
- project management directives ( Lean and Six Sigma), and other strategies.
- According to a few IT professionals, it is insufficient and includes business (BizDevOps), security (DevSecOps), or other areas.
Core DevOps principles:
This methodology has four principles guiding the efficiency of application development and deployment. These principles include:
- Automation of the software development lifecycle
- Collaboration and communication
- Continuous improvement and minimization of waste
- Hyperfocus on user requirements with short feedback loops
Organizations follow these principles to improve code quality & engage in better application planning.
The four phases of DevOps:
Along with its evolution, it has been gaining more complexity and more. The complexity is getting driven by two factors:
Organizations move to microservices from monolithic architectures. These require more DevOps tools for every project as DevOps matures. As a result, you can experience a boost exponentially in the number of project-tool integrations. However, it required a change in the way organizations adopt the tools.
This evolution occurs in four phases which we have mentioned below:
Phase 1) Bring Your DevOps:
Every team chose its tools in the phase. But the approach may cause issues when the teams work together as these weren’t familiar with other teams’ tools.
Phase 2) Best-in-class DevOps:
When it comes to addressing the challenges of utilizing disparate tools, organizations go to the second phase. Hence, these are standardized on the same tool set, where every single tool remains for every stage of the DevOps lifecycle. Although it is useful in collaborating with each other for teams, software changes became an issue via the tools for every stage.
Phase 3) Do-it-yourself DevOps:
So, to overcome the issue, organizations used DIY DevOps, meaning Do-it-yourself DevOps. They can be built on top of the tools and between them. Organizations performed many custom works for the integration of their point solutions together. But these were indeed developed except, keeping integration in mind. Therefore, these don’t fit properly. Several organizations need to put effort into DIY DevOps, a result of which will require higher costs. Engineers need to maintain the tooling integration instead of working on the core software product.
Phase 4) DevOps Platform:
If you follow a single-application platform approach, it can improve the experience of the team and business efficiency. GitLab can alter DIY DevOps by enabling visibility throughout all stages of the DevOps lifecycle. GitLab illustrates a basic step-change by understanding the potential of DevOps. Doing so empowers Software, Operations, IT, Security, and Business teams for collaboratively planning, building, securing, and deploying software across an end-to-end unified system. This one is a DevOps Platform that has a cohesive user interface. Besides, it is made on a single codebase and features a unified data store enabling organizations to get rid of the vulnerabilities of an unreliable DIY toolchain by fixing them.
Nowadays, software-led companies have become agile. As a result, these require a DevOps platform which can help to make the software more modern by developing them. Moreover, to make it easier and more reliable to adopt the cloud native technologies of the upcoming generation (from microservices to serverless and eventually edge architecture) – every company will get empowerment for shipping software quickly, at high efficiency, along with security embedded across the end-to-end software supply chain.
Patrick Debois is a software development consultant who is credited while generating the term DevOps in 2009 by naming a conference DevOps Days. In 2013, the book named The Phoenix Project made the idea of DevOps famous. It uses a fictional narrative for illustration of the endemic issues. Besides, it is useful for IT managers as they know the ideas & collaboration benefits.
The previous DevOps proponents added the key players:
- Debois and collaborator Andrew Clay Shafer;
- The Phoenix Project authors Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford;
- Paul Hammond and John Allspaw, influential early adopters at Flickr;
- continuous delivery pioneers Jez Humble and Dave Farley;
- containerization advocate John Willis; and
- State of DevOps Report organizers, including Alanna Brown and Nicole Forsgren.
Since DevOps became famous, the organization has formalized its approaches. For instance, Retailer Target began the DevOps Dojo training procedure. Vendors started touting DevOps. For doing so, they enable the capabilities in the tools, from collaboration chatbots to CI/CD suites which are built into cloud services.
DevOps is evolving continuously because AI surfaces to aid in code creation and incident management. Therefore, AIOps or AI for DevOps represents smarter automation.
Seamless transactions from any business always require benefits technically. But the disadvantage is that there are several issues that businesses can face before making it a reality.
Although it has got mainstream status, all adopters aren’t full DevOps converts; several adapters depend on a DevOps approach for revenue-generating IT projects. In this case, they can get a return on the investment in skills and tooling. However, it never gives major benefits to stable and matured internal IT services.
How can DevOps benefit from AI/ML?
AI and ML are continuously updating their apps for DevOps, but several organizations are just waiting to take benefits like using the technology to make sense of test data.
These are able to look for patterns and solve the coding issues that are the reasons behind creating bugs. Besides, these alert DevOps teams allow them to dig deeper.
Its teams use machine learning and artificial intelligence to sift through security data from logs & other tools so that you can identify breaches, attacks, etc. As soon as you find the problems, these can respond with automated mitigation techniques and alerting. In addition, AI and ML can help professionals by letting them know how they can work best.
What is the goal of DevOps?
It illustrates a change in mindset for IT culture. Its main aim of it is incremental development and software’s rapid delivery. Remember that success depends on the creation of a culture of accountability, better collaboration, empathy, & combined duty for business outcomes. Using a DevOps strategy allows your business to boost operational efficiencies, offer better products, and decrease security risk.
Where Did DevOps Come From?
Although there is a lot of mythical tone of stories regarding the origin of DevOps, you should know that it was generated out of whole cloth. It is not an idea of today as IT experts had nurtured it for a long time (from when the DevOps seeds were planted) in some disciplines. There are two antecedents of DevOps:-
Enterprise systems management (ESM): Several people who were involved in DevOps’s initial definition were system administrators. They are actually operation experts who brought vital practices like configuration management, system monitoring, automated provisioning, and the toolchain approach.
Agile development: It may be interpreted as Agile’s outgrowth. According to agile software development, close collaboration of customers, product management, developers, & QA is essential to fill in gaps.
How does DevOps work?
With the help of this methodology, we generally improve work throughout the software development lifecycle. It is possible to visualize a DevOps process like an infinite loop. The method comprises these steps: plan, code, build, test, release, deploy, operate, monitor, and — through feedback — plan ( to reset the loop).
The methodology indicates that an IT team writes software that fulfills user needs, deploys except for wasting any time, and runs optimally on the first try. Organizations need both technology and culture to achieve their goal. Stakeholders & developers make communication about the project to align software to expectations. If you are a developer, you need to work on every small update to go live independently of each other.
If IT teams always prefer to avoid wait times. For this, they need to use CI/CD pipelines and other DevOps automation for moving code from one development step to another. Review teams and enforce policies to ensure that releases fulfill the standards. As a result, you can write software quickly. Therefore, adherents of this methodology can deploy good code to production by using containers to ensure that software behaves the same way in development, testing & production.
Besides, to find out issues, they deploy changes individually. Hence, configuration management plays a crucial role for teams regarding consistent deployment and hosting environments. The issues found in the live operations result in code improvements via a blameless post-mortem investigation. Besides, sometimes it may happen through a continuous feedback channel.
The live software putting the onus on them to solve runtime issues is suitable for developers. However, the software design meetings could involve IT operations administrators. They can guide by letting the people know the way to use resources efficiently and securely. In this case, you should know that if the specialists collaborate and share more skills, they can foster more DevOps culture.
Why DevOps was Created?
It may happen that system administrators & developers don’t always see eye to eye. However, they agree that customers can pull these in different directions. But the demand of business people has changed as they need new features, new services, and new revenue streams. Besides, business people need a stable system where no interruptions exist. So it can create issues where companies feel like they must select either of these two— provide changes quickly & deal with an unstable production environment or maintain a stable but stale environment.
However, enterprise executives don’t accept any of these. Besides, they don’t enable a business to give the best solutions. For example, you might want to push out software more quickly if you are a developer. Hence, you should know that developers get hired to do these tasks. On the flip side, operations know that the system may become unstable for rapid-fire changes without correct safeguards. So people made the methodology by gathering all people connected to software development and deployment to resolve the problem. The methodology gathers business users, developers, test engineers, security engineers, system administrators, and many more to turn all into a single automated workflow. As a result, top-quality software can meet user needs and maintain the system’s integrity & stability.
DevOps benefits and challenges:
The advantages of the methodology are as follows:
- Lesser silos and increased communications between IT groups;
- Quicker time to market for software;
- rapid improvement depending on feedback;
- less downtime;
- The whole software delivery DevOps pipeline is improved through builds, validations, and deployment;
- less menial work for automation;
- streamlined development processes via more duty and code ownership in development; and Wider roles and skills.
These are some examples of the challenges:-
- organizational and IT departmental changes such as new skills and job roles;
- expensive tools and platforms such as training & support for effective uses;
- development and IT tool proliferation;
- scaling DevOps across several projects & teams;
- deployment has risks because of a fail-fast mentality
- Unsafe automation
- regulatory compliance when you require role separation.
How does DevSecOps relate to DevOps?
In recent times, security has played a crucial role in the software development life cycle where most part of the security gets shifted left in the development method. DevSecOps can ensure that the methodology team knows the needs for security & compliance when the app has just been created and can project the software integrity accurately.
Your organization can get essential control & visibility after the integration of security into the DevOps workflow. It allows them to fulfill vulnerability reporting, auditing, and other challenging security demands. In addition, teams can ensure that you can enforce policies throughout development and deployment, like critical testing phases.
You can implement DevSecOps across several environments, including on-premises, cloud-native, and hybrid. As a result, you can get maximum control throughout the software development lifecycle.
How is DevOps and CI/CD related?
While CI/CD is a modern software development practice, it is the methodology’s vital part. With the help of the CI/CD platform, you can increase development time when you improve an organization’s productivity, boost efficiency, etc. Besides, the platform allows you to streamline workflows via default automation, testing, and collaboration.
Complexity in development can be reduced by the features of CI/CD as the apps grow larger. You should try to adopt other practices of the methodology, such as shifting left on security, making tighter feedback loops, etc. These are useful when you want to break down development silos to get benefits from CI/CD.
How does DevOps support the cloud-native approach?
If you move software development to the cloud, it can give you a lot of benefits, and It is why organizations in recent times want to adopt cloud-native computing. Hence, you need to build, test and deploy applications from the cloud as companies are able to scale resources more efficiently. Besides, these can support quicker software shipping, align with business goals, and free up teams of this methodology for innovation instead of infrastructure maintenance. Moreover, with the help of the development of a Cloud-native app, developers & operations teams can work more collaboratively. As a result, it can offer improved software.
Who is Adopting DevOps?
The methodology tries to make major inroads into IT companies like early-stage startups, 100-year-old enterprises, etc. According to a survey, the methodology’s implementation has been done by 74% of companies in some fashion.
Etsy, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix are names of web-native unicorns. These are also the oft-cited examples of leaders of this methodology. In recent times, everything has adopted the DevOps act of whatever business you are talking about. We have given here examples of DevOps success stories, including:
- Mainstream media company Sony Pictures,
- financial services behemoth Barclays Bank, and
- building products manufacturer USG
Enterprises stand out in the market, as per 81% report that enterprises adopt the methodology in the organization. According to 70% of reports, small and medium-sized businesses also intend to use this methodology. It can prove easily that the methodology’s success doesn’t depend on the size of the company.
Interestingly, the methodology is embraced by government and quasi-government organizations. An instance is Fannie Mae which transforms its business using the methodology to move from one organization ( which doesn’t change quickly) to another organization changing very quickly.
After the move of the U.S. Patent and Trade Office to this methodology, it is seeing an average of 1,000 automated builds were done weekly. Nowadays, government organizations want to modernize IT operations in several ways, following:- General Services Administration (GSA), production containers, automated workflows, and microservices.
You should always remember that the methodology, DevOps isn’t a toolset. But in an IT team, it is impossible for you to do anything without using the proper tools. Practitioners of the methodology depend on a CI/CD pipeline, containers, and cloud hosting. Hence, you can use open-source tools or those which are proprietary or compatible with distributions of open-source technology.
Source code repositories that are version-controlled allow many developers to work on code. Hence, they check out the code and then check it in. Besides, developers revert to the earlier code version if necessary. With the help of these tools, developers can record the modifications built into the source code. Developers can’t follow recent changes without monitoring. In addition, they can not even know about the code versions available to end users without tracking. You should know that these tools can record the modifications made to the source code. Static code analysis or unit tests are triggered automatically by any code change that occurs in a CI/CD pipeline. Git and GitHub are examples of two tools that are required for source code management.
For testing, source code is compiled into an artifact, repositories of which allow version-controlled outputs. It is why Artifact management is good to use as version-controlled source code management. JFrog Artifactory and Nexus Repository are instances of artifact repositories.
CI/CD pipeline engines:
Teams of this methodology can validate and provide apps to the end user using CI/CD when the development lifecycle is running via automation. It is possible to initialize the processes using the continuous integration tool allowing developers to make, test & validate code in a shared repository as required without manual work. In addition, you can extend the automatic steps using continuous delivery via production-level tests as well as configuration setups for release management.
On the flip side, Continuous deployment invokes tests, configuration & provisioning, monitoring & potential rollback abilities. Jenkins, GitLab, and CircleCI are a few tools for CI, CD, or both.
These refer to the isolated runtimes for software on any shared operating system. Actually, these offer abstraction, using which code can perform the same on other underlying infrastructures for development, testing, staging, production, and so on. An example of containerization software is Docker, whereas Microsoft can offer particular Windows container options. Kubernetes and commercial Kubernetes distributions Red Hat OpenShift and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service are examples of container orchestrators that are capable of maintaining, deploying, and scaling containers automatically.
The configuration of software, middleware, and infrastructure depend on a template or script, and IT can do it using Configuration management systems. The DevOps team sets up deployment environments which are especially for software code releases, containers, and VMs via a configuration management tool. However, the changes to the deployment environment can be controlled and tested as well. Therefore, DevOps teams are capable of adjusting infrastructure as code. Puppet and Chef are the names of some Configuration management tools.
The organizations of DevOps use cloud infrastructure for the benefit of automation to its deployment, scaling, and other management tasks. In this case, you should know that AWS & Microsoft Azure are examples of famous cloud providers. In addition, there are popular cloud vendors who can provide CI/CD services.
With the help of these monitoring tools, professionals of this methodology can notice a few things, including —
- security of code releases on systems,
- networks and
Using analytics tools that can offer operation intelligence, they are able to combine monitoring. It is necessary to use these tools for the DevOps teams so that they can understand the effect of the code change on the entire environment. There are several options to choose from, including New Relic One, Dynatrace, Prometheus, Datadog, and Splunk.
Cloud-based DevOps pipelines:
If you are a Public cloud provider, you can provide a native DevOps toolset that lets you use it with your workload. We have given here an incomplete list that includes the following:-
- AWS CodePipeline,
- Azure DevOps
- Pipelines, and
- Google Cloud Deployment Manager.
Cloud adopters can use pre-integrated services. Besides, they can run third-party tools. For instance, HashiCorp Terraform or CloudFormation is essential for companies when it comes to talking about making infrastructure-as-code templates for AWS workloads.
The methodology can be a delivery model when DevOps works as a service for the tools used to facilitate collaboration between the software development and IT operations teams. Hence, the provider can assemble some tools in the delivery model. After that, it can handle integrations to cover the entire code production, delivery, and maintenance methods.
People often assume it as something which is more of a philosophy or collaborative IT culture instead of a skill set. The area is very wide, and it is the reason why the methodology positions are ideal for IT generalists compared to specialists. But you should know that Professionals from different backgrounds may enter into these positions. For instance, software developers gain different skills in operations, including the configuration of the hosting infrastructure, leading them to be DevOps engineers. In addition, a system administrator can be a DevOps engineer when they have deep knowledge of coding, scripting, and testing.
Many DevOps jobs are available for container, cloud & CI/CD knowledge and soft skills. For example, if you are a DevOps engineer, you may have to change processes and solve the issues of organizations to achieve business outcomes.
There are titles available in DevOps organizations, and these are as follows:-
- infrastructure developer;
- site reliability engineer;
- build and release engineer;
- full-stack developer;
- automation specialist; and
- CI/CD platform engineer.
In most cases, the entry-level jobs of this methodology need a degree in computer science. Otherwise, it needs degrees that cover coding, QA testing, and IT infrastructure components. However, remember that to get higher-level positions, you must need advanced degrees in fields like systems architecture and software design. If you want, you can expand your knowledge through DevOps books. In addition, you can connect with other community members via blogs and conferences.
In this case, you don’t get any industry-wide DevOps certifications as you can get for formalized frameworks such as ITIL.
IBM Red Hat can provide DevOps certification, whereas DevOps Institute comes with vendor-neutral options for levels from foundational knowledge to expertise.
Why Are Your Peers Embracing DevOps?
You should know the methodology comes with something always for each field in the software chain— developers, operations, and testing. While the methodology is related to the business side of your house, it allows managers to monetize the software. We have given here some advantages for every group.
If you are a programmer, you must know how beneficial Automated provisioning is as these can work as a development environment without any paperwork or lengthy approval cycles. Moreover, there is no need to wait for IT to provision a server.
Provisioning a working environment with correct computing power, storage, network, and applications allows developers to work quickly. These may be more innovative. Therefore, it is very simple to try many options, run various scenarios, and test codes even more thoroughly than before. As a developer, when you first start working in a DevOps world, you must know what is happening inside that black box labeled “operations.” As a result, you can work effectively with operations as a developer to fix issues more quickly, resulting in fewer distractions.
Basically, this methodology is about the enterprise’s IT function. Although, product managers, as well as marketing and business counterparts, can also become benefitted from this.
You should know that DevOps needs new ways of testing software. As a result, the rest engineers need to innovate daily. These engineers are capable of provisioning the test environment. This environment is identical to the environment of production. As a result, the test results become more accurate and have a better chance of predicting the new release performance. Due to automation and collaboration, the productivity of the test engineers gets enhanced.
People widely believe that system administrators are getting obsessed with system stability. However, in this case, the software release can take the system down within seconds of production deployment.
The bottom line:
Always remember that the methodology, DevOps isn’t a goal. It is a continual improvement method that never ends. Jez Humble, who is the founder & CTO of DevOps Research and Assessment, said it. Several people thought that the methodology could not get success in its way. Still, it has made the task possible by integrating people ( business users, developers, test engineers, security engineers, and system administrators) into a single workflow, as its goal is to meet customer needs. Developers and system administrators support each other to lower blood pressure. It is beneficial for business managers also as they can sell their preferred software products. Besides, executives can easily see the dashboard metrics, including revenue, customer satisfaction, & system reliability. Therefore, everybody can give the most effective results allowing the customer to get the best experience.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is DevOps in simple terms?
It is a combination of cultural philosophy, practice, and tools. It helps to enhance an organization’s ability to deliver apps and services at higher velocity.
Does DevOps need coding?
If you want to work with DevOps, you need to have enough skills in coding and scripting.
Is DevOps an IT job?
It is considered as the hot cake in the IT job field.