What is DevOps?
DevOps is a portmanteau of the words: Developers and Operations. It primarily refers to practices employed in the software development process which enhance collaboration and communication and automated software delivery process. The stages of development, testing and deployment occur frequently and reliably in this process. The main purpose of DevOps or this framework is to make the working of the development and operations team cohesive and smooth by increasing knowledge sharing.
The principles of DevOps
DevOps is considered as a skill-set, a role in SDLC, a framework for development and operations or as a job description. There are many conflicting definitions of DevOps and all should be united to understand the bigger role DevOps plays for an organization. Once the DevOps environment is established properly, it could lead to a lot of growth opportunity for the organizations.
The best practices of DevOps include:
- Seamless integration of the changes.
- The agile methodology should be used by the team to use tools as per the demand of the project.
- Transparency between the different teams
Flexible approach to ensure the teams adapt to changes or any exceptional circumstances.
- Open culture in the organization with the focus on teamwork, collaboration, and good communication.
- The automation of software should be carried out in stages :
- Continuous Integration: The code is integrated with a larger piece of code and tested.
- Continuous Delivery: The development team works in sprints and churns out an incremental release.
- Continuous Deployment: If the code passes all the phases of testing, it is deployed to production
- Continuous Monitoring: The application is monitored for any bugs or defects and the issues are resolved.
How to evaluate success of DevOps?
With DevOps the changes in the code goes to the production immediately. The deployment to production can happen every day with DevOps. This works for companies who need new features immediately in their applications. The time taken to deploy changes to the production environment reflects the efficiency of the automation system. For a code to be deployed to production, a well-oiled machine should take roughly half an hour. The companies can expand and increase their customer base without increasing their overhead costs. The best way to maximize potential gains from DevOps is by having well-planned processes. The automation process and the entire lifecycle of tools and activities is clearly defined to support innovation. The companies are able to minimize their inefficiencies like complexity, removing obsolete processes and tools, lack of coordination in the team.
How to create a well-oiled DevOps machine?
The following are the key areas where the organizations need to take steps to improve their DevOps framework.
In Services, DevOps has a major role in the Service Management Framework (SMF). Services rely heavily on the development and operations teams and a better cohesiveness between these two teams forces organizations to re-align their business models. These days companies are using Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). As there is a growing usage of services in organizations, supporting SMF through DevOps is of vital importance. The cloud services can be used to simplify network infrastructure. Also, the services should be version controlled by the teams.
With data virtualization, the data can be accessed faster. In DevOps there is a need for fast execution and speed is of critical importance. Agile methodology makes rapid application development and fast response to new requirements a high priority. And that means taking advantage of techniques like data virtualization for easy access and minimum delay. The adoption of Data virtualization also reduces the expenses and makes the data secure.
In Quality Assurance, DevOps gives the opportunity for the organizations to improve their QA process. The organizations can gather more data compared to the past. They can also use DevOps to deliver the desired UX with the help of QA. DevOps enhances the ability of early problem detecting reducing the gap between developers and the end users. The software undergoes continuous development, testing and releases so that the end users can use the software and give their feedback. This process allows the organizations to make the work far more efficient and effective compared to the other methodologies.
The organizations should hire employees who are skilled in both development and operations to make the collaboration process smooth and create a challenging and positive work atmosphere. The major productive killer in an organization is huge teams with blurred boundaries. The focus should be on creating small teams with high level of independence. A small and independent team ensures that the task is well-documented and doesn’t require a lot of people for re-testing or verification. Large teams on the other hand hinder the process of agility and implementation of changes. The employees should be encouraged more to allow room for more accountability and responsibility. It needs a commitment from the management to implement a cultural shift in the organization. Shared knowledge management system should be created to allow for easy access to information so that project conflicts can be assessed and tracked. The managers can plan for new release schedules and multi-project deliveries.
The software standards like CMMI and ITIL should be considered. Moreover, the organizations should also provide their teams with a standard set of automation tools, cloud infrastructure, and the supporting tools to test the application. The chosen applications can make the life easier for the teams as they can deliver on time and also reduces the burden for the managers. The key is to standardize every tool and process across the teams.
The companies are transforming and have revamped their digital profile. Companies today have recognized the value of DevOps practices which make development and delivery cycles faster increasing collaboration between the business, development and operations teams. The application of DevOps in the process improves the business processes by enhancing communication and integration among teams. DevOps also ensures early detection of defects by improving the quality and robustness of the software. The benefit of DevOps is in its ability to accelerate software development and automated software delivery. For the companies operating in the current scenario, that means improved efficiency and high quality.