DevOps: Plan smarter, collaborate better and deliver faster

Modern market is a thing full of twists and turns at every corner, that requires flexibility and ability to adapt to the ever-changing state of things. “Agility” is the word that best describes what it takes to be competitive in the modern world.

Your organization simply won’t get anywhere if you aren’t ready to adjust according to the situation and bend it to your benefit. It is true for most industries, but especially so in software development. In order to be the best at what an organization can achieve, there are tons of things, which need to come to the fore. The higher the networking capability between the employees, the greater the efficiency of the apps and tools used within the organization. Many have asked how their transformations could be taken further.

By adopting DevOps practices, agile organizations can further enhance the efficiency, agility, and quality of their development sprints. That bring us to the question, what exactly is DevOps? In addition, how important is it for your company?

What is DevOps?

DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.

The Necessity of the DevOps approach

The world of IT is changing fast. Requirements change very often, and software must be developed at an ever increasing pace. Not only must software and web applications be marketed faster, but it must also be possible to constantly update them, easily add new features and fix any bugs found. This leads to the Agile Development model.

However, the team of developers should not be the only ones to react quickly and efficiently. The operational team, which has to deploy and monitor the new applications, should also react the same way. This leads to the DevOps approach.

The Motivation behind the practices:

The traditional silos between developers, testers, release managers and system administrators are broken down. They work more closely together during the entire development and deployment process, which enables them to understand each other’s challenges and questions better.

The DevOps approach thus requires people with multidisciplinary skills – not only people who are comfortable with both the infrastructure and configuration, but also those who are capable of performing tests and debugging software. DevOps is a bridge builder; it is for those who are skilled in every field.

Some of the common motivating factors are:

  1. Extremely high deployment time sometimes as much as 24 hours or even more
  2. Enormous Application Downtime
  3. Extended wait time for smaller fixes
  4. Tedious process of replicating environment
  5. Automating and streamlining software development
  6. Automating infrastructure management processes
  7. Automating monitoring and analysis
  8. Very frequent but small updates
  9. Considerable reduction in time to market
  10. Micro-services architecture to make applications more flexible and enable quicker innovation

DevOps may be essentially disruptive, but it is here to stay because it is a very practical and can be a valuable asset for organizations. Let us look at some of the benefits DevOps provide:

  1. Rapid Time-to-Market

Improved business agility is one of the fundamental gains of implementing DevOps. Reducing the time between development and launch phases will enable your business to generate competitive advantage – by rolling out new features to customers at much higher frequencies – and drastically lower the time it takes to respond to failures.

  1. Improved collaboration between teams

In the past there were no links between developers and operations, innovation was carried out in seclusion, making things all the more elusive and secretive. However, as times have changed, so have the methods of performing innovation. DevOps not only brings key concepts and tools to create automated workflows for a system’s development life cycle (SDLC); it also allows integration of team collaboration tools to these workflows.

  1. Security

While DevOps does not require the use of any specific type of tool, DevOps teams tend to favor next-generation architectures and technologies, like micro-services and containers. These help to make apps more secure by reducing attack surfaces and enabling quicker reaction. If you deploy your app using containerized micro-services, it becomes harder for attackers to compromise your entire app, because an attack against one micro-service does not give them control over the other ones.

  1. Quicker Deployment

If your business has successfully launched DevOps, it is getting ready for the next level of deployment. Through the right approaches, an organization can benefit by deploying their new systems in a more enhanced, efficient manner, while keeping the efficiency intact. This way, innovation and continual deployment becomes synonymous with each other, thereby making the deployment easier and quicker.

The above-mentioned benefits are some of the most important ones out of the many that DevOps has to offer. With so many benefits being achieved through DevOps, there is no denying the fact that DevOps is the future of the production cycles.

After reading all this you must surely be thinking – How to get started?

Developing a DevOps culture requires planning.  These tips can help you develop a DevOps mindset:

  1. Think about how you want your web team to operate over a period of 12-18 months.
  2. Examine your current work processes and ask yourself (and your team!) what can be improved, and what the risks are.
  3. Encourage your teams to have their say: How do they think that the processes could be realistically improved?
  4. Feel free to share your conclusions and your plans with other units: cross-functional teams can be involved in your entire organization to improve efficiency!

Don’t worry, we at Nitor can get you started by offering you our DevOps assessment tool. The tool would primarily assess your maturity in terms of DevOps processes, your key pain areas and then come up with few recommendations, which could make a lot of difference in how your projects work. Nitor can assist you in all ways possible to achieve a mature and robust DevOps Model.

To learn more click on the link and start with your DevOps Assessment  – https://www.nitorinfotech.com/devops-diagnostic-tool/

To know more about Nitor and DevOps services email  us at marketing@nitorinfotech.com/

DevOps

DevOps is the new buzzword of the day. Agile software development used to be the main philosophy when it came to developing and delivering products. However, there now seems to be something missing when it comes to delivering working software to the market at the speed which the Agile methodology promises. DevOps lies somewhere between developing and delivering a software. Let me explain my views about it.

What is DevOps?

In a SaaS and cloud obsessed world, there is constant market pressure to implement newer features in the product and release the products to consumers as fast as possible. Tech companies have embraced the Agile development philosophy to address the concerns surrounding faster release of products.  They have even achieved  success to some extent. However, while Agile development principles help develop a working software faster than any other process, what about releasing the product to market?

A typical Agile scrum based-development has sprints of 2 to 4 weeks. At the end of this sprint, which largely involves Dev, QA, Architect and BA, the product features agreed (sprint backlog items) are  ready for production deployment. Note that the product  is production ready but the actual production deployment can take some time. Typically, production deployment may take another  week which could involve lot of to and fro between the deployment team and the Dev team due to the complexity involved in any SaaS and cloud based product.  On average, the production release can be considered to take around 3 weeks for a 2 week sprint based development plan. If the deployment involves too many complexities, it is possible that the actual deployment time can prolong further. Some common practices involve creation of release sprints dedicated to release related activities. Such a release sprint may be planned after a certain number of sprints and generally involves releasing the product in bigger batches, thus defeating the purpose of the faster release of products.

DevOps is a newer chapter in the book of product engineering. DevOps  makes agile principles stronger by bringing in the Development team and the Operations team (responsible for production deployment) closer. Both  teams work closely to ensure tightly integrated development and deployment, resulting in seamless delivery.  The DevOps processes will make sure that the new product features are integrated with the main product and released to market even faster. This means that at the end of a typical 2 week sprint, the product is not just production-ready but also deployed to production release, ready for  end users.

What does it take to implement DevOps?

Bringing dev and operations team closer is the primary theme of the DevOps methodology. Tight integration of dev and operations would typically involve automation of configuration management, version controlling process, test scripts, creation of staging environment and production environment. With Cloud used prominently for hosting, automating cloud related operations such as setting up virtual machines too becomes part of the DevOps automation plan.

Most cloud setup activities revolve around configuring appropriate Virtual machines. The cloud platforms have matured, and many scripting options are available to automate these operations. With the new Containerization technology, which adds  another layer of abstraction and automation of OS level virtualization, the overhead of maintaining virtual machines is further reduced. Though it was initially available on Linux platforms only, Microsoft and Docker partnered to come up with a Microsoft piece of the same.

In addition to available scripting options, we can consider using various DevOps tools for implementation and continuous delivery. Chef, Puppet and Ansible are some of the popular tools for the same. When it comes to the Microsoft world, Team Foundation Server (TFS) along with Azure runbook will help automate Microsoft Azure related operations.

 Summary

Agile DevOps is becoming the thing when it comes to standing up to the promise of delivering a product to market. The Operations team, which largely consists of Sysadmin, DBA, and network engineers has a  key role to play. Their collaboration with the development team ensures that production deployment is smooth and accurate. Due to the distributed nature of the application architecture, there are too many elements to be considered for automaton These range from code deployment to virtual machine creations. A wide variety of scripting may be required to automate them. This  calls for a highly motivated and skilled Operations team that can jump from one scripting language to another, depending upon the situation.