Introduction to DevOps


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In short, DevOps stands for Developer Operations and is concerned with how the tasks of a developer are managed. It is an interesting domain in itself. In this article, we have covered the basic terms in DevOps, CAMS model, ideas behind using DevOps, some DevOps tools and much more.

DevOps has been a widely accepted and embraced by the various organizations worldwide. Each organization defines DevOps differently, based on their experience and the reception that people gave.

Gartner defines DevOps as ‘a change in the mindset of IT thought leaders, breaking age old traditional practices and adapting to Agile & Lean principles that emphasise on customer value.’

DevOps focuses on the tangible and intangible aspects of an organization. The People, culture, collaboration and communication among different functions within the organization come together to deliver efficient products. In the process, devops uses tools and technology, to automate processes that are manual and inefficient.

Amazon Web Services, the leading public cloud- provider defines DevOps, as a combination of processes, practices, techniques and tools that the organizations use to facilitate speedy delivery of the products. These practices also help the companies to innovate, ideate and iterate at a faster pace and release new features and launch products at a shorter time- intervals as opposed to the traditional systems. DevOps is an important way for the organizations to stay relevant and competitive.

Agile, Lean, DevOps

Common and widely used terms in DevOps are:

  • Agile
  • Lean
  • DevOps

We will understand each term in depth.

Agile: The Agile methodology is a break-away from the traditional methods of product-building to enable faster delivery cycles. The Agile methodology breaks product delivery into smaller iterations, offering a complete product, every time there is a product release. Agile also brings together different teams within an organization for faster delivery of the product.

Lean: The primary motive of lean processes is to deliver customer value with optimum utilization of process and to eliminate waste. Lean processes involve an overhaul of all processes in the product life- cycle eliminating any waste. Lean Startup tends to focus more on a method for product development.

DevOps imbibes these philosophies and embraces a culture that propagates collaboration & seamless communication between the teams to speed up delivery of products. DevOps is one of the central pillars on which many of the new breed of IT organizations realize a new modus operandi for delivering IT services. Adopting DevOps across the entire organization helps organizations redesign their business and IT departments. DevOps thus becomes a new operating model that bids adieu to traditional demand-supply models, centralized IT operations, and complex value streams with an excess of hand overs, waste and error-prone manual activities that do not deserve the label ‘engineering’. DevOps is the most holistic way and more likely to take cultural aspects and the existing operation into consideration.

DevOps as a culture

  • DevOps is not a framework or a standard to be implemented but a culture that pervades the organization and enables speedy delivery of products and services.
  • DevOps is an amalgamation of development and operations to create a more efficient, foolproof process that supports collaboration and teamwork leading to high performance.

DevOps is a synopsis of Lean & Agile practices coming together, to offer faster delivery of the products. It is not a standard or an IT framework that the organizations implement but more of a philosophy and culture that forms the core of how the organizations’ function.

Traditional organizations followed outdated processes that offered no room for collaboration. They had rigid structures and the decisions were dictated top-to-down making, day to day operations
of a business, cumbersome and inefficient. DevOps disrupts the traditional models by following a decentralized organization, where the environment encourages and supports open communication, teamwork and an open culture. This leads to many benefits to the organization.

Benefits of DevOps

DevOps has the following benefits:

  • Reduction of lead time: DevOps brings together the development, operations and QA teams together and creates a process that allows collaboration. This reduces the feedback loops between the teams leading to shorter delivery cycles.

  • Reduction in a failure of the product & its releases: Since the different functions involved in product-building & delivery of the work are in unison, under efficient processes, the room for error is reduced drastically in comparison to the traditional systems.

  • Collaboration: In a pre-DevOps scenario, the development teams build and push the product to QA team for testing. They, in turn, test the product and do the test runs to identify issues or what we call the bugs in the Developer-Jargon. This is then brought back to the development team to rework upon and this loop continues. Once this comes to closure, the product is handed over to the operations. The next round of challenges starts for the operations’ team in maintaining and running the product on a daily basis. The lack of a standard product manual, poor handing- over process and constant fire-fighting leads to excessive delay. This can only be overcome by implementing DevOps, for smooth transitioning of product, from the development to the operations team, where they come together to serve the customers.

  • Scalability: DevOps involves automation of processes and eliminates bottlenecks and inefficiencies across the product lifecycle. This allows organizations to scale more rapidly and propel organizational growth.

  • Reliability: DevOps implementation involves streamlining the processes which lead to product stability.

  • Optimum utilization of cost and resources: Similar to the lean practices, DevOps also focuses on maximizing the product value to the customers and eliminating waste at every level.

CAMS Model

Gene Kim, the founder of the phoenix project, coined the CAMS model. CAMS is an acronym that embodies the core principles governing the devops,

  • Culture
  • Automation
  • Measurement
  • Sharing

Let us deep dive into each of the four components of the CAMS model:

  • Culture: DevOps propagates a very open culture that promotes trust, eliminates blaming, embraces transparency and allows teams to work and contribute independently. The constantly changing nature requires the organization to be prepared for constant syncing without room for any duplication. DevOps, as a culture should be a fundamental platform on which the organization operates.

  • Automation: The organizations predominantly look at adapting new processes to expedite the speed of product delivery. Automation helps in removing the backlogs that may occur due to poor processes and replacing it with an efficient automated process.

  • Measurement: Companies need to constantly track and monitor application performance, number of bugs, recurrence of issues, application downtime etc., to constantly to improve the product.

  • Sharing: A collaborative team environment can only be enabled if there is sharing among individuals, across cross functional teams. Sharing of knowledge, product information, new processes, techniques and anything that could make the environment conducive to speedy delivery of product.

Why to Build a Business Case for DevOps?

1. Collaboration

For effective problem solving teams need to come together and use the available time and resources. Because, challenges do not affect the individual teams alone. It is the business that gets affected and regardless of who is responsible, the problem needs to be solved. Without collaboration, this process takes longer and can create further problems that may not be immediately apparent. DevOps fosters collaboration, hence efficient problem solving. Togetherness and communication between the teams help to work faster and smarter and similar issues can be prevented.

2. Improved speed to market

Improved speed to market is critical for organizations to get the early mover advantage. Businesses need to gain a competitive edge in an industry where software and tools are outmoded almost as quickly as they are released. Introducing a DevOps approach will enable an organization to go from an initial concept to a viable product in a shorter timescale.

3. No silos, no waste

DevOps allows teams to complete tasks quickly and efficiently while maintaining stability and quality By joining different teams and trains into one lean, mean DevOps group that has cross-useful ranges of abilities and convey proficiently. Removal of "us" , "them" and "blame game culture" make the team more productive and efficient.

4. Encouraging innovation and creativity

Continuous Integration, standardized production environments, and automated deployments allow practitioners to concentrate on the more imaginative and inventive side of their job. The DevOps Team always look for different and new ways to address challenges faced in bussiness

5. Effective utilization of resources and reduction in cost

Compard to the traditional approches the costs is reduced in DevOps approch. When the organizations use continuous delivery and Lean Management practices, higher quality results and shorter cycle times are achieved which further reduce costs. Other factors that help to reduce cost and resource requirements, include minimal project start-up and ongoing operational costs, increased collaboration, increased data availability and accessibility, and improved security.

6. Increased employee engagement and job satisfaction

DevOps provides a collaborative and multi-skilled environment which contributes heavily to job satisfaction.DevOps Practices and aautomation enables increased stabilty. It also increase employee satisfaction which leads to better business outcomes.

7. Continuous integration and delivery

Continuous integration is a development practice that involves deploying code more frequently and in the shorter lead time. Using an automated build and automated testing helps to produces more stable software.

8. Fewer Failures

Fewer failures justify itself with real evidence: Organizations who receive this mentality and culture have multiple times fewer failures than those not executing this methodology (2015 State of DevOps Report).

9. Increased Performance

Standardized production environments and automation tools help make deployments predictable. DevOps empowers continuous software delivery with less mind boggling issues to fix and quicker goals of issues. It has unquestionably helped associations, for example, Etsy, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Google to upset their presentation levels and send at an at no other time seen rate!

10. Stability

DevOps allows a single team to handle both, new functionality and the stability of the system. Each team member takes ownership of the business goals. Deploying often and in smaller, indivisible groups allows engineers to troubleshoot and resolve issues faster. The combination of tools and best practices, along with automation allows a DevOps team to increase overall stability.

Benefits derived from using DevOps

  • Lead time is the time taken between customer order and delivery. While working on issues, lead time is the time taken from when an issue is logged until work is completed on that issue. Adopting DevOps principles helps in reduction in lead time between the fixes.

  • DevOps encourages communication, collaboration, integration and automation among software developers and IT operations in order to improve the speed and quality of delivering software.

  • DevOps takes advantage of agile development methodologies that enables faster release and deployment cycles.

  • Reduction in failure of product and releases, due to shorter development cycles and feedback loops and automated tests.

  • Optimum utilization of resources

  • DevOps fosters improved collaboration between business stakeholders, application development and operations teams.

  • Scalability

  • Reliability

DevOps tools

  • GIT

Git is a most widely and commonly used tool in DevOps. It is a distributed source code management tool. You can make different versions of your development on git. Git is a platform where more than one developer can work together on a single development. They can use merge, pull, push and other many features to make their development. through GitHub use can access to many public repos for free. Everyone gets notified when any commit is done on your project. It is used by remote teams and open source contributors.

  • JENKINS

Jenkins is a tool that can be used as a CI server or turned into the continuous delivery hub for a project. It is a Free Open-Source Tool and Integrates all your DevOps stages with the help of plugins. It provides multiple ways of communication. It scripts our pipeline having one or more build jobs into a single workflow. It finds and solve bugs in our code rapidly and automate the testing of their build.

  • Continuous integration

Continuous integration is like a software assembly line set-up in an IT factory. Let's look at an example of a motor-bike & how it came into being to understand this better. A bike is not a single entity, it is a combination of different elements such as engine, headlight, metal, nuts, and bolts that are fused together to create a single complete product as a motor-bike. It is most likely that each of these elements came from different sources. Each of these elements is fully functional components by itself, which went through its own set of processes before becoming a fully functional product. All these elements brought from different sources, manufactured under different conditions are assembled together at a factory to create what we see-a fully functional motorbike.**

  • SELENIUM

Selenium is used in a testing phase. It tests web applications and provides an interface for developing an automated test. it is also a free Open-source tool. we can write script in various languages for example- JAVA, Python, Javascript, etc. It is easy to build a keyword-driven framework for a web driver.

Selenium is not just a single tool but a suite of software, each catering to different testing needs of an organization. It has four components.

  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

  • Selenium Remote Control (RC)

  • WebDriver

  • Selenium Grid

  • Automated Test

Automated testing involves the automated test execution of test specifications/test scripts. Example of tests are static code quality analysis, unit tests, functional tests, and load tests.

  • DOCKER

It is a computer software which is used for Virtualization for multiple Operating systems which is running on the same host and it is also used as a container to package up an application with all the needs and dependency before shipping the container as one package. It can use in any language and updated with zero downtime. Containerization is a technology with Docker. It's packages applications as images that contain everything needed to run them: code, runtime environment, libraries, and configuration.Docker containers provide a way to run software in isolation. Docker container is used for the development and deployment of software and a Docker COntainer is a portable executable package which includes applications and their dependencies. With Docker Containers, applications can work efficiently in different computer environments.

With this, you have a good foundation to dive deeper into the field of DevOps. Enjoy.