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How to Implement DevOps to Automate the Software Delivery Process?

Patrick Debois coined the termed “DevOps” nearly a decade ago is no more a buzzword in the Software industry. Well we can say it has gained momentum tremendously and growing in the right path. According to statisca, it has grown up to 17% in 2018, a 10% increase from its previous year and gets more exciting in 2019.

DevOps Implementation Strategy – Why do we need DevOps?

“The most crucial element of any successful DevOps Implementation is an effective cultural collaboration within the organization. Real-time feedback between the key metrics is critical for the automated processes”

Continuous Testing was not an option in the case of traditional software development process. This resulted in many unmanageable post-release bugs, which in turn took weeks to months time in fixing the errors.

  • DevOps Continuous Testing has a collaborative working model between the core teams where QA Engineers, developers and system administrators are rightly aligned with each other so that they can be on the same page throughout the entire project life cycle. This led to reduced post release bugs. Example of specialized automated testing tools are Selenium, Tosca, Zephyr & Tricentis.

Software failures are inevitable in the traditional project development model due to the different infrastructure alignment, what worked in testing environment may terribly fail in production environment.

  • With the help of DevOps Infrastructure as Code (IaC), build an identical working environment between testing, development and operations team. Now the DevOps Engineer can build a testing and development environment and tactfully align with the production environment in a later stage of the project without any issue. Since the testing analysts, developers can add their new builds there is no room for any software down issues.

Process of Implementing DevOps

To smoothly transition from a traditional software development life cycle to a DevOps implementation services, there are six key steps to be followed diligently.

devops implementation

1. Kickstarting DevOps Culture

Right from the top level CEO to the grassroot entry-level employees, a successful DevOps transformation brings an effective collaboration between cross-functional teams. The CIO kick starts the DevOps implementation with careful DevOps Strategies and a dedicated program manager monitors and maintains the implementation process in an optimal way.

2. Building a Continuous integration, Continuous delivery process

Creating a planned DevOps strategy is the next step, once the DevOps culture is initiated in an organization. However, a program manager must follow certain best practices to get the full potential of the DevOps technology.

  • Embracing a shared DevOps environment – To speed up the software development life cycle and improve the quality of the software to a whole new level, various software teams like testing, operations & design teams work together to get a better understanding of each other’s roles and duties.

  • Implement IaC to nullify human errors caused due to manual configurations – Developers and Test engineers can confidently build new codes and also check the quality of the existing ones in just one click with uniformed infrastructure.

  • Streamline the testing – Releasing life cycle through automated testing methods. Continual Testing is practised throughout the delivery pipeline where the main goal here is to keep the check-in & release time as minimal as possible.

3. Using Containerization Technology

Think of the Container from the logistics term, packaging container which carries goods between places, an application container is a “packaging software” which is a lightweight alternative to virtual machines , where it encapsulates an application along with an operating system.

Owing to the various advantages of Containerization, implementing DevOps process can be easily done with powerful Container tools like Docker.

  • Containers support multi-cloud platform and can run on AWS, Rackspace, virtualBox.

  • It’s high portability function makes the configuration transformation even more easier with a one-click file share option.

  • Docker, one of the most popular open source Container tools, provides version control where the developer can roll back to its previous versions when there is any setbacks.

  • As Containers are capable of working with a same OS Kernel as host, it offers an cost-effective option as many containers can share the same infrastructure.

  • For a distributed application environment Containers are much faster than the virtual machines.

4. Integrate Powerful DevOps Tools

To automate the Company’s Infrastructure, choose the appropriate DevOps tools to effectively streamline the project life cycle process. Once Containerization process is implemented , appropriate automation tools needs to be used to manage the software applications in the container.

Tools like kubernetes are used to streamline big organization infrastructures, Ansible for smaller businesses , Jenkins to build, test and deploy new builds into Kubernetes are some of the examples of a reliable DevOps tools.

Devops tools

5. Right Alignment between QA & Development process

Fostering a continuous testing environment is essential for speeding up the delivery pipeline which helps to successfully implement DevOps as well . Following a few best practices ensuring there are no post release bugs and creates a perfect alignment between QA and development process.

  • Schedule automated tests 1-2 times per day

  • Before releasing the next build , rectify any defects

  • Implement adequate QA practices

  • Practising unit tests & integration tests at appropriate phases

  • Log all the data extensively

  • Perform frequent early tests

6. Monitor the application performance using special software

Special monitoring software like Zabbix, Prometheus, Nagios precisely finds the root-cause of any performance issues and work on improvising them. For instance, slow response, runtime errors, memory leaks can be easily detected by these software applications.

The entire application performance can be effectively monitored through five important categories like,

  • Development cycles that checks the performance of the automated deployment pipelines

  • Automated alert systems in case of failed deployments with continuous integration servers

  • Identify and mitigate the vulnerabilities

  • Server monitoring

  • AppDynamics and NewRelic, some of the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool identifies the application usage & performance

Conclusion

Automation , alignment and security are the three key elements that each DevOps Engineer needs to keep in mind while embracing a DevOps Continuous Integration & Deployment process. However, the future of DevOps is focusing more on the security front, adopting the DevSecOps methodology by implementing the AI/ML technologies. Also, as long as the AI use cases increases, data science teams will focus more towards the DevOps implementation plans for an agile environment.

devops implementation

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