DevOps Service is an initiative of Janak Thakkar, has been working in Cloud Computing space and DevOps Technology for over 10 years. He has worked with many companies like Wipro, EZDI, Infostretch and still working as a DevOps Architect. He has delivered much online and offline training and conducted much training for a company like CMC(Tata).

Our current course offerings are on AWS Cloud, Red Hat, Chef, Docker, DevOps, Cloud Computing Security, Version Control Tool – Git, Jenkins. We are adding more courses that will delve deeper into these subjects.

People asked me many times what is exactly DevOps so thought to put this article on my website.

What is Devops?

DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases 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.

Under a DevOps model, development and operations teams are no longer “siloed.” Sometimes, these two teams are merged into a single team where the engineers work across the entire application lifecycle, from development and test to deployment to operations, and develop a range of skills not limited to a single function. Quality assurance and security teams may also become more tightly integrated with development and operations and throughout the application lifecycle.

These teams use practices to automate processes that historically have been manual and slow. They use a technology stack and tooling which help them operate and evolve applications quickly and reliably. These tools also help engineers independently accomplish tasks (for example, deploying code or provisioning infrastructure) that normally would have required help from other teams, and this further increases a team’s velocity.

To understand the concept better we can refer to the below


What Are the Challenges DevOps Solves?

Prior to DevOps application development, teams were in charge of gathering business requirements for a software program and writing code. Then a separate QA team tests the program in an isolated development environment, if requirements were met, and releases the code for operations to deploy. The deployment teams are further fragmented into siloed groups like networking and database. Each time a software program is “thrown over the wall” to an independent team it adds bottlenecks.

The problem with this paradigm is that when the teams work separately:

  • Dev is often unaware of QA and Ops roadblocks that prevent the program from working as anticipated.
  • QA and Ops are typically working across many features and have little context of the business purpose and value of the software.
  • Each group has opposing goals that can lead to inefficiency and finger pointing when something goes wrong.

DevOps addresses these challenges by establishing collaborative cross-functional teams that share responsibility for maintaining the system that runs the software and preparing the software to run on that system with increased quality feedback and automation issues.

A Common Pre-DevOps Scenario
The Dev team that has a goal to ship as many features as possible, kicks a new release “over the wall” to QA. Then the tester’s goal is to find as many bugs as possible. When the testers bring their findings to Dev, the developers become defensive and blame the testers that are testing the environment for the bugs. The testers respond that it isn’t their testing environment, but the developer’s code that is the problem.

Eventually the issues get worked out and QA kicks the debugged new release “over the wall” to Ops. The Ops team’s goal is to limit changes to their system, but they apprehensively release the code and the system crashes. The finger pointing resumes.

Ops says that Dev provided them faulty artifacts. Dev says everything worked fine in the test environment. The fire drills begin to debug the system and get production stable. The production environment isn’t Dev’s and QA’s responsibility, so they keep hands off while Ops spends all night fixing the production issues.

What Is the Goal of DevOps?

Improve collaboration between all stakeholders from planning through delivery and automation of the delivery process in order to:

  • Improve deployment frequency
  • Achieve faster time to market
  • Lower failure rate of new releases
  • Shorten lead time between fixes
  • Improve mean time to recovery

According to the 2015 State of DevOps Report, “high-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times; they have 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster.”

A Common Pre-DevOps Scenario
The software team meets prior to starting a new software project. The team includes developers, testers, operations and support professionals. This team plans how to create working software that is ready for deployment.

Each day new code is deployed as the developers complete it. Automated testing ensures the code is ready to be deployed. After the code passes all the automated testing it is deployed to a small number of users. The new code is monitored for a short period to ensure there are no unforeseen problems and it is stable. The new code is then proliferated to the remaining users once the monitoring shows that it is stable. Many, if not all, of the steps after planning and development are done with no human intervention.

Benefits of DevOps

Companies that practice DevOps have reported significant benefits, including: significantly shorter time to market,improved customer satisfaction, better product quality, more reliable releases, improved productivity and efficiency, and the increased ability to build the right product by fast experimentation

What Tools Are Used in DevOps?

Earlier we briefly discussed some of the tools used in DevOps; here are some of the key tools and practices you need to know.

Source Code Repository
A source code repository is a place where developers check in and change code. The source code repository manages the various versions of code that are checked in, so developers don’t write over each other’s work.

Source control has probably been around for forty years, but it’s a major component of continuous integration. Popular source code repository tools are Git, Subversion, Cloudforce, Bitbucket and TFS.

Build Server
The build server is an automation tool that compiles the code in the source code repository into executable code base. Popular tools are Jenkins, SonarQube and Artifactory.

Configuration Management
Configuration management defines the configuration of a server or an environment. Popular configuration management tools are Puppet and Chef.

Virtual Infrastructure
Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are examples of virtual infrastructures. Virtual infrastructures are provided by cloud vendors that sell infrastructure or platform as a service (PaaS). These infrastructures have APIs to allow you to programmatically create new machines with configuration management tools such as Puppet and Chef.

There are also private clouds. For example, VMware has vCloud. Private virtual infrastructures enable you to run a cloud on top of the hardware in your data center.

Virtual infrastructures combined with automation tools to empower organizations practicing DevOps with the ability to configure a server without any fingers on the keyboard. If you want to test your brand-new code, you can automatically send it to your cloud infrastructure, build the environment and then run all of the tests without human intervention.

Test Automation
Test automation has been around for a long time. DevOps testing focuses on automated testing within your build pipeline to ensure that by the time that you have a deployable build, you are confident it is ready to be deployed. You can’t get to the point of continuous delivery where you’re fairly confident without any human intervention that your code is deployable without an extensive automated testing strategy. Popular tools are Selenium and Water.

Pipeline Orchestration
A pipeline is like a manufacturing assembly line that happens from the time a developer says, “I think I’m done,” all the way to the time that the code gets deployed in the production or a late-stage pre-production environment.