To create the right collaborative environment, DevOps bridges all IT groups that used to work separately. Breaking down these barriers from business to delivery, however, requires a major change to IT culture.
DevOps service delivery combines the skills from people with diverse backgrounds, such as developers, infrastructure architects, operations engineers, database administrators, and testers to let them work closely together. These team members must be well rounded and with broad and deep understanding of what is required to successfully complete a DevOps project.
They must also continually adapt, iterate and grow. To create software in such a collaborative way requires teamwork accountability, and an IT culture based on skills, trust and empathy.
DevOps takes a “continuous” integration and delivery . The development, testing, and release of applications take place more rapidly than under a traditional “waterfall” process.
Process structure and workflows have to be carefully defined in order to automate and orchestrate the tasks that are needed to move into production:
Build: As the DevOps delivery process continuously generates outcomes, the teams can rapidly see if their output is working. They can start a project by defining its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), for example, organize their work around them, allowing testers to quickly implement their frameworks and save valuable time.
Test: A robust environment is required for tests. It should be optimized for all types of tests: functional, such as system and regression tests; non-functional, such as performance, load/stress or security tests; or specialized tests focusing on test environment automation and management.
To optimize efficiency, artifacts should be built and tested in consistent acceptance and production environments.
Test data governance, in particular, plays a key role in preventing potential risks and delays. Tests must run against a simulated data ecosystem consisting of multiple databases and/or masked production data.
For security assurance, it’s a must to implement masked test data from “live “ databases. To prevent vulnerabilities that could arise from large numbers of people with access to sensitive test data, teams need to implement data mastering and restrict access to live or production data.
Deploy: Configuration management is a time-consuming activity. Traditionally, operations teams have installed hardware manually to allocate it for testing purposes. In fact, according to The 2017 state of DevOps Report by Puppet, an Open Source software operations company, low DevOps performers spend almost half of their time (46%) on manual configuration. The highest performing organizations, however, have automated as much as 72% of all configuration management processes.
Rather than having technicians repeat tasks over and over, administrators can use scripts use automation tools to automate configuration steps. Configuration automation solutions, in particular, can help deploy hardware consistently, so system configurations generate fewer errors. Many processes can thus be automated, such as request fulfillment, standard change execution, configuration updates, or release management.
Monitor: as part of a continuous development and integration approach, DevOps teams need to monitor how changes affect their testing and production environments. System monitoring and alerting, in particular, is a crucial piece of operations. DevOps teams must be notified whenever infrastructure and software-related problems arise. Overall application performance also needs to be monitored by keeping track of such parameters as API call response time, stability
A DevOps application development process requires code development, configuration testing and deployment automation. A significant range of products can help operations staff configure infrastructure and application stacks, in order to make coordination and compliance easier.
DevOps teams, in particular, can create integrated tool chains using developer services from their respective providers, such as AWS Code Deploy, Azure Automated Desired State Configuration, or Google Cloud Development Manager. These services can ease allocation constraints by enabling quick provisioning of new hardware. By using the cloud, organizations can create test environments that closely match production, are accessible on demand and easy to scale up or down. They need to decide what is best done on premises and what can go to the cloud, based on application design, lifespan, security and overall resource needs.
Standardization is also a core DevOps principle. The use of standard components and processes can help deliver change faster and with a higher level of quality. Standardized services, in particular, such as cloud services based on API's, can help improve time-to-market and reduce risks.
What’s more, the use of containers can improve code management and control. By packaging an application and all its dependences, containers can help developers move software more easily from one computer environment to another across the cloud. Technology, such as Docker, lets developers create code that can run in its own containers, enabling short feedback loops, so that businesses can quickly adapt to change.
DevOps is first and foremost a . Organizations have to approach DevOps as a continuous journey, with a series of pilot projects and experiments.
Aprico Consultants can support you at every stage of your DevOps initiative. As an established ICT consultancy with a track-record for delivering advice and solutions, we can help you define a clear DevOps roadmap, and put at your disposal a wide range of skills and resources to meet your project requirements.