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DevOps: An Overview

What is DevOps

As time progresses, DevOps keeps gaining more and more popularity. However, somewhere along the line, its true meaning is lost. We are using it just as a buzzword and nothing beyond. One of the reasons is because we cannot define DevOps just as one entity. it is a combination of tools and practices that can be tailored to suit a company’s needs and processes.

WHAT IS DEVOPS?

One can define DevOps as a set of practices and tools that aim to improve the communication and collaboration between the software developers and the Information Technology experts. Done so by integrating automation in the infrastructure of the company that speeds up software delivery. Also improves the quality of the product delivered to the customer.

The primary aim of DevOps practices is to create a culture in which the processes of software development and testing are sped up and consequently the end product is of high in quality. Thus, helps in achieving customer satisfaction. The process becomes much more reliable as well.

DevOps is essentially an extension of the Agile methodology which also aims to bring up software development velocity. The implementation of DevOps equals to the formation of teams that are given more responsibility and control of the development process as compared to a general agile methodology. This process improves accountability, efficiency, and maintainability at every stage of the development process.

BENEFITS OF EMPLOYING DEVOPS PRACTICES

The problem with a non DevOps model is that developing and testing teams work in an isolation.

Virtual wall divides the team and there seems to be no bridge of communication or integration between these two teams. This separation means that a developer will not know of the roadblocks or issue that the Quality Assurance Engineers are facing. Neither will the QAs be able to view things in context and address issues at hand instead of blaming each other for inefficiency or a faulty product.


DevOps breaks the wall and the developers and operational staff work as a team. It helps in maintaining a software along with providing quality testing feedback side by side to significantly increase the quality of the product and considerably reduce the time to market. Ultimately, this helps in delighting customers by providing quality product at a faster rate. This also helps in retaining customers for long term.

KEY FEATURES OF DEVOPS

The major principles of DevOps are communication, collaboration, automation, and integration. Following are a few of the key features of DevOps.

1. Collaboration

Collaboration between the two departments stands at the very base of the DevOps operations. While it does require cross-functional training and discipline as well as may result in the changing of predefined roles, such collaboration ultimately leads to higher efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Quantification

It is necessary to have a scale on whose basis a practice and its effects can be judged. By quantifying the number of deployments, failures, time taken for each deployment, up time etc before employing DevOps, you can successfully judge the impact and improvement of DevOps on your work culture and environment.

3. Automation

While the developing department generally has a high level of automation, we don’t observe the same with the operations side. By integrating the same level of automation in both departments, we achieve a level of consistency and efficiency across the board that would not otherwise be possible.

WHAT ARE DEVOPS TOOLS?

Below picture illustrates various stages of DevOps.

Illustration showing stages in a DevOps toolchain

Diagram from Wikipedia.

In order to accomplish the process, there arise need of strong tools. There are numerous tools in the market but below are some which we know are used by large organizations. One thing to keep in mind is that DevOps is successful using combinations of tools that integrate well.

1. Jenkins

2. Visual Studio IDE

3. Apache Maven


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