Instead of thinking of DevOps, which often uses continuous integration software, as a singular solution, it should be viewed as an overarching philosophy — generally speaking, the DevOps concept has been developed to bridge the gap between two traditionally siloed teams, development and operations. More specifically, through agile processes, the two teams work in concert to optimize productivity and reliability, ultimately providing better services to customers.
What Is It?
DevOps is a strategy comprised of different philosophies, practices and tools that are employed to increase an organization’s ability to deliver services and apps at high velocity.
A DevOps model helps develop, improve and evolve products at a faster pace than traditional software development methods. This increased speed provides organizations with improved customer service and the ability to compete more effectively in the market.
DevOps strategies are used by development teams across industries, allowing engineers, designers and operations specialists to work as part of a single team across the entire lifecycle of a service or app. These teams aim to streamline processes with automation tools and technology stacks, allowing for a more rapid and reliable app development, operation and evolution. In addition, quality assurance and security teams may also become more tightly integrated throughout the app lifecycle.
Multiple software solutions assist, and are in many cases necessary, in the DevOps process. Development systems, such as continuous delivery and continuous integration, play integral roles in the development of apps by using short cycles. These cycles help build, test, and release software faster and more reliably.
Why Use It?
Employing a DevOps strategy requires a different mindset than traditional methods of software development. Instead of viewing a business in terms of individual teams or departments, the DevOps method focuses on frequent, unified communication. As a result, traditionally siloed teams strive to work in unison to produce apps and services in a more rapid and reliable fashion.
In order to successfully transition to DevOps, developers and operation managers must take full ownership of their services. This requires employees to think beyond their specified role or title, instead considering the end customer’s needs and how their contributions help meet those needs.
Communication and Collaboration
When adopting a DevOps strategy, cross-departmental communication and collaboration are key. The use of specific software and automation of delivery processes establishes a physical link between teams, allowing for connected workflows from conception through development, operations and maintenance.
Monitoring and Recording
Analyzing and evaluating data is important when using DevOps practices. Understanding metrics and recorded data sets allows for greater agility when developing or maintaining an application or service — using unique data, companies are able to identify flaws and easily improve workflows and processes.
Continuous integration systems are used by developers to find flaws in their code early on in a project or sprint, which can save time and prevent delays in the improvement and delivery of new features.
The use of continuous delivery tools within a DevOps model helps deliver stable software and applications by building, developing and improving features in short cycles. Automation plays a role in the process, with code being automatically updated, tested and released for production during every cycle.
Developers and administrators are responsible for writing or manipulating code to automate operating system and host configuration, operational tasks and more. The written code allows for automatic configuration changes that are repeatable and standardized.
A DevOps strategy is more than just a single solution — it encompasses multiple software systems and departments to create a unified, efficient approach to developing and operating applications and services. Communication and collaboration play a large role in accomplishing this, meaning that employees need to embrace the DevOps model by striving for cross-functionality.
If you’re interested in learning more about DevOps, read the Top Trends 2017: DevOps blog post.