DevOps Explained - Software Product Development Blog | Zibtek

DevOps Explained

Many large enterprises and organizations that are web-native are accelerating their efforts to adopt DevOps into their firms. But as these efforts are getting underway, many people still do not understand the true meaning of the term DevOps. The question that people have is if it is an approach, a culture, a philosophy, a movement or if it is merely a blend of all these various aspects. Many people think that it is understood differently by different people.

No matter how you are going to define DevOps, to achieve a DevOps success, you need to cover a lot of ground. Here are some answers to the most fundamental questions that you might be having:

How do you define DevOps?

Where exactly did it originate from?

What issues have led to DevOps?

How exactly does DevOps function?

How widely are people using DevOps these days?

What is the main reason why your peers are choosing DevOps?

What are some of the key benefits you get by using it?

How do you define DevOps?

 

Patrick Debois is one of the first persons to coin the term “DevOps” way back in 2009. He is considered to be one of the gurus to teach about this subject. You get this term by combining two words, “development” and “operations.” Now, we start to realize the true meaning of this particular word.  In a nutshell, it is not a technology, a process or a standard.

It is a fact that many people who devote themselves to this system call it a culture. Most of the experts in the industry favor this idea.  “DevOps” movement is something we use to refer to subjects such as future trends and adoption rates. And “DevOps Environment” refers to an IT organization that has embraced the DevOps culture.

Here is an excellent definition of DevOps from Gartner: “DevOps represents a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology— especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective.”


Where Exactly Did It Originate?

 

Though there are several different accounts you can find about how DevOps originated, not all of them have the truth. It is not an idea that they weaved out of a single thought. Several different IT experts hailing from different disciplines were instrumental in developing this thing. They planted tiny seeds of DevOps before it formally took the present name and form.

ESM or Enterprise System Management: Most people who were involved in creating the definition of DevOps, in the beginning, were system administrators. They were instrumental in bringing the best practices of the ESM to DevOps. It includes things such as toolchain approach, system monitoring, configuration management, and automated provisioning.

Agile Development: You can interpret DevOps as nothing but an outgrowth of gile or agile software development. It directs close collaboration between developers, customers, QA and product managers. It is encouraged mainly to fill in the gaps, as well as iterate rapidly to create a better product, provide better service delivery and so forth. Value proposition as understood by a customer means the way the systems and app interact with each other.  DevOps, therefore, is concerned with extending the principles of Agile beyond the coding to the complete delivered service.

What issues have led to DevOps?

 

It is a known fact that system administrators and developers do not look at things with the same eye. On the one hand, customers tend to pull them in an entirely different direction and on the other hand, business users might be demanding change concerning new services, features and revenue streams much more quickly. It is true that they might expect systems that are not only stable but those that are free from interruptions and outages.

 

It can cause some serious problems as a company can end up in confusion not knowing what they should prioritize. They might be wondering if they should focus on delivering the changes swiftly or focus on dealing with the production environment that is quite unstable or focus primarily on the environment that is stale and stable. None of these choices is acceptable to the executive enterprises. And none of them permits a business to give the customers the best solution.

Developers know how to make and push the software forward as they have expertise in that particular field. Operations teams are well aware that rapid changes are quite harmful when there are no proper safeguards. Besides destabilizing a system, it can go completely against the charter.

By using DevOps, you can overcome this dilemma by integrating deployment and software development.  It includes everyone from business users to developers and from test engineers to system administrators. You can create a single workflow that is highly-automated with an increased shared focus. It enables you to deliver software that is of high-quality while at the same time maintaining both the stability and the integrity of the entire system.

They can achieve this as they embrace some common principles that not only transcends above the traditional discipline roles and boundaries.

How exactly does DevOps function?

 

Like any other culture that you find out in the world, DevOps has many variations. But some capabilities are quite common among all the cultures. Collaboration, continuous integration, automation, rapid remediating, continuous delivery, testing, and monitoring are some things that are the most common among all.

Collaboration: It is good to work as one single team instead of blaming each other. There is a disconnect between the operations team (IT) and developers. DevOps focuses on uniting the efforts of both of these departments as well as other departments such as testing, product management, and others in the team. Having collaboration across the various units is good for the organization.

Automation: DevOps requires you to use a lot of tools to automate most of the process. While you can buy some tools, there are some which you need to build. Fortunately, so many open sources tools are available these days. Using these tools, DevOps automates large portions of software development as well as the deployment process.

Continuous Integration: One of the fundamental principles of an Agile approach is to integrate things continuously. It is one of the primary or critical reasons why you can see continuous integration even in DevOps as it emerged from an Agile culture. Developers need to integrate their work with the work of other developers at least once in a day. It is the only way developers can work on the issues that arise because of the integration. In the waterfall development method, you can identify the problems later. But, in DevOps, you can find them in an early stage.

Continuous Testing: When it comes to DevOps, the quality of the coding should be kept in mind when the developers are creating something. They cannot expect the QA team to check the issues and report. It is the responsibility of all the teams. When it comes to the QA teams, they need to do their job much faster than taking weeks and days to identify the problems.

 

They have to use automation tools to identify the issues ASAP. Besides automation, they can do it more quickly because they redefine some of the testing methodologies.

Continuous Delivery: By adopting the DevOps model, software development companies are automatically building, testing and preparing their product for a release through production. It is fascinating to note that large companies are using DevOps to achieve multiple deployments easily in a single day. The medium performers can push an update weekly or monthly.

Continuous Monitoring: Since there are going to be a great number of releases in a delivery shop that is continuous, continuous rather than intermittent monitoring is necessary. The waterfall development model uses pre-release testing. But, in DevOps, you do not have that much time. It is, therefore, quite essential to fix the errors in real-time. A team can easily measure the availability and performance of software to increase the stability.

 

When you are monitoring continuously, you can identify the causes of an issue immediately. Monitoring like the testing starts during the development phase. Because of which you can use the same tools that you use to monitor a production environment to identify performance-related problems even before they hit production. The two types of monitoring that you need in DevOps is as follows: application performance monitoring and server monitoring.

How widely are people are using DevOps these days?

 

It is an interesting question. The answer is that early startups to enterprises that have 100 years of legacy are embracing the DevOps model. It is makeing significant inroads with prominent IT organizations almost everywhere in the world. According to a survey, almost 74% of the companies that participated in the study admitted that they use this model.

The immediate next question that you might have is what kind of companies are embracing this particular model. Amazon, Facebook, Netflix are some of the internet giants that have adopted it. Barclays Bank, Sony Pictures, and USG are some other prominent companies that have a great name in the industries that they serve also embraced this model.

So many companies across the globe understand the value that comes from using this particular model.

What is the Main Reason Why Most of Your Peers are Choosing DevOps?

 

DevOps has so much to offer to everyone that is in the software chain. Developers, testing and operations teams can reap the benefits of using this particular model.

Developers: Programmers love the automated provisioning that DevOps offers. With zero paperwork and no lengthy approval cycles, a developer can easily stand up a software development environment. It completely changes the way they work. They can become innovative and creative quickly. Developers quickly learn of the things that happen in the operations team. One can solve the problems much faster when the DevOps model is in full effect.

Operations: One of the biggest worries that a system administrator has is the stability of the system. A software release that takes down the entire system in just a few seconds of production deployment is something that they would not like. When there is an increase in the involvement of developers, it grows the system stability.

 

The best thing about this particular model is the fact that the automation can quickly eradicate the errors that are caused by humans. It removes the need for spending so much time in doing the same repetitive tasks.

Test Engineers: The impact that is caused by DevOps on testing is quite enormous. It requires the testing teams to innovate to find new methods to do the testing. By automating the provisioning, test engineers can quickly provision a test environment that is quite identical to the production environment. It enables testing that is more accurate. They can predict the performance of a new release a lot better. Finally, it helps to increase the productivity of the test engineers thanks to collaboration and automation.

What are some of the key benefits you get by using it?

 

The kind of results that you will get using the DevOps model might vary from others that are using the similar method in the industry. It is, therefore, not right to compare yourself with others. According to some of the research, high-performers of DevOps tend to release software almost 200 times more frequently than the low performers. That is approximately 2555 times faster. The quality of the software product is a lot higher as well. IT professionals that embrace DevOps are becoming huge fans of this model.

Stability:  Since high-performing organizations are spending almost 22% less time on rework as well as unplanned work, they are now able to spend nearly 29% more time towards the new work like creating new code or building new features.

Security: It is fascinating to see that high performers are spending almost 50 percent less time in remediating issues that are related to security than the low performers.

Deployment Speed of App: High performers can deploy numerous times in a day when you compare with low performers that deploy only once or twice in a month or in six months.

In Conclusion

 

It is essential for you to note that DevOps is something that has come to stay and all for the right reasons. Many thought that it is an impossible feat, but DevOps has been quite successful in integrating developers, business users, security engineers, test engineers, system administrators and so forth. All of them work towards meeting the requirements laid out by the customers. Developers and system administrators no longer argue with each other but support one another.

 

Business managers will be quite content as they get the software product that they desire. Executives will love watching dashboard metrics such as customer satisfaction, revenue, system reliability – driving steadily towards the north. By choosing this particular model, you are heading in the right direction.

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