What is DevOps?
As a result of the increase in cloud adoption across all industries, understanding practices and tools that help organizations’ software run efficiently is essential to how their cloud environment and organization operate. However, many companies do not have the knowledge or expertise needed for success. In fact, Puppet’s 2021 State of DevOps Report found that while 2 in 3 respondents report using the public cloud, only 1 in 4 use the cloud to its full potential.
Enter the DevOps movement.
The concept of DevOps combines development and operations to encourage collaboration, embrace automation, and speed up the deployment process. Historically, development and operations teams worked independently, leading to inefficiencies and inconsistencies in objectives and department leadership. DevOps is the movement to eliminate these roadblocks and bring the two communities together to transform how their software operates.
According to a 2020 Atlassian survey, 99% of developers & IT decision-makers say DevOps has positively impacted their organization. Benefits include helping advance their career, and better and faster deliverables. Given the favorable outcome for these developers and IT decision-makers, adopting DevOps tools and practices is a no-brainer. But here are three more advantages to embracing the DevOps movement:
Practices like microservices and continuous delivery allow your business operations to move faster, as your operations and development teams can innovate for customers more quickly, adapt to changing markets, and efficiently drive business results. Additionally, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) automate the software release process for fast and continuous software delivery. A quick release process will allow you to release new features, fix bugs, respond to your customers’ needs, and ultimately, provide your organization with a competitive advantage.
While DevOps focuses on speed and agile software development, security is still of high priority in a DevOps environment. Tools such as automated compliance policies, fine-grained controls, and configuration management techniques will help you reap the speed and efficiencies provided by DevOps while maintaining control and compliance of your environment.
3. Improved Collaboration
DevOps is more than just technical practices and tools. A complete DevOps transformation involves adopting cultural values and organizational practices that increase collaboration and improve company culture. The DevOps cultural model emphasizes values like ownership and accountability, which work together to improve company culture. As development and operations teams work closely together, their collaboration reduces inefficiencies in their workflows. Additionally, collaboration entails succinctly communicating roles, plans, and goals. The State of DevOps Report also found that clarity of purpose, mission and operating context seem to be strongly associated with highly evolved organizations.
In short, teams who adopt DevOps practices can improve and streamline their deployment pipeline.
What is a DevOps Pipeline?
The term “DevOps Pipeline” is used to describe the set of automated processes and tools that allow developer and operations teams to implement, test, and deploy code to a production environment in a structured and organized manner.
A DevOps pipeline may look different or vary from company to company, but there are typically eight phases: plan, code, build, test, release, deploy, operate, and monitor. When developing a new application, a DevOps pipeline ensures that the code runs smoothly. Once written, various tests are run on the code to flush out potential bugs, mistakes, or any other possible errors. After building the code and running the tests for proper performance, the code is ready for deployment to external users.
A significant characteristic of a DevOps pipeline is it is continuous, meaning each function occurs on an ongoing basis. The most vital one, which was mentioned earlier, is CI/CD. CI, or continuous integration, is the practice of automatically and continuously building and testing any changes submitted to an application. CD, or continuous delivery, extends CI by using automation to release software frequently and predictably with the click of a button. CD allows developers to perform a more comprehensive assessment of updates to confirm there are no issues.
Other “continuous” DevOps practices include:
- Continuous deployment: This practice goes beyond continuous delivery (CD). It is an entirely automated process that requires no human intervention, eliminating the need for a “release day.”
- Continuous feedback: Applying input from customers and stakeholders, and systematic testing and monitoring code in the pipeline, allows developers to implement changes faster, leading to greater customer satisfaction.
- Continuous testing: A fundamental enabler of continuous feedback. Performing automated tests on the code throughout the pipeline leads to faster releases and a higher quality product.
- Continuous monitoring: Another component of continuous feedback. Use this practice to continuously assess the health and performance of your applications and identify any issues.
- Continuous operations: Use this practice to minimize or eliminate downtime for your end users through efficiently managing hardware and software changes.
Embrace the DevOps Culture
We understand that change is not always easy. However, through our Application Modernization & DevOps Transformation process, 2nd Watch can help you embrace and achieve a DevOps culture.
From a comprehensive assessment that measures your current software development and operational maturity to developing a strategy for where and how to apply different DevOps approaches to ongoing management and support, we will be with you every step of the way. Following is what a typical DevOps transformation engagement with us looks like:
Phase 0: Basic DevOps Review
- DevOps and assessment overview delivered by our Solutions Architects
Phase 1: Assessment & Strategy
- Initial 2-4 week engagement to measure your current software development and operational maturity
- Develop a strategy for where and how to apply DevOps approaches
Phase 2: Implementation
- Minimum 4 weeks implementing GitLab (CI/CD and Source Code Management, Infrastructure as Code basics, and training on GitOps processes
Phase 3: Onboarding to Managed Services
- 1-2 week onboarding to 2nd Watch Managed DevOps service and integration of your operations team and tools with ours
Phase 4: Managed DevOps
- Ongoing managed service, including monitoring, security, backups, and patching
- Ongoing guidance and coaching to help you continuously improve and increase the use of tooling within your DevOps teams
Getting Started with DevOps
While companies may understand the business benefits derived from DevOps, 2nd Watch has the knowledge and expertise to help accelerate their digital transformation journey. 2nd Watch is a Docker Authorized Consulting Partner and has earned the AWS DevOps Competency for technical proficiency, leadership, and proven success in helping customers adopt the latest DevOps principles and technologies. Contact us today to get started.
-Tessa Foley, Marketing