DevOps unboxed: More Than Just A Method
If you haven’t already heard of the DevOps model for software engineering, you’ve come to the right place. If you have…well, you can skip ahead.
DevOps methodology dictates that above all, the teams handling development and operations no longer work separately. Instead, they merge their processes by integrating teams or some such similar methods. DevOps and automation go hand in hand—the teams use DevOps tools to eradicate manual processes and accomplish tasks rapidly that normally would take much longer and require collaboration from outside sources. The DevOps method is the Navy SEAL of software deployment—highly efficient, fast, reliable, and secure. It also promotes scalability within a business, since consistent automation of processes helps you manage environments more efficiently.
Let’s look at our approach to a mature DevOps solution. There are five stages:
- Regressive (unrepeatable, reactive): software deployment is manual, releases are infrequent and unreliable and there are no artifacts or reports management.
- Repeatable (documented, partially automated): regular automated builds and testing, automated deployments to some environments.
- Consistent (processes automated): automated build and test cycle for any change committed, a fully automated self-service process for software deployment.
- Managed (measured, automation stable): build metrics made available and acted upon, deployment is orchestrated and managed with cycle time monitored and release-on-demand capability.
- Self-optimizing (process improvement focus): integration problems are regularly triaged and resolved through automation, virtualization is used, groups collaborate to manage risk and reduce cycle time.
Today, when we look at organizations’ deployment cycles, many are still at level one. Those who are beginning to adopt a DevOps model nowadays are mostly at level 2 or 3; level 5 is peak efficiency, and pretty much unheard of at this point in time.
Why use DevOps when my current model works fine?
Your current model may work okay, but think about how technology has changed industries and the entire world in just a few years. The internet is no longer a luxury—it’s a requirement. Using software for a business is no longer a conscious choice, but an essential element to an enterprise. Think about how Henry Ford’s assembly line transformed manufacturing—it’s the same concept with DevOps. In a few years, this will be the norm. Why not get started ahead of the curve?
More than a method
DevOps is about adopting a different culture, not just another software development method. As previously stated, since the core philosophy of DevOps is unifying two teams that historically don’t work together, increasing communicative skills is crucial, and often requires a complete shift in mindset. With DevOps, the goal is to increase productivity and reliability, which you can only do through conscious effort to improve communication.
The collaborative aspect aside, there are other components that are more technical in nature. Below we have what experts consider to be the industry best practices within the DevOps field:
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
- Monitoring and logging
- Infrastructure as code
So you see, these are the practices that make up DevOps, but they’re not the glue that holds it together. What determines if your organization can adopt a properly functioning DevOps model is your teams’ ability to collaborate effectively. You can learn the technical aspects, but without conscious effort and chemistry, the building blocks fall apart.