What is DevOps?
DevOps refers to a working method in which software development and operations teams work more closely together. The term “DevOps” and the DevOps culture are closely interwoven with agile development. “DevOps” is made up of “Dev” (development) and “Ops” (operations) and unites people, processes, and technologies to continuously provide customers with high-quality (software) products.
For teams, DevOps means that the traditionally separate roles of software development and operations converge. This means that developers design and write an application and are provided with resources such as databases or servers by the operations teams. Operations teams run the application, manage rollouts to test, staging and production systems, and configure application-specific parameters such as computing power and memory. Additionally, the operations team assists in debugging the application.
Provided they employ the appropriate tools, teams can respond more quickly to requirements by adopting the DevOps culture. To support this transformation, DevOps breaks down the separation of infrastructure, release rollout, application configuration, and monitoring. Essential to this is the introduction of new processes and tools to support teams in the the cultural change and in achieving the promise of DevOps success.
Advantages of DevOps
DevOps and its Workflow
The first step is the introduction of a DevOps culture within the organization and among the people involved in the process. Ideally, the silos “Dev team” and “Ops team” are broken down and close cooperation between the two entities develops. Both teams plan their tasks together and align their goals and success criteria. After the teams have reformed, the competencies and responsibilities of the teams also change. As such, developers are now also responsible for performance and stability, while members of the operations team are actively involved in the planning phase of the product. Another effect of a successfully introduced DevOps culture are shorter release cycles, which lead to incremental planning steps and have a positive impact on system stability.
The second step is to introduce tools that support the DevOps culture. This can be divided into various categories:
- Since the work is predominantly agile, Kanban and Scrum methods and tools are used. Here, the focus lies is on the improvement of teamwork, as well as the incorporation of customer and user feedback.
- The introduction of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) is also central. Continuous Integration refers to the continuous, automated testing of code changes after each commit to software version control (e.g.: Git). This ensures that the stability of the code is guaranteed at all times. Continuous Delivery refers to the regular delivery of new versions of the application in short release cycles. By automating deployment steps, teams can deliver updates more frequently and faster.
- In addition, infrastructure management and configuration management often changes. Infrastructure is moving to Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC). Here, the infrastructure is described by frameworks such as Terraform or AWS CloudFormation, and infrastructure components such as compute capacity, access, and databases are created or modified based on this description. Configuration management (application design) is also moving to a descriptive system.
Both innovations ensure that changes to the infrastructure and configuration are controlled and traceable since changes always flow into a software management tool. With Infrastructure-as-Code, the additional advantage arises from the fact that entire infrastructure landscapes can be easily duplicated and thus set up in different data centers and cloud platforms.
At PROTOS, we are happy to advise you on the topic of process management, support the technological introduction of DevOps as an organization and train your employees in the use of new tools and ways of working.