DevOps history found its roots in the late 2000s when many experts from the tech industries and business leaders began to notice the dysfunctional nature of both the standard approach to doing business and traditional software development practices. In the old way, the developers who write the code would be organizationally and functionally separated from the release and maintenance teams. For instance, these two teams often had different or even contending goals and KPIs to evaluate their performance. As a result, you had two siloed teams who were only concerned about their work area on the project, which only increased time–to–market.
Experts like Gene Kim, Martin Fowler, Jez Humble, John Willis, and Patrick Dubois became the most noticeable supporters of DevOps. They conduct online conferences and meetups on DevOps, which gradually grew into an entire culture.
Developers and system administrators use code to automate the operating system and host configuration, operational tasks, and more. Using the code makes configuration changes repeatable and standardized. Thanks to these traditional software development practices, developers and systems administrators no longer need to manually configure operating systems, system applications, or server software.
Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD)
Configuration management represents managing application resources, including servers, databases, and virtual machines. Thanks to configuration management tools, teams can deliver changes in a steady, structured way, decreasing the risks of modifying system configuration. Teams use configuration management tools in tracking the system’s state and helping to avoid configuration drift - when a system resource’s configuration reclines over time from the desired state. Both system definition and configuration are easy to automate, which is helpful for teams operating complex environments at scale.
Managing code in versions allows the DevOps team to track revisions and change history, making code easy to review and recover. This practice is usually applied using version control systems such as Git so multiple developers can collaborate in authoring code. These systems provide a clear view of the merging process, changes that happen in files, handling conflicts, and rolling back changes. Version control is a crucial DevOps practice, helping development teams work together, split coding tasks between team members, and store all code for easy recovery. Version control also plays a role in other practices such as continuous integration and infrastructure as code.
Agile software development
Agile development is an approach that focuses on team collaboration, user feedback, and high adaptability. Teams that practice Agile software development lifecycle roll out continual updates and changes to customers, receive feedback, then readjust based on customers’ wants and needs. Agile is essentially different from other traditional frameworks, such as Waterfall, with its long release cycles and consecutive phases. Kanban and Scrum are two popular frameworks linked to Agile.
Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as code is a practice in which infrastructure is managed using code and software development techniques, such as version control and continuous integration. The cloud’s API-driven model lets developers and system administrators interact with infrastructure automatically and at scale instead of manually setting up and configuring resources. Being defined by code, infrastructure and servers can quickly be deployed using patterns updated with the latest patches and versions.
Policy as Code
DevOps teams can monitor and implement compliance dynamically and at scale when infrastructure and its configuration are codified with the cloud. Infrastructure that is described by code can therefore be tracked, validated, and reconfigured automatically. This makes it easier for teams to handle changes over resources and ensure that security measures are properly applied. This allows agile teams within an organization to move at a higher pace since non-compliant resources can be automatically flagged or even automatically rolled back into compliance.
Monitoring and Logging
DevOps teams monitor metrics and logs to see how application performance impacts the experience of their product’s final user. By collecting, sorting, and then analyzing data and logs generated by applications and infrastructure, teams understand how changes or updates impact users and look into the root of problems or unexpected changes. The importance of active monitoring constantly increases as services must be available 24/7 and as application and infrastructure update frequency rises.
The first stage takes DevOps teams to define and describe the features of the applications and systems to be built. They track progress at low and high amplitude levels —from single-product tasks to tasks that span multiple products. Creating backlogs, looking for bugs, running agile software development with Scrum, and illustrating progress on dashboards are some ways DevOps teams plan ahead.
The development stage includes all dimensions of coding — writing, testing, reviewing, and integrating code by team members. Development and operations teams aim to innovate without losing quality, stability, and productivity. To do that, they use highly productive tools and automate monotonous and repetitive steps.
Delivery is the process of deploying applications into production environments in a steady and secure way. In the delivery phase, teams define a release process by creating simple manual approval stages. They also set an automated process of moving applications between stages until they finally become available to customers. Automating these processes makes them scalable, repeatable, and under full control. This way, teams who practice DevOps can frequently deliver with ease and certainty.
The operating phase comes down to maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting your application — all in a production environment. Adopting DevOps practices allows teams to focus on the system’s reliability and availability, while also aiming for no downtime. DevOps teams seek to spot issues before they affect the user experience and fix issues quickly when they do happen.
Speed and Reliability
Among the most important DevOps benefits is the increased speed you can release new software quickly and with excellent stability. Since DevOps promotes automation, continuous integration, delivery, and quick feedback, the DevOps teams’ process flows faster through the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Also, the improved collaboration inside the DevOps teams allows for all of the bugs and glitches before the release making the deployed software much more stable. Operations Teams collaboration also includes the company’s business departments since the C-suite also plays an important role in DevOps implementation and promoting the DevOps culture.
Since DevOps allows companies to improve their deployment frequency and recovery time, ultimately, the customers benefit. Since the delivery pipeline is automated, you can ensure higher reliability and stability after every release. DevOps adoption also includes configuration management and continuous automated testing as the key elements that improve the overall quality of the build. This brings DevOps teams to continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). These mentioned DevOps benefits allow companies to develop and integrate code faster with QA testing automated as well.
The reason why DevOps matters nowadays is in speeding up the business processes over the world. Since they are becoming faster–paced, the clients expect new features to be developed by agile teams much faster. This means that companies cannot be burdened by the old way of doing things with siloed teams that significantly slow down software delivery. If you are looking for the best software development practice to start implementing DevOps tools from scratch, it will be a great idea to hire a DevOps engineer consultant to establish key metrics, implement agile development and automation, and integrate the Quality Assurance for smooth SDLC. When testing is not given the high priority it deserves, the frequent issue slows down the release flows.
If you are looking to optimize processes between your development and operations teams, DevOps is a modern and essential approach businesses need to adopt. Even though the pace of innovation may be boosted, DevOps allows you to manage all of these processes better and make the builds more relaxed. This is a win-win for everybody since your internal teams will be happy, as well as your customers.
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