DevOps has sparked a revolution in the industry by emerging as a vital solution for competitive business organizations, to meet the ever growing industry demands at a fast pace. DevOps is the next famous portmanteau after Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), bringing together the best of product development and IT operations. And like my jokes, it requires some explaining.
So let me shed some light on the big question here “What makes DevOps the solution?”
The DevOps movement started to emerge around the year 2007 and 2008 when IT operations and development teams got vocal about what they felt was a lethal level of dysfunction in the industry. They did not approve of the traditional software development model, which had built a wall between those who write the code to be functionally apart from those who deploy and support that code. So, communities including people like Patrick Dubois, Gene Kim, and John Willis got together and started discussing a better way to work for the industry. And one thing led to another leading to the birth of DevOps, which overpowered the traditional “Dev” (Development) and “Ops” (Operations) mindset.
DevOps serves as a bridge between the two; a bridge that amends the differences between two brothers. This huge cultural clash between Dev and Ops is a seismic shift from the traditional IT culture – one that brings both of them together to work towards common goals without any differences. And this amendment is the reason why DevOps became the ultimate solution for organizations to enable market-orientation so that small teams can quickly and independently deliver value to customers.
DevOps is not a tool, it is a culture, a movement, a philosophy! And in a culture, maintaining a relationship between the two parties is the most important aspect. And this relationship, in DevOps, is maintained by following some attributes like communication with peers, involving everyone in core processes and decisions, asking questions, never say never, having daily stand-ups (inviting everyone). In DevOps, both teams are required to understand the objectives of the other to achieve what’s best for the organization as a whole, bringing down the risk factors involved in various stages of release management.
DevOps has redefined the traditional SDLC methods for project management, for good. The focus of the traditional SDLC process is “release-only” while DevOps focuses on “sustained service”. Here are some points to validate the same:
- The Development team likes change while Operations team wants things stable, because of which there is low synchronization, and the project management process does not usually go smooth in SDLC. Whereas DevOps collaborates both Development and Operations which leads to continuous, better change with stability in the product.
- DevOps works with a “small is beautiful” point of view. Hence, it delivers the application or updates to production in smaller increments. With this approach, the team ensures continuous delivery whereas SDLC involves a lot of code, bundled into a release, and jammed into production.
- In DevOps, both the development and operations teams implement the same tools where necessary. Whereas in SDLC, development teams use new tools to make coding faster because of which, sometimes the operations team is not able to cope with the frequent changes.
- In SDLC, the development team usually does not have access to Production servers to check the application behavior hence, they have to wait for the feedback from end users, which is often not clear. So, the Ops team has to figure out some things based on their experience. All this leads to a poor transition. Whereas in DevOps, both the teams work together to ensure that the best quality product is released to production, using developers’ technical skills and operations’ experience.
- A key element of DevOps is continuous integration, which depends on automated testing where test cases are automated, leading to a reduction in time and increase in productivity. Whereas the traditional SDLC usually relies on manual testing which is more error-prone hence, system stability is compromised.
- Because we do not live in an ideal world, not all the environments (development, test or production) are similarly configured and inconsistencies between these environments can lead to code breaking. This very much gets in the way of a successful SDLC concept. Whereas DevOps has a remedy for this kind of problem – Docker, a tool used to manage software parts as isolated, self-sufficient containers, which can be deployed and run in any environment
A quick conclusion of the above points can be –
DevOps provides a lot of valuable aspects that the traditional methods do not have, like:
- Creating production like systems for development and testing environment
- Iterative and frequent deployments, ensuring a reliable and repeatable process
- Continuously monitoring and validating operational quality characteristics
Now, to accentuate more on our header here, let us see how DevOps overcomes the challenges that the traditional Development and Operations, working individually, teams faced:
|Dev Challenge||DevOps Solution|
|Waiting time for Code Deployment||Continuous Integration ensures quick deployment of code and faster testing|
|The pressure of work on Old, Pending or New code||No waiting time for code deployment hence Developer can focus on building current code|
|Ops Challenge||DevOps solution|
|Number of servers to be monitored increases||Continuous Monitoring assures effective administration.
Effective monitoring and feedback system is established through Nagios (a software application that monitors systems)
|Difficulty to diagnose and provide feedback on|
So far we have become quite familiar with the term DevOps and why it has created a buzz in the industry. However, you would still be wondering, how do we implement DevOps. To actualize DevOps process in your business apart from culturally accepting it, you need various DevOps tools like Puppet, Jenkins, GIT, Chef, Docker, Selenium, AWS etc. to achieve automation at various stages. This would help execute DevOps phases to deliver quality software to the customer at a very fast pace.
Expansion of the DevOps movement has brought with it, a sea of career opportunities for various skills. Depending on your inclination, you can find yourself the right fit. Here are some of the roles:
- DevOps Evangelist – Serves both as a technical expert as well as a voice and champion for users, prospects, and partners, driving feedback to engineering and product management.
- Release Manager – Responsible for releasing new features & ensuring post-release product stability
- Automation Expert – Responsible for achieving automation & orchestration of tools
- Software Developer / Tester – Develops the code and tests it
- Quality Analyst – Ensures the quality of the product according to the requirement
- Security Engineer – Monitors the product’s security & health
After all that we have learned about DevOps, if I had to sum up DevOps culture in one word, I would go for the word “Collaboration” – and if I am allowed two words, they’d be “Cross-functional collaboration” (Ok, that’s more like three words).
The Dev and Ops collaboration promotes a culture of working together even through rough patches, which makes celebrating success sweeter. Hence, you’ll know that this awesome culture has indulged in your workplace when you see the development team bring donuts for the operations team on release day! Yes, that is the potential of DevOps. And along with the donuts, DevOps is here to bring a lot of amazing changes to the traditional work-life, like – trust and better understanding among teams, smart work with faster releases, accelerating time to resolution, better management of work. All these aspects make DevOps an optimistic, victorious culture. So now, the next time someone asks you, “Why DevOps?” I hope you’ll have brilliant answers to share with them.