Most of the businesses these days are software-driven businesses, and the revenue they are able to generate or the success they can muster depends a lot on the applications they create to manage different aspects of their business. DevOps has come across as one of the most important methodologies or approaches that businesses can turn to for striking collaboration between different teams that are a part of the software development cycle.
With DevOps, organizations are spending 33% more on improving infrastructure and 60% less time in handling support cases. DevOps has helped businesses in improving the quality of applications as well as the speed with which they are delivered.
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The Role of Software Applications Support & Help Businesses
Software and the Internet have played a key role in making different industries as efficient as they are. The days when it was hard to strike compatibility between businesses and software are long gone now. Nowadays, software and applications support businesses as nothing else does. Applications nowadays are a means for businesses to interact and communicate with their customers and learn how they can improve their offerings.
Applications are also used by businesses to improve operational efficiency by optimally utilizing every element in the value chain – operations, communication, and logistics amongst others. Similarly, companies that manufacture physical products make use of software to better designing, building, packaging, and delivery processes.
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So, the primary objective of DevOps is to bring different teams on a common platform to create software that is high in quality and that is made rapidly available for use. In simple words, it aims at eliminating the barriers that traditionally exist between development and operations teams. With the help of this methodology, it becomes quite easy to make the development team more productive and the operations team more reliable.
Let us now discuss what DevOps exactly is and why it is so important for businesses.
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What is DevOps?
Before we start, let’s understand What is DevOps? It is quite evident that DevOps is a combination of two terms – development and operations. Both these terms refer to the different phases of the software development lifecycle. So, DevOps handles this entire lifecycle singlehandedly on its own – all the phases, including development, testing, and operations. DevOps works to limit the disconnection that usually exists between different teams responsible for the development of an application. It includes developments, quality analysts, and system administrators, amongst other professionals.
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DevOps is the best tool to improve collaboration between development and operations teams of a company’s software development function. It allows for faster deployment of code to production. It follows an automated process to do this and ensures that this process is repeated without a glitch.
It helps companies in accelerating the process of delivering applications as well as services. When you are faster and more efficient than your competitors, you are more likely to have an edge over them when it comes to serving your customers. In other words, DevOps enables you to beat your competition hands down.
DevOps can even be referred to as a series of development and operations tasks performed with better collaboration and communication. No wonder it has become such a valuable tool for organizations and enterprises looking to march ahead in this highly competitive world. It also represents a massive shift in the traditional IT culture in which there are was little to no interaction between different teams. This change has helped businesses to focus their energies on fast IT service delivery with the help of agile techniques.
It has been found that companies that choose DevOps to integrate their development and operations processes tend to notice a significant improvement in the quality of the software that is produced. These companies also do better when it comes to application deployment frequency and customer satisfaction. Ultimately, they see a substantial increase in revenue generation as well!
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DevOps, in a way, is a set of processes and culture that is crucial in bringing teams together for completing development. It plays a very important role in helping businesses not only develop their products at a faster pace than their competitors but also enhance their offerings, something that wasn’t feasible through the traditional software development process.
We are listing down a few reasons why you should adopt the DevOps approach.
1. Faster development and innovation: It is not as easy to deliver applications when the teams responsible for this job have little communication or connection with each other. When this happens, there is a delay from one or another team, which results in the subsequent delay in the launch of the application.
On the other hand, when both the teams work closely with each other, applications are made available for use at a much faster pace. Not only this, but the quality of the application is also a few notches higher. An application that can be developed faster has a better chance of being brought to the market earlier than the ones that are developed using traditional methods.
2. Deployment failures at the minimum: Deployment failures arise when there are bugs during programming. DevOps helps in bettering the frequency of code releases due to its shorter development cycles. This not helps in quickly identifying bugs and defects but also overcoming the failures that result from them. This is what agile programming is all about.
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3. Better communication: As mentioned earlier, DevOps brings in a culture of collaboration between the teams involved in the software development processes. This leads to a significant increase in productivity. DevOps is never about individual objectives. It promotes the culture of working together. When teams collaborate and communicate, they work more effectively. As a result, they are in a better position to deliver better results.
4. Improved efficiency: With DevOps, you can improve the development process more than you can ever imagine. You can bring down errors to a minimum. And there is no one way of using DevOps. You can automate tasks through DevOps in different ways – ways that fit your needs and desired outcome.
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What challenges led to the development of DevOps?
DevOps has been instrumental in helping businesses increase their revenue and improve their service delivery. Here are a few challenges that led to the development of this concept in the first place:
1. Before DevOps became a reality, there was no relation between development and operations teams. They usually worked in isolation.
2. Testing and deployment took place in isolation once the design was built. It was a time-consuming process, which led to an increase in the total time taken in the completion of a project.
3. Members of different teams spent a lot of time in designing, testing, and deploying projects.
4. There were a lot of human production errors to report. And these errors took a lot of time to get addressed and fixed as there was little or no interaction between teams.
5. The synchronization between coding and operations teams never existed. They had different timelines, which further delayed the project.
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Listed below are the important steps of the DevOps lifecycle:
- Continuous development
- Continuous testing
- Continuous integration
- Continuous deployment
- Continuous monitoring
When you use DevOps, you are using different principles and practices while switching to a collaborative environment, to improve business value.
We have just given you an overview of how DevOps works; there is still a lot that you will come to know when you will start using it. Stats indicate that 55% of businesses will notice an improvement in the cooperation and collaboration of their teams, which can lead to a higher quality code production (38%). The most important thing that developers and software engineers need to keep in mind is that it is one of the methodologies that can help you overcome the anomalies of the traditional way of software development.
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What is meant by Agile methodology?
Agile methodology is used to develop software that has changing needs and requirements. It is an iterative process and runs in loops. One agile cycle is short and runs for around 1 to 4 weeks. Define, Code, Integrate, and Test are the four important phases that are repeated again and again till the final product is ready. After every cycle, reviews are taken and adjustments are done. Agile is adaptable to change and keeps the developer team, product managers, and customers in the loop. However, it is not useful for small development projects and the cost is higher when compared to the waterfall model.
What are the tools that are used at each phase of DevOps lifecycle?
The first phase deals with creating a plan. The softwares used for this purpose are Jira, Confluence, etc. The second phase is the build phase in which Docker and other containerized applications are used. Collaborative coding is done using GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab, etc. Continuous integration can be done using BitBucket, Jenkins, etc. Operations are performed using Slack, Appdynamics, etc. Ansible and Chef are configuration and automation tools. Deployment is done on AWS Code Pipeline, BitBucket, etc. Management of software is done using Jira Service Management, Opsgenie, etc. Feedback software includes Pendo, GetFeedback, etc.
What does configuration management mean?
Automation of infrastructure and day-to-day IT operations is known as configuration management. It deals with maintaining the consistency of a product's attributes during its lifetime. It includes identification, baseline, version control, and auditing. Identification involves information gathering, baseline involves aggregation and standardization, version control is done using Git, and auditing deals with organizing system data. Configuration management in DevOps refers to automating the job of the system administrator so that the development team doesn’t have to wait for him to perform the system checks manually. Ansible and Chef are the most widely used configuration tools.