The internet and software applications, along with modern technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning and DevOps have transformed the world as we know it. The software has ruled the world over the last two decades. Its importance in enabling innovation and business growth has grown immensely.
All the industries today, save the dwindling cottage industries perhaps, use software in their business. They use it to interact with their customers and to deliver online services. Moreover, software applications streamline business processes, increase operational efficiency, enable effective communication, and much more.
In other words, software applications have become an integral part of enterprises today.
But what is DevOps, and where does it fit in? And more importantly, what are its benefits and role in the IT industry?
What is the DevOps Model?
The DevOps model refers to a combination of practices, tools, and cultural philosophies geared towards increasing an organization’s capacity to deliver software applications and services at scale.
This implies that the company’s products are improved and evolved at a higher velocity than organizations that use traditional software development and infrastructure management methods.
The goal of DevOps is to speedily serve one’s customers and effectively compete in the marketplace.
How does DevOps work?
DevOps aims to break down silos between the development and operations teams. Thus, in many cases, it entails a merger of the two departments. A DevOps manager or engineer works on an application’s entire lifecycle, from its development and testing all the way to its deployment and operations.
Therefore, a DevOps engineer possesses both software development and operational skills. There are different variants of DevOps models. A security-centric DevOps model is called DevSecOps. Here, the entire DevOps team focuses on application security.
DevOps teams use certain practices that enable process automation; these processes have traditionally been manual and thus slow. Moreover, DevOps uses modern technology stacks and tools that let them operate at scale, allowing them to evolve applications rapidly and reliably.
Such tools also enable the DevOps engineers to independently execute various tasks, like provisioning infrastructure or deploying code. These tasks usually require help from other teams. But with DevOps tools, they don’t, thereby enabling your team to deliver high-quality applications rapidly.
Advantages of DevOps
The first, and perhaps the most important, the benefit of the DevOps model is that it lets you move with speed. This, in turn, makes your organization more agile, enabling you to rapidly deliver innovative products to your customers. You can also adapt to market changes quickly and deliver better business outcomes.
The DevOps team helps you achieve these goals. Moreover, Azure DevOps practices like continuous delivery and microservices allow the teams to take responsibility for their services, letting them release quicker updates.
With a strong DevOps team in your company, you can increase the pace and frequency of application releases. This lets you improve your product and create a conducive environment that engenders innovation.
The faster you fix application bugs and release new updates, the quicker you can respond to customer feedback and requirements. This allows your company to have a competitive advantage. DevOps practices like Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) enable end-to-end software release process automation, from software build to deployment.
Another critical advantage of the DevOps model, and one which is closely linked to its other benefits, is scalability. It lets you operate and manage your development and infrastructure processes at scale. Process automation and consistency reduce the risk of errors and let you manage otherwise complex systems with ease and efficiency.
Take Infrastructure as Code, another DevOps practice, as an example. It lets you handle your application development, testing, and production environments continuously and efficiently.
The DevOps model, as stated before, is a combination of cultural philosophies and development practices. It engenders a culture where responsibility and accountability are encouraged and emphasized.
Under this model, teams work together closely to build innovative applications for clients by combining their workflows and sharing responsibilities. This results in improved collaboration and higher workforce efficiency.
The DevOps model allows your teams to develop, test, and deploy solutions at scale without compromising on the quality of infrastructure changes or application updates.
Practices like CI/CD let you determine the functionality and safety of each change and update in your application. Moreover, you can use the monitoring and logging DevOps practices to keep track of application performance in real-time.
Application security is an essential feature of good development practices. Benefits of DevOps enables you to retain control and adhere to compliance standards while operating at high velocity. It lets you maintain high-security standards by offering fine-grained controls, automated compliance policies, and configuration management methods.
For example, you can use policy as code and infrastructure as code to determine compliance and then track it while operating at high velocity.
A Word on DevOps Practices
Certain practices within the DevOps model give it most of its advantages. You implement these practices with proper tooling; they help an IT company innovate and deliver products quickly by streamlining and automating the infrastructure management and software development processes.
A critical DevOps practice relates to performing small but frequent application updates. This practice lies at the core of faster organizational innovation and improved customer satisfaction. These updates are incremental and minor in nature, as opposed to making large, infrequent updates, as is the case with traditional software development practices.
The primary benefit of this approach is that it lets you identify errors and bugs in your last application deployment and thus rectify them before your next deployment. It, therefore, results in reduced deployment risks.
Let’s explore DevOps practices individually.
1. Continuous Integration (CI)
It is a software development procedure whereby developers routinely combine their code changes into a centralized database. The developers then run automated builds and tests on it. The CI practice focuses on identifying and rectifying bugs quickly, reducing the time needed to release software updates, and improving software quality.
2. Continuous Delivery (CD)
It refers to a software development practice where changes in code are automatically constructed, tested, and made ready for a release to production. It builds upon continuous integration by situating all code changes in a production or testing environment after the build stage.
It refers to an architectural approach (a variant of the SOA structural style) that seeks to build a single application as a collection of small, loosely-coupled services that communicate through lightweight API protocols.
You can use various application development frameworks or programming languages to write microservices. These can then be deployed independently, as single services, or as a set of services.
4. Infrastructure as Code
It is a practice wherein infrastructure is managed and provisioned using code and application development techniques like continuous integration and version control. With infrastructure as code, your team doesn’t configure and manually set up resources; the cloud’s API-propelled model lets you communicate with infrastructure programmatically.
5. Monitoring and Logging
Monitoring and logging is a vital part of DevOps practices. Companies check metrics and logs to determine how the application and infrastructure performance affects the customer experience.
This enables you to capture, categorize, and analyze data and logs produced by infrastructure and applications. You can then use this information to find out how changes affect users and the fundamental cause of problems.
6. Communication and Collaboration
Improved team collaboration is at the heart of the DevOps philosophy. You can establish collaboration using DevOps tooling and automating the software delivery process. It brings together your development and operations teams, allowing them to share their responsibilities and workflows.
Not only that but DevOps also instills enterprise-wide cultural norms and practices regarding better communication and information sharing between various teams. Thus, even teams other than the development and operations teams benefit from such collaborative cultural practices.
As a result, your organizational teams can work closely together to achieve business goals and deliver innovative products.
In essence, the DevOps model is primarily a cultural philosophy. It aims to remove information barriers and shatter silos that prevent rapid service and product development, testing, deployment, and delivery.
Once you transition to the DevOps model, your development and operations teams work together to improve their efficiency and the quality of service offered to end users. It encourages them to take full responsibility for their services, often pushing them to go beyond their job descriptions to deliver high-end products that satisfy customers.
Organizations employing the DevOps model are characterized by a unique working approach – where every team (not just the DevOps team) perceives the entire infrastructure and development lifecycles as part of their obligations.
A win-win situation for the employer, the employee, and the customer! You simply cannot overlook the pivotal role of DevOps and azure app service in today’s IT sector.