The DevOps approach to software development is fast becoming the norm for technology companies worldwide. As a software development approach, it offers incredible benefits, including scalability, automation, faster issue resolution, and faster delivery, to name a few. However, if you are new to it, you might need clarification about which DevOps tools to use.
Worry not; we have drawn a list of the top 10 DevOps to help you make the right decisions.
Ready? Let’s roll!
What are DevOps Tools?
DevOps is a set of cultural philosophies and practices that joins the software development and operations teams together. It enables continuous integration/continuous delivery and shortens the software development lifecycle. In other words, it integrates the operations and development processes into a unified workflow.
DevOps tools refer to all the tools, platforms, servers, applications, etc., used in the DevOps model. These tools cover all the phases and aspects of software development, including version control, code reviews, deployment, monitoring, etc. The aim is to enable faster software releases, automation, and scalability.
Every business has its unique needs, goals, and strategies. Depending upon these, you need to use a combination of different DevOps tools.
Before we delve into the list of the top 10 DevOps tools, it’s important to mention that some of these tools’ functions overlap. You can use different tools to do the same tasks.
10 Best DevOps Tools in 2023
Let’s begin by discussing the tools used in the development phase.
Source Code Build and Management Tools
The DevOps features begin with the creation, storage, analysis, and review of a source code. Source code management includes, but is not limited to, issue tracking, version control, code reviews, and packaging.
Let’s look at some of the top source code management tools.
Git is a top-rated tool in the software development community. It is a free, open-source, distributed version control system that enables you to track changes made to files. Software developers use it to collaborate and coordinate during the source code development process.
Moreover, Git allows you to save different versions of your source code. It also lets you return to an earlier version whenever you need to. But the best part is that you can experiment with your source code using Git, as it lets you create distinct branches and merge new features once they are ready.
Git is essentially a command-line tool. However, you can manage your source code by downloading the GUI Client – it has a very responsive and user-friendly interface.
In order to integrate your DevOps workflow with Git, you have to host your source code in repositories where the members of your team can send their work. Popular repository-hosting services include Gitlab, Bitbucket, and GitHub. These platforms allow you to host repositories (public and private), track problems, and handle releases. They also include extra DevSecOps features like security functionality, auditing, code review, built-in continuous development, etc.
Developed by Atlassian, Jira is a proprietary issue-tracking platform that you can use either on-premises or as SaaS. It started as a bug-tracking tool, something most developers still associate it with. However, Atlassian added project management capabilities to it later on to bolster its bug tracking.
It lets you see and gauge your project’s development status, manage dependencies, handle releases, see commits, and visualize progress. Since Jira emphasizes agile software development, it offers Kanban and Scrum boards, advanced reporting tools, roadmaps, etc.
Moreover, Jira offers a fantastic automation engine that lets you set automation rules using a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can connect the automation engine to other tools like Microsoft Teams, GitHub, and Bitbucket to add them to your automation workflows.
Containerization is part of the software deployment process. It wraps up an application’s code with all the files and libraries required to run on any infrastructure. Thus, your application does not need any further configuration to be deployed to different environments.
Docker is considered by many to be the best container platform out there. It was launched in 2013 and has become a staple DevOps tool today. In fact, it is Docker that has made containerization so prevalent in today’s application development industry.
The reason behind Docker’s popularity is that it offers distributed development and enables you to automate the deployment process. It sequesters applications into different containers to make them portable and secure. Docker apps are operating system- and platform-independent.
Docker makes dependency management very convenient. You can put all the dependencies of an application within its container to make it an independent unit, one you can deploy on whichever platform you want without further configuration.
Moreover, you can significantly improve your DevOps workflow by integrating Docker with CI/CD servers like Bamboo and Jenkins and using it together with them. All the major cloud-service providers also offer Docker support, including AWS and Google Cloud Platform.
Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform used to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It was founded by Google engineers looking to solve the problem of managing containers at scale.
You don’t need a container orchestration platform like Kubernetes if you have only a few containers. However, you would require it once you reach a certain level of complexity and wish to scale. With Kubernetes, you can automate the management of thousands of containers.
Similarly, you can deploy your containerized apps to a cluster of computers instead of tying them to a single machine. Here, Kubernetes automates the distribution and scheduling of containers across the entire cluster.
A Kubernetes cluster comprises a master node and multiple worker nodes. The former executes pre-defined rules and deploys the containers to the worker nodes.
CI/CD & Deployment Tools
CI/CD is shorthand for continuous integration and continuous deployment/delivery. Continuous integration combines the work of all the developers working on the same project, and continuous delivery enables frequent releases.
The DevOps approach combines these software development practices to enable reliable and faster releases.
Jenkins is a widely used open-source DevOps automation tool that automates the various stages of a delivery pipeline. It derives its popularity from its vast plugin ecosystem that can be integrated with nearly all DevOps tools, including Puppet, Docker, Octopus Deploy, and others.
It’s very easy to use Jenkins as it runs natively on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. You can conveniently set your Jenkins using a web interface. You can also make your own configuration or install it using plugins.
Jenkins lets you track the success of every phase of your pipeline and iterate and deploy new code faster. You can use it for development purposes only as a CI server or as a comprehensive azure CI/CD pipeline solution for managing your deployment workflow.
Bamboo is also run and managed by Atlassian, just like Jira. It is their CI/CD solution with many features similar to those of Jenkins. Both enable the automation of your delivery pipeline, but with one significant difference: Jenkins is open-source, and Bamboo isn’t.
Your goals and budget will determine which CI/CD server solution to opt for. Bamboo offers many in-built capabilities. In Jenkins, you have to set these up yourself manually. It is also why Bamboo has a lot fewer plugins as compared to Jenkins.
Moreover, Bamboo easily integrates with Bitbucket and Jira, both Atlassian products. To sum it up, Bamboo will save you significant configuration time and offer an interactive user interface and cool features like auto-completion.
Configuration Management Tools
Puppet is a cross-platform software configuration management tool that uses its own declarative language to represent system configuration. It lets you manage your infrastructure as code and automates infrastructure management, thus enabling you to deliver software faster.
Puppet’s extra features, like real-time reports, node management, and role-based access control, will do the job for you even if you are dealing with a large infrastructure.
You can use Puppet to manage several teams and thousands of resources. It automatically comprehends your infrastructure’s underlying relationships and manages failures and dependencies intelligently. Moreover, Puppet integrates seamlessly with multiple DevOps tools and has more than 6,700 modules.
Ansible is an open-source configuration management tool sponsored by Red Hat. You can use Ansible to automate deployment and configure your infrastructure.
When one considers Ansible’s features and functionality, it comes quite close to other DevOps automation tools like Puppet. It uses a YAML-based syntax as opposed to Puppet’s declarative language and employs an infrastructure as a code approach.
Ansible is also known for offering agentless architecture. It is a secure, lightweight configuration management automation solution with several modules.
Cloud DevOps Tools
Everything is moving to the cloud these days, and DevOps is no different. You can use managed DevOps solutions cloud service providers offer to implement your entire DevOps model in the cloud.
9. Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps Server is a Microsoft product that offers reporting, project management, requirements management, version control, testing, and release management functions. It covers the whole application development lifecycle and lets you manage it using a single integrated interface.
You can use it as a SaaS application on the cloud (Azure DevOps Services) or as an on-premises platform (Azure DevOps Server) self-hosted at your data center.
Azure DevOps offers several tools for specific stages of your workflow. For example, Azure Pipeline is a CI/CD tool, while Azure Boards helps you plan and manage your projects. Similarly, Azure Test Plans is a testing toolkit, while Azure Repos offers cloud-based Git repositories.
But it doesn’t mean you have to use all these tools. You may choose to subscribe to the ones you want to use. Moreover, the Visual Studio Marketplace offers more than a thousand Azure DevOps extensions such as analytics, integrations, visualizations, etc.
10. AWS DevOps
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers AWS DevOps, a comprehensive set of tools that lets you look after your complete software development lifecycle. Although AWS is primarily cloud-based, you can use AWS Outposts to install any tool or element of the AWS infrastructure on your on-premises server.
You may think Azure DevOps and AWS DevOps deployment are alike, but they are not. Azure DevOps is a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solution, while AWS DevOps is an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) solution. Moreover, you can deploy packages from Azure DevOps Services to AWS, but AWS DevOps does not let you deploy packages to any other infrastructure except for AWS infrastructure (EC2 or S3).
Finding the right DevOps tools for your unique business needs and goals takes a certain amount of trying, testing, and experimentation. Open-source tools like Jenkins, Git, Kubernetes, etc., require more time to set up and configure. On the other hand, DevOps tools that come with a price tag offer free trials for you to analyze their usefulness.
Ultimately, the decision boils down to the resources you have and the goals you want to achieve.
If you want help choosing a DevOps toolkit for your business, contact us at [email protected].