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DevOps Lifecycle Explanation


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Today we are going to discuss phases of DevOps lifecycle. The organizations which are willing to adopt DevOps should definitely read this article to get a detailed insight of DevOps.

DevOps basics

DevOps is a set of practices that automates the process between software development and IT teams. So that developers can build, test and release software faster and more reliably.

As Wikipedia states,

“DevOps (a clip compound of “development” & “operations”) is a software engineering culture and practice that aims at unifying software development and software operation.”

Basically, DevOps is an agile relationship between development and operations. It is a process practiced by the developers as well as operation engineers right from the starting of the design to production support. DevOps is easy when you know your organization can adopt changes easily. Your DevOps journey begins by exploring your current business procedures,delivery pipelines and identifying clear objective you want to achieve from your DevOps strategy.

DevOps is used to accomplish tasks like:

- Developing the code

- Testing it

- Deploying the test infrastructure

- Running end to end tests

- Deploying the code

- Collecting metrics from production

- End-to-end orchestration of the DevOps pipeline

Why DevOps?

- To achieve faster time to market

- To improve deployment frequency

- To lower failure rate of new releases

- To shorten lead time between fixes

- To improve software development culture

- Faster resolution of problems

- More stable operating environment

- Less complexity to manage

DevOps Life Cycle

1 Plan – First of all plan your next release.

2 Code (Code development) - Build app code and infrastructure code.

3 Build and test – Build status. Continuously use testing tools.

4 Release – Build your release note.

5 Deploy – At this stage, any updated working version of the application should automatically be pushed to production. Final deployment is a manual step.

6 Monitor – Monitor application performance.

7 Feedback – Take feedback from end user so that you can produce the better version.

The following steps are essential to DevOps success:

1 Get ready for a cultural shift

A cultural shift is the backbone of DevOps. Changing your company’s culture will be one of the most difficult challenges you will face. Introducing new policies & procedures will be only successful if your organizational culture is changed from within. To facilitate your cultural shift, incentives should shift as well. The most effective incentive model is to reward cross-functional teams for delivering a better customer experience.

2 It’s all about continuous

Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Testing (CT), and Continuous Delivery (CD) are the significant part of DevOps culture. CI consists automating builds, unit tests, and packaging process. CD is concerned with the application delivery pipeline across different environments. At this stage, DevOps team will touch all points of the service lifecycle. Starting from requirements, planning, deployment, and maintenance. This team will troubleshoot and debug problems. The key is to create an automated deployment pipeline. Here’s how it works:

1 A code change committed to a source control system triggers a process on a build server.

2 This process compiles the code, bringing together the artifacts necessary for deployment to customers into deployable packages.

3 Automated tests are performed on these packages to ensure code quality is retained and the code perform as expected.

4 If the first stage is successful then the application is deployed to a test environment where it can be inspected by a quality assurance team.

5 At the final stage, once the application has been approved, the release can be pushed straight to production.

3 Build a continuous testing environment

With DevOps, testing becomes an integral part of development. Manually or automated testing is performed continually throughout the delivery pipeline. Quality Analysts use tools like SeleniumJunit  to remove the bugs while testing the developed software and to ensure that there are no flows in the functionality of the software. Manual testing is necessary for certain areas such as usability testing and exploratory testing. Unit and integration testing helps to increase the efficiency and the speed of the development.

Remember:

- Test early and frequently.

- Always make sure to add sufficient QA practices.

4 Have a continuous deployment system

With continuous deployment, organizations can quickly deliver new features and updates while actively making changes to the product. At this stage, all the codes developed are deployed to the servers ensuring 100% accuracy. Your developers should ensure the code they write is well - designed. Deployment should be such that if any changes take place at any time on code - it should not affect the runtime of the code even in high traffic of a website. Continuous deployment should be augmented by continuous monitoring and feedback. Continuous monitoring helps to address errors.

Because DevOps automation isn’t something that is done once and forgotten about. You have to constantly monitor and make changes as long as the DevOps pipeline is active. There are few companies which practice continuous deployments such as Netflix, Amazon, Flicker, Google, and Pinterest.

5 Use blue-green deployment

Blue-green deployment is a technique that reduces downtime and risk by running two identical production environments called green and blue. It is a change management strategy for releasing software code. In this method, when a change is made and a new deployment (blue) is triggered, it is deployed in parallel to the old one (green).

For example, blue environment is live. As you prepare a new release of your software – you perform final stage of testing in the green environment. Once the software is working in the green environment, you can switch the router so that all incoming requests go to the green environment.  This enables you to switch deployment environments without any downtime or system crashes. Popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter introduces new features by following blue-green deployment as they can’t halt their services at any time.

6 Non-stop monitoring

Constant monitoring is a key to successful DevOps. There are some elements that you need to monitor continuously. Those elements are given as under:

- Server health

Server monitoring is essential in DevOps. The performance and service-level agreements (SLA) of the system are dependable on the health of the server.

- Development cycles

Keep monitoring how frequently the code is being changed. Check how many bugs are being identified and fixed. Monitor how many objective features are being incorporated.

- Deployments

When an automated deployment fails, you will want a tool that alerts the assigned team. Most integration servers come with notification features that alert assigned personnel automatically via chat servers in case of a failed deployment or build.

Keep monitoring application activities. You can use many tools such as AppDynamics, Stackify Retrace and NewRelic. You should also have a system to monitor for failed audits or security misconfiguration. Tools like chef, puppet, and juju for configuration management will be useful for you. By implementing the right process of DevOps, your organization will be more successful.

Tools to use in DevOps

Continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD) and continuous deployment (CD) requires different tools:

1 Build Server

Some of the popular tools are Jenkins, SonarQube, and Artifactory

2 Source Code Repository

You can use tools such as Github, Subversion, Cloudforge, Bitbucket, and TFS.

3 Virtual infrastructure

Popular examples of virtual infrastructure are Amazon web services and Microsoft azure. Private clouds is also an option. You can use VMware – Vcloud too.

4 Test automation

You can use Selenium, Appium and Katalon studio for the better testing experience. Google also provides structured data testing tool which can be very useful. Many things have been said on DevOps though DevOps’ primary concern is to increase collaboration and automation between development and operations so that teams can get highest-quality releases into the hands of their customers. So it can be truly said that DevOps improves the business performance of applications. DevOps is a method that will be very useful for developing dynamic applications.

Author Details


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Gaurav Patel

Gaurav Patel is Founder of thirstyDevs InfoTech
thirstyDevs InfoTech is a Web solutions company offering innovative web solutions. Our company focuses on providing the best web solution for our customers.




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