DevOps implementation is a sustainable trend in IT-related businesses as DevOps has made software development processes more agile and efficient. With DevOps in place, you can move from static centralized release management structures to adaptive release management while creating shorter development cycles, increasing deployment frequency, and achieving faster time to market. Here we’ll help you understand whether it’s for your company to use the advantages of this approach and how to make your DevOps implementation smooth even if you start the DevOps process from scratch.
A Bit of History – Successful DevOps Implementation Cases
The concept of DevOps, which brings the development and operations teams together, is not new – it’s been around for more than a decade. The DevOps implementation approach aims to improve the flexibility and agility of the IT team, allowing it to deliver products faster by using automation tools.
Some companies have tried to implement DevOps and failed, while others got it right and succeeded in leveraging the possibilities of DevOps. Companies that had a consistent DevOps implementation plan and were able to take into account possible pitfalls and learn from their mistakes managed to take information technology to the next level.
One of the pioneers in DevOps implementation (even before the process got its name) was Facebook, with its practices of code ownership, automation, continuous improvement, and incremental changes to its development process. Recently this tech giant migrated its entire infrastructure and back-end IT to the Chef configuration management platform, thus maintaining its established tradition of an accelerated development lifecycle and a new normal of constant, rapid refreshes for mobile apps.
Amazon is another example of how to solve the problems of monolithic architecture using DevOps. This e-commerce giant was able to get rid of its heavy physical server infrastructure that stood in the way of productive scaling, maintaining, and upgrading its applications. To do it, Amazon moved from physical servers to cloud-based Amazon Web Services (AWS), which allowed engineers to scale the capacity of the online retailer up or down incrementally and fostered the transition to a continuous deployment process with any developer able to deploy their own code to whichever servers they needed and whenever they wanted.
Etsy is also one of the early companies using DevOps. Initially, the company also had a monolithic architecture that allowed technology deployment only about two times a week, resulting in the isolation of departments and the site going down frequently. The new tech team at Etsy adopted DevOps practices – and today, with its fully automated deployment pipeline and continuous delivery practices, the company has more than 50 deployments a day with fewer disruptions.
One more example of successful DevOps implementation is Netflix, which started as a DVD rental business and evolved into the biggest media service provider with around 222 million streaming subscribers around the world. Before DevOps, the company struggled to handle a huge technology upgrade and the traffic caused by subscribers because of a shortage of commercial tools.
With DevOps in place, they moved to an AWS cloud-based microservice architecture that separates engineering teams from each other and lets them build, test, and deploy their services. To ensure the stability of its application, Netflix created the Simian Army, a suite of automated tools that stress test its infrastructure and allow the company to identify and resolve vulnerabilities before they impact customers.
What are the Reasons for a DevOps Implementation?
Basically, the key reasons for many companies to start a DevOps implementation process are inefficient architecture and processes that limit their ability to develop and release competitive products. Below is a short DevOps implementation checklist that will help you make up your mind about whether you need to implement that strategy.
Team Productivity is Too Low
It can happen both when you use in-house and outsourced development, and there is strict segregation of duties between the departments involved in development. Developers write code, the QA team inspects the application for bugs, and the operations team manages the production environment and ensures stable application performance. There is a lot of time wasted when the teams are waiting for each other.
DevOps solution to this problem: Process automation ensures time optimization and continuous and collaborative product development.
Time to Market is Too Long
An on-time release is crucial for staying in line with customer demands and a rapidly evolving market. When the workflow and collaboration between teams are not in tune, it leads to project prolongation.
DevOps solution to this problem: Workflow optimization while ensuring end-to-end automation that allows frequent and smaller deployment to production, a faster release pace, and continuous integration and software delivery.
Deployment of Infrastructure is Time-consuming
Creating the right environment for product development, including any configuration, database, or other changes, can be challenging. Preparing a new development, testing, and production infrastructure for a new project can take weeks and valuable resources and cause low deployment frequency.
DevOps solution to this problem: Eliminating or reducing manual work with the environment and optimization of processes of environment building to create identical working environments for development, testing, and IT operations teams.
Development Costs are Too High
Even with small and agile development teams and short and efficient project circles, the cost of the final project is not going down. And at the same time, you have to cut development costs to stay competitive in the market.
DevOps solution to this problem: Optimization of testing processes and the implementation of such practices as continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) allow you to scale the product and reduce general development spending.
The Quality of the Product is Inadequate
Building a quality software solution with an expected number of features is a challenge if you don’t have time and resources. Insufficient testing or lack of continuous testing at each stage of the software development cycle can result in a lack of user trust in software quality and a loss of market share.
DevOps solution to this problem: Continuous testing is at the heart of the DevOps approach. DevOps will ensure testing at the beginning of each cycle, making your QA engineers more productive. And automated and continuous quality monitoring will be beneficial for building, deployment, test automation, and reporting.
DevOps implementation can help businesses overcome the drawbacks of traditional software development practices and deliver stable applications with thoroughly tested functionality faster.
What are the Benefits of DevOps Implementation?
In view of the problems we unveiled, the adoption of the DevOps implementation approach can result in:
- Decreased operational costs
- Satisfied customers
- Maximized efficiency and optimized productivity
- Greater collaboration and better communication between teams
- Continuous development and delivery
DevOps Implementation Roadmap
The main challenge in DevOps implementation is the lack of a consistent DevOps strategy. Because the process of implementing DevOps practices relies so heavily on increased communication, collaboration, and innovation, you should make sure that your employees realize the need for cultural change within your organization.
Step One: Introducing the DevOps Initiative
The first step will be introducing the DevOps initiative. The need to adopt new processes must be clear for all your people, so first of all, educate your teams about the DevOps development cycle and how it will affect the organization and improve their work. And only after laying this groundwork, your chief information officer (CIO) organizes a DevOps initiative as a part of the IT department program and your enterprise’s IT activities. The initiative has to optimally facilitate other business functions, such as financial investments and human resources.
Step Two: Building the DevOps Strategy
Building the DevOps strategy is the second step of your DevOps implementation plan. Designing the DevOps strategy and monitoring its implementation is in the hands of the program manager, who tailors it to the needs of your business. There are two goals you should focus on: supporting the continuous release of production-ready processes and enabling all the team members to do their work. To reach these goals, you should put the company development, testing, design, operations, and other teams in a shared working DevOps environment and ensure that all the members understand each other’s duties and focus on the outcomes of the software development cycle.
Step Three: Containerization
Step number three: use containerization. This technology ensures software reliability, while going from development to the testing environment and then production. Containers include everything required to run an application–the dependencies, libraries, and configuration files–so individual parts of the software run independently of the overall infrastructure and add to its abilities. Container packaging helps DevOps teams manage applications quickly in case of a change required for a specific microservice.
Step Four: Integrating Infrastructure and CI/CD Tools
Containerized applications need to be managed properly. For more efficient configuration management and software deployment, DevOps uses infrastructure automation tools such as Kubernetes, Ansible, Chef, or Puppet integrated with CI/CD tools like Jenkins, Bamboo, or GoCD.
Step Five: Expanding Automation and Alignments
Automating more tests and aligning QA with development is the fifth DevOps implementation step. Sufficient automated testing allows faster delivery with DevOps. However, not every type of test must be automated – depending on the extent of test automation cases, functional testing can remain manual. Development and testing activities have to be performed in tandem to avoid post-launch problems. This QA-Dev alignment ensures early detection of errors and helps developers work on stabilizing software before releasing the next build.
Step Six: Total Application Performance Monitoring
Ensuring total application performance monitoring is the last of the DevOps implementation steps. This step helps in detecting, prioritizing, and isolating application defects and their root causes within the software life cycle.
Faster delivery of better quality software, more efficient IT operations, and happier customers are the clear benefits of successful DevOps implementation. However, it takes experience to get it right. Many people realize that bringing DevOps into their practice can be beneficial for their business but still do not understand how to perform it right and use it in a way that accelerates software development and operations.
- Develop an entire DevOps implementation plan from scratch, including assessing your needs, analyzing your business requirements, planning capacity and benchmarking, developing architecture and design, and building a roadmap for deployment of the appropriate systems, tools, and practices.
- Set up (or migrate to) an optimal application infrastructure tailored to your DevOps needs (on-premises or on a cloud platform, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Google Cloud Platform.
- Perform scalability analysis and disaster recovery planning.
- Monitor your application environments and DevOps processes to assure their performance and minimize costs.
- Perform security audits and best practices.
Get in touch with our DevOps specialists today, and get started on your digital transformation with pros.