DevOps Lifecycle Phases and Principles

What is the DevOps Lifecycle?

The DevOps lifecycle is a set of automated deployment processes of workflow. It was introduced to ensure continuous product delivery and is usually symbolized as an infinity loop. It is a combination of DevOps phases that work together for better and more effective product development.

How does this lifecycle work? There are a few common DevOps steps in the lifecycle:

  1. Planning. You collect the end-user data and create a roadmap of future processes at this stage.
  2. Coding. At this stage, developers use tools or plugins to streamline the development process.
  3. Building. Once developers finish coding, they commit the code to the shared repository.
  4. Testing. Various tests to run including acceptance, security, integration and performance testing.
  5. Deployment. You need to create the production environment and release the build at this stage.
  6. Operating. At this stage, your product is ready for use by clients, and the operation team is still managing server configurations.
  7. Monitoring. You can collect the data from customer experience and the first use of the product and use it for improving productivity and fixing possible bugs.

All seven stages are related to the DevOps lifecycle phase. The steps involved in the DevOps lifecycle are critical for an efficient product launch. Also, they help facilitate the whole development process and allow the team to work more productively.

DevOps Lifecycle Phases

All phases in the development process are continuous. That ensures highly effective development and operational work. Here are seven DevOps phases to run a successful product launch and the most effective tools for completing each stage.

1. Continuous Development

This DevOps lifecycle phase is based on coding and planning steps. This phase is the introduction to the whole concept of DevOps. At this stage, all the requirements are discussed with stakeholders to plan the final product better. It’s important to define business needs first, and only after that start coding. As this is a continuous process, DevOps engineers will edit the code if the needs or requirements change. In many cases, constant planning and development with a single backlog will help increase the productivity of the process and the number of product releases.

During this DevOps stage, you won’t likely use any specific tools. But it would help if you consider some additional control for source code maintenance. It can be GitHub, Mercurial, Bitbucket or others.

2. Continuous Integration

The CI/CD lifecycle phase is one of the most critical for DevOps. The concept of this phase is to test the code at every commit. In this phase, you will add some features or update the code. Also, you will detect some bugs in a code during integration through uni testing. At the same time, all needed tests can be planned at CI/CD lifecycle phase.

Integration and deployment were the most complicated stages in the traditional approach, as one mistake can ruin the whole process. With continuous practice in DevOps, this process became more accessible, and integrating critical functionalities is no longer a problem.

As for the best CI-CD tools, we recommend Jenkins, Circleci, Teamcity and others.

3. Continuous Testing

Quality analytics test the bugs and issues using Docker containers at this stage. The code will be sent back to the CI/CD lifecycle phase for modification if there is an error. When we automate the testing phase, we reduce the time developers spend on coding. Also, it can save a lot of effort for the DevOps team.

QA uses tools for testing such as Cucumber, Mabel and Zaptest. Also, you can consider implementing Selenium – one of the most popular open-source tools for automated testing supported by many platforms and browsers.

4. Continuous Deployment

At this stage, the application code is deployed to the production server. Moreover, the CD phase of the DevOps lifecycle includes configuration management to make deployment code accurate. This phase is always active, especially when the application goes live and the server starts receiving high traffic. It will be pretty helpful to use modernization tools for this stage. Also, DevOps may consider such tools as Chef or Puppet.

5. Continuous Feedback

It is the phase to ensure analysis and improvement of existing code. Feedback provides efficient data for coding gain. To gather input, organizations can run surveys or questionnaires. Also, feedback can be received through social media platforms. This phase is essential for building the best version of an application. In many cases, this phase is life-changing for the following development.

As for the tools you can use for this phase, we would mention Pendo, which is quite an effective tool for gathering product reviews. Also, you may consider Webalizer or Flowdock.

6. Continuous Monitoring

After the product is released, detect system errors such as low memory or non-reachable servers. In comparison with the traditional approach, the DevOps IT team is highly involved in this cycle phase. If the team sees a critical issue at this stage, the application will go through the entire DevOps lifecycle again. At the same time, security issues can be resolved automatically.

As for the critical tool, you can consider Sensu, NewRelic or Splunk.

7. Continuous Operations

The last phase in the DevOps cycle helps to reduce planned server downtime. When developers update the application, they take the server offline. It can be critical for the company. But continuous operations automate this process of app updates and launching new ones. You can use content management systems to facilitate the process of building, testing and deploying a product.

This phase accelerates time-to-market and saves developer’s time. As for tools, the most commonly used are Kubernetes and Docker Swarm.

Final Thoughts

This article discussed the main stages of the DevOps lifecycle that make the whole development process more efficient. The DevOps approach helps automate product launch and optimize the testing, coding, building, monitoring, integration and other phases. It is a new philosophy in product delivery that can change the whole business process for your organization.

If you need to discuss your case, or hire DevOps specialists to establish the development stages with a new approach, you can contact Cprime specialists. We provide DevOps services and have solid experience in delivering DevOps solutions.