DevOps has been the latest in a long succession of problem-solving processes that each come with a digital garage full of tools: CI/CD systems, testing frameworks, monitoring tools, and security audit tools, to name a few. Which of these tools do you need? Which will solve the problems, pains, and slowdowns your organization faces? In my time helping teams of all sizes, I kept hearing the same two questions: “What organizational structure do we need to have?" and, "What tools should we implement?”
Neither of these are bad questions, but asked in isolation, they miss the point. When you go straight to these questions, you are thinking about solutions before you’ve really assessed the problem that you are trying to solve in your organization.
Organizations often think that the top-down model (“Use this! Do this!”) will get their teams innovating faster. Eager team leads will bring in a new CI/CD tool and get everyone up and running on it. Providing proper tooling for individual contributors to follow an adopted practice is important, but the problem comes when team leads will bring in tools without fully understanding its value or why they are doing it. Often even the people who ordered the change will forget why they put it in place to begin with, or what they wanted to get out of it. The sad truth is how easy it is to start misusing tools once the original reasoning is obscured, creating lost or even negative value.
I’ve been brought into countless organizations who were convinced that DevOps was the solution to all their problems, if only they could get it up and running quickly.
If you find yourself in this position, ask yourself, “Why do we want DevOps in our organization? What value do we think it will bring?”
At this point, let’s briefly talk about what DevOps is, and isn’t.
DevOps is a very specific collaboration between developers and operations teams. In essence, it indicates that you’ve culturally adopted development practices into your infrastructure, and operational practices into your development cycle. What does this look like in practice? It can mean maintaining infrastructure as code, or creating immutable infrastructure by building reusable components so you can tear down or up whenever you want, giving you version control and a history of changes you’ve made. It also means getting all product contributors to care more about the end result of what they’re working on — how does it function in the world? How are users interacting with it? Getting people to truly care about quality means caring about both business value and usability. When everyone who is building a product cares about both aspects of quality, cares about what happens when it gets deployed and gets exposed to the end user. That’s the result of true DevOps adoption.
In my experience, this kind of widespread buy-in has been particularly difficult for software teams to achieve because it requires a lot of cooperation from people with different skills and domain expertise. Pulling this off requires both cross-functional team structure and thoughtful communication skills. For example, if an engineer needs to talk to someone on the business side about a database problem, she needs to not just show the data she’s working from, but give necessary context and focus that person’s attention on what they should care about and why.
So, should you bring in that new tool? The answer is: maybe. Tools can sometimes seem like a quick fix, but they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. In my experience, keeping these considerations in mind before you bring in a new DevOps tool will increase your chances of success.
1. Make sure everyone is on the same page with respect to what you’re trying to achieve with this transformation. Everyone should agree on the problem you’re trying to solve, and that you are aligned on the pain points.
2. Always start small. Don’t try to make the entire organization into a model DevOps model team overnight. Instead, start with one team, and see if the process changes works within your organization. If you see improvements, keep moving incrementally.
3. Do what works for you. Know that DevOps might not be the right solution for your organization. Some companies have been successful for a long time without DevOps, and it might not be right for them, given their culture or their product needs. I’ve personally seen waterfall work really well for some very successful organizations. For example, if confidentiality is a big part of your company’s product strategy, then shipping incrementally to get feedback would not work for you, as you’d need to keep all product details under lock and key up until a big launch. In that environment, it would be very difficult to build a DevOps culture.
4. Always measure. Before you start any improvement plan, get accurate metrics for where you’re currently at (i.e. our dev cycle takes X time). Do this before you’ve invited an SRE onto the development team. Then after a small amount of time, you’ll be able to see whether it’s been effective. Measure before and after you make a change, and consistently measure to see if you’ve improved. As an example: When a lot of Agile transformation was happening, a lot of companies adopted standups, without really understanding why, or measuring whether it had a positive effect on their team. This likely wasted more time than it saved.
5. Do not try to automate everything. At least not all at once. One misconception about DevOps is that all the infrastructure provisioning and the configuration management must be done automatically. This is referred to as “infrastructure as code.” But some things work better when they are manual; automation is not the solution for everything. Also, think about how many times you’re going to run that automation script and how much time it would take you to automate it. Will you use it thousands of times or only three?
Additionally, sometimes you have to start the manual way to even figure out what would be the best solution for automation. Still itching to automate? Dockerizing your application is a great way to automate because the work you put in is likely to be re-used. Automating pre-production environment creation is another great way to implement automation. For another example: are you trying to automate firewall setup? That might not be worth it given the lack of API support on a lot of current firewall software. While it’s good that you are preparing for disaster, you’d probably be putting so much more value into it than you’ll ever get out of it.
DevOps and Cloud computing are joined at the hip, now that fact is well appreciated by the organizations that engaged in SaaS cloud and developed applications in the Cloud. During the COVID crisis period, most of the organizations have started using cloud computing services and implementing a cloud-first strategy to establish their remote operations. Similarly, the extended DevOps strategy will make the development process more agile with automated test cases.
According to the survey in EMEA, IT decision-makers have observed a 129%* improvement in the overall software development process when performing DevOps on the Cloud. This success result was just 81% when practicing only DevOps and 67%* when leveraging Cloud without DevOps. Not only that, but the practice has also made the software predictability better, improve the customer experience as well as speed up software delivery 2.6* times faster.
3 Core Principle to fit DevOps Strategy
If you consider implementing DevOps in concert with the Cloud, then the
below core principle will guide you to utilize the strategy.
Guide to Remold Business with DevOps and Cloud
Companies are now re-inventing themselves to become better at sensing the next big thing their customers need and finding ways with the Cloud based DevOps to get ahead of the competition.
#devops #devops-principles #azure-devops #devops-transformation #good-company #devops-tools #devops-top-story #devops-infrastructure
The DevOps methodology, a software and team management approach defined by the portmanteau of Development and Operations, was first coined in 2009 and has since become a buzzword concept in the IT field.
DevOps has come to mean many things to each individual who uses the term as DevOps is not a singularly defined standard, software, or process but more of a culture. Gartner defines DevOps as:
“DevOps represents a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture), and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology — especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective.”
As you can see from the above definition, DevOps is a multi-faceted approach to the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), but its main underlying strength is how it leverages technology and software to streamline this process. So with the right approach to DevOps, notably adopting its philosophies of co-operation and implementing the right tools, your business can increase deployment frequency by a factor of 30 and lead times by a factor of 8000 over traditional methods, according to a CapGemini survey.
This list is designed to be as comprehensive as possible. The article comprises both very well established tools for those who are new to the DevOps methodology and those tools that are more recent releases to the market — either way, there is bound to be a tool on here that can be an asset for you and your business. For those who already live and breathe DevOps, we hope you find something that will assist you in your growing enterprise.
With such a litany of tools to choose from, there is no “right” answer to what tools you should adopt. No single tool will cover all your needs and will be deployed across a variety of development and Operational teams, so let’s break down what you need to consider before choosing what tool might work for you.
With all that in mind, I hope this selection of tools will aid you as your business continues to expand into the DevOps lifestyle.
AWS CloudFormation is an absolute must if you are currently working, or planning to work, in the AWS Cloud. CloudFormation allows you to model your AWS infrastructure and provision all your AWS resources swiftly and easily. All of this is done within a JSON or YAML template file and the service comes with a variety of automation features ensuring your deployments will be predictable, reliable, and manageable.
Azure Resource Manager (ARM) is Microsoft’s answer to an all-encompassing IAC tool. With its ARM templates, described within JSON files, Azure Resource Manager will provision your infrastructure, handle dependencies, and declare multiple resources via a single template.
Much like the tools mentioned above, Google Cloud Deployment Manager is Google’s IAC tool for the Google Cloud Platform. This tool utilizes YAML for its config files and JINJA2 or PYTHON for its templates. Some of its notable features are synchronistic deployment and ‘preview’, allowing you an overhead view of changes before they are committed.
Terraform is brought to you by HashiCorp, the makers of Vault and Nomad. Terraform is vastly different from the above-mentioned tools in that it is not restricted to a specific cloud environment, this comes with increased benefits for tackling complex distributed applications without being tied to a single platform. And much like Google Cloud Deployment Manager, Terraform also has a preview feature.
Chef is an ideal choice for those who favor CI/CD. At its heart, Chef utilizes self-described recipes, templates, and cookbooks; a collection of ready-made templates. Cookbooks allow for consistent configuration even as your infrastructure rapidly scales. All of this is wrapped up in a beautiful Ruby-based DSL pie.
#tools #devops #devops 2020 #tech tools #tool selection #tool comparison
If you’re an experienced DevOps engineer you want to find the most efficient tools for your work. However, the variety of services available is so big that you physically can’t try them all. That’s the reason why the majority of DevOps engineers limit themselves to a shortlist of tools such as Docker, Jenkins, Kubernetes, Puppet, or Ansible without ever attempting to change anything. But many great tools fit your current tech stack and can take your efficiency to a new level. To help you, I have created this list of great DevOps tools that you probably haven’t heard about before.
It’s time to try something new! All the tools below offer trials or free plans. So you can try them and see if something fits your needs. Many of them will not replace your existing stack but supplement it.
Please, share in the comments which tools you already knew about and which you’ll try after reading this article.
Free plan: Yes, the application has a very generous free plan with ample functionality for many small DevOps teams and individuals and developers.
Paid plans start from $29.99 per month
Have you ever had a problem you’ve worked on for 3 hours in a row and only afterward discovered that the issue was in one of your third-party tools or cloud services, or that an API you use was down? This will never, ever happen again with StatusGator.
This application will help keep you informed about the state of all your dependencies and send notifications via Slack, Teams, Discord, Flowdock, email, SMS, or even webhook. StatusGator reads the status pages of around 800 cloud services, parsing them into a centralized feed for you. If you want to know if Intercom is down or not, be aware of Mailgun outages, monitor the Google Cloud status or understand the current state of any other services, StatusGator will help you to understand all this.
If you care about reducing your downtime, you should sign up for StatusGator right now. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and not staying informed. This app has a free plan, so you don’t even need any budget to start. I saved what could have been a full day’s work when an API failed and I knew what the core reason was right away, thanks to StatusGator. So I’m ready to buy a round of drinks for the StatusGator team right now! :)
Talking about budget, the paid plan has a reasonable price and starts at only $29.99 per month. Just remember the cost of downtime to understand how worthwhile this investment is. It doesn’t take much time at all to recoup that investment.
Free plan: Yes
Paid plan starts from $5 for individuals and $19 for teams per month.
If you have daily backups or cron jobs, and you need monitoring then Dead Man’s Snitch can help you to achieve it. With this service, you can monitor Heroku Scheduler, cron jobs, or any task from any task scheduler. If something doesn’t execute, the application alerts you, so you can react in a good time.
Dead Man’s Snitch helps to create ‘snitches’ for every service you need to monitor. Also, the application creates a special URL for these services, thus you can make requests via a browser. It has a free plan and three different paid plans for individuals and teams.
Free plan: yes, but with limited functions
Paid plan starts from $129 per month
Like a real fire hydrant helps to put out fires, this tool will help you put out “fires” at work by receiving timely alerts and other cool features. It helps document the system, integrate the tools you already use, and gather data and alerts for handling incidents.
FireHydrant will help you to connect team members, servers, features, and applications in one infrastructure graph. With this single tool, you can finally stop using spreadsheets and automate all your documentation. Also, FireHydrant provides public customer-facing status pages, thus you can inform users promptly if you need to.
This application has a free plan with limited functions but it’s enough to understand if it suits your team. The paid plan starts from $129 per month for 5 team members. A plan for 10 members costs $600.
Free plan: Yes
**Paid plan **starts from $29 per month billed annually or $39 per month billed monthly
Clustered will help you with every step of the software development process. It automates many actions allowing you to concentrate on the code without infrastructure management. Clustered helps you to automate deployment and scaling, and resolve problems before your users even notice them. It can replace familiar tools like CircleCI, Jenkins, or GitLab. Thus, you can save a lot of time and reinvest it only on coding. Clustered works with Node.js, Vue.js, Python, PHP, and other popular languages. It provides CI/CD and managed container hosting in a development platform.
The main idea of Clustered is to simplify the software development process. It provides DevOps automation and container orchestration with a simple and understandable interface and lots of integrations, including AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. Clustered has a 14-day free trial and a paid plan from $29 to $99 per month.
#devops #software #devops tools #tools for developers #devops tool
DevOps is supposed to help streamline the process of taking code changes and getting them to production for users to enjoy. But what exactly does it mean for the process to be “streamlined”? One way to answer this is to start measuring metrics.
Metrics give us a way to make sure our quality stays the same over time because we have numbers and key identifiers to compare against. Without any metrics being measured, you don’t have a way to measure improvements or regressions. You just have to react to them as they come up.
When you know the indicators that show what condition your system is in, it lets you catch issues faster than if you don’t have a steady-state to compare to. This also helps when you get ready for system upgrades. You’ll be able to give more accurate estimates of the number of resources your systems use.
After you’ve recorded some key metrics for a while, you’ll start noticing places you could improve your application or ways you can reallocate resources to where they are needed more. Knowing the normal operating state of your system’s pipeline is crucial and it takes time to set up a monitoring tool.
The main thing is that you decide to watch some metrics to get an idea of what’s going on when you start the deploy process. In the beginning, it might seem hard to figure out what the best metrics for a pipeline are.
You can conduct chaos engineering experiments to test different conditions and learn more about which metrics are the most important to your system. You can look at things like, time from build to deploy, number of bugs that get caught in different phases of the pipeline, and build size.
Thinking about what you should measure can be one of the harder parts of the effectiveness of the metrics you choose. When you’re considering metrics, look at what the most important results of your pipeline are.
Do you need your app to get through the process as quickly as possible, regardless of errors? Can you figure out why that sporadic issue keeps stopping the deploy process? What’s blocking you from getting your changes to production with confidence?
That’s how you’re going to find those key metrics quickly. Running experiments and looking at common deploy problems will show you what’s important early on. This is one of the ways you can make sure that your metrics are relevant.
#devops #devops-principles #devops-tools #devops-challenges #devops-adoption-challenges #devops-adoption #continuous-deployment #continuous-integration
From conceptualization to deployment, the process of developing software applications or web applications is complex. By going through several intricate phases of development, a web application or software is tested on multiple levels before being proceeded into production.
In most cases, software application development becomes time-consuming due to its specifications and complexities. In order to deliver the application in a short span of time, software developers are following a universal set of practices called the DevOps lifecycle.
So, what is DevOps in the world of software application development? Let’s deep dive into its meaning, uses, as well as each critical phase in the DevOps lifecycle.
#devops #devops tutorial #devops lifecycle tools #devops lifecycle blocks #devops lifecycle phases #lifecycle of devops