DevOps 101 and where it is headed to …

JULY 23, 2020

Introduction:

Companies from large to small started adopting DevOps culture for the last 5 years. Even with so much adoption of DevOps in many enterprises, people are still confused about what exactly does the term “DevOps” means.

*From the words of Gartner,

“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 it 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”.

Concept of DevOps:

DevOps provides solution to challenges faced by the business by improving deployment frequency, reducing lead time for changes, faster recovery, fast feedback loops, tight delivery deadlines, high-quality software and building the bridge between development and operations team.

What led to the genesis of DevOps?

To understand the genesis of DevOps, one should know about application development and what Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) in a typical enterprise is composed of.

Stages of SDLC followed by Organizations:
  1. Requirement Analysis: Product Managers gather requirements and documents in SRS (Software Requirement Specification).
  2. Design the Product: Designs are documented in DDS (Design Document Specification) and reviewed by all the stakeholders based on various parameters as risk assessment, product robustness, design modularity, budget and time constraints, and the best design approach is selected for the product.
  3. Developing the Product: Product Development is initiated and assembled.
  4. Testing the Product/Quality Assurance: At this point, product defects are tracked, fixed, and retested, until the product reaches the quality standards defined in the SRS.
  5. Deployment and Release to Market: Once the product is tested and ready to be deployed, it is released formally in the appropriate market.

Every Business runs on two motives i.e., efficient delivery and stability. In conventional approach either delivery or stability got compromised since confusion existed between the development and the operations team as the development team was entrusted to create software and operations team was entrusted to ensure the stability of the product. With DevOps, a better relationship is established between these two teams by eliminating the confusion.

How does it work?

DevOps is a combination of Development and Operations. The goal is to have a Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Development (CD) of the product so that an efficient product is delivered to the end-user.

Beginning from requirement analysis, design and development to testing and from continuous integration to continuous delivery, both development and operation teams work together, use various tools and monitor regularly to fix any bugs and issues. Considering the advantages of DevOps, many companies are adopting it for performance and efficiency in development process.

Some of the latest trends in DevOps for the market to be aware of:

  • Automation as the center of attention
  • DevOps Assembly Lines
  • DevSecOps
  • Evolution of Tester Role
  • Microservices Architecture
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the smarter approach
  • Enterprise Versions

Automation as the centre of attention:

With faster production and replacing hard, physical and monotonous work, automation has been the way for businesses. Understanding and applying automation to DevOps is the key. The most important aspect of automating DevOps includes the six C’s in the DevOps cycle, which are:

  • Continuous business planning
  • Collaborative development
  • Continuous testing
  • Continuous release and deployment
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Collaborative customer feedback and optimization

DevOps Assembly Lines:

With automation paving its way into businesses, DevOps Assembly lines are used to bridge the gap between manual and automated tasks in providing accuracy to implement and ensure production delivery as quickly as possible. In 2019, the spotlight happens to be on Continuous Delivery (CD) and Automation than Continuous Integration (CI). Although pipelines represent the product development and its stages i.e., “continuous integration (CI) and effective monitoring, implementation” it seems Automation and Continuous Delivery (CD) plays the major role in Businesses by removing redundancies created as it is the primary focus, which is dealt by DevOps Assembly Lines.

DevSecOps:

Integrating security into DevOps workflows helps in the production of secure and faster software that is impeccable.

Until recently, security has been an add-on to the software whereas in the current trends it is being added beforehand in the cycle of SDLC. This in return seems to provide reliability and assertion between teams reducing confusion and inaccuracy deducing a clear idea of what and where it went wrong. This way addition of security to automated CI/CD pipelines is building a more trustworthy relation between IT and business goals. The inclusion of security to DevOps includes security testing that leads to our next trend.

DevOps + Security = DevSecOps

Evolution of Tester Role:

With so many advancements coming into effect, the testing role needs to catch up with the requirements coming into existence. Testers who know coding can go a long way in the field of DevOps considering the priority gained by security and automation requirements in recent times and providing accessibility and security testing. They need to make sure that these requirements be met. It doesn’t come off quickly with manual testing methods as of old, rather coding comes in handy and testers with coding knowledge are extensively called for. Understanding DevOps and automation can help a tester write their own automated test scripts. Testing using code assist a tester in saving a lot of time. The performance of the software developed turns out more reliable and accessible, safeguarding from any security breach.

Microservices Architecture:

Microservices as the name suggests are known as small, independent, singular functionality. Unlike DevOps, Microservices are smaller compound services offering agility which results in swift delivery. As it is independent, any defect/error can be detached and tested by unit testing and fixed without affecting other elements. This feature of un-interruption makes it more welcoming to teams and thus led the way to Microservices and DevOps go hand in hand. Addition of new features and deployments are made easier than ever for companies hence making it more desirable to use Microservices Architecture.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the smarter approach:

AI and ML (Machine Learning) slowly made their way into DevOps making it even easier for teams to work more efficiently and effectively. While automation made its mark, combination of AI and ML is lending its support by anticipating solutions and adjusting to different conditions, helping teams to concentrate on requirements of the highest importance. Introduction of AI and ML in SDLC can result in computer orchestrating solutions to problems by learning and understanding patterns.

Enterprise Versions on the go:

These days many companies are confused whether to build or buy. Enterprise versions help in buying tools that are best for company’s requirements by understanding the goals and necessities. This, in turn, leads to the company’s productivity since they get their own infrastructure which ensures a company’s security in its best hands possible.

Conclusion:

Although DevOps is a topic of different opinions, interpretations, definitions, it keeps evolving by the day holding up to the challenges that reflect opportunities. With any adoption, there is always an improvement. No matter how mature your organization is in adopting DevOps, the strategy should be, to keep an eye on the upcoming trends in DevOps, analyze and implement in the organization to improve efficiency in development and operations that defines DevOps in itself.

DevOps is a combination of Development and Operations. The goal is to have a Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Development (CD) of the product so that an efficient product is delivered to the end-user.

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