DevOps is nowadays a term that can be used to represent many things. Like many other technical terms, its meaning has been deformed by marketing usage, making it sometimes difficult to really see what hides behind the term. So let’s discover what really are DevOps, and what good they can be for your development process.
The birth of DevOps
The term of DevOps is actually rather new, but it begins to have a significant importance in the IT world, and this, whatever the size of software building company.
In the product development process, the goal is to aim at releasing production releases of the product by iterations. These cycles can be rather long and lead to a few number of actual, “production-ready” software releases. The traditional process of development often ends in staging stage, awaiting the lengthy process of packaging and deploying.
The high barrier that was actual deployment was a problem as it slowed down the release process though a complex process and high requirements. In order to achieve faster deployments, we needed – and began to – lower this barrier and soften the deployment process from development. New tasks appeared, like provisioning an intermediate deployment server, to ease with this lengthy process. It is truly a bridge between development and operations.
Where DevOps come to act
DevOps can come to act in a large number of development-related activities. They usually act on automation of different phases (Chef, Puppet, Jenkins) and creation of production-like development tools (Vagrant).
DevOps can cover a lot a practices and tools to improve product quality and achieve automated delivery.
Automated deployment has big advantages: you can release new features earlier, and since the release contains fewer changes, they are easy to track, fix or roll back in case of a problem, reducing risks. Furthermore, you can also integrate more quickly feedback from your customers, keeping them happy. You can summarise by considering DevOps all things helping to achieve continuous delivery.
DevOps are like a smart conveyer belt, removing early defects and ensuring that only quality releases reaches the end of the belt and get into production.
DevOps are a great thing to have, as they smoother – and my even remove – the difficult step of deployment. DevOps will create a consistant, reliable, repeatable and automated deployment process; they pull back the deployment environment into the development side, raising awareness about the final environment and reducing deployment errors and surprises that can delay a product launch. The first step is a hard one, but it makes the following ones easier to pass.
The automation of all these processes, the inclusion of deployment environment at all levels, can be frightening for most. Good news: this is not compulsory to go as far, as it depends on your product and company. Each one can embrace DevOps at its own pace, and not directly jump into daily or more frequent releases.
Some people may find that automating the whole process is dangerous and will prefer keeping a level of control over this process, as other may take this process at its extreme and require a full automation. The best way of diving in is to go step by step.
The final goal is to place ourselves ahead of the curve, and have quick respond times to customer demand by having new products and new features launch early and quickly, before competition does.
More and more people are now recognising the need for quicker, more efficient, and automated development processes, as they allow to keep deploying new features, keep services up, and solve operational issues more quickly.
DevOps can let you smoothen a hard part of your development process. As stated above, they reduce risks, let you be swifter, strengthen your deployment process, and be reactive to customer feedback. They are an excellent thing to add to your process.
We have a certain affinity for DevOps @iguana and we work together to build scalable and dynamic infrastructure especially at the hour of cloud. Our teams can help you to build / deploy process from the simplest to the most complicated workflows