Devops Core Practices
We can briefly describe devops service providers practices: continuous integration, deployment and delivery, configuration management, continuous monitoring and others. The traditional IT team of a large project consists of three subgroups:
- Developers (Dev),
- Testers (QA),
- Operating group (operational group, Ops).
The former work on the software and release it only after it is guaranteed that the code will work properly. The testing team is responsible for this guarantee. The Ops team is responsible for deployment, load balancing and release management. Over time, it became clear that a categorical approach in this division is one of the reasons for long development cycles. The emergence of DevOps methodology aimed at improving interaction between specialists for more rapid development of applications has accelerated release of releases.
Why do we need DevOps engineers?
DevOps provides a new level of collaboration and speed that allows organizations to deliver products to the market faster, increase productivity, reduce operational costs for customer service, maintain market competitiveness and solve critical problems faster. Different tools are used in DevOps methodology:
- containerization (Docker, Kubernetes)
- continuous integration (Jenkins)
- deploy environments by template (Terraform, Puppet, Ansible)
- monitoring services and networks (Nagios, Grafana, Prometheus, Splunk)
Continuous integration (CI)
Continuous Integration (CI) is a software development practice that consists of constantly merging working copies into a common core development branch and performing automated project builds to identify potential defects and solve integration problems as soon as possible.
In traditional projects, the integration stage is the final stage, which leads to a delay in completion. Transition to continuous integration allows to reduce labor intensity of integration and make it more predictable by early detection and elimination of errors and contradictions. But the main advantage is reduction of the cost of defect correction due to its early detection.
Continuous deployment and delivery
The process of deployment is cyclical: development → build → check → manage build versions → deploy, etc. The idea of a continuous deployment process is to automatically deploy the generated code into the production environment after the build has passed all the QA-staging-beta stages, integration, user testing, etc. Tools such as Spinnaker, Jenkins, Harness, Ansible, Chef, Puppet allow the DevOps team to configure automated deposition pipelines in multiple environments with minimal human intervention.
Continuous delivery is a DevOps practice where the new code is tested by the QA team at various stages of automated and manual QA cycles. If the code passes the QA cycle and it is approved by the team, everything is put into production. This is how, with DevOps, the team can create, test and release releases faster and more often, dividing the whole process into short cycles. This allows organizations to release more releases, reduce manual deployment and minimize the risk of failure.
Configuration Management (CM)
Configuration and change management are an important part of the development cycle. Configuration management is a set of methods aimed at systematic accounting of changes made by developers in the software product during its development and maintenance, maintaining system integrity after changes, preventing unwanted and unpredictable effects, formalizing the process of making changes.