DevOps implementation – Thoughts and Approach

When DevOps was first introduced, it came as a fresh departure from rigid legacy methodologies that required Dev and Ops teams to work in silos. Today, DevOps symbolizes agility coupled with security and paves the path for better collaboration and maintenance of regulatory and compliance standards across functions and departments.

Gartner defines DevOps as ‘a business-driven approach to deliver solutions using agile methods, collaboration, and automation’. DevOps indicates a major shift in the IT culture. The success of DevOps lies in its ability to speed up IT service delivery with the help of agile, lean practices. Unfortunately, we are not quite there when it comes to a wholehearted adoption of DevOps. It’s the psyche that needs to change. As Gartner predicts, 90% of organizations are likely to fail in their DevOps initiatives unless they address their cultural foundations effectively.

Recommended practices for a successful DevOps implementation

DevOps focuses on automation and continuous delivery. At the core of DevOps lies continuous improvement that stems from consistent feedback received by teams. Everything from testing and code deployment to communication and network resources is automated to scale effectively and eliminate human error.

This has helped in speeding up delivery and we now have faster releases. Teams no longer have to wait for updates and it is easier to optimize customer experience on an on-going basis. DevOps is all about continuous integration. The modern digitized world of today needs enterprises to build cross-functional capabilities to be able to create value and run the business in a highly integrated fashion. DevOps complements the deployment of cloud-native technologies too; a key benefit to consider given the fact that new applications are being made cloud-native. A DevOps culture is what is needed across organizations.

In nutshell, These 7 practices below are the recommendations, based on our experience,  for a successful DevOps implementation.

Transform-Hub-Blogs

Fig: Recommended practices for a successful DevOps Implementation

7 Recommended Practices for a successful DevOps Implementation

• Encourage collaboration by breaking organizational silos

• Start small and then incrementally scale-up

• Look for automation opportunity and automate whenever possible

• Right compatible tool selection

• Have visible dashboards to encourage real-time visibility into the project and operations

• Integrate often and deliver continuously

• Monitor to manage better and have a continuous feedback mechanism

Foundational success factors for DevOps implementation

Perhaps a better understanding of the different components of a typical DevOps pipeline in an enterprise can help break down these barriers and facilitate better adoption. After all, DevOps is a highly structured approach. The foundational success factors help get started on the DevOps journey.

Transform-Hub-Insights

Fig: Foundational success factors for DevOps implementation

So let’s dive deeper into the many things it is made up of.

Continuous Integration (CI)

Unlike in the past when developers built and submitted application features in silos, CI facilitated a frequent integration of code changes into a central repository. This ensured that code merging was not only time-effective but also way simpler. Not just that, CI enabled teams to spot integration bugs early on, thus, minimizing the time to resolve.

Continuous Delivery (CD)

With the help of CD, it is possible to automate an entire software release operation and perform various tests required for comprehensive validation on updates. CD clearly has a lot of benefits – it not only enables a bug-free deployment but allows enterprises to release new features with greater frequency. This, in turn, fortifies the feedback loop for customers ensuring there is better customer engagement.

Continuous Testing (CT)

The code integrations that collect in the continuous integration phase need to be tested for risks before they can traverse further in the delivery pipeline. The test scripts are written well in advance by testers before the coding begins. As soon as code integration occurs, the tests run on an auto mode.

Quality Gates

To strengthen the testing measures, enterprises rely on Quality Gates – a method simple in concept yet very effective for validating the overall process. So every time a step clears a particular test the process moves on to the next step, and if it fails it has to be corrected then and there. This gives developers a tighter grip on the whole process and subsequently leads to huge savings.

Continuous Deployment 

Often confused with continuous delivery, continuous deployment has a lot more in store than continuous delivery and is its rightful successor. The updates approved by automated testing are expected to go into production automatically. While continuous delivery prepares the software for release it is the role of continuous deployment to ensure that it goes into production.

Continuous Monitoring

It is impossible to ensure the optimal performance of applications unless they are well monitored in a highly conducive production environment. The data collected from constant monitoring of systems as well as the applications come in handy while identifying trends and areas of improvement. It also helps determine the potential of the application.

Continuous Feedback

Often overlooked, this is perhaps one of the most critical stages in the DevOps pipeline for product improvement. As we all know, it is impossible to improvise until we hear it from the very people it’s meant for. It is important that developers and end-users are aligned in thought with respect to releases. Continuous feedback, therefore, is critical and can greatly elevate customer satisfaction and enhance business outcomes.

DevOps implementation at an advanced level

Containerization

Packaged with all runtime components such as files and libraries, the highly lightweight containers work well within DevOps. They come along with just the bare minimum resources to deploy applications in multiple environments. They speed up application delivery with cloud-native applications that are scalable and agile and play a big role in modernizing legacy applications too. As per Gartner, “By 2022, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production.” Through container orchestration, enterprises manage the lifecycles of containers and automate tasks in dynamic environments.

Microservices

An architectural style that enables rapid and reliable delivery of large applications, microservices help enterprises evolve their technology stack. It ensures that a failure in one service does not affect the performance of other application functions and the failure is addressed in isolation.

Multi-cloud environment

There’s just too much data now and enterprises are using multi-cloud i.e. two or more cloud management platforms in a single heterogeneous IT environment to manage it. Multi-cloud helps IT that’s forever under a lot of pressure owing to data management woes. It offers a multitude of benefits including workload optimization, cost-effectiveness, better performance, and greater flexibility.

DevSecOps

Nothing is really safe unless you weave in a layer of security in the full life cycle of your apps. Precisely where DevSecOps comes into play. Rather than bringing insecurity in the final stage of development, it is now built-in in all DevOps initiatives. From risk tolerance to conducting a risk/benefit analysis, a good DevSecOps strategy helps bypass time-intensive measures of running security checks later in the pipeline. The rationale is to integrate security measures causing minimal disruption to the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. It’s about integrating automated security end to end to protect the overall environment as well as data.

A wholehearted adoption of DevOps can help you tide over a lot of challenges. At TransformHub, we can help set the sail for lasting DevOps success and a smooth digital transformation. We can help you address your market needs and ensure that you stay ahead of the competition with the right capabilities.

Call us today and we can discuss the many avenues and opportunities DevOps can lead us to.

Bala
Chief Technical Officer
TransformHub – Banking | Finance | InsurTech | FinTech |IT