DevOps is the umbrella term for a set of tools, services, and specialists who work with these services. DevOps is an approach to software development, which is often called the practical implementation of Agile methodology.
The alternative is the Waterfall model that includes a complete project strategy executed step by step. It is a strict plan and you can’t accomplish some steps simultaneously or change the priority. Sometimes it is necessary but in software development, it’s better to make some steps simultaneously for increasing efficiency. DevOps methodology provides efficient software development by changing the teamwork and tools they use.
There are a lot of DevOps services allowing to make software development automated and efficient. It the pure Waterfall model software development is quite a laborious process. The developer writes the code, Quality Assurance (QA) engineer makes tests, returns the code back, the developer makes bugfixes, the code is tested again, then IT Operations engineers deploy the environment for the software. It can take a lot of time, so the DevOps approach offers automation and a different way of communication in the team. As a result, you have some transformation of the software development part of the project that leads to the transformation in the project as a whole. Every change looks terrifying at the start but in the end, you’ll get remarkable benefits.
Benefits, principles and practices of DevOps transformation
Let’s start with benefits because it’s an important part of understanding the transformation necessity.
Benefits of DevOps transformation
- Cost-efficiency. You should be ready to invest in the DevOps transformation but you also should understand what profit you’ll receive. With the DevOps approach, you can accomplish the project much faster. So, the product will enter the market faster and you’ll get the profit sooner.
- New technologies. DevOps works with great tools like Kubernetes, Terraform, Docker and others. They make the process of development more smooth because of the automation of the routine processes. For example, Terraform manifests allow developers to change the deployment environment themselves without calling IT operations at all. IT operations engineers create the environment and manifests, and developers can change parameters in the manifest to change the environment for deployment. All the processes are organized in the cloud, so it is fast and convenient.
- Team efficiency. One of the principles we’ll talk about below is working with a team. Strong team collaboration makes great impact on the development process. So, software development doesn’t look like endless throwing responsibility over the wall anymore. It is a work of cohesive team interested in the result and understanding contribution of each other.
DevOps principles and practices
The main DevOps principles are based on the IaC and CI/CD pipeline. Let’s define what these mean.
- IaC – Infrastructure as Code. We have mentioned before the manifests. This is a textual file written in descriptive language. It is quite understandable and simple to use. DevOps engineer designs the environment for the software deployment and creates a manifest where he writes the parameters of the environment. The developer can change the parameters in the manifest and make the environment he needs to deploy or test the project. It is very convenient and saves a lot of time for all the team working with the product.
- CI/CD pipeline. It means Continuous Integration and Deployment. DevOps provide the idea of writing code in small batches convenient for automated unit and integrity testing. After successful testing, these batches are added to the main code branch or “trunk” and software can be updated very fast. Continuous Deployment helps deploy the software almost immediately after testing and delivers it to the end-users without downtime. So, CI/CD pipeline is the automation of adding new features, updates and delivering software to users.
- Monitoring and logging. After accomplishing the product development and releasing it, you need monitor the user’s actions and reviews, work of the application and other moments. DevOps services can monitor some issues automatically and make logs for the DevOps engineer who will solve such issues.
As you can see, DevOps is quite an efficient approach making software development smooth and fast. If you want to implement DevOps in your company, you need to hire a DevOps team.
How to find a reliable DevOps team?
There are two ways of hiring: in-house and outsource. In-house is more expensive and longer. Outsourcing is better because of cost-efficiency, shorter time of hiring and less recruiting processes.
If you want to hire an outsourcing team, you should refer to the Managed Service Provider (MSP). There are a lot of MSPs and you can choose the appropriate company for you. Reliable MSPs have feedback from previous customers and might be present in some worldwide ratings. Also, you might ask about successful cases, the experienced company always have something to talk about.