DevOps Definition, Goals, Best Practices And Tools

DevOps is on everyone’s lips today. Some see it as the “next big thing”, others as a buzzword.

But what is DevOps really?

DevOps is the abbreviation of Development and Operations. In other words, it is the combination of two areas that are related to each other, but which are usually classically stand alone. But if we move away from this abbreviation, DevOps is much more is a new corporate culture that focuses on the rapid delivery of high-quality software. This is achieved by combining development and operations.

To achieve such a fast delivery, several steps are required, some of which are briefly outlined below.

Use of DevOps processes

Some companies see DevOps as a tool or as software, but since DevOps is described as a new corporate culture, this approach falls far short. For the introduction of DevOps in a company, the corresponding processes play an essential role. All processes concerning development, operation, and delivery from development to operation may need to be adapted. While this is easier if agile processes already exist, agility is only a first step. The agile processes, however, first concern the development (and the test area), the processes for delivery have to go a long way.

This is perhaps easier to understand when the relevant tools and the process chain are considered.

DevOps Processes and Tools

DevOps depends on the appropriate software. This ensures that

  • appropriate processes are defined
  • the software delivery process moves within these processes
  • the monitoring monitors the process and the servers

The entire process chain generally runs as follows:

  1. Check-in of a new version into the repository
  2. Unit tests + test for code conventions
  3. Packaging + Build
  4. Automated integration tests
  5. Automated frontend tests
  6. Release management
  7. Configuration
  8. Monitoring.

This overall process can be automated with the right tools. Here there are appropriate products, especially from the Open Source environment.

Open Source Tools - DevOps

Especially in the open-source area, many tools support the creation of a DevOps pipeline. Due to the openness of this software, additional plug-ins can be integrated with many cases, allowing you to model processes even for special environments.

For example, the following products could be used:

  • Docker
  • Git
  • JUnit
  • Jenkins
  • Apache Maven
  • Selenium

Thinking - Change Process

Of course, the new processes and structures must also reach the minds of the employees. This applies to work on several levels: project or product management receives new approval processes, development may have to adapt its own understanding of quality for example, also the handling of the repository.

However, a major change is also coming to the operations area: this area has a special focus on stable platforms and versions and thus rather rare deployments. Persuasion is needed to convince people of the advantages of the new process.

Here it helps to emphasize the release management process to have a check of the test results before the final release to the server.

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