What is DevOps and Its Core Practices?
With the increase in digital transformation, businesses, organizations and industries are increasingly in need of continuous development across their IT products and services which can include pre and post-deployment error fixing, code or environment upgrades, new integrations, maintenance or timely evolutions.
To these ends, DevOps has been introduced as a set of practices, tools, and philosophy that combine and automate the processes between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). This is expected to promote better communication and collaboration between software development and operations teams.
As a philosophy, DevOps mainly covers cultures that enable building trust and cohesion between developers and systems administrators or operators. Hence, it is not surprising to have DevOps experts implement the following practices:
DevOps Core Practices
- Communication and Collaboration
DevOps teams or experts have strong communication and collaboration culture, sharing information, strategies, and tracking software delivery processes through multiple interaction channels. Dedicated DevOps tools are therefore designed to enable collaboration and automation of software delivery processes by collectively managing workflows and responsibilities of development and operations.
- Continuous Integration
Continuous integration is a software development practice that involves regular delivery of updated codes into a central repository, after which automated builds and tests are run. The main goals of continuous integration are to find and address bugs quicker, improve software quality, and reduce the time it takes to validate and release new software updates.
- Continuous Delivery
Continuous delivery expands upon continuous integration by automatically building, testing, and releasing software based on code changes made during continuous integration. This enables DevOps teams to produce software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be reliably released at any time with greater speed and frequency. When continuous delivery is implemented properly, teams will have a deployment-ready build artifact that has passed through a standardized test process.
Microservice architecture is an approach that arranges an application as a collection of loosely-coupled services to enable rapid, frequent and reliable delivery of large or complex applications. With this practice, DevOps teams enclose individual pieces of functionality in microservices and build larger systems by combining the microservices like building blocks, thereby making scalability more seamless and achievable in due time.
- Infrastructure Programming
Infrastructure programming is a practice in which infrastructure is provisioned and managed using code and software development techniques. Also known as Infrastructure as Code, this practice enables DevOps teams to test applications in production-like environments early in the development cycle, further supporting the provision of multiple test environments and on demand using codes.
- Monitoring and Logging
DevOps teams do a lot of capturing, categorizing, and then analyzing of data and logs generated by applications and infrastructure. Active monitoring becomes increasingly important as services, application and infrastructure update frequency increases which helps organizations more proactively monitor their services.
- Policy Programming
As DevOps tools and practices focus on automation, DevOps teams are as well involved in implementing policies as codes or programmatically, thereby automatically monitoring and enforcing compliance dynamically and at scale. This makes it easier for organizations to govern changes over resources and ensure that security measures are properly enforced in a distributed manner.