DevOps refers to the combination of software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) teams working together to shorten the time it takes to develop systems and software while, generally, providing continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). These teams typically rely on the use of infrastructure-as-code (IaC) in order to reduce costs, speed up execution, and reduce risk of human error. DevOps teams collaborate across a variety of formerly isolated roles, including developers, operations, quality engineering and security. Those who adopt a DevOps mindset will become accountable for all aspects of an application’s lifecycle, they will help plan, build, test, and deploy the product, and are generally more willing to take ownership of each phase than in traditionally siloed roles.
Instituting DevOps practices means that all phases of an application lifecycle are interlaced, and none of the phases are tied to specific roles. Every role should be involved in each state of the lifecycle to one extent or another. This allows for improved collaboration at every step of the development, testing, and deployment process. By committing to a DevOps cultural shift, businesses can allow for the creation of high-performance development and operations teams that work together as one team, rather than two entities. This can expedite software delivery, while ensuring that development testing and builds are released in short software cycles. This allows organizations and system administrators to easily adapt to any feedback they receive.
Ensuring that proper production environments are utilized is an important aspect of DevOps practices. This means that any necessary changes for a new release should be able to be easily released and implemented. This requires proper configuration management (CM) to ensure that the product’s performance is consistent throughout its developmental and operational life. Furthermore, DevOps teams will typically utilize a cloud platform or a hybrid cloud platform in order to ensure that all of their data, coding, and changes are available and able to be implemented in real time. There are a variety of cloud software suites available that support DevOps tooling and that can help businesses make the transition to a DevOps culture.
DevOps can help in a variety of ways, including:
- Reduced costs: A DevOps design method involves a recursive process across each stage of development. This allows for rapid delivery and improved reliability, thereby reducing costs associated with long development times or costly implementation mistakes.
- Scalability: Infrastructure and development is highly scalable in a DevOps model, and automation can help manage and modify systems as requirements change throughout the application lifecycle. Additionally, IaC helps manage each stage of the lifecycle in order to allow for repeatable processes.