In order to achieve success and sustainability in today’s dynamic environment, businesses must function on a high level of agility to cope with rapid changes in customer demand. In the software development industry, time needed to market the product and high expectations of the customer are the two driving forces that motivate an organization to work coherently across different functions.
What is DevOps and How it Works?
Development and Operation are two distinct entities within an organization. DevOps is not a set of tools or a methodology, but rather a concept that helps integrate the entire set of software development functions within the same cycle – from development to operation. It requires a higher level of coordination among various stakeholders, which includes Development, Quality Assurance, and Operations. Ultimately DevOps helps bring down the barriers to meeting the delivery timeline within a short time span. In DevOps, organizations work in a more agile manner in order to keep pace with frequently changing business requirements. There are usually four basic processes:
- Continuous Integration (CI): This is a ‘continuous’ process of combining source code from different sources (typically from developers or a team) into a single application and then running a set of automated test cases on the resulting application.
- Continuous Delivery (CD): In this ‘continuous’ process, we test the application in such a fashion as to be always ready to deliver into production. This is the extension of CI process, which involves enough testing and is production-ready.
- Continuous Testing: In this ‘continuous’ process we validate that the application is built according to the requirements or not, and that it functions and performs as it is meant to be.
- Continuous Monitoring: In this ‘continuous’ process we monitor and ensure that the application is working as desired in the specified environment. There may be tools that monitor the application’s performance and issues. It may also require the team to collaborate with developers to build their own self-monitoring analytics system which is built in the application.
DevOps usually works in the following manner, using an approach that puts great emphasis on the automation of testing and deployment.
- Development team begins writing a code
- Preparing a QA environment
- Execute test cases
- Deployment in production environment
The Necessity of DevOps:
Most of you will be aware of the concept and have experience working with Agile. There is a narrow difference between Agile and DevOps, and those who are working or have worked with Agile, find it pretty easy to adjust to DevOps, often ending up adopting it. While you can successfully apply Agile principles on development and QA, on the operation side you will find a different picture. Therefore, DevOps comes into the scenario to rectify the gaps.
DevOps proposes a new term known as Continuous Development, in which the code is written and committed, then seamlessly deployed, tested and installed in a production environment, ready to work for the end-user. This entire process helps all the stakeholders to shift their efforts towards producing designs of a high standard, along with productive code in delivering a high-quality product, rather than worrying about building various processes related to development, QA, and operations. Bear in mind that every action involved in the chain will need to be automated for the DevOps to work properly, to drastically reduce the time needed before the product to goes live.
In agile we embrace constant change whereas in DevOps we embrace constant testing and delivery. We also embed the customer in the Agile team whereas in DevOps we embed operations in team.
In conclusion, DevOps can be referred to as an extension to the Agile concept.