This FAQ will answer your most burning questions about DevOps.
No time to read it all? No worries, here are the links to each section:
Table of contents
- What is DevOps?
- What Are the DevOps Benefits?
- How Does DevOps Work?
- What Is Agile Development?
- Is DevOps Used for Agile Methodology Only?
- In Which Industries Can You Find DevOps Practices?
- What Are The Problems for Development Teams When Implementing DevOps?
- How Does DevOps Increase System Security in An Organization?
- What Is DevSecOps?
- What Is CI/CD?
- What Is Continuous Integration?
- What Are Microservices?
- What Are Containers?
What is DevOps?
DevOps is an IT mindset that encourages communication, collaboration, integration, and automation among software developers and IT operations teams with the overall goal to enhance the speed and quality of delivering software.
DevOps teams concentrate on standardizing development environments and automating continuous delivery processes to enhance delivery predictability, efficiency, security, and maintainability. The DevOps culture and ideals give developers more control of the assembly environment and a stronger understanding of the assembly infrastructure. In addition, DevOps practices encourage empowering teams with the autonomy to create, validate, deliver, and support their own applications.
What Are the DevOps Benefits?
The DevOps approach improves the collaboration between all stakeholders from planning through continuous delivery and automation of the delivery process with the following benefits:
- Improve deployment frequency
- Process improvements
- Achieve faster time to deploy
- Lower failure rate of releases
- Shorten time interval between the discovery of a bug and the deployment of the fix
- Improve time to recovery
- Improved collaboration
DevOps is achieved through development cycles, tools, processes, and automation. However, even more, important is the change in organizational culture. DevOps environment requires common goals, strong teams, communication, and transparency between departments. Everyone needs to be involved throughout the software creation process, and, therefore, everyone gains a stake of ownership in the ultimate product.
How Does DevOps Work?
DevOps brings a holistic approach to the whole software delivery pipeline. DevOps’ common stages are collaboration, automation, continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous monitoring, and rapid remediation.
DevOps leverages cross-functional teams. These teams are comprised of developers, designers, operations, testers, and support professionals. Before acting on a software project development process, the team plans the software delivery from design to deployment.
- A cross-functional team plans the software project with all stages.
- The design team provides planning.
- The DevOps engineers’ team develops new code daily.
- The code is automatically tested. After successful testing, the code is deployed for a small group of users (Staging or Testing environment).
- If the code is stable, it’s deployed for the remaining users. If bugs are found, they’re quickly rectified.
Most of the steps during this process are done automatically.
What Is Agile Development?
Agile software development methodology refers to software development life cycle methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional groups.
Agile methods or Agile processes usually promise a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent review and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages cooperation and accountability, a group of engineering best practices meant to permit for the rapid delivery of high-quality software, and a business approach that aligns development with the customer requirements and business goals.
Agile development refers to any development method that is aligned with the ideas of the Agile declaration.
Is DevOps Used for Agile Methodology Only?
DevOps is an extension of Agile methodologies. You’ll be able to adopt DevOps without practicing Agile methodologies. DevOps addresses more topics than only your software development lifecycle (SDLC).
The implementation of DevOps processes without Agile methodologies will be harder. However, agile certainly compliments DevOps initiatives with its iterative processes over other SDLC’s (i.e., the Waterfall model). Of course, you’ll be able to still achieve success without following Agile methods, but software development projects typically realize more successes with Agile practices.
Check Your Release for Security Vulnerabilities
In Which Industries Can You Find DevOps Practices?
DevOps has disrupted practically every industry that depends on software releases and delivery. Think about the different application delivery endpoints, including diverse devices, web, and mobile services. All of them can be developed using a DevOps approach.
What Are The Problems for Development Teams When Implementing DevOps?
Development teams adopting DevOps must overcome challenges mainly because of their existing business environments. Often, organizational siloed teams exist, which are a significant impediment to the success of DevOps. The largest problem lies in prioritizing the importance of products, projects, and applications. The monitoring and deployment tasks have to be performed at multiple ends.
Another big issue is the rework that needs to be done on existing applications. So often, companies use a gradual approach to transition existing (or legacy) applications to the DevOps approach.
For the most important applications, teams can quickly implement DevOps, as many resources are available to implement the new processes. However, some applications might never be transitioned to DevOps. Therefore, their value might be lower than the cost to transition to DevOps.
In the end, DevOps streamlines automation processes to attain business agility and faster time to market. This helps in delivering a product with total commitment and achieving better quality standards.
How Does DevOps Increase System Security in An Organization?
Here are 5 examples of how DevOps increases system security in any organization:
- DevOps maximizes communications and thereby the team’s visibility into the software lifecycle. This allows the team to spot security flaws and errors before the code is released into production.
- DevOps maximizes task automation in the development environment, which drives consistency, quality assurance, and predictability. This leads to fewer human errors than in a manual process, which otherwise could impede security.
- DevOps enables faster development and software delivery, which suggests faster debugging and fixing of security bugs (i.e., continuous development)
- DevOps enables the utilization of standardized automation tools and frameworks. This helps quickly adopt any safer and more reliable tool for each step in the software lifecycle processes. This also helps not to be locked into outdated and non-secure tools and frameworks.
- DevOps favors agile development with microservices and containers, which help isolate and secure applications from external attacks and human errors (in most cases). However, since these technologies break applications down into smaller components, it becomes more challenging to compromise the workflow or application in security attacks or errors.
What Is DevSecOps?
DevOps brings together Development and operations. DevSecOps adds security teams to the cross-functional teams. It aims to bring operations and development together, ensuring security during all the event process stages. Not to be mistaken with SecDevOps, where security is embedded in the software development process.
The practice tries to automate core security tasks. These security controls and processes can be incorporated early within the DevOps workflow instead of attaching it at the end.
DevSecOps brings automation to security tasks from the very beginning of the application delivery cycle. Therefore, it reduces the possibilities of inappropriate administration and mistakes, resulting in downtime or attacks. Automation also reduces the manual configuration of security consoles.
Below is a picture of the different measures of DevSecOps:
What Is CI/CD?
CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment. In DevOps, it is often used as a synonym for automating the software development lifecycle. The definition of continuous integration and continuous deployment can be found below.
What Is Continuous Integration?
Continuous Integration (CI) automates the build and continuous code testing when a team member commits changes to version control. CI encourages developers to share their code and unit tests by merging their changes into a shared version control repository after every small task completion. Committing code triggers an automatic build system to grab the newest code from the shared repository and create, test, and validate the complete master branch (also referred to as the trunk or main).
CI emerged as a best practice because software developers often work in isolation, so they must integrate their changes with the remainder of the team’s codebase. However, waiting days or weeks to integrate code creates many merge conflicts, finding bugs, diverging code strategies, and duplicated efforts. CI enables the team’s code to be merged continuously to a shared version control branch to avoid these problems.
What Are Microservices?
Microservice design, or just microservices, is a distinctive methodology for developing software in small packages. These packages contain single-function modules with well-defined interfaces and operations. The trend is growing as enterprises seek to become more agile and move towards DevOps principles and continuous testing.
What Are Containers?
Containers create an abstraction layer between the IT infrastructure and the software. This enables developers and DevOps engineers to describe the software environment independent of the infrastructure actually used. In addition, this abstraction makes it very easy to move software between different environments.