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DevOps, which is a merger of two terms—“development” and “operations” is a blend of tools and practices designed to improve the ability of an organization to deliver services and applications quicker than the traditional software development processes. The speed brought forth by DevOps allows organizations to serve their customers efficiently. Besides, companies gain a competitive advantage in the market—thanks to DevOps.

So, when we mention DevOps, we talk about doing away with the hurdles between development, operations, and the traditionally siloed teams. With DevOps, both the development and operations team work hand in hand across the life cycle of the software application—that is, from the development stage, through testing and deployment, to operations.

How does DevOps work?

Under DevOps, both the development and operations teams don’t work as individual teams. These two teams are amalgamated into one team, where the team members work together across the lifecycle of an application. As a result, the teams develop a wide range of skills, which are not limited to one function.

Some DevOps models allow security and quality assurance teams to be incorporated with the development and operations teams, as well as throughout the lifecycle of an application. And, if security is the main focus of all the members of the DevOps team, it’s known as DevSecOps.

A DevOps team uses practices to automate different processes, which have proved to be manual and slow in the past. These teams utilize tooling and technology stack, which assist them to operate and develop applications reliably and quickly. The tools can also assist engineers to accomplish tasks like deploying provisioning infrastructure or code independently. Previously, this job required assistance from other teams, which slowed things significantly.

What challenges led to the conception of DevOps?

Typically, system administrators and developers don’t see eye to eye on most things. However, they do agree on one thing—their business side clients tend to pull them towards different directions. First, business users normally demand change—that is, new services, new features, and new revenue streams—as quickly as possible. On the other hand, they demand stable applications, which are free from interruptions and outages. This, in turn, comes with some major challenges—companies are torn in between delivering changes fast and managing an unstable development environment or maintaining a stable, but unfavorable environment.

However, neither of these choices is acceptable to business leaders. Besides, none of these choices allows businesses to offer the best possible solutions to clients.

Now, developers are always willing to roll out software applications at a faster rate—in any case, that’s what they are employed to do. On the other hand, the operations team understands that such quick changes without the required defenses present a serious risk of disrupting the entire system and this is against their charter.

Because of this, DevOps was created to help in resolving this issue by integrating all the teams participating in the software development and deployment process. That is the developers, system administrators, security engineers, test engineers, and business users. DevOps integrated these teams into one, automated workflow, with a single focus: fast delivery of quality software, which meets all the user requirements, and maintains the stability and integrity of the whole system.

So, how do these unrelated teams join forces? By pledging to a common set of codes that exceeds the traditional roles and boundaries, like:

  • Setting priorities and expectations, as well as the basic guidelines to guide them
  • Collaborating between and within teams when solving problems
  • Automating repetitive and common processes to create time for more technical tasks
  • Integrating feedback into their work, and measuring everything that goes into production
  • Sharing data with every team involves creating a better and effective working culture across different skills, as well as specialized knowledge.

Containerizing in DevOps

Containerization is the process of inserting software components and their environments, configurations, and dependencies, into an isolated unit known as a container. This allows developers to deploy applications consistently on different computing environments—be it cloud-based or on-premises.

Now, container platforms such as the DevOps platform are considered to be a natural fit for DevOps. This is because they offer notable benefits compared to bare-metal deployment or virtualization. The main reason behind this is because they are faster and easier to deploy, easier to manage, more flexible, and need fewer resources to run.

These benefits make it easier for DevOps teams to break software applications into microservices, which are easier to be quickly deployed and updated. This, in turn, improved agility and increased development speed. Besides, DevOps teams can standardize the packaging, delivery, and deployment of apps across the entire development lifecycle—thanks to containers.

Final thoughts

Shifting from the traditional software development processes to DevOps is not an easy task. This is because it involves a big change across the entire organization. However, the secret is to allocate the right team to the right processes and give them the right DevOps tools. Therefore, providing that you follow the best practices when creating a distribution pipeline with uninterrupted integration, and continuous testing, delivery, and deployment, switching to DevOps should give your organization exceptional results.

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