DevOps Guide: Challenges, Practices & Solutions for Businesses

Categories: DevOps

You may already know some of the benefits of a strong, robust DevOps strategy. This approach to combining software development and operations can improve security,  reduce friction between IT and other business units, and reduce time to market. DevOps is a key ingredient in a product-centric organization and most importantly, can dramatically improve product quality.

But what exactly is it, and what do you need to know about DevOps to reap the maximum possible advantages from it to benefit your business?

In this article, you’ll find a quick overview of what DevOps is, why it matters for businesses, what it looks like across the lifecycle, and how to handle common challenges. We’ll share tools, technologies, and best practices to help you build and support a DevOps mindset and culture in your business, as well.

What is DevOps?

DevOps refers to how software developers and operations work together throughout the development lifecycle. It’s an ever-evolving practice of collaboration between software development and IT to create a culture of shared success.

DevOps combines the flexibility and speed of agile development with automated testing, continuous delivery, and monitoring. This enables the teams to quickly iterate on code while ensuring quality and stability in production. The software delivery process is streamlined while maintaining high quality and security levels, giving companies an efficient way to deliver high-quality software quickly while reducing operational costs.

Organizations can improve performance by streamlining their processes from concept to deployment by leveraging DevOps principles.

The DevOps Lifecycle

The DevOps lifecycle spans ideation, planning, coding, testing, releasing, and monitoring software. It begins with a clear definition of the goal and desired outcome for the project, and the team uses agile software development techniques to create working code effectively. They then test that code in a secure environment to assess the overall quality and pinpoint areas of improvement. There are a couple of ways to test how your code is developing.

With a DevOps approach, developers and their counterparts in IT work collaboratively at every stage.

Benefits of Taking a DevOps Approach in Your Business

The benefits of DevOps are far-reaching and can have a significant impact on an organization’s success. By leveraging DevOps principles, enterprises can reduce costs, improve team collaboration, and accelerate the time-to-market for new software.

  • DevOps practices can reduce labor costs by automating testing, deployments, and infrastructure management.
  • DevOps promotes more effective collaboration between development, operations, and security teams by making them more aware of each other’s needs and objectives.
  • Companies can take new products to market faster and enable developers to deliver iterative updates faster and more accurately.
  • Multiple test cycles before deployment reduce the risk associated with complex software releases.
  • DevOps practices promote faster and more frequent software releases with automation, collaboration, and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD).
  • It gives organizations greater control over managing their software lifecycle without sacrificing quality or security.

Challenges in DevOps Implementation

DevOps is a powerful tool for businesses trying to improve their software development processes, but it comes with its challenges. For example, the tools and techniques necessary for successful DevOps adoption require significant resources and expertise.

Organizations also have to deal with the complexity of different systems, resources, and people that must be integrated to manage DevOps projects successfully.

Additionally, a lack of organizational culture or buy-in from senior management often makes it difficult to implement DevOps successfully.

It’s important to understand that DevOps isn’t simply integrating new tools but creating a culture guided by its principles. It can take time to effectively shift the internal culture to a DevOps mindset and ensure the appropriate expertise is available to make it a long-lasting change.

Finding the right team who can handle modern technology and practices and adapt to change can be a difficult adjustment for a company. Prioritizing training the development and operational teams in the principles of DevOps and related best practices is key.

Recommended reading: Security Training for the Development Team

On top of finding and training the right talent, organizations must ensure that they have sufficient infrastructure and resources to support continuous delivery pipelines.

Finally, many organizations struggle to create an automated testing environment that can adequately test all aspects of their codebase to ensure quality before deployment. It’s crucial for organizations to thoroughly understand their specific needs and plan accordingly when adopting DevOps so they can mitigate or avoid these challenges.

DevOps Practices

DevOps practices include the processes, tools, and techniques to facilitate valuable collaboration between development teams, operations teams, and other organizational stakeholders. It promotes agile development by automating manual processes, streamlining team communication, and providing feedback loops throughout the software release process to help teams avoid miscommunication and errors in development.

DevOps practices require integrating various tools, such as continuous integration (CI) servers, configuration management (CM) tools, and container orchestration systems.

Security is another priority in DevOps. Security teams should be involved at each step through the software lifecycle to ensure that applications remain secure. Investing in training staff on DevOps and security best practices will help them successfully manage the complex environment created by DevOps adoption.

DevOps practices can help provide organizations with a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape. Let’s take a closer look at the various aspects of a DevOps practice.

Continuous Integration and Delivery

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) are essential parts of the DevOps framework, allowing organizations to rapidly and reliably release software updates. It is a process that automates the build, test, and deployment of applications, allowing developers to quickly respond to customer needs and changes in the business environment.

CI/CD requires that organizations standardize processes for code reviews, automated unit tests, integration tests, and deployment scripts. The goal is to ensure that newly developed code can be quickly tested in production-like environments before being released into production.

By automating these processes, organizations can reduce time-to-market for new features and increase the quality of their software releases. Additionally, continuous integration and delivery allow developers to identify potential issues earlier in the development cycle, which helps them create more reliable software.

CI/CD helps organizations reduce costs associated with manual processes while improving overall product quality. It is a powerful DevOps practice that helps organizations increase efficiency while ensuring consistency in their applications and systems.

Recommended reading: Zero-Touch Test Automation Enabling Continuous Testing

Version Control

Version control is essential to the DevOps framework, allowing organizations to track changes to their source code. By utilizing version control systems like Git, developers can easily view and compare different versions of the same software project. This allows teams to quickly diagnose and correct errors in their work and that of other team members.

Additionally, version control enables teams to collaborate remotely by providing a single platform for storing source code. Team members can make changes and push them up to a central platform where they are visible to collaborators.

It helps teams maintain a source code history, which they can use for debugging or reverting to previous versions when necessary. Version control also helps with software release management by providing developers with a clear timeline of when each feature was released.

Infrastructure as Code

Infrastructure as code enables organizations to automate their systems, configure networks, and scale resources quickly and efficiently. It simplifies deploying applications, allowing for more frequent updates and releases. It also makes it easier to track changes as code.

By using infrastructure as code, organizations can achieve flexibility in their deployments by having templates that define the desired state of their environments. This allows them to manage multiple domains from one source of truth easily. It helps improve security by providing visibility into system configurations to identify and address potential weaknesses quickly.

Infrastructure as code helps organizations improve speed, reliability, scalability, and security when managing their IT infrastructure. It provides a powerful way to ensure your systems are always up-to-date and functioning optimally.

Configuration Management

Configuration management is a process used to ensure configuration items (CIs) within an IT environment remain consistent and predictable. It involves creating, monitoring, and maintaining a record of the configuration items in the system. This complete CIs inventory enables organizations to identify changes that occur over time (such as hardware updates or software upgrades) and ensure system consistency.

Configuration management helps teams automate repetitive tasks associated with managing software and hardware configurations, ensuring that all changes are applied in an organized manner.

Configuration management also helps in troubleshooting by providing administrators with information on which components are up-to-date and which need updating or maintenance. Teams can quickly test new configurations before they go into production environments so problems can be identified and fixed before they become major issues.

Collaboration

Collaboration is an essential part of any function and successful team. Organizations can achieve faster development cycles and better results by bringing together different teams to work together on projects. In addition, improved collaboration helps bridge the gap between development and operations teams, allowing them to communicate more effectively. This reduces the time it takes to implement product changes while improving product quality.

With a clear understanding of their roles in the DevOps environment, teams can quickly identify potential areas for improvement. When companies focus on improving collaboration and prioritizing the organizational culture, they can build better products while ensuring reliability in their applications and systems.

DevOps Tools & Technologies

Platform solutions play a vital role in the successful implementation of DevOps practices. These tools and technologies help automate processes, improve team collaboration and performance monitoring, ensure security, and provide insights into the production environment. Popular DevOps tools include Docker for containerization, Ansible for configuration management, Kubernetes for orchestration, and ELK Stack for logging.

Organizations can also use services like OpeNgine to create CI/CD pipelines, install tools, and automate cloud infrastructure setup. By leveraging these tools and technologies, organizations can streamline their software development lifecycle while ensuring greater quality control over their applications and systems.

Getting Started with DevOps

Building and nurturing a collaborative culture with a solid DevOps practice won’t happen overnight, but the benefits make it more than worth the effort. The first step is to identify the goals and objectives of your organization, which will help guide what tools and technologies best suit your needs. Once you establish these objectives, you can create a plan incorporating continuous learning and a comfortable DevOps culture.

GlobalLogic helps businesses implement DevOps solutions from start to finish, with advisory services, expert guidance through implementation, and access to proven frameworks and best practices. Contact us today and let’s see how we can help your business modernize, streamline, and meet your business objectives with a DevOps approach to product development.

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Author

Author

Harun Rashid

Associate Vice President, Marketing

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