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DevOps Pipeline - The Complete Guide

DevOps Pipeline - The Complete Guide

Here, we have the list of topics covered in this DevOps Pipeline blog.

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What is DevOps?

DevOps is a process or method of making the developer team and operation team work together. this ensures high productivity and reduces the time of product development. a research study done by Grand View predicts the market to reach US$ 12.85 billion by 2025.

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What is Pipeline in DevOps?

What is DevOps Pipeline?

DevOps pipeline is a set of processes that are implemented using tools by the development and operation team to build, test and deploy software efficiently.

The structure of the DevOps pipeline may vary in different organizations but the most common components of the pipeline are continuous integration, continuous development, and continuous deployment.Analyze the DevOps pipeline diagram and know its workflow.

Components of DevOps Pipeline

To ensure seamless transfer of code from one stage to another, implement the  DevOps practices. DevOps Ci/Cd pipeline works efficiently as it identifies bugs in the early stage and increases the frequency of new releases. Pipeline in DevOps uses tools in every stage. Now let us see the DevOps pipeline diagram and learn more about CI/CD

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Continuous Integration

Continuous integration is one of the phases of the DevOps pipeline and is a central process that binds together the components of the lifecycle of software production. continuous-integration is the process of automating the build and deployment phases using tools and best practices. Every time the source code changes the continuous integration automates the building and testing of the code.

By implementing continuous integration the bugs are detected in a much early stage, which significantly reduces the time and money invested for the production of software. after every commit to the source code a built is developed which then is automatically deployed to the testing to locate the bug, therefore if there exists a bug in the current build then the developer checks the last commit made to the source code. Therefore the process of locating bugs becomes easy since the bugs are fixed efficiently thus the software development time reduces. Developers are continuously notified about the performance of the application.

Advantages of Continuous Integration

Continuous integration is an advanced method adopted by most of the software development industry. It has redefined the age-old practices of building software and deploying it to the client in a whole different way. Some of the benefits of Continuous Integration are as follows:

  • Developer productivity is increased
  • Bugs are found faster
  • delivery of updates is faster
  • Feedback for changes made by the system
  • It automates the build and makes the build self-testing
  • Checking the feasibility of code without having to wait.
  • Debugging time is reduced allowing more time to be invested in adding new features
  • Dedicated integration build machine and continuous feedback system.

Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery is the next phase of the DevOps pipeline and is an extension of continuous integration, where the updated code is automatically as well as manually tested and on successful completion of testing the software is deployed for production.  The objective of continuous delivery is to deliver faster updates frequently. releasing the source code with small but significant changes in the code ensures easier troubleshooting and faster software delivery time.

Advantages of Continuous Delivery

  • Delivery of software with lower bugs and lower risks.
  • Release of new features to market more frequently.
  • Reduced the stress on the development team for software releases.

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Continuous Deployment

Continuous deployment is yet another phase of the DevOps pipeline and is the next step to continuous delivery, it is an automated process where software is deployed to the production stage only when there are no errors in the software. Continuous deployment is an automatic stage that does not wait for release dates, it releases as soon as the code clears the testing stage. therefore it increases the speed of the delivery of software. The only difference that exists between continuous deployment and continuous delivery is a manual testing stage in continuous delivery operation.

Advantages of Continuous Deployment

  • No manual testing of software.
  • Provides a single view across all applications and environments.
  • Improve overall productivity.

Continuous Feedback

Continuous feedback is an important phase of the DevOps pipeline and is essential for the software releases as it evaluates the new updates based on customer feedback and reports it to the developer team where the new plan of action is built.

Advantages of Continuous Feedback

  • Increases customer satisfaction bythrough quickly addressing pain points and improving experiences.
  • Supports data-driven prioritization of the product roadmap and backlogs based on usage and value metrics.
  • Encourages an iterative mindset focused on continually enhancing and optimizing rather than just releasing.
  • Provides transparency between users, product teams, and business stakeholders through open communication channels.

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DevOps Pipeline Stages

DevOps pipeline consists of the following stages, each stage uses specific tools to work in collaboration with other stages.

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Code

This stage of the DevOps pipeline consists of the coding of new features and fixing the bugs that were identified in the testing stage, this stage is also known as version control or source code management. When multiple developers write code for an application and if some bug is introduced, the source code management system can locate which commit has caused that error and revert to previous versions of the code to solve the issue.

 For this process two types of source code management tools are used which are as follows:

  • Centralized version control system.
  • Distributed version control system.

Centralized Version Control System

A centralized server is shared by multiple developers and each developer can access the repository independently. The repository is a shared server that contains data that can be extracted or even manipulated by each developer.

  • Advantages: Whenever a person makes changes or accesses the repository, there will be a commit id associated with the developer.
  • Disadvantage-A developer is to be connected to the server, if the central server crashes then all data will be lost since it has a single server system.

Distributed Version Control System

A distributed version has a central and a local repository, each developer is connected to a local repository and each local repository is connected to a central repository. Each local repository contains a copy of data stored in a central repository. Data can be fetched and changes can be made to the central repository by the push-pull method.

Advantage-In case of data loss from the central repository the data can be recovered from the local repository.

Therefore distributed version control system is better than a centralized version control system. Git is used widely for version control.

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Build

In this stage of the DevOps pipeline, the code is extracted from the repositories and is combined to build a complete application. Tools like Maven and Gradle are widely used.

Maven

Maven is written in Java and is used to build projects written in Scala, Ruby, and other languages. Maven is a popular open-source build tool developed by the Apache organization to build, publish, and deploy several projects at once.

Gradle

Gradle is another popular tool used for the build, it is written in languages such as Java, Scala, C++, and Groovy.

Test & Release

The test and release stage is the semi-automated stage of the DevOps pipeline were manual, as well as automatic testing, is done. Once the build is successful the software is transferred to the testing stage where it goes through a series of manual and automated testing phases, the manual testing is known as the user acceptance test (UAT), where the operation team uses the application to check for errors and user satisfaction.

Tools such as Junit and selenium are used.

Deploy

software is verified manually in the release and deploy steps. Deploy is the next stage to test and release of DevOps pipeline where the software is released to the production server, several tools automate this process.

Software such as Docker, Aws, puppet, etc is used.

Operate & Monitoring

This stage of the DevOps pipeline involves accepting feedback from the customer, the operating team monitors the feedback from the customers and forwards it to the planning team which plans for updates and changes in the application.

Tools such as Ansible, CHEF, etc are used for operation and Nagios and Splunk, etc are used for monitoring.

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How to Create the Pipeline?

Creating a DevOps pipeline involves several key steps:

  • Define the Stages: First, identify the main stages in your software development and delivery process, such as code, build, test, deploy, and monitor. Common stages are coding, compiling, testing, staging, and production.
  • Automate Tasks: Figure out which tasks can be automated at each stage, like running unit tests after coding, building artifacts after compiling, and deploying to staging after tests pass. Automation is core to DevOps.
  • Select Tools: Choose tools to automate your pipeline. Popular free and open-source options are Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD, Azure Pipelines for building/testing, and Ansible, Puppet, and Chef for deploying/managing infrastructure.
  • Configure Pipelines: In your selected tool, set up pipeline configuration files that define the automated stages, tasks within each stage, and dependencies between stages. Common formats are YAML, Groovy scripts, or visual pipeline editors.
  • Integrate Source Control: Connect your pipeline to your source code repository like GitHub or Bitbucket so changes can trigger automated builds/tests/deployments. Configure pull requests to run the pipeline.
  • Implement Infrastructure as Code: Use configuration files to define and provision your deployment environments, like staging and production, as code. Tools like Terraform are common for this.
  • Monitor Pipelines: Integrate monitoring at each stage to catch issues early. Tools like Prometheus and Grafana are useful for visualizing pipeline health and performance over time.

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Benefits of DevOps Pipeline

  • Increased Speed: Automating tasks allows developers to integrate and deploy code changes more frequently, sometimes even multiple times a day. This accelerates the delivery of features to users.
  • Improved Quality: Integrating testing at every stage catches bugs and issues early before they reach production. Pipelines also enforce code quality standards.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Pipelines provide transparency by making the development process and application status visible. This facilitates collaboration between the dev and ops teams.
  • Reduced Costs: Automation eliminates many manual processes that are error-prone and time-consuming. It’s more cost-effective to run automated tests versus manual testing.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Rapid and reliable releases lead to quicker feature delivery and bug fixes, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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Best Practices of DevOps Pipelines

Some best practices for DevOps pipelines include automating your builds, tests, and deployments as much as possible. Having automated processes helps speed up your development cycles and catches errors early. It is also important to make your pipelines transparent so everyone on your team knows what changes are being made and when. Testing across different environments like development, staging, and production helps ensure quality and catch bugs before end users are impacted. Documentation at each step creates accountability and allows new team members to understand the process.

Conclusion

DevOps is a method that combines the development and management of software development by creating a cycle of steps that include planning, coding, building the application, testing, and deployment. DevOps pipeline creates a structure of steps. After each iteration, a developer makes the source code the cycle is repeated. In case a bug exists, the source code is reverted to previous versions, which helps to debug the code faster. DevOps is a highly efficient method that is used in several organizations to produce software efficiently in minimum time. DevOps has several advantages such as speed of release cycle, reliability, efficiency, and improved collaboration.

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About the Author

Application Architect

Rupinder is a certified IT expert in AWS and Azure, working as a DevOps Architect and specializing in cloud and infrastructure. He designs and builds entire IT setups for important apps in banking, insurance, and finance.