If you are in the IT sector, you might have heard about DevOps, and your company might already have started implementing it as well. According to Forbes, more than 50 percent of organizations face problems in implementing DevOps. On the flip side, companies like Amazon and Netflix have saved millions of dollars in server capacity by implementing DevOps
So, how are companies able to achieve this? What are the tools used in the DevOps lifecycle? How can you start implementing DevOps in your organization? We will be discussing all this today in this blog on the DevOps process! Here are the topics covered in the blog:
Looking for the steps in DevOps lifecycle tutorial? Check out our YouTube video on DevOps Tutorial for Beginners:
The Lifecycle of DevOps
TheDevOps lifecycle provides a structure to the project in such a way that it gives the team or the person working on it a view of what comes next. By following this approach, one can develop a quality project in very little time and with high reliability. One cannot simply say that he/she knows DevOps without knowing its lifecycle. Here are the various stages of the DevOps lifecycle along with a diagram below:
- Continuous Development
- Continuous Integration
- Continuous Testing
- Continuous Monitoring
- Continuous Feedback
- Continuous Deployment
- Continuous Operations
The continuous development phase involves planning and coding the product the team is developing. In this phase of the DevOps lifecycle, the vision and goal of the project are set, and developers start to code. The integration of development and operations teams helps in planning the work accordingly, increasing the productivity of the team. In this phase, they use tools, such as Git, CVS, Slack, etc.
Before DevOps, the concept of the cloud was in just its initial stages, and companies had to use fixed hardware and software allocations they had planned for the project. Now, with cloud services in place, they can plan to increase or decrease the resource allocation for the project using cloud resources within their budget.
With the adaptation of DevOps, there occurred an increase in the usage of good coding methodologies and versioning systems. Take Git, for example. Using Git, users can maintain version control for keeping track of the changes made to a set of files so that, whenever the newer versions have serious bugs or critical vulnerabilities in them, the team can revert to previous versions.
Want to know more about Git? Check out the Git Tutorial from Intellipaat!
Similarly, Slack, Skype, and more recently Zoom are used for communication between the team members where they can send messages directly or hold virtual meetings to keep track of the progress of the project.
In the continuous integration phase, the source code in the central repository is regularly updated by developers. This phase not only involves compilation but also unit testing, integration testing, code review, and the packaging of the code written by the developers. The tools used in this DevOps process are Jenkins, GitLab, etc.
Interested to know more about Jenkins? Learn from our Jenkins Tutorial!
Jenkins orchestrates a chain of actions that helps it achieve the continuous integration process in an automated fashion. It is a server-based application and uses servers like Apache Tomcat. The reason why it is used so much is it monitors the repeated tasks that arise during the development of a project and continually tests the builds to show errors, if any, in the early stages of development itself.
In the continuous testing phase, the code written by developers is sent to testers where they use automated tools to test it for bugs. The beauty of this phase is that they can schedule to run the tests automatically at a predefined time. The report generated in this phase is sent back to the developers where they make necessary updates to the code to remove the bugs.
The tools used in this DevOps process are JUnit (to test the Java code), Selenium, and Docker to simulate a test environment in a container so that the rest of the code is not disturbed.
Do you want to get started with Docker? Check out the Docker Tutorial prepared by Intellipaat.
Selenium is an automated testing framework used to validate applications across various browsers and platforms. You can create Selenium test cases using various programming languages, such as Java, Python, C#, etc. It is not just a single tool but a suite of software where each piece is used for the different QA testing needs of an organization.
The continuous monitoring phase involves monitoring the health, performance, and reliability of the application or code, as well as the infrastructure, as the phases move from development to deployment. The tools used in this phase are Nagios, Sensu, etc.
Nagios is a platform that tracks the infrastructure, networks, and systems. It monitors and alerts services for servers, switches, software, etc. If there is a problem, it warns the users and notifies them again when the problem gets solved.
In the continuous feedback phase of the DevOps lifecycle, the evaluation of the effect of each release on the user experience takes place, and this evaluation is reported back to the team to improve the future releases.
The feedback can be gathered in two methods: structured and unstructured. The structured method is applied through surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups. The unstructured feedback collection is done through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. Here, the users take part in this DevOps process by providing their feedback, just like how users provide app reviews on Google Playstore.
In this phase, the team uses Pendo, which is a product-analytics tool that helps organizations get customer views. It gives user insight, user guidance, user sentiment, and user feedback to an organization to know what its users want or what they are expecting.
In the continuous deployment phase of the DevOps lifecycle, the application is deployed on the production server to make it available for the intended users. The tools used in this phase are AWS CodeDeploy, Octopus Deploy, Jenkins, etc.
AWS CodeDeploy is a software deployment service that automates deployment to a variety of services. It makes it easier for organizations to rapidly release new features, avoiding downtime during the deployment, and it handles the complexity of the deployment process. It automates software deployment, eliminating the need for error-prone manual operations. It also scales the resources to match deployment needs.
The continuous operations phase involves the reduction or elimination of planned downtime like scheduled maintenance. The goal of this phase is to increase the uptime or the time the users can use the application. Companies use container management systems like Kubernetes or Swarm in this phase.
When developers want to make updates to the production server, usually they have to take it offline and make changes to it. This would increase the downtime of the software bringing loss to the organization.
To decrease and eliminate that downtime, they can use Kubernetes. They take a container with the software managed by Kubernetes and make the necessary changes to it, while Kubernetes runs another container containing the current version of the software. When the team deploys the software with changes, Kubernetes make those changes to all the containers present in the server without the team manually doing it.
How a company built a learning management system for a school during COVID-19.
In the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, a school in London wanted to have its own learning management system where its students can watch their classes and complete their assignments. So, the school management contacted a company in Bangalore to develop a platform for this purpose at the earliest.
The company hired some professionals and made them a team to get the work done. The professionals, being in lockdown, communicated with each other to plan the project through Skype, Zoom, and Slack.
After planning, they wrote code in their machines using tools such as Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ, and Git to keep track of their code.
Then, they send the code for integration testing where Jenkins was used for unit testing, integration testing, code review, and packaging the code. After that, the packaged code was sent for testing where they used Docker to create a controlled environment and schedule a test for bugs using Selenium, which automated testing in the DevOps lifecycle. Later, a detailed report was generated which was sent to the developers who wrote the code.
After the code package successfully passed the testing, it was sent to monitor the health, performance, and reliability of the code package and measure the toll it takes on the infrastructure using Nagios, which provided log files to the team.
Finally, the team sent it to their upper management and to the school to get some initial review from them so that they can make necessary last-minute changes to the code. The code package, which was now a fully working application, was then deployed on the production server using AWS CodeDeploy to make the application available for the students.
We know that everyone is not perfect, and there might be some bugs arising after the deployment, or the school might ask for new features. At this time, the team has to create multiple instances and switch between instances using container management systems like Kubernetes so that they can make necessary updates and changes to the application reducing its downtime.
Remember, this process is cyclic, and it goes on and on as long as the school wants to make further improvements.
The Future of DevOps
It has been over a decade since the practice of DevOps started to exist in the IT industry, and the rapid increase in demand for new software and their maintenance keeps DevOps relevant in 2021. Though it is relevant now, we cannot deny the fact that anything that does not update itself in the modern era can never be in the market forever.
DevOps has to integrate some methodologies into it to stay trending and relevant to the industry. For instance, the increase in attacks on applications has been a growing concern for the industry, which would make companies think of integrating Cybersecurity professionals into their team, giving rise to DevSecOps.
The ultimate goal of any company is to make a business that profits. This would make the management think of keeping some business professionals in the team as well to come up with some business insights, which would give rise to BizDevOps.
Now, surely, you are thinking that the DevOps lifecycle is very interesting, and it has a good future in the IT industry. If you are looking to learn DevOps and earn a certificate, then you can check out the latest offerings from Intellipaat: DevOps Certification and AWS DevOps Certification. You can get in-depth knowledge about the tools and methodologies used in the domain to start a career in DevOps.
If you have any more points or ideas on the DevOps lifecycle, do let us know in the comments section.