What is DevOps? A Comprehensive Guide

DevOps is a buzzword that sometimes means different things depending on who you ask. The actual definition of DevOps is a compound of development (Dev) and operations (Ops), DevOps is the union of people, process, and technology to continually provide value to customers.

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Here is a comprehensive guide to what DevOps is and what you need to know about its foundations and approach.

Why Was DevOps Created?

Created to meet the need to stay abrteast with throughput agile methods and increased software velocity, DevOps is a branch or offshoot of agile software development. Over the last decade, there became a need for a more natural approach to the end-to-end software delivery life cycle due to advancements in agile methods and culture.

In 2009, it was Patrick Debois who created the name and became a DevOps master. It is important to note that it is not a specific technology or process. Instead, it is more of a culture. For example, when discussing trends and adoption rates, it is considered a DevOps moment. Likewise, when an IT organization adopts it into their culture, this is called a DevOps environment.

An example of this comes from Microsoft Azure:

With end-to-end solutions on Azure, teams can implement DevOps practices in each of the application life cycle phases: plan, develop, deliver, and operate. These DevOps technologies, combined with people and processes, enable teams to continually provide value to customers.

Recommended Reading: DevOps Best Practices

The Types of Issues DevOps Resolves

Teams that adopt DevOps culture, practices, and tools see their work evolve into being able to build their products faster and become more of a high-performance team. This creates a culture of better customer service. These benefits include:

  • Improving the mean time to recovery
  • Accelerating time to market
  • Maintaining system reliability and stability
  • Adapting to the competition and the market

There are four stages in the DevOps life cycle. These include its plan, develop, deliver, and operate phases.

Plan Phase

In this phase of the life cycle, teams work on their ideas, define them, and describe the capabilities and features of the systems and applications being built. Teams track the progress at both high and low levels of granularity. These are anything from single-product task and beyond – including multiple products that span a variety of portfolios. DevOps teams track bugs, create backlogs, visualize their progress on dashboards, manage agile software development with Scrum, and use Kanban boards.

Develop Phase

In this phase of the life cycle, this is the coding area. Things like writing code, testing it, and reviewing code, and integration are all part of the develop phase. Another aspect of the develop phase is building code into build artifacts. These can later be sent into a variety of environments. This allows the team to create at a fast pace without sacrificing stability, productivity, and most important – quality. The highly productive tools are used, as well as automating manual and mundane steps. They then reprise in small increases through continuous integration and automated testing.

Deliver Phase

Deploy applications to any Azure service, such as Kubernetes on Azure, automatically and with full control to maintain customer value. Spin and define numerous cloud environments such as HashiCorp Terraform or Azure Resource Manager. Then use Azure pipelines to deliver into environments featuring tools like Spinnaker or Jenkins or Azure Pipelines as part of the delivery process.

Operate Phase

Gain insights from logs and telemetry, receive actionable alerts, and implement full stack monitoring with Azure Monitor. You can also manage the cloud environment with tools like Puppet, Chef, and Ansible or Azure Automation. Using Chef Automation or Azure Blueprints, keep all applications and provisional infrastructure in compliance. Easily minimize threat exposure, find vulnerabilities, and mediate them fast with Azure Security Center.

What is DevOps’ Goals?

The main goals of DevOps is to make collaboration better between all of the team. This is from the first stages of planning, all the way throughout automation and delivery. This does things like:

  • Improves mean time recovery
  • Improves deployment frequency
  • Shorten the lead time between fixes
  • Maintain a faster time to market
  • Minimize the failure rate of new releases

According to the 2015 State of DevOps Report:

High-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times; they have 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster.”

Recommended Reading: Best DevOps Tools

What Are the Phases of DevOps Maturity?

There are certain phases as part of DevOps Maturity which include the following:

Waterfall Development

In the past, development teams took three or four months to write code. After that, the codes were merged in order to release them. This process was tedious and difficult because the code would have different versions and many changes. This caused production issues that meant integration took much longer.

Continuous Integration

Continuous integration is combining the main body of code to be released with newly developed code.This sector saves much time when the team is ready for the code to be released.

Continuous Deployment

Continuous deployment, not to be confused with continuous delivery [DevOps nirvana], is the most advanced evolution of continuous delivery. It’s the practice of deploying all the way into production without any human intervention.

Tools Used in DevOps

  • Source Code Repository
  • Build Server
  • Configuration Management
  • Virtual Infrastructure
  • Test Automation
  • Pipeline Orchestration
  • Unifying Enterprise Software Development and Delivery

For Future Reference

Learning about DevOps requires extensive research. And while no one article covers all of the bases, hopefully, this guide gives more insight into what it is all about and how it helps your team.

Recommended Reading: The Future of DevOps

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