Best DevOps Automation Tools 2022
When it comes to attaining the utmost outcome in an organization, a collaboration between two teams is necessary. With the rapid change in dependency on IT organizations, working together for better product development becomes essential. DevOps is a practice implemented in an organization that boosts the collaboration between the development and operations team to enhance their product development and release program faster.
Depending on the project, the organization can create different teams and set up a better collaboration to reduce the software development lifecycle. With the rising implementation of DevOps, organizations take all necessary measures to increase their effectiveness. Automation is an integral part of every IT organization. Automation reduces the possibility of errors due to human intervention, but it also helps build CI/CD pipelines.
Using DevOps automation tools, organizations can accomplish their product development goals faster and effectively. Often, there are stances when DevOps automation tools are confused with Infrastructure-as-Code tools. Though they are pretty similar, DevOps automation is a broader spectrum, and IaC tools are just a part of it.
DevOps automation tools have become a crucial aspect of success for product development. With that in mind, it is pivotal to pick the right tools as per the requirements. This article elaborates on the best DevOps automation tools for 2022 that will take your infrastructure, CI/CD pipelines, and CI/CD automation to the next level.
DevOps Automation Tools for Infrastructure Management:
- AWS CloudFormation: Amazon Web Services provides different resources for an organization. However, managing them manually is a sheer task. AWS CloudFormation is an infrastructure management tool by Amazon that helps enterprises create and manage different AWS resources in an uncomplicated way. With AWS CloudFormation, you can create and model your applications through automation. A stack is a group of AWS resources that can be used to create or update AWS resources.Furthermore, CloudFormation also allows you to handle these resources or the entire infrastructure in a template or a text file, making this task highly feasible.The most prominent feature of this tool is the configuration of the remote state, which comes out of the box. CloudFormation StackSets allows the user to use a single template to use the same collection of AWS resources on different accounts and regions. Whether you want to use JSON or YAML or design visually, this tool provides the provision to model the files in any way you like.Popular languages, including .NET, Python, and Java can be used for defining cloud environments in this tool. If you want to build serverless applications faster, you can use the AWS Serverless Application Model, where you only need to write minimal code lines per resource.However, a lack of a central place for sharing templates is missing in AWS CloudFormation. Apart from that, modularization is also a bit complicated as you may need to use import or export out values between modules or nested stacks.
- Chef: Chef is another cloud infrastructure management tool that can assist a developer in orchestrating servers in a cloud. This open-source tool makes the job of both developers and system admins easier by moving the process to a CD model through automated workflow. Based on Ruby, it uses cookbooks where the actual infrastructure coding occurs.Here the developer can write the infrastructure code depending on the domain-specific language. Each cookbook will include an assortment of different configuration data. Moreover, a cookbook also stores Chef Recipes that can be created and edited through the workstation in the tool. This workstation also stores infrastructure configuration. An agent should be configured which will run on the servers.This agent will run the already done configurations on the server by pulling the cookbooks from the chef master server. The Chef comes with a knife utility, making it compatible with different cloud technologies for distributing the infrastructure in a multi-cloud environment. However, the biggest hindrance while using this tool is knowledge of Ruby. As Chef is based on Ruby, the user must know the language to get the most out of it.
- Pulumi: Pulumi is a tool for managing, designing, and deploying resources on cloud infrastructure. This open-source tool is compatible with different types of hybrid, public, and private clouds for all the major cloud providers, including Kubernetes, OpenStack, AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure.Whether it is creating traditional infrastructure elements like databases and virtual machines or designing the latest cloud components like clusters and containers, Pulumi can be used to obtain tremendous results. You can use renowned programming languages like TypeScript, Go, .NET, and Python when managing the code. Policy compliance is a vital task that can be done automatically by Pulumi. This tool builds a preview and monitors whether it meets the set compliance before creating resources. This tool uses IaC. Managing hosting services and cloud infrastructure is child play. Even after several practical features, Pulumi lacks behind in structuring large projects easier. While performing this task, this tool will structure large projects as either a single large project or several small projects. Either way, deserializing stack references while mapping multiple resources becomes highly complicated.
- Ansible: Developed by Ansible Inc, Ansible is a DevOps automation tool for actions like intraservice orchestration, configuration management, provisioning, and application deployment. Being an open-source tool, Ansible is easy to use and can be used without learning special coding skills. Even though it is simple to use, it does not lack any features and can complete complex IT workflows.Ansible is written in PowerShell, Python, and Ruby, making it compatible with leading operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. There is no code running on the controlled nodes; it is often called one of the tools with agentless architecture. Ansible saves a lot of resources on the server as there is no need for any third-party software for its installation.In addition, when Ansible is not managing any nodes, it does not consume any resources on the node machine, saving additional resources. With high customization possibility and flexibility, Ansible can be used to orchestrate an application environment wherever deployed.
- Terraform: Created by HashiCorp in 2014, Terraform is an IaC tool that allows the users to define on-premises resources and cloud in readable configuration files which can be used, shared, and versioned. Compatibility is never an issue in supporting all major operating systems like OpenBSD, macOS, FreeBSD, Windows, Solaris, and Linux.With this tool, you can create and manage resources on different services and cloud platforms, including Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, Oracle Cloud, IBM Cloud, etc. Terraform uses application programming interfaces to perform, allowing the users to work with any API or service they want. Using a consistent workflow, you can manage the entire infrastructure through Terraform. The workflow includes writing, planning, and applying stages where defining the infrastructure, reviewing the changes, and updating the state files take place respectively.Terraform is an excellent tool that lets the user manage and track any infrastructure, standardize configurations, automate the desired changes, and enhance collaboration. If multiple people work on a single infrastructure, Terraform lets the user lock modules where only a single user can change the infrastructure.
It also provides a resource graph that gives an in-depth overview of the infrastructure management tasks.Moreover, with module count, you will always know the number of modules in an infrastructure. The significant shortfall with this tool is that it uses HCL as the primary language, which every user has to learn before beginning this tool. Moreover, if anything goes sideways, there is no automatic rollback and error handling feature in Terraform.
DevOps Infrastructure Automation Toolset
A set of different software or software utilities is a toolset. While working with an arduous practice like DevOps, there is not a single tool that can fulfil every need. Considering that fact, many organizations prefer using toolsets which are tailor-made sets of different tools with unique features that will cater to their needs. Here are all the different DevOps infrastructure automation toolsets that you should consider.
- Docker: Docker is a DevOps tool for infrastructure automation, used to package the created application into small containers, ensuring that the application works without any issues in different environments. In short, this tool is specially designed for containerization that makes the creation, deployment, and running of applications easier through containers. Released in 2013, Docker has become one of the most renowned platforms for containerization.Not just developers but system administrators are also benefited from Docker. The code can be written without worrying about testing, and infrastructure can be scaled up and down through Docker whenever the system admin wants to.The automatic rollback feature available in Docker is an excellent way to deploy applications rapidly. With these significant benefits and a steep rise in usage of Docker, containerization has been replaced by virtual machines by many organizations.
- Python: Automation scripts are used to leverage scripts in a framework that optimizes specific tasks. These scripts include a launch point, binding values, and a source code. As writing a code requires knowledge of a particular language and no programming language is the same, the most preferred one for automation scripts in Python.Being an open-source language, it is the preference of several veteran developers. The developer can use APIs to connect and manage infrastructure resources through this programming language.
- Kubernetes: As containers are lightweight and large in number, running them can be a major skirmish. Container orchestration automates the tasks required to run containerized services, including deployment, load balancing, and networking.Kubernetes is one of the most widely used container orchestration platforms. With this open-source platform, developers can quickly build containerized services and applications. Kubernetes comes with several features for container orchestration, including automated rollback and rollout, load balancing, automatic bin packing, storage orchestration, and self-healing. Moreover, it supports multi-cloud orchestration as well.
- Terraform: Even though Amazon Web Services is one of the leading environments presently, there are still legions of organizations using other cloud environments like IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure. If your organization uses a cloud environment other than AWS, Terraform is undoubtedly one of the best DevOps automation tools for automating infrastructure management.
- CloudFormation: CloudFormation is considered among the best DevOps tools for infrastructure automation in the AWS environment. With smooth integration with AWS, you can automate the resources and infrastructure of your organization with CloudFormation.Some also consider it an IaC tool as setting up automation and deployment of different IaaS services is possible with this tool. In other words, no matter what service you are running on AWS, it can be automated through this tool.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Pipeline Automation Tools
Earlier, software development was based mainly on the waterfall model. However, things have changed since the arrival of DevOps in the mainstream software development industry. One of the primary practices in DevOps is continuous delivery which is achieved through a continuous integration/continuous deployment approach. The CI/CD approach integrates automation in every software development and delivery stage, reducing the overall software development lifecycle.
In the CI/CD approach, different teams work collaboratively to better the software development process. CI allows the developers to deploy software quickly and automatically issues all the major bugs. Moreover, every CI server can run legions of builds rapidly and automatically. On the other hand, CD allows the ops teams to deploy software automatically. The CI/CD approach enables enterprises to minimize the development cycle and deliver the program quickly.
Almost every DevOps environment uses CI/CD tools to achieve the best outcome. With that in mind, here are the most widely used DevOps automation tools for CI/CD pipelines.
- Jenkins: Earlier, software development was based mainly on the waterfall model. However, things have changed since the arrival of DevOps in the mainstream software development industry. One of the primary practices in DevOps is continuous delivery which is achieved through a continuous integration/continuous deployment approach.The CI/CD approach integrates automation in every software development and delivery stage, reducing the overall software development lifecycle.In the CI/CD approach, different teams work collaboratively to better the software development process. CI allows the developers to deploy software quickly and automatically issues all the major bugs. Moreover, every CI server can run legions of builds rapidly and automatically. On the other hand, CD allows the ops teams to deploy software automatically.The CI/CD approach enables enterprises to quickly minimize the development cycle and deliver the program. Almost every DevOps environment uses CI/CD tools to achieve the best outcome. With that in mind, here are the most widely used DevOps automation tools for CI/CD pipelines.Apart from that, Packer is compatible with different plugins that can expand its overall functionalities.
Packer can have components like data sources, builders, and provisioners by integrating various plugins. Builders can help create machines and build correspondent images whereas provisioners can help in the installation and configuration of software and generated images.
- Packer: Packer is an open-source tool effective for packaging the dependencies and building deployable virtual machine images. With this tool, you can create similar machine images using a single configuration source for several platforms. Moreover, you can generate new machine images for different platforms and test and verify the infrastructure changes for continuous delivery. Having identical images will let you run development, production, and staging environments on different platforms.
- AWS CodePipeline: Releasing software is a crucial step in DevOps practice. The AWS CodePipeline is a CD service that can help you model, visualise, and automate the steps necessary for a software release. You can use this service to automate all actions required to release your software changes continuously. When you change the code, you can define a consistent set of steps through this service.IT will automatically run the stage as per the given criteria, ensuring a consistent release process.Apart from that, AWS CopePipeline is compatible with third-party version control systems to make software delivery faster and better. The entire service is uncomplicated to set up and does not require you to manage any physical servers. You can also define the structure of a pipeline through a JSON document.The architecture of this service has three elements; AWS CodeBuild, CodeCommit, and CodeDeploy.Even though AWS CodePipeline is a feature-rich service, it is entirely based on the pay-to-use model. The user will have to shed money for the duration for which they use the service. Due to this reason, the overall service may seem pricey as compared to its peers. While it may not be an issue for some, the plugin support is still limited in AWS CodePipeline.
- GitLab: Created by GitLab Inc, GitLab is a comprehensive DevOps platform that helps developers in every stage of the software development lifecycle. This tool embraces collaboration between different teams in an organization in every phase of the project, ensuring smooth software development and delivery.The web-based Git repository helps enterprises create and manage private and open repositories. You can even set permissions to different users as per their roles and manage these permissions automatically.With support for third-party plugins and APIs, you can always assure that you will never feel a lack of features with this tool. However, there are several existing bugs acknowledged by the GitLab team, which could hamper the user’s overall experience. Apart from that, the tool’s user interface may seem rocket science while reviewing.
DevOps Automation Tools for Infrastructure Development
- Vagrant: Vagrant is an open-source tool used for working with a virtual environment or virtual machines. Developed and managed by HashiCorp, this tool is easy for developers, designers, and operators. Vagrant allows users to use any browser, editor, or integrated development environment for reviewing or fixing bugs in the code. Moreover, integration with other configuration management tools like Chef, Puppet, or Docker is not an issue with this infrastructure management tool. It runs on virtual machine solutions, including VMWare or Virtual box and uses Vagrantfile as its default configuration file.
- Minikube: Minikube is a tool that will allow you to run Kubernetes locally. If you want to try Kubernetes for your regular development tasks, Minkube is the right infrastructure management tool for you. Through this tool, you can run Kubernetes on your personal computer with operating systems like Linux, Windows, and macOS. It is reliable, fast, and lightweight, allowing you to work on Kubernetes efficiently.
DevOps Automation Tools for Infrastructure Monitoring
- Prometheus: When it comes to infrastructure monitoring tools, then Prometheus is undoubtedly among the best. With features like excellent metrics visualisation, powerful queries, accurate alerting, third-party integrations, and dimensional data, among others, it is proven to be highly efficient in monitoring infrastructure. The open-source tool supports Kubernetes monitoring along with a Linux server. The Prometheus comes with an in-built alert manager which handles the monitoring metrics’ alerting setup.
- Datadog: Datadog is a DevOps team analytics and monitoring tool that can help identify the teams’ overall performance during software development. This tool is proficient in monitoring databases, servers, and tools for deployment. With support for leading cloud providers like Google Cloud Platform, AWS, and Microsoft Azure and compatibility with Linux, Windows, and macOS, you can use this monitoring tool with all the major providers and platforms. To integrate this tool with services, programming languages, and tools, you need a REST API.
Which is the Best Automation Toolset for Large Enterprises?
As stated before, DevOps is a herculean practice that includes adopting different techniques. Though many significant organizations now use DevOps in some way or the other, their business requirements from DevOps are different. Due to this reason, there cannot be a single best automation toolset for DevOps. Having the right set of automation tools in DevOps is highly critical as it directly impacts the outcome of DevOps. When it comes to picking the right toolset, there are specific considerations, including a budget, existing infrastructure, business goals, and the organization’s culture.
For instance, large enterprises can use Jenkins with GitLab to meet their CI/CD requirements. They can manage their CI/CD pipeline from a single platform. On the other hand, small or medium-sized organizations can go for CircleCI due to its budget-friendly approach while providing excellent features. However, suppose you are inclined towards a particular service provider like AWS. In that case, you can go for AWS CodePipeline as it will be compatible with AWS while giving you the option to integrate the tool with other services.
How Can ThinkSys Help In Selecting the Right Tool?
Without a doubt, picking the right toolset is a significant task, and messing up in this step could be catastrophic for the entire DevOps team and the software. If you are unsure which toolset will be suitable for you, then ThinkSys Inc DevOps team can guide you in making the right choice. Our engineers will understand your requirements and specifications to analyze your goals and what you are looking to achieve. Our experts will curate an automation toolset for DevOps by undergoing the study. Not only that, but we will also assist you in the appropriate implementation and management of the toolset.
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
DevOps automation tools are software or services that help the DevOps team implement automation to regular tasks during the software development lifecycle. Starting from conceptualization to delivery and maintenance of the software, DevOps automation tools can help in automating specific tasks in every phase of SDLC. Picking the right automation tools is a critical task completed by understanding specific considerations. Before selecting an automation tool, you need to know your organization’s goals, requirements, uses of the tool, and budget. After understanding all these factors, you can pick the right tool for yourself. On the other hand, you can connect with ThinkSys Inc for expert consultation on DevOps Toolchain. DevOps automation tools can be used in every phase of the software development lifecycle. Whether it is code generation, infrastructure automation, deployment automation, CI/CD pipelines, or infrastructure monitoring, DevOps tools are proven to help embrace automation in DevOps.
What are DevOps Automation Tools?
How to Pick the Right DevOps Automation Tools?
Where DevOps Automation Tools can be used?
DevOps automation tools are software or services that help the DevOps team implement automation to regular tasks during the software development lifecycle. Starting from conceptualization to delivery and maintenance of the software, DevOps automation tools can help in automating specific tasks in every phase of SDLC.
Picking the right automation tools is a critical task completed by understanding specific considerations. Before selecting an automation tool, you need to know your organization’s goals, requirements, uses of the tool, and budget. After understanding all these factors, you can pick the right tool for yourself. On the other hand, you can connect with ThinkSys Inc for expert consultation on DevOps Toolchain.
DevOps automation tools can be used in every phase of the software development lifecycle. Whether it is code generation, infrastructure automation, deployment automation, CI/CD pipelines, or infrastructure monitoring, DevOps tools are proven to help embrace automation in DevOps.