Detailed Guide on DevOps Implementation

The past decade has witnessed immense developments in the digital industry. IT has come a long way toward software-driven tasks, from doing tasks manually to relying on automation. As one of the most significant industries, software development is all about writing-testing and deploying the software as quickly as possible.

When it comes to minimizing the software development lifecycle, DevOps is the name that comes to light. Without a doubt, DevOps is used by the development teams of several tech giants. However, implementing DevOps requires the right practice, strategy, cultural shift, and tools. This article will act as your detailed guide on DevOps implementation and how to do it the right way. 

What is DevOps?

Initially, a development and an operations team were responsible for continuous integration. These teams worked on their individual goals and communicated only when necessary, leading to a significant communication gap. 

DevOps is a cultural shift in an organization that enhances collaboration between the development and operations teams where they both share the responsibility while working on software development. The collaboration between the two helps in reducing the software development lifecycle and promotes continuous integration and continuous development.

Benefits of DevOps :

Before moving further with the implementation, it is crucial to understand the actual benefits of DevOps. Explained below are the primary perks of implementing DevOps in your organization.

  1.  Faster Deployments: The foremost reason why DevOps has become increasingly popular in the present time is due to its capability to ensure faster software deployments. Be it a new software release or an update, DevOps can help in satisfying customers by providing them with the software rapidly.
  2. Less Error, More Innovation: DevOps promotes automation in the organization’s culture. Automation ensures minimal errors due to human intervention, making the software less erroneous. When human personnel is not working manually on the process, they have more scope for innovation and can frame new ideas to improve the program.
  3. Better Product Quality: DevOps is all about collaboration between the development and the operations teams. Both the teams not only work towards delivering the product, but they focus on the feedback aspect as well. The continual feedback allows the teams to make significant improvements to the software.
  4. Cost-Effective: One of the biggest reasons organizations prefer implementing DevOps is that it can cut down production as well as management costs of the departments. Unlike the traditional method, every individual is responsible for developing and improving the software, bringing maintenance and new updates under a single roof.

Step-by-Step DevOps Implementation:

Having a clear DevOps implementation guide helps enterprises eradicate hurdles that can hamper not just the initial implementation but future actions of DevOps. With that in mind, there should always be a strategy to implement DevOps in your organization. Considering that fact, here is a detailed guide on how an organization can implement DevOps efficiently.

Step 1: Analyze Pre-DevOps Situation

DevOps brings significant cultural changes to an organization, making it highly challenging. Replacing the existing methods with new ones is always difficult for an organization. Due to this, the first step in implementing DevOps is to analyze the current state of your organization. 

Assessing your pre-DevOps situation will allow your teams to understand what they currently have and what they want to achieve in the future. Furthermore, it will enable your organization to assess the current resources and the changes that they need to bring to implement DevOps.

Step 2: Develop DevOps Mindset and Culture

As stated before, DevOps is all about the cultural shift in an organization as it promotes collaboration, communication, and transparency between different teams, especially development and operations. Not having these three mindsets within the teams can lead to inevitable chaos that can hinder the software development lifecycle. 

It is worth noting that the organization should develop a DevOps mindset before it can begin its implementation. Having clarity on the expectations and the culture will allow your organization to develop a robust action plan and will also prepare your organization for further processes. Once all the teams have the right DevOps culture and mindset, they can proceed further to the next steps in the DevOps implementation plan.

Step 3: Determine the DevOps Process

With a defined DevOps process, you can enhance continuous development, testing, and infrastructure provisioning. The key to a successful DevOps implementation is filling the gap between different teams. Here are the phases that will help in bridging this gap effectively.

  • CI/CD: Continuous integration and continuous delivery are the two crucial DevOps practices. CI is about merging the code changes to the developers’ central repository, and CD is about automating the application delivery to the desired infrastructure environment. With CI/CD, organizations can act depending on the consumer requirements, ensuring they maintain the utmost quality while delivering software.
  • Continuous Testing: Continuous testing is also an integral part of CI/CD, which allows the team to maintain high-quality software and deliver them to the users. Feedback is another aspect of continuous testing that further contributes to improving the software.
  • Continuous Deployment: The next part of the DevOps pipeline is continuous deployment which focuses on deploying and distributing the software to the final users. Continuous deployment is successful by using the right set of tools and scripts, which allows the developers to deploy the code on any server they want and whenever they want. 
  • Microservice Architecture: Microservice architecture is when small services are modeled near complicated applications, allowing the delivery team to manage individual services. With this architecture, the entire testing, development, and deployment process is simplified drastically. As small deployable services are modeled and focused, the crashing of a service does not influence other aspects of the application. Even though microservice architecture is a new trend in software development, it has still managed to be implemented in modern industries.
  • Container Management: Containers have become popular to package application source code, dependencies, configuration files, and libraries in a single object. Several containers can be deployed as clusters for the deployment of applications. In addition, they promote isolation between applications and ensure that the deployed applications use only allocated resources.

Step 4: Pick the Right Toolchain

Having the right DevOps toolchain is essential to get better control, robust infrastructure, and customized workflow. When picking the right toolset for DevOps end-to-end implementation, you need to consider your organization’s requirements and the compatibility with the existing IT environment and the cloud provider. 

A DevOps toolchain can be determined by understanding different software development life cycle stages. Each stage has multiple tool options to choose from, and there should be a dedicated tool for every stage.

  1. Planning: Planning is the stage where requirements and business value are defined. Being the blueprint of the future course of action, this stage is considered one of the most crucial in the development process. Jira and Git are the top tools used for planning in DevOps.
  2. Coding: Coding is the phase where the actual code writing and the software design process occur. GitLab, Stash, and GitHub are the popular tools used in this DevOps phase.
  3. Software Build: In this phase, the developers will use automated tools to manage different software versions, which will be packaged for a future release. Docker, Chef, Gradle, and Puppet are the tools that can be used in this phase.
  4. Testing: Before releasing the software, it should undergo continuous testing to ensure its utmost quality. Tools including JUnit, Selenium, and TestNG are used in this phase to get the best outcome.
  5. Deployment: Once the testing is complete and the software pushed forward from the testing phase, the next part includes managing, scheduling, and automating product releases to production. These tasks can be achieved with tools like Kubernetes, Docker, Jira, and Jenkins.
  6. Monitoring: DevOps is a continuous process that goes on even after deployment. The next phase of DevOps is monitoring, where information about several issues is attained after its final release. Tools like New Relic, Wireshark, and Nagios can help in this phase.

All these phases above are highly important in the DevOps implementation plan. The tools mentioned in these phases are industry-leading and are used by several tech goliaths. However, it would be best if you found the tool that will work for your organization so that you can get the best results from the toolset.

Step 5: Security Practices

Security is another aspect of the DevOps strategy roadmap that influences the future culture of the organization. The right security will safeguard the DevOps environment through strategies, policies, and technology. 

With that in mind, experts always recommend implementing security in all the DevOps lifecycle steps, also called DevSecOps. As the batches of code are pushed frequently, and multiple times, security teams may not cope with reviewing the code. Due to this, DevOps output may have certain security vulnerabilities. The following actions will ensure that the DevOps environment remains secure. 

  • CI/CD practices should come integrated with security so that the security team can segregate apps into microservices and make security reviews easier.
  • Keep an eye on access to other users by using privileged access management to have better control.
  • Implement automation in DevOps security tools.
  • Embrace continuous monitoring to identify any security vulnerabilities at any stage during software development.
  • Build robust yet transparent security policies.

Step 6: Measure DevOps

You want to implement DevOps in your organization to get better quality and performance from your application. Even after its implementation, you need to measure and analyze different metrics that align with your organizational goals to have transparency over the software development. 

To achieve this goal, DevOps’ continuous implementation should include the necessary metrics. Here are the common metrics you should measure to understand your DevOps performance.

  • Lead Time to Changes: Lead time to changes is the metric that showcases your organization’s responsiveness to your users’ requirements. All the changes implemented in the deployment should be noted to determine the organization’s responsiveness.
  • Deployment Frequency: Deployment frequency is one of the most important metrics that depicts the effectiveness of DevOps and CI/CD pipelines. This metric calculates the frequency at which the organization deploys a code to the development, test, and production environment. It allows the teams to understand the process’s efficiency and the team members’ performance while deploying releases. of the team members while deploying releases.
  • Mean Time to Recovery: Mean time to recovery is the metric representing the time consumed to recover from a failure. Every team’s goal is to reduce MTTR as much as possible to provide the best experience to the user while using their program.

Step 7: Have a Competent Product Team

Every DevOps team should be cross-functional so that it can handle every type of situation effectively. Both operations and software engineering skills should be present in team members to optimize the product delivery. 

In addition, qualities like critical thinking, debugging issues, proficiency in using DevOps tools, and ability to grasp quickly should exist within the DevOps team to have smooth Azure DevOps implementation in an organization.

Best Practices for Azure DevOps Implementation Plan:

Understanding the basic DevOps implementation from scratch is surely a step in the right direction. However, certain practices should be followed to attain the maximum results. Below are some of the best practices for DevOps implementation that you should know.

  1. Understand the Needs: One of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself before implementing DevOps is why you need it and what your infrastructure needs are. Your answer should always be related to your business goals, and the need for its implementation should be business-driven. In other words, rather than doing it because it is in trend, you should implement DevOps because you need it. 
  2. Start Small and Scale Afterward: Initially, many organizations make the mistake of executing the plan on a large scale. Not only will it consume more resources, but it increases the probability of failure. Rather than that, the best DevOps practice is to target a faster and small release cycle and then scale the deployments. This will allow your team to learn and improve during the initial implementation of DevOps.
  3. Choose Compatible Tools: Sometimes, you may pick tools that you find feature-rich. Though you may find it the right practice, some tools may not be compatible with each other. They will surely get the job done, but your team may have to put in some extra effort. Make sure that the tools you use for different phases are compatible with each other. 
  4. Document Everything: Documentation is one of the most important factors of DevOps. Whether it is the initial implementation or regular working with DevOps, you should document the DevOps strategy, including your reports, change management, infrastructure, and other aspects. Documenting will ensure that you can analyze the issue whenever you face it and take the right measures to eradicate it.
  5. Embrace Automation: Automation and DevOps are two terms that are often referred to together. With automation, the entire DevOps can be implemented faster. In addition, automation can be used in databases, code development, networking changes, and many other actions. Combined with the right tools, automation can save a lot of time, effort, and overall costs.

How Does ThinkSys Help in DevOps Strategy and Implementation?

Undeniably, understanding the DevOps implementation process is surely the way to go towards accepting DevOps for your organization. However, sometimes, merely having the information might not get the job done with utmost efficiency. In that case, having professional assistance for creating an Azure DevOps implementation plan for your organization helps in the long run. 

ThinkSys Inc. is a renowned name for providing different DevOps services for organizations that will help in the implementation roadmap and in every phase of DevOps. Rather than using a common DevOps strategy, our professionals will analyze your organization and define a custom roadmap that will suit your needs. 

Furthermore, our DevOps agile methodology ensures continuous integration and continuous deployment, making your software ready for delivery. Below are the different DevOps implementation services offered by ThinkSys Inc.

FAQ(DevOps Implementation)

A DevOps tool is an application that assists in automating the software development process by enhancing collaboration and communication between different teams. Some of the most widely used DevOps tools are:

  • Jira
  • Kubernetes
  • Docker
  • Puppet
  • GitLab
  • Bitbucket
  • Jenkins
  • Xray
  • Slack

A DevOps lifecycle is the blend of several phases of continuous software development, monitoring, testing, deployment, and integration. Having a well-defined DevOps lifecycle ensures that DevOps implementation is smooth and effective.

When it comes to releasing or updating applications, organizations can follow the five different components of DevOps called C.A.L.M.S. These are also referred to as the five pillars of DevOps and these are explained below:

  1. Culture: Having a cultural shift is one of the biggest changes that DevOps requires. The entire team should have the mindset to have a cultural shift while focusing on the common goal.
  2. Automation: Automation should be implemented for as many tasks as possible to reduce human intervention and the possibility of errors.
  3. Lean: Lean practices should be followed for effective testing while keeping the infrastructure and other aspects minimal. Additionally, code deployments should also follow the same practice.
  4. Measurement: Every release should be monitored and the metrics should be measured frequently to identify any issue. Frequent measuring and monitoring allow the team to find and fix issues quickly. 
  5. Sharing: Ideas, thoughts, and experiences should be shared with other team members to ensure optimal communication and collaboration. 

DevOps lifecycle has seven different phases which are explained below:

  1. Continuous Development: This is the first phase of DevOps where planning and coding take place. 
  2. Continuous Integration: In this phase, the developers commit changes to the code frequently and build the commit. In addition, integration testing, code review, unit testing, and packaging are parts of this phase.
  3. Continuous Testing: Here, the developed software is tested continually for bugs using testing tools. Tools like Selenium can be used for automated testing, saving a lot of time.
  4. Continuous Monitoring: This is the phase where the teams monitor the way software is used and processes the data to determine the trends and issues.
  5. Continuous Feedback: Improving the app development is done by attaining constant feedback between the development and operations team. 
  6. Continuous Deployment: The code is deployed continuously to the production servers with the help of certain tools like Puppet, Chef, and Ansible.
  7. Continuous Operations: This phase is all about the continuity of tasks achieved by automating the release process. 

When it comes to the success of DevOps, then there is no single action that can guarantee success for every organization. The key is to find the right strategy that will work for the success of your organization. However, the actions like the increased collaboration between technical and non-technical teams, using the right toolset, minimizing the communication gap, and getting professional assistance are considered the foundation for DevOps success.

Implementing DevOps in an organization requires a dedicated strategy along with the right tools. Either you can create your strategy or take professional assistance from professionals like ThinkSys who can not only help in creating the right DevOps implementation strategy but the entire roadmap including different phases of DevOps.

Deployment and implementation are not the same concepts with respect to DevOps. In DevOps, implementation is creating and executing plans to integrate DevOps into an organization’s culture. On the other hand, DevOps deployment is updating an application’s code on your servers Both the terms have a different meaning in DevOps.

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