DevOps: What is and why the method is so important?
DevOps is a method that integrates the areas of development and operations.
The DevOps solution involves automating IT governance and is even more effective with the application of agile development.
Basically, we are talking about a term created to describe integration practices and favor a safer and more agile development environment. This concept is already widespread in the business world.
Read on to understand why more and more companies are realizing the importance of DevOps and what benefits they are realizing!
What is DevOps?
As we have seen, DevOps is a method that integrates the areas of development and operations. Let’s take a traditional assembly line as an example: each piece is placed one by one, but only at the end of the process do we have delivery, which is the complete product.
By traditional IT standards, we only test the viability of delivery when production ends. In DevOps, the operations team receives continuous feedback from those who are programming.
With this, we can guarantee not only a quick delivery of solutions to the market, but also preserve safety rules and operations. With this methodology, it is possible to:
- Create cohesion between teams;
- Split responsibilities;
- Reinforce feedback;
- Increase the security of the production environment;
- Accelerate the development of new applications.
Realize that the method deals with the integration between different teams. So, we cannot deny that, in addition to the automation and optimization of processes, it is also a cultural transformation within the organization.
How does it work and what are the steps of DevOps?
In a simple way, the method works as a continuous and integrated cycle between the development and operations teams. The illustration below shows how this flow works:
Next, we will address each of these steps, but it is worth remembering that there is not exactly a chronological order between them, since DevOps appears even when we talk about digital products that are already on the market:
In the development stage, a specific team will plan and code the new application or solution. It occurs after feedback from the operations team, involving the choice of modules and algorithms to be used. After planning, it is time to code.
At this stage, tools such as Git, Jira and Confluence are often used by developers. Basically, the team defines the codes to get the algorithms off the ground.
Before we implement new code in operations, it is very important to do a test to identify possible bugs or performance problems, right? The best way to do this is through automation.
There are many tools for this, such as Selenium, TestNG and JUnit. With them, we streamline all of these processes, reduce errors and improve application performance.
This is the most important part of DevOps. This phase involves feedback from the operations team to the development team, in addition to the integration of the testing stage and the implementation of new systems. The tools that stand out the most are: Jenkins, Hudson and Bamboo. They help to keep the entire DevOps structure upright.
It is at this moment that the action takes place. The operations team must implement all new applications that have been previously developed and tested. This is a delicate moment, which requires maximum attention from the team. Precisely for this reason, automation is even more indispensable.
Management tools, such as Puppet, Chef and Ansible, help to implement releases on servers, schedule updates and maintain consistency of settings. On the other hand, containerization tools, such as Docker, eliminate the possibility of errors or failures in the production environment.
Monitoring is an important phase not only to detect bugs that may have gone through the testing stage, but also to send feedback to the development team, who can help you avoid problems in the future. Splunk, Nagios, Sensu and NewRelic are some tools that will help you in this step. Thus, you optimize the results as much as possible.
Why DevOps became the protagonist
After all, why is DevOps the hot topic in IT departments? We are experiencing intense transformations in the digital age, which reshape entire markets overnight. To make fast deliveries and satisfy a more demanding customer, companies need to eliminate bureaucracy and truncated processes.
In the DevOps environment, teams can share code transparently, integration takes place continuously and automation helps to detect problems still in the development phase.
This does not happen in the traditional environment, where codes are simply “released” to the operations department at the end of the process.
Think of a traditional assembly line. Each piece is placed one by one and, at the end of the process, we have the complete product. In the traditional IT model, we only test the viability of this product when production is finished. In DevOps, the operations team receives continuous feedback from those who are programming.
In short, with this methodology it is possible to:
- create cohesion between teams;
- divide responsibilities;
- reinforce feedback;
- increase the security of the production environment;
- accelerate the development of new applications.
Where DevOps fits
Automation is one of the things DevOps is best known for.
Through automation, it is possible to reduce costs, and this allows you to take advantage of increasingly smaller workloads.
Smaller batches of work are easier to understand, commit to, test, review and know when they are completed. These smaller batch sizes also contain less variation and risk, making deployment easier and, if something goes wrong, troubleshooting and recovery.
When automation is combined with a solid agile practice, it is possible to obtain resource development very close to the flow of one piece, providing value to customers quickly and continuously.
More traditionally, DevOps is understood as a way to break down the walls of confusion between development and operations teams.
In this model, development teams create resources, while operations teams keep the system stable and running smoothly.
Traditionally, friction occurs because development resources introduce changes to the system, increasing the risk of an outage, for which the operations team does not feel responsible – but needs to deal with it anyway. DevOps isn’t just trying to bring people together, it’s more of an attempt to make more frequent changes safely in a complex environment.
Benefits of DevOps for your business
Check out, below, what advantages your company will realize when implementing a DevOps strategy.
DevOps shortens the development cycle
Traditional organizations usually take months to launch a new solution or application. The great advantage of DevOps is the abrupt decrease in the development cycle, which can be carried out in days or even hours.
All of this occurs due to the constant integration between development and operations, in addition to the automation of a series of processes. With this method, we start to operate with the idea of continuous development.
Creates the environment for innovation
In the traditional molds of development, the IT department is often more concerned with solving and correcting problems than with developing innovative solutions.
This is because the operations team is out of place and takes a long time to put any new application into production.
As the environments are integrated and the cycle is accelerated, we can concentrate our efforts on innovating, instead of putting out fires.
Optimize company resources
Investing in the DevOps model also means optimizing the organization’s resources. After all, automation is, in itself, a way to reduce costs and time needed to finish processes.
In addition, the production capacity increases, since employees are not “trapped” in the same projects for a long time.
Improves user experience
Providing a good user experience is one of the priorities in the digital age. For that, we need applications focused on user needs and working without errors. DevOps is the solution to make quality deliveries.
As we have seen, the development team will be free to create new code, while the operations team will spend less time getting the new applications into production. In short, we will have a more reliable and stable solution.
Matures the organizational culture
In most organizations, development and operations are experiencing a real war. There is an invisible wall dividing departments and, in some cases, the climate of hostility between them is real, which affects productivity.
With the integration of teams, we provide a more friendly and harmonious environment and organizational climate.
Finally, always remember that DevOps describes a culture and a set of processes that bring development and operations teams together to complete software development. This “philosophy” allows organizations to create and improve products at a faster rate than they could with traditional software development approaches.
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