DevOps Tool Chains: Imperative for DevOps Success Choice vs. Standardization
In the contemporary always-on digital world, IT businesses face the challenge to innovate quickly, market the ideas rapidly – and then continuously improve on them. Organizations are persuaded to proactively plan, adopt, and innovate to quickly deliver high quality software and stay relevant in the evolving business landscape.
And DevOps emerged as one of the leading software engineering trends to address these challenges.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a new way-of-working that promotes closer collaboration between multidisciplinary teams, especially Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops) teams. The result: faster delivery of high-quality and reliable software, performed with radically greater efficiency, enabling organizations to gain a competitive edge, evolve, innovate, and scale.
According to a recent Deloitte Report, organizations adopting DevOps are witnessing an 18-21% reduction in time-to-market, 200x times more deployments, and a 20% increase in revenue.
Though most IT firms realize DevOps' potential, many organizations struggle to varying degrees in fully implementing DevOps. Despite having multiple strategies, there still exist gaps in full-fledged DevOps adoption.
And, DevOps tools appeared as a solution!
DevOps Tools – DevOps Made Easier!
DevOps tools facilitate asynchronous collaboration between development and operations teams, streamlines DevOps workflow, and automates the entire DevOps lifecycle, from planning and builds to software testing and application monitoring. These tools remove manual processes, reduce errors, and improve agility, thereby enabling successful DevOps implementation. However, no single tool can facilitate a full-fledged DevOps implementation, and so there is a need for a wide variety of DevOps tools for every individual DevOps process.
DevOps Toolchains are getting complex everyday
According to Gartner, there are four critical factors driving toolchain modernization:
- Cloud migration and cloud native architectures
- Enhanced developer productivity, agility and delivery cadence
- Security and compliance automation
- Enhanced visibility and traceability
Organizations need a set of most effective tools (toolchain) for a successful DevOps journey to address above trends. Developers must include one or more toolchains to focus on different approaches in a DevOps lifecycle, including:
These are the tools that help build a backlog of user requirements that make coding projects, divide them into smaller tasks, and track the tasks through to completion.
Source code repositories help multiple developers work on the same code base in an efficient and more organized manner. The repository tools must be integrated with continuous integration, continuous deployment, testing, and security tools, so that code automatically moves to the next step when committed to the repository.
Continuous Integration (CI)
These tools enable streamlining of internal development by continuously integrating code into a shared repository several times a day. Each check-in is then verified by an automated build, allowing teams to detect problems early in the cycle and resolve them faster. Some of the popular CI tools include Jenkins, TeamCity, CircleCI, and Travis.
Continuous Deployment (CD)
Continuous Deployment tools provides incredible efficiency advantages for businesses with software development processes by automatically releasing or deploying software into production environments. DevOps teams can now respond to customer feedback in near real-time, quickly test and deploy changes and updates, and adapt to evolving consumer demands. ArgoCD, Spinnaker, GitOps, EBS (Elastic beanstalk), Google Cloud Deploy, and Octopus are some of the open-source CD tools.
Continuous security is the process of making security an integral part of the software delivery lifecycle. It covers a holistic view of security, including secure software delivery, secure infrastructure, and security culture. Sonarcube, Fortify, Veracode, Checkmarx, Blackduck, and JFrog Xray are a few continuous security tools.
Continuous testing tools help automate a wide range of tests, including unit testing, contract testing, functional testing, performance testing, usability testing, penetration testing, and security testing. Some of the popular test tools include Selenium, Testsigma, Appium, Robot Framework, Katalon, and Serenity,
These tools provide a centralized avenue to configure and provision fully versioned and fully documented infrastructure. Ansible, Puppet Chef, and Terraform are some popular open-source configuration management tools.
Monitoring tools help DevOps teams in identifying and resolving system issues and security threats. They also enable real-time gathering and analysis of data to determine how code changes affect application performance. Some open-source monitoring tools include Nagios, Datadog, Splunk, and Prometheus.
These tools gather user feedback, either through surveys, self-service issue ticketing, or heat mapping.
Organizations that empower developers with choice of tools are more innovative
According to an in-depth survey conducted by Mckinsey, empowering developers with the right choice of tools is the prime driver of Developer Velocity (DV). Companies in the top quartile for Developer Productivity outperform others 4-5X, and the top quartile companies give developers a degree of choice. Best-in-class tools are the top contributor of success - and are the primary driver of developer velocity. Organizations with the ability to access relevant tools for each stage of DevOps software development lifecycle, including seamless collaboration, continuous planning, continuous development, continuous integration, and continuous development, are 65% more innovative than lower-quartile companies. Moreover, strong tools contribute to developer satisfaction and improve retention rates by almost 47%.
The survey also revealed that the companies that empower developers by embracing the right technology, tools, and working practices are 33% more innovative than lower-quartile companies.
Toolchain Automation and Standardization: Imperative to move fast
Often, teams within the organization - without proper communication - invest in tools with similar, overlapping features and end-up wasting both time and financial resources. Organizations waste resources due to lack of visibility and governance.
Teams spend cycles on provisioning and integrating these tools versus building actual products. Lifecycle management of all the different tools can take up anywhere from 20-40% of developer time. Without standardization, toolchains become obsolete, as version control is almost impractical. These issues are compounded as resources move in and out of an organization, with tribal knowledge lost, and/or processes and automation restarted from scratch.
All these issues create an unstable DevOps environment and hinder the business benefits you sought from the DevOps implementation.
Toolchain Automation and Standardization
These challenges can be addressed by investing in a proper automation platform that frees developers to build code versus wasting time on provisioning or stitching together tools. A DevOps orchestration platform can help administer complex tool chains and provide management with the governance and compliance they need.
A standardized toolchain promotes innovation and business growth. Seamless workflows, easy hand-off, shorter time-to-market, and improved organization-wide continuity are some of the business advantages enabled by automation.
“As software-based innovation advances beyond a focus on speed, CI/CD pipelines also need to evolve to address complexity, and offer greater governance and reporting," said Jon Collins, VP of Research for GigaOm.
How Opsera Enables Toolchain Automation via Self-service
Opsera is the only flexible and secure DevOps orchestration platform that offers continuous orchestration and unified insights across your entire DevOps life cycle. Opsera enables teams to pick and choose any tool from their SaaS platform, or allow you to bring your own - and easily provision and set up from their self-service portal. Your DevOps teams can quickly build toolchains with native integrations and properly maintained custom tools, while having the choice to leverage the best tools for the task at hand.
"Faced with existing tool sprawl and challenges from adopting distributed applications and microservices architectures, the need for better orchestration that addresses both tool choice and automation will only increase, enable and enhance value delivery,” said Jon Collins.
Opsera’s continuous orchestration platform can automate any CI/CD toolchain and release pipelines across a diverse ecosystem of development methodologies. Whether you choose any tool or bring your own - provision in a self-service way and handle lifecycle management through the SaaS portal. Embrace the perfect CI/CD stack that best suits your organization's objectives with zero vendor lock-in. We manage hybrid environments, aggregate and contextualize data from toolchains and pipelines, and incorporate metrics gathered at every step, so that you can deliver software faster, safer and smarter.