DevOps: What it is And Why it Matters

DevOps

DevOps has become the new buzzword in the IT industry and every company is looking to implement it if they haven’t already. And all for a very good reason — DevOps has yielded proven results that are difficult to ignore. There are striking differences in terms of performance between organizations that employ DevOps principles and those that don’t.

Though, since DevOps is still a relatively new technical concept, it is often misunderstood or misused. For many, it’s still a fuzzy idea. This article will explore the principles of DevOps and why it matters for IT enterprises.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a programming methodology that involves developers and operations team combining their efforts in order to achieve a common goal. The development and operations engineers work together over the entire product lifecycle right from design to the development phase and production support.

The idea behind DevOps is that instead of avoiding each other, developers and operations team should work together and take advantage of each others’ skills to create a more coherent and sophisticated software.

Just like agile methodology, DevOps also stems from the idea that just code is not enough. The code you create is only considered complete after it is fully tested and it operates in production just the same way as it was designed.

With DevOps, it becomes possible to deliver software more frequently and with lesser iterable changes. There are many benefits to employing DevOps, including:

  • Users are able to receive new updates, features, and bug fixes more frequently
  • With every part of the code segmented, any outage or issue can be minimized and localized
  • Early feedback on designs and ideas leads to faster deliveries

What does the DevOps approach include?

The DevOps methodology employs several approaches and concepts, including:

Infrastructure as a code

Since most servers today are cloud-based, this approach allows developers to imagine the servers as a more abstract concept. By describing the configuration of the servers in a configuration file, the developers are able to configure numerous servers at the same time — all with the same configuration code.

Microservices

It is an architectural approach in the software development lifecycle where the entire application is divided into several loosely coupled parts. Each of these parts is developed as independent mini-applications that can work on their own and together as well.

This approach makes it easier to design, maintain, and even reuse parts of an application without disrupting other parts.

Automation

With several builds readily queued for deployment every day and servers waiting to be configured, it isn’t practical to manually test them all, which is where automation comes into the picture.

Why DevOps matters today

Focus on production

While a software team might be divided into several teams like operations, development, and QA, the customers only care about the final output that the teams deliver together and that is the finished production software.

Teams that implement DevOps focus on production value and their user base, instead of just the source code. After all, no matter how great the source code is, if it’s not implemented properly then all the effort is for nothing.

Improvement in site reliability

No matter how carefully you test your code, there are million things that can go wrong when the code is put into production. The servers could go down, there might be an error that went unnoticed, or the users may end up using the application in a way that you didn’t anticipate.

When it comes to focusing on issues, errors, and general site reliability, a DevOps team is usually more stringent. They don’t just test the code, but they also go through several failure scenarios in order to mitigate any issue even before it arises.

Better software builds

By creating a communication bridge between developers and operations teams through DevOps, it becomes possible for them to learn about each other’s concerns and incorporate them into their designs as well as everyday coding approach. It inevitably leads to better software build.

DevOps isn’t just another buzzword. Many organizations have spent years employing and perfecting the DevOps principles, and this approach is definitely here to stay

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