In this article we will discuss very useful DevOps good practices to implement in Continuous Development.
DevOps is a software development methodology that integrates development and system administration teams. This methodology allows developers to focus solely on development and to deploy their code in seconds, as many times as necessary.
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Since the early days of client-server applications, development teams and operational and system teams have been incompatible.
This represented a major organizational problem. The people writing the code had no connections with those responsible for its implementation and maintenance. More than that, developers and system administrators had different goals and even conflicting departmental guidelines. They also often did not share a common location. The result was a complex if not inexistent communication.
On the other hand, those responsible for systems maintenance and administration also have their vision. Programmers not following security policies in development/test/production environments, borrowed credentials among team members, and deployment schedules not adhered to. And the results are easy to guess. Delayed deliveries, depleted quality, and the inexcusable consequence: unhappy customers.
In 2008, with Agile methodologies in full swing, a Belgian, Patrick Debois, had the idea of applying Agile to the operational environment of IT. And he did it by integrating development and IT in the same context. That’s how DevOps was born.
In fact, DevOps unifies both departments under one Agile umbrella. In doing so, both share goals, values, and premises.
At this point, it is clear how DevOps is a new way of looking at software development.
Let us now see DevOps good practices to implement Continuous Development. This being based on the standard application development life cycle.
By using configuration management (CM) tools alongside specific test and development tools, you can know exactly which parts of the code you are creating are ready to go into production with the minimum number of bugs.
To this end, a fluid exchange of information between the test and development teams is vital to identify and resolve code issues in an agile manner.
Once we have a bug-free code, continuous delivery allows us to automate the introduction of changes in the code to upload it to the pre-production environment.
As with continuous delivery, continuous deployment allows us to automate the release of new code to the production environment, minimizing the risks involved.
This allows to publish code changes several times a day without problems thanks to container technologies, such as Docker and Kubernetes, which make it possible to isolate environments while maintaining code consistency between different staging platforms.
Now, we still need to talk about two practices that, although being the least implemented, are still important: continuous monitoring and infrastructure as code.
This allows the code to be monitored at all times, even in production, including the infrastructure that maintains it. By means of a loop, errors are detected and notified immediately, allowing the damaged code to return to the development phase and start the CI/CD cycle again.
Infrastructure-as-Code is a very useful practice that cuts across the DevOps phases. It allows automating the infrastructure needs to enable the correct operation of the software. Using machine-readable definition files, instead of physical hardware configuration, it is possible to dynamically scale published software infrastructure requirements. A typical case is the dynamic creation of a new storage volume using Docker or Kubernetes. Which you can remove as soon as you don’t longer need it.
This not only provides an agility in hardware scalability never seen before, it also allows IT teams to monitor the configurations of active environments, record changes and simplify the rollback of configurations by adjusting costs to the real needs of the moment.
In conclusion, it is clear that DevOps is here to stay, and it is a productive collaboration, and good intentions between developers and system administrators to achieve a common good. The delivery of error-free software in the shortest possible time.
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