The DevOps Practices to Accelerate Your Software Development

AllCloud Blog: Cloud Insights and Innovation

We recently discussed how moving to microservices is one part of an overall agile methodology, helping to embrace DevOps pipelines and automation across your business. Taking a step back, what if you haven’t started implementing DevOps practices yet, but you’d like to? Microservices are just one element that go hand in hand with a DevOps model. The benefits of making a larger cultural and mental shift for your business can make the difference between failing fast or staying ahead of the curve.

The Key Elements of a DevOps Model

While traditionally Development and Operations teams were separate entities, DevOps encourages the Development team engineers to work across the whole application. These teams can then add automation into areas that historically have been inefficient, repetitive or manual. Engineers can also deploy code or infrastructure at any stage of the application process, from development and testing, through to new areas such as deployment, security or operations. A DevOps model usually includes more frequent updates than traditional development models, but with more incremental changes. This means that teams can fix problems faster, and any deployment by itself will carry far less risk.

Some of the best practices include:

  • Microservices: This helps with frequent smaller updates, as applications are broken down into services that operate for a single function. One element can be changed without affecting the whole. This technique will need an agile business mindset and a DevOps culture in order for it to run smoothly.
  • Continuous Integration (CI): Providing a way to limit human interaction when addressing problems and quality issues with code. Changesets are automatically sent to build/test and then feedback is sent to developer for sign off at the essential stages of the process.
  • Continuous Delivery (CD): Taking CI a step further, CD allows the propagation of the built artifact to be tested in advance of release. This is usually done in a test or production environment.
  • Infrastructure as Code: Engineers who embrace the DevOps methodology take advantage of the API-driven model of the cloud. They can use code-based tools to deploy, update or duplicate infrastructure, removing the need for manually adding or configuring resources, putting the definition of infrastructure in version control as code.

What are the Benefits of the DevOps Mindset and Methodology?

The first big change that you should see when you start to work with DevOps pipelines and strategy is speed. Innovation is much easier to achieve when you can deploy frequently and with less risk, and when teams can take charge of their own services without having to worry about it affecting other areas of the application. As engineers and product owners work together, collaboration and communication are emphasized, team members learn new skills, and silos are broken down within the company. The rapid delivery of updates and new features helps you to improve your service or product faster, and delight customers with quick fixes to problems or positive action to make the changes they want to see.

CI/CD is a huge part of this velocity. Without this technology, businesses couldn’t develop and deliver at such a rapid pace without opening themselves up to bugs, blind spots and reliability issues. On the contrary, with these tools, your engineers will always have a tested and up-to-date version of the application to deploy. Despite this speed, security can shift left and be part of the process in a continuous way, automating policy control for areas like compliance with DevSecOps. This ensures that you remain both compliant and in control.

For many businesses, scale is the number one reason to make the move to the DevOps model. Automation removes the tiresome and lengthy manual tasks that limit a company’s ability to grow. The consistency of automation and CI also means that a complex system with a large amount of data can be managed without the risk of human error or delay. Many engineers rely on infrastructure as code across development, testing and production environments so that they can handle them all in a replicable and streamlined manner.

What’s Standing in Your Way?

Automating as much as possible with the support of DevOps is a clear win for any future-focused company, providing flexibility, speed and reliability when it comes to testing and deploying software updates. And the truth is, if you’re already on your cloud journey, you’re probably looking for exactly the benefits we’ve listed above. So, what’s the holdup?

In our experience, if you’re not seeing the benefits of DevOps pipelines, your methodology for software release and your roadmap for business strategy could be the problem, leaving you behind against the competition.

Here at AllCloud, we have a strong track record of helping businesses to get the most out of their cloud deployment, changing their culture and ethos to DevOps. This is one of the reasons we were recently named an AWS DevOps Competency Partner. Using industry-best technology like Jenkins for CI/CD, Terraform for IaC and AWS native tools such as CloudFormation, Elastic Beanstalk and CodePipeline, we become a true partner in your cloud journey, supporting a shift in mindset that goes much further than the change to your teams.

Interested in increasing your business agility through DevOps practices? Contact one of our cloud experts today.