DevOps Explained: An Introduction Guide For Business Professionals

In an era when the business community is scrambling to keep up with rapidly changing technology trends, more and more startup entrepreneurs are embracing DevOps.

Generally, DevOps is a set of practices that help IT departments work more closely with their customers to improve the speed and quality of service. DevOps has grown exponentially since then as companies strive for innovation while maintaining stability. It is important for organizations to have this process in place as it can help them improve their time-to-market cycle and quality at the same time. This article will explain what DevOps is, along with some of the benefits of this approach, how it works, and why businesses should adopt it.

What is DevOps?

What Is DevOps?

So, what is DevOps? DevOps is a software development methodology that emphasizes communication, collaboration, and integration between software developers and information technology (IT) professionals. Its name combines “Development” and “Operations.” It is so different from traditional software development because of the tight-knit collaboration between development and operations, with a heavy emphasis on testing and automation.

DevOps Explained: An Introduction Guide For Business Professionals

DevOps has led to new approaches in business, non-profits, educational institutions, government agencies, and more. It is designed to make our digital world easier for everyone, focusing on rapid experimentation leading to innovation, resulting in speedier time-to-market while eliminating costly delays. DevOps is becoming an essential practice throughout every organization. It is about finding ways to continually deliver value in the form of new software, better ways to do business, and more effective processes for everything.

Why Does DevOps Matter?

The definition of DevOps may be confusing, and it can be difficult to wrap your head around everything. However, DevOps really matters because it is the fastest path to market. With DevOps, you can increase your agility and responsiveness to user feedback or changes in customer needs. You can also improve your time-to-market by collaborating more closely with other teams, which leads to higher quality products and quicker turnaround times when making updates.

In a “traditional” development process, engineers work individually on tasks from start to finish. For example, the design phase of a project would be completed by a single engineer, and they’d hand off their work to a different engineer who would take over for the next phase. The problem is that tasks don’t always flow neatly from one stage of production to another.

Sometimes, they overlap or need revision as new information comes in, and it takes time for each engineer at each stage to communicate with the others. This process results in everyone working in isolation, creating extra work and wasted time. This makes it difficult to make changes or fix errors because you can’t run anything by anyone else for feedback until much later in the development cycle. The least efficient part of this process? Quality assurance (QA) testing – the stage where we make sure everything is working as it should.

Why Does DevOps Matter? The definition of DevOps may be confusing

The Goals of DevOps

The ultimate goals of DevOps methodology are to automate as many manual processes as possible and make the technology infrastructure as flexible as possible.

Reduce failure rates of new releases

Reduce failure rates of new releases

DevOps is a revolutionary approach to releasing software. DevOps methodology, which focuses on communication and collaboration between development and operations teams, has considerably reduced new release failure rates. DevOps also provides the opportunity for real-time feedback loops that can be used to improve how work gets done. DevOps requires significant changes in culture, team structure, process flow, tools, and metrics - but the benefits are well worth it.

Shorten the lead times

Shorten the lead time

The total time it takes for a DevOps team to go from planning a new software release to releasing it is called lead time. DevOps reduces lead time by ensuring that people can work on the right things, changes are tested as fast as possible, and processes are optimized, so the teams have more time for value-added tasks. DevOps also provides people with visibility, so they know what needs to be done and by when. The teams reduce lead time by automating tasks wherever possible, creating feedback loops for processes, and optimizing processes so they can be repeated more easily.

Balance demand against throughput

Balance demand against throughput

Balancing demand against throughput is a significant challenge for many DevOps teams. DevOps moves more work into production and creates a feedback loop that provides real-time information about how it is working. It also impacts critical processes like version control, code repositories, and automated testing to the forefront to be optimized. The teams tend to find creative ways to balance the demand against throughput by optimizing their processes. DevOps teams also look for opportunities to automate manual, repetitive tasks to free people to work on more important things. DevOps is all about balancing demand against throughput and makes it happen faster and better than anyone else.

Speed up the time to market & improve the frequency of deployments

Speed up the time to market & improve the frequency of deployments

DevOps moves more work into production, which reduces lead time so the teams can release changes more quickly. In addition, DevOps encourages people to innovate and experiment with DevOps approaches, resulting in DevOps releases that are less buggy and more feature rich. DevOps also provides visibility so DevOps teams can monitor trends and correct problems more quickly, allowing them to release software faster.

How Does DevOps Work?

How Does DevOps Work?

The goal of DevOps is to fix these inefficiencies by breaking down the barriers between departments so that people can work toward a common purpose. It brings developers, QA testers, operations (deployment), and information technology (IT) professionals together to give teams full visibility into each process stage. By integrating all phases, engineers can identify problems before they become bigger issues that require more time and money. Working toward a common goal helps avoid missteps like skipping QA testing or getting everyone’s work mixed up.

The process comes with specific tools that are integrated for this purpose, including versioning software to make sure code can be tracked at every phase, automated testing for speed and consistency, collaboration tools to keep everyone informed about what’s going on at each stage, and project management software to monitor the entire process from A to Z. When implemented correctly, the result is a smoother production process that doesn’t require as much time or money and ultimately helps companies work more efficiently. It’s an organized approach to digital development that has been credited for helping businesses innovate faster with better results.

Key Benefits of DevOps

Key Benefits of DevOps

With DevOps, development and operations work together towards the end, each seeing what the other does and correcting accordingly. This helps businesses deliver new products faster with fewer bugs. Here are some key benefits of adopting DevOps

  • Increase collaboration between development and operations
    DevOps brings these two groups together, breaking down barriers that can be formed when they’re not working towards a common goal. This allows faster turnaround times for testing, troubleshooting, and new builds.
  • Automation allows businesses to save human resources and capital
    DevOps tools and automation significantly reduce the need for manual testing, allowing businesses to save time and money by updating software without downtime.
  • Better use of infrastructure resources
    With DevOps, developers can build what they want when they need it. This ensures that what they build is what the business needs, not what the current infrastructure allows. It also assures that when there are problems with what’s in production, it can be quickly updated (or rolled back) without downtime.
  • Better use of development resources
    With faster turnaround times due to DevOps tools and automation, developers spend less time dealing with what’s in production, allowing them to work on what they need without waiting for other stages.
  • Better use of testing resources
    Now that what’s being developed is what the business needs, what’s built can be tested more thoroughly using automated tools and methods, meaning bugs are detected earlier in the process.
  • Better use of business resources
    DevOps has the added benefit of bringing what’s developed closer to what customers want, making it easier for businesses to adjust what they make accordingly. This saves time and money by reducing wasted effort.
  • Businesses can respond faster to market demands
    Because businesses are able to deliver what they need quickly; they too can get what customers want faster. This helps firms remain competitive in the market and outperform their competition.

DevOps Practices

DevOps Practices

DevOps practices aim to improve collaboration between Dev and Ops by standardizing how they work and improving automation. DevOps practices include.

DevOps Practices - All examples

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration or CI is a software development practice for integrating new code into the main branch frequently. CI aims to reduce the time it takes for new features and bug fixes to be added to an application by running automated tests before merging changes into the main branch. When DevOps was first introduced, CI was one of the first DevOps practices to be used. CI uses infrastructure provided by developers to run tests. Developers will also use infrastructure for build and artifact storage, hosting a central location where an automated installer can store artifacts before being picked up.

Continuous Delivery

It refers to the ability of developers, through automation, to promote features and bug fixes from development to a staging or production environment. Continuous delivery aims to reduce the time between when developers make a change and when that change is available in a production environment. DevOps continuous delivery uses Dev’s infrastructure for any integration, staging, and deployment environments required. Continuous delivery creates a separate branch from development which can be deployed into a development or QA environment if needed.

Test Automation

The term test automation refers to Dev’s ability through automation to test code changes before promoting them into DevOps continuous deployment. DevOps TA aims to reduce the time between when developers make a change and when they know if that change broke something in the application. DevOps TA uses Dev’s infrastructure for any DevOps tools needed for test automation. In addition, test automation creates a development testing branch that can be tested in Dev, QA, or production environments if necessary.

Infrastructure as Code

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a process that uses scripts to manage server virtualization, cloud management, and configuration management. The teams can use scripts to automate repetitive tasks, which allows them to scale up their DevOps practices. DevOps teams will optimize their pipeline workflow process by integrating various tools in the toolchain; they can also automate processes with pipelines. IaC and DevOps practices work together because DevOps requires the development team to integrate their code with the Ops team to deliver and maintain running systems.

Configuration Management

Configuration management is a key component of DevOps in order to create a process in which servers and other infrastructure in a company’s environment can be provisioned quickly and easily. For instance, it can apply configuration changes across an entire network when only one server needs the change. It also enables administrators to remotely send scripts to systems that would otherwise require physical access. In this process, hosts are set up in a way that they are easy to configure with code. It means that configuration changes are standardized, making it far easier to configure everything without taking time from the developers. This is achieved through config management tools that track all the changes made. If an error occurs, they can also roll back quickly to a previous configuration.

Monitoring and Logging

Monitoring and logging are essential aspects of DevOps practices because they follow the general rule of “seeing what you expect.” When something goes wrong, we can find these problems by watching logs and monitoring metrics. The goal of monitoring and logging is to be proactive and prevent outages and interruptions. For example, we could monitor our web servers for latency and then take action before anything happens as a DDoS attack occurs. The benefits of monitoring are that we can detect problems before they cause an outage. In any company that wants to maintain a healthy DevOps culture, it’s necessary to have a clear process for monitoring and logging.

6 DevOps Principles You Need to Know

DevOps is more a mindset than a list of rules to follow. DevOps is about breaking down the silos between development and operation teams, encouraging collaboration, and improving workflow. There are six DevOps principles to be aware of:

Integrated Organizational Change Management

#1 Integrated Organizational Change Management

DevOps helps businesses manage changes more effectively. DevOps teams lead a company through a transitional stage where the development and operation teams are no longer siloed, which requires an integrated organizational change management approach.

Shared Vision

#2 Shared Vision

DevOps teams need to be aware of the whole organization’s vision, mission, and goals. It helps everyone in an organization work toward a common goal. DevOps teams are then responsible for demonstrating that DevOps is bolstering the mission.

Collaboration Between Development and Operation Teams

#3 Collaboration Between Development and Operation Teams

DevOps is all about collaboration. Development and operation teams must collaborate to break down the functional silos that may previously have existed.

Continuous Experimentation and Learning

#4 Continuous Experimentation and Learning

DevOps is also about encouraging fast feedback loops so that development and operation can learn from mistakes as quickly as possible. Moreover, DevOps teams should be continuously experimenting, trying new things, and then learning from the results.

Continuous Experimentation and Learning

#5 Relentless Automation

DevOps teams should always be striving for greater automation of tasks within their DevOps environment. DevOps automation can help improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and increase velocity.

Sharing of Technical Knowledge

#6 Sharing of Technical Knowledge

DevOps strives to create a culture that encourages development and operation engineers to share their knowledge with each other. DevOps teams should be able to pass on their technical knowledge not only within DevOps but also across development and operation organizations.

Why Does DevOps Matter? The definition of DevOps may be confusing

Sharing of Technical Knowledge

Best Practices for Effective DevOps Adoption

The DevOps movement is all about building a culture of collaboration between developers and operations. Here are nine best practices that can help you on your journey to adopt DevOps effectively in your organization.

Cultivate an open culture

It all starts with culture. You can’t enforce changes on people. You need to lead by example and convince your team that DevOps is worth it. Make sure they feel valued and listened to, so they will be more open-minded. DevOps requires a high commitment from everyone involved. It’s not just about releasing software faster but also making the work environment better and more fun. Your team will need to be receptive, as you can’t just tell them they have to work differently. Pick your battles and only go as far as the team is comfortable with. If you’re dealing with a reluctant workforce, consider involving HR early on in the process.

Be hands-on

DevOps is about proactively seeking problems and solving them before they become an issue. You can’t be hands-off when it comes to DevOps; the only way for your team to embrace it is by doing exactly that, becoming involved. Don’t wait for problems to be reported; reach out to the team directly and ask them if everything is going smoothly. This way, you can get early warning signs before they escalate into huge issues that affect your ability to release software.

Get support from the senior management

The DevOps transformation doesn’t start from the bottom up. You need full support from senior management to make your team ready and willing to embrace changes. At first, there will be resistance, so you need to stay strong and convince them this is the path forward.

Review your processes

DevOps aims to cut out waste and automate processes to increase your ability to deliver software. Make sure the manual work in your organization is essential. Eliminate the practices that add no value and focus on high-priority tasks.

Automate your deployments

One of the cornerstones of DevOps is automation, which means you need to get rid of manual processes wherever you can. This doesn’t just save time and money but also eliminates room for human error. Automate your deployments as much as possible.

Create self-service platforms

Give developers the tools to work autonomously. Create self-service platforms that allow them to provide their test and production environments, set up dependencies, and establish a continuous integration/delivery pipeline all by themselves.

Encourage collaboration

DevOps is all about collaboration, not just between development and operations teams but also with others. Therefore, you need everyone to play their part for this approach to work.

Make it visible

Visibility is another key factor in DevOps. Collect real-time metrics and make them accessible to the whole company. This way, everyone can see how things are going and quickly spot if something isn’t quite right.

Get Started

Last but not least, get started. DevOps is a new working methodology, and it doesn’t come easy to everyone. You need to be proactive, willing to embrace change, and open to criticism if you want your team to make the switch.

Devops explained - Summary

Conclusion

In short, DevOps is the practice of breaking down an application or system into smaller components. DevOps also includes automation and monitoring practices to ensure that what was designed happens continually, with minimal human intervention. This methodology provides many benefits for your business, including making it easier to deploy new features, ensuring high availability of systems by reducing downtime during deployments, more rapid identification/resolution of bugs in production environments, and faster recovery from outages. If you would like to improve efficiency across all stages of development without sacrificing quality, then DevOps ma

But DevOps isn’t worth much if you don’t have an experienced team on board. If you don’t have the right people or are trying to implement DevOps on your own without outside help, you could end up wasting time and money. Delegating responsibilities to a team of professionals will help you avoid this pitfall.

Topics: DevOps

Trung Tran

Trung Tran

Technical/Content Writer