If you ask 10 experts for the definition of DevOps, you may very well get 12!
As per Wikipedia: “DevOps is a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and information technology (IT) professionals.”
Well, the above is an assorted definition mostly understood by the professional.
It’s a new term that has emerged from a clash of two big trends: ‘Agile Ops/Infrastructure’, and a deep understanding of the value of increased collaboration between developers and operations staff.
To put it in simple terms, DevOps is the practice of operations and development professionals collaborating in the entire service lifecycle, or through all stages of the development lifecycle, right from design up to production support.
It is also characterized by the use of developers’ techniques by Ops staff for their systems tasks.
DevOps means different things to different people, and it covers a huge base. For example, DevOps is (according to various professionals) -
To understand DevOps properly, let’s look at ‘Agile’ development. As per its manifesto, there are certain levels of concern, and these can be related to DevOps too.
or the top-level philosophy, embodied in the manifesto; the core values of Agile
is the strategic approach agreed upon that support the values
are the specific process implementations of the principles; these could be Scrum, XP, or something you can develop yourself
include specific strategic techniques that are used together with Agile implementations. Artifacts like standups, backlog, CI, etc. used by developers to do their jobs
are responsible for the technical implementations of the practices teams will use to enable working as per the Agile principles: JIRA, planning poker, and so on
Ideally, the lower levels are informed by the higher levels; organizations that adopt methodologies without understanding the basics may not achieve optimal results.
As mentioned earlier, DevOps emerged as a method to resolve several issues developers and organizations faced, primarily where large distributed apps where concerned, as the Ops become extremely complex. The issues were -
Many professionals began to feel that these issues could be handled better if the power developers and Ops staff were combined. This provided a whole new approach for dealing with complex real-world ops.
To put it bluntly, companies that implement DevOps, get more done. One team comprised of cross-functional experts, all collaborating can deliver quickly, with maximum functionality, and be innovative too.
In the conventional environment, the release of new features and stability often clashed; developers were responsible for delivering updates to users, and ops teams were tasked with maintaining system stability.
However, in DevOps, the whole team is responsible for both - there is no clash. As the code isn’t just tossed to the Ops team at the end, any problems, whether in the configuration, infrastructure or app code, are detected very early in the process. This is brought about by a mixture of continuous testing, sharing the code base, continuous integration, and automatic deployment.
With smaller sets, problems are not as complicated, and DevOps professionals are able to understand how any change would impact the application, and issues can be resolved quickly as the whole team works to fix it - no waiting for another team for troubleshooting.
In the conventional IT environment, professionals often have to wait for other people or machines or are stuck trying to solve the same issues again and again. This can be very frustrating; DevOps enables employees to do away with this frustration and helps them contribute productively to the organization - a win-win situation. Thanks to standardized production environments and automated installations, deployments are predictable, and the staff is freed from performing repetitive tasks; they can do something more creative instead.
DevOps also helps to ensure quicker time-to-market, which increases ROI; as DevOps is fundamentally applying Agile principles, it eventually results in quicker software development, ensuring more frequent delivery.
Through practices like continuous testing, monitoring, release and so on, the release cycles are shorter, and teams have more stable and reliable environments to work in. With more time to focus, it ensures a higher quality of the software product.
There is no doubt that DevOps is here to stay; while it may not be suitable for every type of project or company, it’s benefits for most IT projects are impressive as we have seen above, and this is exactly why we’re likely to see more companies adopting DevOps in 2020.
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