DevOps is the grey area between development (Dev) and Operations (Ops) team in a product development process. Over the last few years, DevOps has been drawing a great deal of attention as it enables enterprises to create and improve products at a faster pace than traditional software development methods. Furthermore, DevOps enables continuous software delivery with less complex problems to fix and faster resolution of problems. In this article, we will delve into the three best strategies for organizations to implement a successful DevOps transformation effort.
Include test automation into your strategy
DevOps practices can not be implemented successfully without test automation. Manual testing is laborious and time-intensive. Without a doubt, testing would become a crucial bottleneck in the CI/CD pipeline if your project lacks test automation.
It’s crucial for teams to establish a culture that allows members to continuously learn and improve their skills at detecting as well as addressing problems. As mistakes and problems are always happening in any complex system, teams need to learn from mistakes and prevent them from happening again to succeed in implementing DevOps.
To multiply the effects of learning and improvement, teams should widely share their knowledge on problems, know-how, solutions to address the problem. By sharing commonly faced problems and their solutions throughout the organization, teams are able to save a lot of time when facing similar problems.
Teams should focus on improving the quality of the system and finding ways to fix the problem instead of naming and blaming people when a problem occurs. The working environment without naming and blaming encourages risk-taking and innovation while helps to preserve good relationships and foster mutual cooperation between people in the project.
Telemetry and metrics collected are also used for discovering opportunities for improvement. Consulting and teaching from experts are also as crucial as self-learning and self-improvement.
Establish a CI/CD pipeline
In order to ensure the fast and reliable delivery of work from development to operations without causing the problems in the production, organizations must establish and implement the practices necessary for the continuous flow of work from development to operations.
Production-line environments should be used at every stage of the CI/CD pipeline. That is, development, test, and staging environments must be similar to that in the production. By doing this, developers and testers always run and test the system on the production-line environment, which eliminates the mismatch between development and operations. When a problem occurs in operations, developers can quickly detect and fix it without interfering with the normal operation of the system.
Environments should be created automatically using scripts and predefined configurations. The process to create an environment that is already embedded in the script and configurations. This practice allows on-demand creation of development, test, and production environments the repository easily and quickly when needed.
Everyone must use version control to manage their work. It is necessary to place every artifact of the system in version control to enable on-demand creation of production-line environments. In addition, a single repository for the entire system should be used. Mismatches will eventually occur if multiple repositories are used.
Use Telemetry and Metrics
Organizations need to create and use telemetry and metrics in order to support problem diagnosis and solving as well as discover opportunities for continuous improvement.
So, what is telemetry? Simply put, telemetry is an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring. In other words, it involves the use of metrics and data collection approaches to support measurement and monitoring.
Telemetry allows teams to detect a problem, to formulate hypotheses about possible root causes of the problem, and to find solutions to address it. Telemetry helps detect contributing factors affecting a problem and its resolution.
Telemetry is created in development, testing, staging, and production environment. Organizations need to create and use telemetry across the DevOps pipeline as well. The telemetry program should be centralized, meaning that events, logs, and metrics collected from different stages of development and operations are transferred, stored, and aggregated to help analyze the system as a whole.
Events and logs are created and recorded at different layers, operating systems, database, business logic, application/user interface, and environment. Metrics need to be recorded and used at different levels: sales and transactions in the business level, response time, faults, transaction time at the application level, storage and disk usage, CPU load, network traffic at the infrastructure level. Other important metrics in the DevOps pipeline can include build status, change, and deployment and release frequencies, duration, environment status, idle time, build breakage, downtime, impact of defects, percent of automation, change success rate, time/cost per release, cost/frequency of outages in operations, on-call after business outs, MTTR (mean time to repair), and MTTD (mean time to detect).
Application libraries are necessary for teams to create, collect, and store events, logs, and metrics. Tools are also important for visualizing, alerting, detecting trends, and other analytics capabilities. Learn more
In today’s fast-paced IT environment, the need for frequent updates for applications has increased significantly, and as such often creating a tussle between developers and operational teams, thereby decreasing efficiency. DevOps bridges the gap between the software’s development and its real-world operation by changing the culture of the enterprise. We hope the three strategies above can equip you with substantial knowledge of DevOps and help you successfully implement DevOps culture in your organization.