Understanding the importance of automation in DevOps
Why does the IT industry need to adopt DevOps? What is automation related to DevOps? What is its role in the DevOps lifecycle?
Automation is the answer to implementing DevOps and ensuring that it delivers. DevOps, which has gained enough traction from the IT industry, emphasizes a change in culture and process. It has become a critical part of software engineering methodology. Meanwhile, automation is also the need of the hour as firms prepare themselves to maximize productivity with minimal efforts. In DevOps, automation begins with the code generation on developers’ systems till the code is pushed to execution and later for monitoring the application and system in production. The entire foundation of DevOps is to ensure that the engineering platform is in place to facilitate continuous delivery (CD), continuous integration (CI), and improvement. It is vital as many IT companies suffer due to constant hand-offs between development and operations stages, which leads to management issues.
However, automating everything is not the solution. IT leaders need to understand that people behind the planning phase should also be aware of the set of tools they shall use to achieve goals. They must realize that while there is a lot more to DevOps than just automation, automation has an essential role at every stage of the software development process. These are building, testing, releasing, deployment, provisioning, configuration, and monitoring.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) strategy that streamlines the organizational, process, and tooling workflows to push quality software features to end-users faster and effectively. It is made up of two unique sub-disciplines – Dev and Ops. Dev refers to the software development and people involved in the process of assisting in product development like Product Managers, software developers, QA engineers. And, Ops is the indicating term for the system engineers, network engineers, system administrators, DBAs, and the whole contingent staff who work on the complete IT infrastructure and operations. As earlier, these two units used to work in isolation, therefore hindering the progress of IT firms, the introduction of DevOps resulted in creating a paradigm shift in the industry.
DevOps is about people, technology, and culture. This is where automation comes in. Automation mostly helps the DevOps team needs to achieve all of the processes mentioned above while maintaining high software quality. Hence, automation in DevOps cultivates greater speed, better accuracy, consistency, reliability, and multiplies the number of deliveries made. Moreover, it minimizes the chances of manual errors and failure by expediting automated testing procedures and managing other tasks across the cross-project requirements. It lets users create several real-time reports that provide a combined view of everything happening in a project. These reports can be either about the frequency of the deployments, change-fail rates, and others.
Automation of DevOps can help IT firms in the following:
- Elimination of recurring action items enabling staff to focus on value addition.
- Reduction of market time from months and weeks to days and hours
- Ensuring appropriate software builds, data, tests, and code changes are delivered to appropriate target environments in CI/CD pipeline.
- Monitoring and Incident Management by intelligence prioritization of events, root cause detection, and delivery of proactive actionable intelligence.
- Better process management since overheads generated due to the elimination of manual interventions.
- Saving by file synchronization between the on-premise data center and the cloud.
- Reducing latency, cost of release, reliance on a single source, and lead time.
- Enabling consistency and faster feedback and resolution.
- Better visibility among the development, testing, and operations teams by eliminating silos and bottlenecks
The idea of automation in DevOps is aboutfacilitating agility and effective collaboration among all members of the DevOps IT firm. By automating workflows, DevOps can accelerate new services through continuous improvement and operational flexibility. Also, choosing the right vendor for automation solutions in DevOps is very important in a competitive industry. Some of the leading automation solutions for DevOps environments are Apache Ant, Jenkins, CFEngine, Capistrano, Gradle, Juju, SaltStack, Chef, and MCollective.