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DevOps: Development meets operations

What is DevOps? Simply put, “DevOps” is a combination of two functions that are typically treated separately: development and operations. Let’s look at each part of DevOps from an IT perspective:

Development: The infrastructure necessary to bring together development, from sharing assets to writing code and algorithms for enterprise applications that may leverage advanced capabilities such as artificial intelligence/machine learning, containers, and serverless functions. In addition, testing, archiving, bug-tracking, and other critical tasks are handled in the development phase, all on the road to launch. Some common tools used for development: Git for checking-in code; Github or evolving Bitbucket for managing code repositories.

Operations: Once an application is deployed, the operations side takes over with a focus on ensuring the business challenges of cloud platforms are met. Issues such as user security, database management, scalability for production workloads, and application patching are all handled in this function. Some common tools used for operations: Terraform, Ansible, Puppet and Chef for managing infrastructure and configurations.

In many organizations, those two functions exist in different silos. DevOps brings development and operations together to create a unified infrastructure that maximizes productivity. In order to support both sides of the equation, the infrastructure must be agile, flexible, and scalable, with inputs and integrations regarding security and quality assurance shared between developers and operators/systems administrators.

The result is an efficient model that maximizes resources while working with the increasingly fast pace of the software development life cycle, something that has become harder and harder to support under the traditional software development model. Ultimately, a strong DevOps model enables businesses to fix problems, scale user growth, and better serve customers with a path to developing and iterating on software products faster.

What is the benefit of DevOps?

Adopting DevOps to support the entire software development life cycle—with an emphasis on agility and efficiency regardless of function provides a number of benefits:

Enabling speed: With an agile DevOps model, technology is optimized to the current needs of the life cycle. In many cases, DevOps uses cutting-edge machine learning and artificial intelligence to expedite this. In fact, a recently coined term, AIOps, refers to the use of artificial intelligence in IT operations. DevOps also emphasizes automation and continuous integration/delivery, alleviating staff from manual tasks to focus on innovation. On the development side, engineers can hit their code milestones faster or collaborate more effectively. On the operations side, systems administrators can leverage automation frameworks to easily provision and update new applications and infrastructure.

Quality: By enabling speed, DevOps opens up new paths to greater quality and reliability. This starts on the development side, with faster collaboration and better tools for problem solving and integration. On the operations side, smaller and more frequent updates allow for greater stability, which increases the overall quality of experience for the userbase.

Security: Using DevOps provides several different layers to enhancing your overall security. From a functional perspective, DevOps sometimes includes the integration of security teams. This creates a model sometimes referred to as DevSecOps, which equally balances security next to development and operational needs. On a more granular level, the speed of DevSecOps allows for quick patching, audits and analysis powered by artificial intelligence, automated compliance, and automated resource management.

Scalability: Agile resources, automation, and the ability to support the complete software development life cycle means that infrastructure is poised to support scaling as needed. Because scaling touches many different elements, supporting a holistic view of technology helps to efficiently scale while handling everything from resource management to patch rollout.

Types of DevOps services

What is part of a DevOps model? A typical umbrella of DevOps services—which may encompass DevSecOps security feature—includes:

Integrated development environment: The development and evolution of applications can be made swifter with a visual development environment built to support agile and collaborative development using features such as version control and continuous delivery (CD). Learn more

Resource management: By building on an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) platform that automates deployment and operations, resources can be scaled and utilized as needed for maximum efficiency. Learn more

Monitoring: To help maximize resource management, robust infrastructure monitoring enables organizational management on a fine-grained insights to real-time status, leading to rapid response as needed. Learn more

Logging data: Because DevOps works across the entire software development life cycle, logged data from bugs, availability, issue diagnosis, and other alerts are all easily collected in centralized logs. This allows for fast, easy access so appropriate parties can take the data and act quickly as needed. Learn more

Cloud native technologies: Cloud native technologies are critical to a successful DevOps model. With cloud native technologies, organizations use container-based environments in dynamic ways, enabling fast adaptability and automation through a series of loosely coupled systems that work together for bigger-picture management. Learn more

Kubernetes: With its ability to manage clusters of containerized applications and systems, Kubernetes is a vital part of many successful DevOps systems. Under Kubernetes, cloud systems manage a hierarchy of clusters (which contain and manage nodes) and nodes (which contain elements of the deployed application). Learn more

The purpose and meaning Of DevOps

In the past twenty years, business has gradually shifted to integrate software into nearly every element —finance, entertainment, consumer usage, supply chain, and everything else. With each of these functions, clear integration of software and data have emerged, and as that integration becomes more prevalent, the stakes in performance and reliability become higher. A single bug or outage in availability could affect countless users, and possible interrupt millions in revenue.

DevOps and DevSecOps provides a means to address the modern needs of the software development life cycle (SDLC). By integrating development, operations, and security, this delivers practical benefits to resources while also enabling faster communication and collaboration across the life cycle. The ability to build a bridge between these groups—all while shortening the overall software development life cycle—gives DevOps meaning and value, regardless of industry.

DevOps use cases

The idea of DevOps and DevSecOps sounds good on paper, but how does it work in practice? It’s actually quite straightforward in how DevOps benefits manifest across the entire software development life cycle. Consider the following examples below.

Create a CI/CD pipeline
A robust continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) pipeline is the ultimate goal of a DevOps model. The ability to scale, manage, collaborate, and automate ensures a smooth end-to-end experience that offers continuous flow of updates and evolution.

Learn to build a CI/CD pipeline.

Use staging to accelerate the development cycle
DevOps provides a secure environment for debugging and testing via staging. This also expedites the operations side by allowing working configuration to propagate to the production environment.

See an example of infrastructure automation.

infrastructure automation

 

Improve application health with granular monitoring
With detailed monitoring metrics covering performance, health, and availability, notifications on a granular level can deliver details about small issues before they become big issues. This data feeds directly to developers, who can begin working on fixes that become part of the CI/CD pipeline.

See the observability process flow.

observability process flow

 

Customer successes

The tools and services in a DevOps model apply for all manners of the software development life cycle, from large-scale enterprise rollouts to startups experiencing major scaling during rapid userbase growth. Here are two real-world examples of successful DevOps using the Oracle platform:


AgroScout: Oracle powered AgroScout’s artificial intelligence algorithms to help farmers increase yield and put food on people's plates.


SnapTech: Snap Tech is changing the way the world searches, thanks to Oracle Cloud services, including Oracle Cloud Infrastructure GPU shapes, Kubernetes, Registry, and File Storage.


CERN Open Days: With Oracle technology, CERN was able to power Open Days, its biggest showcase of the organization’s cutting-edge research.

Experience Oracle DevOps services

How can Oracle DevOps create agility and improve efficiency in your organization’s cycle? Learn more about the power of Oracle DevOps and Oracle Cloud Native, or sign up today for your free trial.