The technology industry has seen rapid growth in the last few years. The increased demand for software solutions result in pressure on the industry to meet the customer expectations and demands. The most common of these challenges are related to performance, enhanced functionality and guaranteed availability and uptime.
Cloud based applications have changed the nature of software development and how it looked before it. The new approach is to take software applications as an ongoing service rather than limiting it to a specific task required by the customer.
Software development companies have changed the monolithic approach to agile approach which means developers consistently improve the software by introducing changes to it with the help of customer feedback. They have also employed software development methodologies like Agile, Scrum and Rapid application development for prompt changes.
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The combination of DevOps and automation results in increased efficiency of the software development methodologies.
The term DevOps first surfaced in 2009 and was coined by Patrick Debois. DevOps automation is essentially the strategy to bridge the gap between software development and IT operations.
Gartner has defined it as “focusing on rapid IT delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps has an emphasis on people and culture, and seeks to improve collaboration between operation and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology, especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective.”
Why do you need to adopt DevOps automation is an important question to ask. Another important thing is to determine the degree of automation that you’re looking for. Oftentimes, enterprises take DevOps to an unproductive extreme. These enterprises end up over-automating in an attempt to automate the development process by linking too many tools. This takes away the true objective of the process and instead leads to undesirable outcomes.
To strike a balance between over and under-automation, it is rather important to have the right understanding of your requirements when it comes to development, testing and deployment. When you have this information only then you should decide on the tools. Training of the developers and the administrative staff on the tools is as important as the above-mentioned research.
Enterprises overdo DevOps automation by overdoing Agile processes. The root cause of the problem lies in the confusion between Agile versus Waterfall methodology. Agile is verily the newer and more productive approach but some enterprises get carried away with it. They overdo resultantly overdoing automation of Agile and DevOps.
While some are over-automating DevOps, others aren’t even making use of it. Where do you strike the balance then?
Automation is simply the process of taking the manual processes and wrapping technology around them to make them inherently repeatable. The quality of the processes doesn’t improve automatically. If your processes are flawed or poorly built then those will be simply fast running flawed processes with automation.
The first step should be to identify the processes that occur during development. Once those are identified then you need to apply appropriate DevOps tools into those processes. One key point to remember here is to not get swayed by it. Not all processes can or need to be automated.
The second step is to remember that you’re unique and so are your requirements. Not every process needs automation for you to get your work done.
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Standardization means standardizing the toolset used by software developers in large enterprises. These tools enables the creation of a work environment with the following:
The use of standardized practices increases the potential for automating other manual processes.
Automation works wonders with identifying errors and behavioral issues with software applications. The end result is consistent and predictable in a highly automated environment. This is made possible because of its underlying static software configuration and limited human interaction which is to say that the chances of errors reduces significantly.
Manual processes don’t have the kind of flexibility that automated processes have when it comes to scalability. Automated processes can be easily scaled by developing additional processes to cater to the new requirements.
Another difference is that scalability isn’t dependent on the availability of the human resources but on the availability of the software and hardware which isn’t an issue in cloud-based applications.
The highlighting feature of the DevOps automation is the ability to move from one cycle to next quickly which significantly impacts the deliverable time period of the project.
Automatic processes are independent of human constraints which helps in avoiding delays. It allows us to go through processes without any delays. Automated processes are inherently faster than the manually run processes as they follow a set template.
DevOps automation allows us to be flexible with the determination of scope and functionality of the automated processes. The most common constraint to scope and functionality is the configuration of the automated process which can be changed to meet the requirements.
It is faster and easier to change the configuration of an automated process to adapt to the new requirements than to train a human resource to do the same.
The benefits of DevOps automation aren’t limited to development and operations but has the potential to revamps the business culture altogether. Automation makes it easier to achieve business goals.
It creates a stable and reliable system while providing all the above-mentioned benefits. It establishes proper communication channels that further reduces the chances of miscommunication.
These processes are easily scalable across multiple environments and applications while remaining consistent at the same time. The team has a better chance of resolving issues faster as they have access to data about product performance directly gathered from the end users.
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