Product development has become highly sophisticated over the years. Unlike the yesteryears, business agility is the key to survive competition and market demands. Most organizations are doing away with traditional hardware inventories and embracing cloud and other digital technologies for the numerous benefits. Apart from moving to Cloud, there has been a shift in the way software products are developed. Traditionally, development and operations of software products used to be separately handled whereas today considering a faster go–to-market, both development and operations go hand in hand and that is where DevOps comes to play its role.
DevOps with Cloud proves to be a perfect match. DevOps and cloud-based delivery models are a great starting point to offer speed and agility to businesses.
In this blog, we have outlined the key business benefits of using DevOps with cloud:
1. Easy Automation
Automation is an important aspect of the infrastructure management. Automating processes by leveraging cloud helps to enhance the pace of automation, makes the process more reliable, error free, robust and efficient, ultimately leading to reduction in time to market.
IT Modernization through Cloud enables swift Digital Transformation. Cloud providers offer various services (tools) enabling you to manage your infrastructure and modernize IT. The automation process includes infrastructure provisioning, making builds, running test cases, generating reports with mailing alerts and so on. Although cloud services can help you to solve multiple use cases, it is challenging to manage the infrastructure without DevOps.
DevOps comprises of various activities such as server management, OS patching, setting up CI – CD to automate the deployments, testing, report generation and so on.
2. Cloud Server Replication
Every cloud provider has some backup mechanism. Even then there is a need to launch the servers manually and restore the backup on a different environment. Through DevOps, this process can be automated.
Imagine a case when there is a great offer and you are expecting an increased traffic on your website without having your applications tested for traffic spikes. The result will be poor user experience and business loss. Load testing will help to check the stability of application. You can also consider mobile automation testing given large number of growing mobile users. You would need to separate the environment temporarily (create a replica of the production environment) and load test to measure the stability of the app. This task can easily be automated leveraging on various tools provided by leading cloud providers.
Furthermore, tools help you to define the hierarchy/pattern of the infrastructure and define inter-communication patterns. Without DevOps, replication can be highly complicated and complex task.
The word “orchestration” is often confused with the word ”automation” but there is a slight difference.
The Orchestration is a specialized way of automation. It provides complete coordination and control in automation covering entire hierarchy in the infrastructure. Orchestration tools such as Chef, Puppet and Ansible are some of the intelligent tools in the market. They are independent of any of the cloud providers and have their own defined standards, but could be easily integrated with all the leading cloud providers. Integrating with cloud provides additional benefits such as automated server provisioning, auto-scaling and so on.
4. Effective Monitoring
Cloud providers aim to provide all the tools (typically cloud services) at a centralized place. The services can be categorized as monitoring services, backup services, automation services, acknowledgment services or infrastructural services.
You can get almost everything in their package. However, cloud monitoring is generally limited to an email alert when any of the infrastructural asset behaves abnormally. DevOps can trigger custom alarms and various monitoring alerts enabling you to utilize resources more effectively.
Let us take an example of a site running on AWS. When the traffic on the site increases, a load balancer adds a new EC2 server to handle the load. You need to configure an alert for such a new addition of server. Configuring such custom alarms would require knowledge of various OSs on which the application is running. DevOps plays an important role here.
5. Rapid Deployment
Cloud providers can help you with rapid deployment, but customizing it is challenging without DevOps. DevOps focuses on solving the infrastructural problems with latest tools by building custom logic and writing capabilities. DevOps helps to automate the whole process using single click build tools that interact with the cloud services and get the tasks done without any errors.
For example, with continuous integration tools such as Jenkins and Bamboo, you can build the following flow:
- Trigger the build once the new code is pushed to the version control system
- Pulling latest code from the version control system
- Running automation test cases for code sanity
- Building deployable artifacts if the test cases are passed
- Triggering deployment on staging environment
- Automation testing execution on the staging environment
- Promoting well-tested code to production environment
All the steps in the above description can be automated to keep human intervention as least as possible.
Cloud has definitely turned out to be the new mainstream for most organizations. In this digitally and technologically evolving landscape, Cloud and DevOps are mostly tightly coupled with each other and used hand in hand. DevOps with cloud enhances the performance of the software products and automates the overall infrastructure to continuously better products with a faster time to market.