As a business owner or entrepreneur, offering a range of IT services is essential for all clients. From the conceptualization of an application that is being developed to the procedures under which the project will be tackled, there are many different areas of any development project that must be addressed on a continuous and ongoing basis. When it comes to the development and operations of a project, DevOps as a Service is one solution to consider for any project, small or large.
What is the DevOps Lifecycle?
DevOps, also known as the "development" and "operations" of a project, is the broader management of IT operations and software development in one central location and with ongoing collaboration. The DevOps lifecycle is the process of developing and managing a project based on a client's needs, goals, and timeline.
As DevOps is the combination of development and operations departments, it only makes sense that the first step of implementing DevOps is to merge these two teams.
Companies must remove the barriers between their development and operations teams–two teams that are typically siloed. So, to adopt DevOps, the development and operations team will typically merge to work together, as opposed to working as two separate teams. The software engineers involved will work across the entire application lifecycle, from development to testing and deployment.
Once merged, the two teams will optimize the productivity of developers as well as the reliability of operations. With clarified project ownership and improved visibility and communication, DevOps will improve collaboration between development and operations, creating a more cohesive environment.
Following this merger, you must understand the phases that are typically included in the actual DevOps cycle itself, such as:
As with most applications and online projects today, continuous development is necessary to prevent potential security risks, loopholes, or vulnerabilities. Ongoing development is also optimal for those who are interested in providing their user base with continuous updates and the latest features and technologies currently available.
The development aspect of a DevOps project can also include conceptualization and the planning process of an application or piece of software itself. This can include the following tasks:
- Defining the vision: Defining the vision, goals, and milestones for a project's development is essential before a DevOps team gets to work. Without an understanding of the vision of the project as well as the target audience and demographics, developing the project can feel extremely tedious or abstract.
- Source Code Management: Source Code Management, or SCM, requires the use of a variety of tools which should be considered, such as GitLab, GIT, Mercurial, and Subversion.
Even after the original source code of an application is written and tested, it will likely require edits and updates over time, which is done with continuous integration as part of DaaS. Continuous integration indicates that even if a website, application, or piece of software has been built and launched, it does not mean that bugs cannot be detected, edited, and removed from the source code itself. With continuous integration, it is much easier to maintain peace of mind knowing that a project's code is up to date.
Continuous testing helps to spot bugs, loopholes, and even inconsistencies within the application's coding itself. With ongoing testing, DevOps engineers simulate test environments with Docker containers repeatedly to determine whether or not there is any issue worth inspecting or investigating further. Using test environments can assist with evaluating the overall response time of an application as well as vulnerabilities present at the time based on the type of application that was created and the technologies that were used in the process.
Continuous testing also includes executing UAT, or User Acceptance Testing process to gain valuable feedback (in addition to the standard Continuous Feedback protocol).
For most developers who work in DevOps, receiving and providing continuous feedback is simply par for the course. Continuous feedback is included in the testing phase as well as with the final product, even if it has already been released and launched to the public.
From receiving internal feedback from other DaaS engineers to working with consumer testing groups once a product has been released is extremely valuable when it comes to gathering valuable and authentic data from relevant users.
For any application developer, even those outside of DevOps engineering, monitoring and collecting data or analytics is crucial for many different reasons. For standard app developers or creators, knowing how well a project they have developed is received is often indicative of their own skill level and ability to appease a target audience. They may enjoy receiving feedback to help better or improve their abilities and application style in the future.
Those who work as DevOps engineers are all too familiar with ongoing and continuous monitoring, from the start of a project to post-launch. Monitoring traffic, keeping track of incoming stats, watching the bounce rates of relevant websites, and getting to know more about the audience who is actually using your completed application is imperative for any DevOps engineer or team.
For those involved in DevOps, becoming familiar with monitoring tools such as Splunk, Sensu, NewRelic, Nagios, cloudwatch, and ELK Stack is highly recommended to help manage and oversee the metrics and performance of a completed app or project in real-time.
Even after you have launched your completed software or application, continuous deployment is an essential part of DevOps. Once you have developed a working project and you are ready for the public to have access to you, continuous development keeps an eye on the overall traffic load, potential vulnerabilities, as well as any server hangups your users may have while attempting to use your completed application or piece of software.
Configuration Management is the main process used in the continuous development of a project, as DevOps engineers hone in on particular updates, application codes, and solutions that can help to better improve the publicly-released version of your application.
Once the lifecycle of a DevOps project is nearing completion, it is important to implement automation tools to help with maintaining the functions and capabilities of a business, piece of software, or application. Continuous operations involve implementing automated processes to help accelerate the time it takes to help get your completed project to market.
Benefits of Partnering with a DaaS Provider
Choosing to outsource your DevOps migration to a DaaS provider is another way to minimize risk while saving money and providing more time to focus on other facets of your business. Learning the benefits that a DaaS provider has to offer can help you to determine if DevOps is the right solution for you.
Working with certified cloud providers with expertise in DevOps and serverless applications makes it easier than ever to automate your DevOps needs. Automated deployment makes managing your business and the development of your project or app easier than ever with a hands-off approach.
Partnering with a DaaS provider is one of the best ways to reduce costs for the IT services you require. Rather than hiring your own in-house IT developers, working with a DaaS provider is a way to access DevOps services without the hefty cost of bringing another employee onto your team.
No Point of Failure in the Deployment Process
The use of DaaS is an excellent method of minimizing and/or eliminating errors and vulnerabilities altogether when it comes to developing a new system, app, or entire project. Because of the constant debugging, scanning, and monitoring that is ongoing with DevOps, you are much less likely to encounter a failure in the deployment process of any area of your app or project.
Seamless Software Development Through DaaS
Understanding DevOps, as well as the DevOps lifecycle, is essential as a competitor in the IT industry today. Using a DaaS provider can help to streamline your own management efforts while simultaneously accelerating and improving the software development and deployment process. With the right provider, you can ensure seamless management throughout the entire DevOps lifecycle–scaled to your precise needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about Intertec’s offerings as a DaaS provider, download our free infographic The Value of Implementing DevOps as a Service.