DevOps is a process followed by many Software, Web and Mobile Application Development Companies around the world to increase the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of developing and deploying applications. It was conceptualised by Patrick Debois and Andrew Schaffer in 2008. The process has gone through several phases of development with contributions from many software developers and IT personnel from around the world.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a combination of two terms, Development and Operations. It involves the integration of the Software Development team with the IT Operations team. The purpose of integrating the two teams is to bring about a synergy which results in the faster development, testing and deployment of software and web applications.
Why is DevOps required?
Without DevOps, the development team and the operations team function as separate entities and there is a delay in information and problem sharing between them. Without DevOps, the problems faced by the operations team during the deployment of the software remain unknown to the development team resulting in difficulty in understanding the real-world problems and delays in generating a solution for them.
The DevOps process, also known as the DevOps Lifecycle consists of the following phases:
- Continuous Development: This phase consists of the planning of the project along with the initiation of the coding for the software. It involves the selection of the programming language for the project.
- Continuous Integration: In this phase of the DevOps lifecycle, new code is built which supports additional functionality and is integrated into the existing code. Bugs in the source code are detected at this stage. Developers run various tools that generate new code to bring more functionalities. The continuous integration of the new code into the existing code ensures that the code remains up to date for ultimate deployment. The updated code is then packaged and proceeded to the next phase which is the production server or testing server.
- Continuous Testing: Some developers prefer to put this phase before the continuous integration phase. In this phase, the continuously updated software is tested for Bugs. Using automated testing the code is tested for bugs and the results are shared with the developers to update the code to rectify the errors.
- Continuous Feedback: In this phase the bugs observed and the consequent changes made are analysed. Customers who tested the product can share their feedback at this stage. Based on the feedback received in this phase updated versions of the software are released.
- Continuous Monitoring: During this phase of the DevOps lifecycle the deployed application is continuously monitored for system issues and bugs. The IT operations team is more involved during this phase of DevOps. If any major issues are detected during this phase, then the application is again run through all the previous phases of DevOps. Such a process ensures the speedy identification and rectification of the problems.
- Continuous Deployment: Practically speaking, this phase precedes the Continuous Monitoring phase but developers ensure that this phase is always active in the DevOps lifecycle so that the latest updates are always deployed to overcome all the known bugs and errors in the system. In this phase, the final application code is deployed to the production servers.
- Continuous Operations: The purpose of this phase is to automate the process of releasing the application and subsequent updates. This is the shortest and least complicated phase of the DevOps lifecycle.
DevOps maturity model.
The DevOps maturity model captures an organisation’s journey in the implementation of the DevOps processes. Organisations must look at DevOps as a way of life and not as a destination. Organisations are required to constantly improve their adherence to DevOps processes to improve their functionality and effectiveness.
The DevOps maturity model measures the progress made by an organisation in the implementation of DevOps processes. It estimates what more must be done by the organisation to achieve the desired results. The DevOps maturity model is designed to help the organisation to scale, efficiently and effectively through Continuous Training. Continuous training helps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation in all areas including software development and operations.
To assess an organisation’s DevOps maturity, the DevOps maturity model focuses on the adoption of certain business practices and the presence of certain capabilities required to achieve higher maturity levels. These attributes are acquired through Continuous learning.
An organisation is said to have achieved a reasonable level of DevOps maturity when it reflects the following attributes:
Culture. DevOps compliance has more to do with a cultural change in the organisation rather than a technical change. It requires not only cross-functional collaboration but also a pervasive outlook capable of embracing and overcoming repeated failures. All the stakeholders in the organisation must be willing to collaborate and implement the DevOps process.
Testing. DevOps maturity on the testing front is indicated by having a dedicated testing environment for every product and automated testing processes.
Automation (CI/CD). The goal of automation is to enhance software quality by preemptive elimination of issues through continuous testing. Automation can be effective only if the workflows are properly defined and optimal. Automating processes which are not properly defined or optimised can interfere with DevOps’ ability to work optimally.
Architecture. An organisation’s DevOps maturity is indicated by the robustness of its foundation which is determined by its application architecture. The application architecture indicates if the organisation will be able to leverage the DevOps process to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
5 Stages in DevOps Maturity Journey.
Stage 1: Initial. A standard-setting where development and operations are handled separately.
Stage 2: Managed. Focus on attaining agility in software development and automation of operations with emphasis on collaboration between the development team and operations team.
Stage 3: Defined. Well defined business and automation processes.
Stage 4: Measured. A better understanding of automation and processes is attained along with a focus on CI/CD.
Stage 5: Optimised. Collaboration between the various team’s in the organisation improves. Business results are optimised. Results become evident and individuals and teams are recognised for their work.
3 Components of a Complete DevOps Maturity Model.
A complete DevOps Maturity Model operates at three levels:
- evaluating the state of skills.
- identifying the scope for growth.
- outlining a roadmap to achieve DevOps goals.
To achieve these targets the following components are required:
DevOps Maturity for Application.
DevOps Maturity by Data.
DevOps Maturity by Infrastructure.
By asking yourself questions relevant to the performance of your organisation you can gauge your DevOps maturity. The DevOps maturity model can help you to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your workflows, enhance the accuracy of your testing and facilitate the faster and more successful deployment of your product. It will also help you improve release cycles and augment product quality. With a better understanding of where you stand in the DevOps journey, you can take the necessary steps to improve your organisation’s DevOps maturity quotient and develop a better environment in your organisation leading to greater success.