DevOps Automation – Tools, Testing, and Tactics

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Last updated on June 21st, 2022

The DevOps market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20% by 2026 globally. Automation is the need of the hour for many enterprises who are seeking to transform their processes digitally and reduce human assistance in routine tasks among other things. DevOps helps them achieve this goal efficiently by combining the efforts of the development and operations teams. 

Since “automate everything” is a primary principle of the DevOps model, companies have focussed on incorporating automation right from the deployment of code, to maintaining the applications. More and more enterprises are rejecting the need for compulsory manual effort in many internal activities, and making more room for better innovation-driven ideas and products.

There are plenty of DevOps tools that help enterprises achieve the desired automation while improving their team’s collaboration and productivity. Here’s a peek into what DevOps tools entail and the most popular ones currently.

What are DevOps tools and why do we use them?

Highly reliable tools are a must for every enterprise looking to transform using DevOps. DevOps automation tools help developers automate development processes more efficiently and scale up on innovation quickly. 

And it’s important to note that choosing just one tool may not exactly satisfy every need of a business problem. Therefore, enterprises need to make a well-informed decision and choose the tools that best fit their business challenge or automation requirement.

Top DevOps automation tools:

1. Git

This is the most popular tool amongst software development companies, used by programmers for tracking their changes to source code, and helps with efficient collaboration across teams. It supports non-linear workflows and distributed systems. A noteworthy feature of Git is it allows programmers to trace back to a previous version of the source code seamlessly. 

2. Splunk

Splunk helps with data analytics and in providing intelligent insights to the DevOps team. By using the actionable and accurate data provided by Splunk, enterprises can detect and fix problems occurring within their processes rapidly.

3. Docker

Docker is a widely used open-source app containerization platform that hosts a suite of DevOps tools. When Docker is used, programmers can solely concentrate on the development and not worry about the deployment processes or hosting platforms. 

4. Kubernetes

Founded by Google, Kubernetes or K8s is an open-source container orchestration platform. While Docker helps with building, sharing, and running individual containerized applications, Kubernetes on the other hand runs many of them across a cluster by automating them at scale. Many enterprises prefer using Docker and K8s simultaneously for faster results.

5. Jenkins

CI/CD is the most crucial part of DevOps and Jenkins is an automation tool for enabling exactly this. An open-source automation server based on Java, it helps with automation, monitoring, and execution of plenty of stages within the CI/CD delivery pipeline. And Jenkins hosts various super-useful plugins specific to almost every programmer or organization’s need.

6. GitHub

GitHub is one of the oldest and most efficient DevOps tools used across organizations globally. GitHub is a web-based collaborative platform with version control that lets users create multiple projects and work together.

7. Ansible

Driving on the concept of infrastructure as code, Ansible by Red Hat is a configuration management tool that is shown to improve the DevOps team’s productivity drastically. This was feasible owing to its success in automating, configuring, and managing the IT infrastructure. 

Now that we’ve seen a range of exceptional DevOps tools, let’s shift our attention to the need for enterprises to have a successful DevOps testing plan. 

What goes into DevOps Testing?

An enterprise’s DevOps testing plan can be deemed as successful by analyzing the frequency of deployment of applications and the speed at which they release them. As a result of this, their customers are more satisfied since their needs are continuously met and the application is always up to the mark.

The testers in the DevOps model need to focus on extensive test automation to achieve the pace mandated by the CI process. Along with automation, testers need to prioritize using the best agile practices, and running unit and component tests at every stage to ensure optimum application functioning.

Also since collaborative efforts is a core principle in DevOps, not just the testers but everyone else on the DevOps team needs to be responsible for the delivery of the application or services in question. Familiarity with the above automation tools and applications is a must-have technical skill for every DevOps tester.

DevOps automation best practices and tactics to follow for proven success

DevOps automation is not just a lift and shift approach to transformation. It must be a well-defined collaborative strategy across all of the enterprise’s teams. Let’s take a look at the best DevOps automation tactics that every enterprise needs to adapt and implement to benefit from the DevOps journey.

#1. Building a DevOps mindset

Organizations should adapt to DevOps as a culture and mindset shift and thereby enable positive collaboration among teams. Since DevOps requires Dev and Ops teams to combine, it could be a fairly new concept for many, and they would require more time to communicate better. With sufficient training and having an inbuilt DevOps mindset, many organizations have seen a sharp rise in deployments.

#2. Automating with CI/CD

Automated building, testing, and deploying by CI (continuous integration) ensures the code changes are merged regularly into a repository using relevant DevOps tools. And CD (continuous delivery) helps the consistent and automated release of development code. Such incremental code changes and deployments make a crucial part of the DevOps model where applications are delivered on time.

#3. Use of a microservices-based architecture

With the adoption of microservices to build applications, enterprises notice greater flexibility since a failure in a particular service would not impact the rest of the components. DevOps teams use this flexibility to their advantage as the use of microservices enables breaking down the applications into smaller, fully functioning parts that work efficiently independently of each other.

#4. Prioritizing security

Along with DevOps adoption, having an additional layer of security or the DevSecOps approach solves security challenges that might exist in the DevOps model. Additionally, the DevOps team should be trained in testing and fixing any existing or potential security vulnerabilities within their processes at regular intervals. 

Transition into DevOps automation with us

DevOps is now known to be a top-notch approach to the much-needed process automation while improving system efficiency and employee productivity. By working with a DevOps adoption partner, you can stay competitive in the DevOps market and continuously deliver robust, optimized, and powerful applications to your customers.

Talk to us today at Forgeahead to explore the DevOps journey and scale your business with the help of our in-house DevOps experts with an impressive track record of successful implementations.

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