Choose the right tools for each phase of the DevOps lifecycle

What is DevOps and how can you benefit from implementing it?

DevOps is the natural evolution of agile methodologies. It represents an efficient methodology in the form of a cultural shift and comprehensive approach to software development that brings development and operations teams together. DevOps is a practice that involves new management principles and technology tools that help to implement all best practices.

One of many misconceptions about DevOps is thinking of it as just a tool. As discussed, DevOps is all about a perfectly balanced blend of its approach, philosophy, culture, and continuous aims. However, an essential part of the right adoption of DevOps undeniably is choosing the best-fit DevOps tools. In many cases, this step might “make or break” the DevOps processes. The right toolchain is one that best aligns with your company’s operations, scale, and future business planning. 

When it comes to a DevOps toolchain, organizations should look for tools that improve collaboration, reduce context-switching, introduce automation, and leverage observability and monitoring to deliver better software, faster and more securely. This type of streamlined workflow is being empowered by new tools that allow teams to actively collaborate across development, testing, and deployment stages. In particular, a DevOps toolchain helps teams tackle each stage of the development lifecycle very quickly and more reliably. 

This blog article will cover DevOps, its practices, culture, and benefits. Furthermore, we will associate relevant DevOps tools for various stages in the software development lifecycle. 

What is a DevOps toolchain and why is it important? 

A DevOps toolchain includes the collection of tools and technology that enables to design, build, test, manage, measure, and operate software and systems. A good toolchain empowers development and operations teams to effectively collaborate across the entire software lifecycle. It helps with key DevOps roles such as continuous integration, continuous delivery, automation. If you inspect a sophisticated DevOps process, the DevOps toolchain should include development tools that address each phase of the development lifecycle, including continuous integration and delivery, test automation, and high-speed deployment. On the operations side of DevOps, the tools must obtain monitoring and incident management solutions. Plus, tools should connect teams by providing continuous feedback and logging.

What types of toolchains can you adopt?

To select the right DevOps toolchain it’s crucial to prior acknowledge DevOps best practices and how the tools actually serve these practices. Then think of a strategy to accommodate common tools that allow teams to collaborate across development, testing, and deployment. 

When adopting DevOps organizations are faced with two choices: an “all-in-one” DevOps toolchain or a customized one. Selecting the more convenient configuration is important since it shapes all future DevOps processes of the organization. Often times teams experiment with different combinations of tools until they find the most suitable toolchain.

  • All-in-one Comprehensive DevOps toolchain

An all-in-one DevOps toolchain solution can be useful for companies that are starting out their DevOps journey, or if a team needs to start a project quickly. There are some disadvantages to this type of toolchain: often times companies need to integrate legacy tools into a DevOps toolchain and an all-in-one toolchain can limit this. Moreover, most DevOps teams use tools that they are familiar with and prefer, so an all-in-one toolchain may not include them. As we all know a single simple solution simply can’t evolve in fast-changing markets. 

  • Customized DevOps toolchain

The other type of DevOps toolchain is one that’s been customized for a company’s needs with different tools. This solution is preferred by organizations as it allows for the customization of workflows by teams and/or by the project. It is also more flexible and agile for more specific and/or complex use cases. Selecting and creating such type of organizational DevOps toolchain calls for a very good understanding of DevOps processes, and comprehensive expertise in the industry and it’s best to look for a consultant if you decide to go this way.   

DevOps Tools for the Main stages in the DevOps software development lifecycle You might want to Consider

How to choose the best DevOps tools and DevOps toolchain for your business?
Let’s dive into the tools!

Version Control

Version Control Tools track the manual/automatic release of software versions. This means numbering versions, as well as tracking the configuration and any present environmental dependencies (type, brand, and version of the database/operating system details/type of physical or virtual server). This category is related to change management tools. 

GitLab, GitHub, Bitbucket, etc.

Build and deploy

Tools that facilitate the building and deployment of software throughout the DevOps process, including continuous development and continuous integration.

Automation

DevOps automation is used to perform tasks by reducing human intervention to processes that facilitate feedback loops between operations and development teams. Thus, updates are deployed faster to applications in production.

Ansible, Cfengine, Puppet, SaltStack, Chef

Continuous integration/Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CI/CD)

It is a method to frequently deliver apps to customers by introducing automation into the stages of app development

Jenkins, Bamboo, Gitlab, SonarQube, etc. 

Configuration management 

Terraform, Ansible, ArgoCD, Chef, Puppet, etc.

Containerization

Docker, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes

Virtualization

KVM

Scripting 

Bash, Python

Operating Systems

RedHat, Suse, CentOs, Fedora, Debian

Infrastructure as Code

IaC is the management and provisioning of infrastructure through code instead of through manual processes. With IaC, configuration files are created that contain your infrastructure specifications, which makes it easier to edit and distribute configurations.

Terraform is an Infrastructure as Code tool that gives users the opportunity to create, modify, and improve their infrastructure without having to manually provision or manage it. With Terraform, you can manage AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Kubernetes, OpenStack, etc. Terraform is powerful, enabling you to manage complex infrastructures. Check out our introduction to Terraform here!

Cloud Computing and Storage in DevOps:

Cloud computing is centralized and scalable, and it provides DevOps with a unified platform for deployment, testing, and production, as well as integration. DevOps gives teams the freedom to readily grow and adapt according to their changing requirements.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Openstack, etc. 

Databases

Version- or source-controlling database changes are the first and foremost step in introducing databases to the DevOps process. If your database changes and application code are in source control, you can have a working build anytime, you always have a version to roll back to, and you can maintain an audit trail. Database DevOps helps teams identify and streamline the application development and release process further by addressing a known bottleneck: database code changes.

PostgreSQL, Oracle, MariaDB, MySQL, Cassandra, RIAK, MongoDB, etc. 

Testing

Testing tools should provide integrated unit, performance, and security testing services. The objective should be end-to-end automation.

Jenkins, Bamboo, Gitlab, SonarQube, etc. 

Provisioning and change management

Tools to provision the platforms needed for deployment of the software, as well as monitor and log any changes occurring to the configuration, the data, or the software. These tools ensure that you can get the system back to a stable state, no matter what occurs. 

Pulumi, Vagrant, Terraform, Ansible, Chef, etc. 

Event processing and logging

Logging is a method of tracking and storing data to ensure application availability. It also allows for assessing the impact on performance. Monitoring is a diagnostic tool used for alerting DevOps to system-related issues by analyzing metrics.

ElasticSearch, Graylog, LogStash, Kibana, etc.

Orchestration

Orchestration tools are a type of software that can automate the configuration, coordination, integration, and data management processes on several applications and systems.

Heat, Terraform, CloudFormation, etc.

Monitoring, Alerting, and Incident Management Tools

They set up monitoring tools, alert systems, and runbooks that help each member know who to contact when an incident is detected and what to do next. They come together to share information, metrics, and lessons learned with a goal to continuously improve the resilience of their systems, as well as resolve future incidents quickly and efficiently.

Nagios, Icinga, Oracle Enterprise manager Cloud Control, Apache JMeter, Jaeger, Graphite, Grafana, Prometheus, etc.

To wrap it up…

DevOps is being exponentially adopted across various industries as it makes the delivery of software faster, highly automated, and seamlessly collaborative. Selecting the right DevOps toolchain is first and foremost about auditing your current software development and IT operations processes and deciding where you need to improve. 

Can we help you there?

As a trusted DevOps services provider company, ITGix helps organizations of all sizes reap the benefits of DevOps. We obtain substantial expertise with all high-profile technologies from extensive experience working on various cross-caliber projects. Our expert team brings unparalleled industry-specific, deep technical know-how across a range of DevOps tools and services to provide true value to your business. We help reduce costs by inducing better collaboration between development and operation teams and reducing the time-to-market. Moreover, we help you identify the right technology stack and tools that will best align with your governance and risk & compliance requirements.

You can benefit from our deep technical expertise and recommended DevOps best practices by contacting us today!

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