Answered! The most commonly asked questions about the DevOps process

Ask someone about DevOps and you’re bound to get varied answers, from a culture shift to improvements in software delivery and maintenance and performance. But the truth is, the DevOps process is extremely hard to understand. There is a great deal of misinformation surrounding the subject that makes it difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction.

However, the industry has no option but to tackle this challenge head-on and navigate through tons of poor literature to find the answers to their DevOps questions. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions and answered them in one place for your benefit.

What are the most effective DevOps techniques?

For achieving smooth operation and effective collaboration goals, these practices are usually adopted:

  • Every stakeholder — from testers to staff, operations to developers — needs to participate honestly and openly.
  • Every code — Ops scripts, application code, test scripts — has a one-version control system that can be accessed by every stakeholder.
  • Quick, minor, and straightforward changes.
  • Upholding the consumer code at all costs.
  • Setting up automated tests and builds.
  • If failure is unavoidable, make sure it happens quickly and regularly.
  • Continuous integration (CI) needs to be implemented.
  • The same binaries must be deployed across all environments, from integration to development, production to staging.
  • Uninterrupted deployment from a specific sandbox environment to the other until the production environment.
  • Simple, effective rollback provisions.
  • Constant app monitoring and infrastructure monitoring.
  • Usage of automated dashboard to acquire real-time information about the governance team of the organization.

What is the main reason for enterprises to shift to DevOps?

A company cannot afford to fall behind in the cutthroat industry climate. To retain a competitive edge, enterprises must fully embrace new tech and DevOps methodologies to hasten innovations. The development window is reduced considerably thanks to Agile development, but not deployment.

Post-development tasks normally take a long time and delay the process of providing new business functionality to the users. But DevOps switches the focus of the Agile team on collaboration and communication between the operations and development team, resulting in faster feedback from the customers.

What are the prevalent myths concerning DevOps?

DevOps process
Flickr / Clay Loveless

There are various rumors and myths regarding DevOps in the industry. Some of the most frequently heard ones include:

  • DevOps is basically the adoption of tools.
  • For DevOps, 10 deployments are a must every day.
  • There is no difference between continuous delivery and DevOps.
  • The entire focus of DevOps is on automation.
  • Only web companies are meant to use continuous delivery.

Do not believe any of these!

Who should be involved in DevOps within the organization?

Despite being a major part of the IT department, DevOps implementation requires the culture to be adopted throughout the whole company. If a business wishes to harness the full potential of DevOps, the heads of department, the CEO, and the operations and development teams need to collaborate with one another.

Keep in mind that the final goal of DevOps is to allow businesses to become more competitive in the current digital transformation era. Thus, DevOps is indispensable for stakeholders and requires their support and buy-in to truly find success. Actual DevOps will not be achievable unless it gets implemented throughout the company.

Must a security person be present in the DevOps process?

DevOps process

In the whole DevOps process, security needs to be a first-class citizen. Unfortunately, it is often neglected. Security is a major concern and having a security expert in the DevOps process is a good idea right from the start.

A member of operations or a developer cannot be expected to make the proper security decisions for a particular project. Should your business be worried about security, there will be room for a full-time role related to privacy or security.

Your operations professional or developer must have a thorough knowledge of the following subjects:

  • Threat vectors
  • Authorization
  • Authentication
  • Data privacy
  • CVEs
  • Security standards compliance
  • Package security
  • Intrusion detection

Is DevOps the right choice for small businesses on a budget?

DevOps process

In a word, yes! Contrary to popular belief, smaller organizations can benefit greatly from adopting a DevOps solution. Why? Because it allows them to scale up during growth and act more competitive.

Moreover, there are no big or complex investments needed for DevOps, which means cost-effectiveness isn’t a concern. DevOps actually aids both big and small companies equally. In bigger enterprises, however, individual departments might try to implement DevOps by themselves, thereby forming a fragmented landscape.

In contrast, smaller organizations can implement DevOps without hassle in their central business structure before opting to roll out to other parts of the company. So, the advantages can be availed faster, making DevOps a low-cost solution.

What is likely to go wrong with the DevOps rollout?

Ideally, nothing. The DevOps rollout is normally automated and based on tried-and-tested deployments. Thus, if any mishap occurs, it could be that the CD code has not been defined properly. Companies try to decrease the effort required by incorporating infrastructure/orchestration management tooling that reduces the chances of any problems.

Why are testers necessary for DevOps?

DevOps involves providing quality services and applications at high velocity. Once the software gets deployed rapidly, quality often risks being compromised. Thus, testing must be done everywhere and must be conducted by everyone. Software testing mindset and practices are a key aspect of DevOps. Testers must be kept in the loop at the time of software delivery process, from conception to production monitoring. The company should preferably implement a DevOps-centric quality analysis strategy as well as continuous testing to become a key aspect of the delivery chain. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) holds very little meaning without continuous testing. Some major roles of DevOps quality analysis include:

  • UX design validation
  • DevOps-centric testing strategy for development
  • Nonfunctional testing such as security and performance
  • Test automation integration in the CI/CD toolkit
  • Test automation suite development for different environment

Reap the advantages

A lot of companies think the DevOps process is to be too good to be true. However, successful implementation of DevOps within the organization and proper cooperation between the different teams can help them reap the advantages of adoption.

Featured image: Flickr / Matt Moor

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