Devops practices are all about automation, cicd, security and monitoring. In this blog post, we will discuss the five key components of a successful devops practice!
This is probably the most critical aspect of a successfully DevOps practice. Automation enables you to improve the efficiency of your changes and reduce the chances of human error. Many tools enable you to use automation; however, in this instance, we want to focus on the automation that acts as a glue in your DevOps practice. These tools help you integrate multiple tools and automate workflows for both developers and infrastructure engineers. These tools fall under the category of infrastructure as code tools.
Infrastructure as code
With IaC, developers and system administrators can use powerful automation tools to speed up their workflows. For example, automation can spin up new instances or scale up existing ones in response to changes in traffic or customer demand. Developers can also create templates for frequently used configurations to quickly deploy complex applications from pipelines or based on events.
The infrastructure as a code tool reads the configuration files and creates the infrastructure based on the configuration file. These tools are state machines; this is important because when you need to make changes to the infrastructure, you need to understand how these changes happen on the cloud vendor.
Infrastructure as code can be integrated into software development pipelines to automate the deployment of new versions and provision short-term environments.
The automation of IaC also makes it much easier to manage and audit infrastructure. This is especially important for cloud-based applications, which rely on multiple services and resources that can easily become out of sync or outdated. With automation, you can ensure that all your infrastructure is up-to-date and secure.
Pipelines are similar to infrastructure as code, but instead of focusing on automation infrastructure provisioning, they are responsible for building, testing and deploying software. CICD pipelines enable DevOps teams to automate the developer experience so that software developers have more time to focus on building great software. Most good CICD platforms provide pipeline configurations that can be embedded in a repository, and once imported into the CICD server; they can automatically build your source code.
These automation tools also can be stored in version control so that any changes can be tracked. This is critical for managing change management processes and ensuring that any changes don’t have unintended consequences.
Automation is important as part of a DevOps practice because it enables an organisation to improve the quality of software while integrating the outcomes from a variety of teams into the final software product.
Monitoring ensures that all components of the system are running and performing optimally. By monitoring your systems, you can quickly identify issues within your application stack such as latency, errors or failures. This feedback loop helps you improve the software faster with less manual intervention.
In addition to monitoring the applications, monitoring also paves the way for automation. For example, automation can trigger the scale-up process if traffic increases past a threshold. The scale-up process can consist of adding new servers to the group.
Monitoring can also identify bad actors in your infrastructure, and detecting anomalies can significantly improve security. There are several monitoring tools out there. This market has a vibrant ecosystem of software-as-a-service tools like Datadog, Sentry, SumoLogic, and Splunk, as well as open-source tools like Grafana and ElasticSearch. Cloud vendors like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud also provide monitoring services that are already integrated with your infrastructure.
Security has never been this convenient, and as a result, it is the biggest beneficiary of a DevOps strategy. Automation and infrastructure as code tools enable engineers to embed security at all levels in their applications. The most important components of DevOps security are that all infrastructure has integrated security, like role-based access to any dependencies.
Separation of concern
If a resource doesn’t need access to another resource, it should not be able to access it. Not to be confused with the principle of least privilege, this one is mostly about software architecture. Separation of concern can apply to using shared databases or using the same servers for hosting multiple software products. The concepts also have parallels to infrastructure services on cloud platforms, where isolation is an important security principle.
Principle of least privilege
There is a segmentation of roles to avoid any role being too overpowered. This essentially means splitting roles by activity, for example, a read-role, or write-role for a database as opposed to a read-write role. Another way to look at this is if an application needs to read a configuration in a database, don’t give it write access. This concept is called the separation of concerns.
Continuous Integration and Delivery
Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) are the automation of software development so that any changes to the codebase are tested and deployed quickly. They provide the automation to move from a manual release process to a more automated one.
This automation eases communication between different teams in an organisation and ensures everybody has access to the most up-to-date code version. It also allows for automated testing, which helps to catch bugs earlier in the development process and eliminates manual steps like increasing build time and deployment processes.
The automation created by CI/CD ensures that changes are quickly propagated across systems and applications, leading to a faster release cycle with fewer errors. It is, therefore, essential that automation be carefully configured and managed.
In conclusion, automation, monitoring, security, continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) are the critical components of a successful DevOps practice. Automation is key to ensuring that developers have productive developer experience and DevOps engineers can create infrastructure fast with less complex change management. Security must also be integrated into automation to ensure that resources have limited access. With the right automation, development teams can work together more efficiently and deploy applications faster in a secure environment.
What do you think? Let me know on Twitter.