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Demystifying DevOps in the Cloud 

devops in cloud

It’s no secret that each day, software development teams are always looking for better solutions, techniques, and approaches they can utilize to help them build and deploy class-leading tools.

The concept of DevOps has gone some way to helping teams achieve those goals and more. Nowadays, cloud technology allows businesses to take things further to facilitate effective communication, collaboration, and integration between teams.

If you’re new to the concept of DevOps, you’re probably wondering a) how it could work for an organization and b) how that organization can combine DevOps with the cloud to create a tailored and streamlined solution. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of business practices that relate to the development and deployment of software and electronic tools. DevOps is also a concept where electronic services and software applications get delivered at a fast pace.

The aim of DevOps is to shorten the development life cycle and create a continuous delivery method. DevOps allows companies to develop high-quality software where minor enhancements constantly get released instead of just a few big periodic software releases.

DevOps offers numerous advantages to businesses, such as application deployment automation, continuous integration and delivery options, agile frameworks, and speedy problem resolution.

One undeniable fact about DevOps is that it has gained significant traction in recent years. According to one recent study, 83% of IT decision-makers have implemented DevOps practices in their organizations.

What Isn’t DevOps?

Some business leaders and IT professionals assume that DevOps is all about automation. While that’s a part of the concept, it’s not the sole reason for more organizations implementing DevOps practices in their software and electronic tool deployments.

Another common misconception about DevOps is that it’s a software or even programming framework. DevOps is neither; it’s simply a methodology of achieving streamlined software delivery and deployment goals.

How Does DevOps Work?

When an organization uses the DevOps model for software development and deployment, the teams responsible for both operations typically merge to form one unit. Those teams will then use several DevOps processes, methods, or practices to deploy software successfully.

The following is an overview of the different DevOps practices available to teams and how they can help them:

Infrastructure as Code

IT infrastructure gets managed and provisioned through code and automation processes. The practice simplifies complicated IT infrastructures like databases and servers.

Orchestration

A practice that provides support for automated processes like resource provisioning. It’s a time-saving method of scaling resources and often incorporates automatic responses to any detected problems.

Configuration Management

Infrastructure will sometimes need adjustments or changes. Configuration management helps teams achieve those goals with comprehensive documentation on infrastructure and helps avoid configuration deviations across large server deployments.

Microservices

Microservices is the practice of splitting software into many smaller, modular chunks and using them as services. It’s a process that works best when combined with containerization. One report suggests 70% of firms will have at least two containerized applications by 2023.

Continuous Integration (CI)

The process of frequently merging small modular code through microservices, resulting in early bug detection and minimal effort to deploy maintained code into a production environment.

Build Automation

When it comes to quickly preparing code for deployment to a live environment, build automation assists with automated code preparation routines.

Continuous Deployment (CD)

After CI code gets checked and any bug fixes made, CD is the process of frequently deploying small code changes, resulting in a faster time to market and offering advantages like reliable code rollbacks.

Monitoring

Analytical performance data gets collected and helps detect problems and provide automated responses. It also allows for cross-team visibility.

How Does DevOps Work in the Cloud?

There’s no denying that cloud computing is more than a buzzword in today’s digital world; it offers organizations an essential infrastructure and virtually limitless and rapid scalability.

More companies are utilizing cloud technology to help with their DevOps efforts. One DevOps survey suggests up to 75% of companies questioned are running applications in the cloud using Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

But, how does DevOps work in the cloud? The technology offered by cloud service providers enables businesses to use a vast array of features and solutions that best suit their software needs.

They also provide DevOps teams with the tools they need to quickly and easily centralize deployments, increase or decrease resources, and, of course, automate various processes and practices.

DevOps cloud solutions also operate in a lightning-fast environment, saving organizations a lot of time and money when creating, testing, and deploying software.

DevOps in the Cloud: What Are the Benefits?

It’s plain to see that DevOps cloud solutions are ideal for achieving software goals in a controlled, scalable, and automated manner. The following details some of the benefits of adopting DevOps cloud solutions:

Centralized Work Platform

What happens when an organization uses a cloud provider like one of the three leading players in the market mentioned earlier? They end up with a centralized work platform that all team members can use for all DevOps processes.

A centralized work platform makes it easy to create code, test it, deploy it, monitor the software, and track changes.

Cloud-Based Automation

It’s an undeniable fact that automation is a core tool in the DevOps arsenal. Thankfully, most cloud platform providers offer DevOps users advanced tools to automate processes like CI and CD.

The tools available offer fast speeds, a consistent approach to automation, and demand less human input in each process.

Ease of Scalability

When you host your DevOps software projects in the cloud, one prerequisite you’ll have is the need to upscale or downscale any resources without prior notice. Cloud platforms offer such benefits without needing to spend lots of time and money making those changes.

DevOps teams can quickly try out new software features, functionality, and other opportunities as their business needs change or evolve.

Servers Provisioned Quickly

DevOps teams will almost always want to deploy new staging and testing servers regardless of a project’s specifics. Cloud platforms make it possible to get new servers provisioned quickly and easily.

That leaves those teams free to continue working on their projects as they wait for their new servers to go online, typically within the space of a few minutes.

Superior Reliability

Last but not least, DevOps teams and organizations don’t need to concern themselves with reliability issues. Cloud providers focus their efforts on uptime and stability, and they take care of all physical infrastructure management and maintenance tasks.

That leaves DevOps teams free to focus on what matters most: building class-leading software they can create, test, and deploy with ease.

Best Practices for DevOps in the Cloud

The sad truth about DevOps cloud projects is how most people aren’t using the cloud to its full potential for their organizations. Did you know that only 20% of organizations typically use the cloud to its full potential?

With that in mind, it makes sense for DevOps teams to follow some best practices before working on any new cloud-based projects. The following gives some leading examples to consider:

Pay Attention to Security

While cloud platforms offer a secure environment for DevOps projects, that doesn’t automatically make those projects hacker-proof.

Cybersecurity is a subject all DevOps teams need to prioritize, especially with IoT applications and anything that goes online. According to one survey, 39% of respondents cited security as a primary concern for developing IoT solutions.

Work With the Right Tools

Cloud platforms offer a whole host of tools that DevOps teams can have at their disposal. The thing is, only some of those tools will be relevant or useful.

Finding and leveraging the best ones is crucial when working with DevOps cloud projects. When the right tools get chosen, they can get used on both public and private clouds.

Ensure Your Infrastructure Is Fit for Purpose

It goes without saying there needs to be a strong element of organization in a DevOps project, and team members must work together to create a standardized methodology.

Otherwise, some people - especially new hires - can find it confusing when faced with cryptic folder names or undocumented code. DevOps teams must also ensure their cloud infrastructure offers the resources they need to accomplish their goals.

Stress-Test Your Cloud Deployments

One common failing of many DevOps teams forgets to stress-test their cloud deployments. As a result, people like users or customers face bugs or other annoyances that ruin the software experience.

DevOps cloud projects must always get stress-tested to ensure that the software performs as expected even under unusual loads.

Containers Help You Compartmentalize Your Applications

Containers are great for compartmentalizing software applications, and it’s something all DevOps teams should use to their advantage. When using containers, DevOps teams can minimize the impact of their work on other services or technology.

Commit to Ongoing Training

Finally, ongoing DevOps training is something that organizations should commit to doing if they are serious about creating best-of-breed DevOps software solutions. Continuous learning ensures that new hires and seasoned team members all work from the same page.

In Closing

DevOps and the cloud offer organizations massive potential for saving time and money on their future software endeavors. Investing in the right technology, skills, and training will result in successful outcomes.

Get started with DevOps training.

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