Enabling CI/CD to Maximize the Potential of DevOps
Software-defined storage is a vital component of a successful DevOps program, which has the potential to unleash greater productivity and competitive advantage.
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Enterprises have been moving away from conveyor belt-style project delivery with hardware and software resource planning, ordering, and integration. Instead, they’re taking advantage of increasingly flexible cloud resources combined with DevOps. This methodology provides a way to address the question, "If we can provision resources quickly and easily, how can we complete entire projects with similar responsiveness?" The goal is to make better-quality software quicker and more easily.
With the DevOps approach, structured communication still takes place, but in an iterative, incremental fashion, much like polishing a jewel. Instead of lofty goals set in the somewhat distant future, practical solutions can be created, deployed, and adjusted. The process gets applications in the hands of end-users far sooner, smooths any rough edges using actual user feedback, and helps organizations not only become more responsive to changing needs but also make much more efficient use of valuable software development and operations resources.
The Need for A Culture Shift
The shift to DevOps may be difficult; it’s a significant culture change. However, both development and operations teams have some "pain points" that help motivate them to work together more dynamically.
Ops (operations) are dealing with delays in their maintenance and cost-reduction projects, as well as challenges with hardware resource planning. Ops also has insights into new features, efficiencies, and integrations, but with no way to implement them.
The Dev (development) function is trying to ensure greater acceptance of new applications, deliver more timely solutions and use its resources more efficiently.
When legacy, waterfall-style processes make communication and implementation difficult, these and other pain points arise. Creating a new flow between the two teams helps to reduce the pain points.
DevOps is an approach aimed at making software development more efficient; it’s a framework rather than being tied to a specific technology. Containerization narrows the gap between development and IT Ops to a minimum. Containers are a great tool for enabling DevOps workflows and simplifying the pipeline. Containers hold the code and dependencies required to run an application and reside in isolation. This enables teams to develop, test and deploy apps inside these closed environments. And this doesn’t affect different parts of the delivery, making the lives of testers and developers a lot easier.
The underlying principle of DevOps is that it lays the foundation for automating processes to build, test, and code faster and reliably. Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) isn’t a novel concept, but tools like Jenkins have done much to define what a CI/CD pipeline should look like. While DevOps represents a cultural change in the organization, CI/CD is the core engine that drives the success of DevOps.
In a continuous delivery situation, teams have to apply changes that are smaller more frequently, but they check the code with the version control repositories. Therefore, there is a lot more consistency in the building, packing, and testing of apps, leading to better collaboration and software quality. CD begins at the tail of CI. Since teams work on several environments (prod, dev, test, etc.), the role of CD is to automate code deployment to these environments and execute service calls to databases and servers.
The idea of CI/CD has been around for a while, but until recently it’s been more of a goal than a reality. It’s only now that we have the right tools to fully reap the benefits of CI/CD. Containers make it extremely easy to implement a CI/CD pipeline and enable a much more collaborative culture. Containers are very lightweight and can scale endlessly, run in any environment, and are very flexible.
Instead of moving code among various VMs in different environments, it’s now possible to move code across containers — or container clusters, as is the case with Kubernetes. VMs are static and monolithic application architecture, whereas containers are on a distributed microservices model. This opens doors to new benefits when it comes to elasticity, high availability, and resource usage.
Using the DevOps model, members of the team can share the state of the art with their peers, feeding their knowledge and experience into the evolving process. Development teams can put the new resources to use, taking advantage of technologies such as containers and Kubernetes to architect solutions. Working together, this cooperation lets ops run with the solution, scale it, distribute and upgrade efficiently without delay.
The Whole DevOps Package
DevOps methodology has brought rapid iteration into the development lifecycle. It requires a rethinking of processes and a shift in culture, but these are worthwhile to realize the goal of CI/CD — which is what creates success in DevOps. Containers and other new tools help organizations maximize their CI/CD, and data storage provides the foundation for a dynamic DevOps environment. Data storage is needed for essential availability and reliability features like failover and disaster recovery. For DevOps, software-defined storage flexibly meets these needs. It’s a vital component of a successful DevOps program, which has the potential to unleash greater productivity and competitive advantage.
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