How DevOps and Cloud Can Increase Developer Efficiency
As cloud technologies become more pervasive, popular, and varied, enterprises and developers are utilizing it for efficiency and DevOps implementation.
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The secret behind the popularity of cloud computing is its speed and ability to scale, which, based on its popularity, isn’t even really a secret anymore. It’s fast to onboard, readily available and, thanks to its elasticity, organizations can get the capacity they need whenever it’s required. The costs incurred are concrete and incremental; in comparison with internal infrastructure, where there are high capital costs up front, it is clear that there’s a huge value in adopting cloud. There is also the added convenience of being able to add services through an interconnected structure – IT teams can buy disaster recovery and add it to their stack without a second thought.
The DevOps world, in particular, is one that is increasingly noticing the benefits of cloud adoption. Implementing cloud technology in an organization that uses DevOps can lead to increased productivity and efficiency for developers, by automating processes such as building and managing code, and increasing delivery speeds.
Of course, cloud has potential drawbacks for any business area, not just DevOps, including how operational oversight may be restricted. Organizations still need to be able to adhere to compliance and provide transparency, so the aim is to keep those who are responsible involved as much as possible. While this is very manageable since the introduction of stricter regulations – such as GDPR in the EU – IT teams need to ensure that their cloud-based infrastructure is as secure as possible to meet these requirements.
The Next Step in The Cloud Is Serverless
One of the hottest trends of the moment for developers is serverless. Though still in its infancy, it is the natural evolution of microservices, and it addresses the main drawback of cloud-based computing: costs. Organizations only pay for what they use, and being able to scale up and/or down is implicit. Having this control over cost is a game changer, and many organizations will soon be getting a "top-down" push to move architectures in this direction.
With serverless, developers no longer have to worry about servers, infrastructure, capacity, scaling, or availability – they can just focus on their application’s business logic. The basic experience for developers is ideal, given that serverless provides the ability to write code easily on laptops or in a browser. After that, the rest of the development experience can be 100% cloud-based, with the choice of instant deployment if that is what’s wanted. Although the technology still has to develop further, as more and more companies invest in that direction to assist their DevOps teams, there will be visible growth and maturity.
Reap the Time and Cost Benefits
This move to serverless provides a couple of specific benefits that will make things significantly easier for developers.
In today’s cloud-focused world, any time spent on tools that are based on-premises is taking away time from writing code – which should always be a priority. Almost every vendor has a solution in the cloud or is exclusively based in the cloud, from project and issue tracking, operations management, build, CI, artifactory, analytics and value stream management. All growth is in the cloud direction for tools, especially as everything else moves there, so developers should jump on the bandwagon and take back some of their time for their primary objectives.
Another key advantage of working in the cloud is that the major platform providers support the latest technology trends including AI, analytics, and machine learning. The most advanced DevOps teams may already be taking advantage of these bleeding edge technologies that are already supported in the cloud, but many more will be looking to embrace these in the coming months and years. Without embracing cloud in general, developers will struggle with many more cost barriers to entry.
For example, transitioning to containers is made significantly easier with cloud. You can simply interconnect any data hosted in the cloud with that platform’s support of containers – no infrastructure setup needed and no learning curve for administrators of the technology. Simply code and ship. Alongside unified management – monitoring, utilization, and logging – the ease of adoption of new technology will ultimately save the business money.
Don’t Stress About Security
With any cloud service implementation comes the need for good security, and even more so now with the recent implementation of data protection regulations like GDPR. However, many organizations using cloud may have found that less has changed since these compliance laws came into effect than they had previously predicted. Companies have already been subject to frequent security reviews where they are required to prove that they protect personal data through technology, so the impact for many has been less noticeable in terms of changing or upgrading the security already in place.
For developers, and particularly those that are less confident in their existing security, there is already a wealth of guidance on best practices for developing and storing applications in the cloud. DevSecOps promotes the idea that security should be integrated at every stage of the development process, and existing guidelines include factors for monitoring, encryption, network security, incident response, and application security. For a vendor that targets its cloud-based solutions at large enterprises, there are also compulsory requirements to pass through these security reviews.
The threat landscape is constantly changing. The customer expectation of security in this is related to a company’s capability to react to new and unknown threats. How long does it take to roll out a patch or security update in a release pipeline? Does releasing a patch put the company at an unforeseen risk of other bugs or security holes being found?
Being secure isn’t a destination, but rather a journey of continual improvement and evolution. But as long as DevOps teams in organizations bear this in mind, and are committed to maintaining a secure cloud environment, they will be able to manage any cloud platform they choose to adopt – serverless or more traditional – and benefit from the increasing developments that the cloud is bringing to organizations year on year.
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