Software development is a dynamic process and requires thorough attention. In the past decade or so, not a lot has changed where software development roles are concerned but there has been an introduction of a specialized deployment cycle which needs to be discussed in detail. Better termed as DevOps, this is one aspect that handles development and operations while building an agile relationship between IT and software development.
In simpler terms, it needs to be understood that operationalizing code deployment has changed over the years and we will soon be discussing the existing ramifications— synonymous to the customer systems and working environments.
The Existence of Continuous Release Cycles
Previously, developers would need to write extensive code for developing something revolutionary. The recent fate of release cycles allows agile and iterative developments. This is how codes can be created faster than usual. Building any software is now easy with developers opting for continuous integration via the constructed servers.
This approach updates the code once the developer checks into the system. Once the code is created, one needs to take care of the infrastructure— courtesy of the configuration management hierarchy. The entire process can be automated and most app developers are already making use of this approach or rather version of the release cycle. The concept of automation has been implemented by the likes of kik messenger and WhatsApp, which thrive on the flexibility of registration databases— catering even to the desktop users.
Modern day release cycles have been modified and now a software need not be recreated every year as one can just automate code upgrades via dedicated databases. The lines have blurred as the process of writing software codes, testing them, and finally, implementation have converged into a single entity.
Previously, developers dedicated a minimum of five percent efforts to the aspect of deployment. While these yielded results, the costs were pretty high in the long run. Newer software development anatomy urges developers to reduce that by four percent— in order to strike the perfect balance between productivity and output.
DevOps professionals are leveraging the same tool for deployment, but things have certainly changed when it comes to batch files, virtualization concepts, and even scripting languages. As mentioned previously, most of the skill sets have readily converged into a concrete sphere which in turn makes code deployment easier and more optimized.
Containers and Virtualization
It is important for us to understand why virtualization became such a popular approach towards handling software development cycles. This strategy actually involves shrinking physical servers into something usable. Be it Microsoft or Amazon, virtual servers are the new sets of provisions offered by these companies.
The concept of virtualization is synonymous to the IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, which actually cuts down the need of physical pieces of usable hardware. In addition to that, scripting the entire process is also important for rebuilding test environments. Lastly, virtualization assists with teardowns and allows the code being tested in unaltered sets of conditions.
That said, the introduction of containers to the software cycle reduces the memory footprints associated with virtualization. The likes of Docker are pretty light, as compared to virtual servers without containers added into the mix. Using containers and virtual servers therefore allows seamless integrations, operations, and development.
Understanding The Skill Sets Involved
Similar to the deployment roles, DevOps professionals need to handle multiple tasks in order to understand how the containers work in an unaltered set of circumstances. Apart from that, it is necessary for them to work with the concepts of networking, virtualization, prerequisites management and other similar errands.
More often than not, constraining the associated skills is also important for the growth of a software development cycle. DevOps professionals need to show up with diverse skill sets while being able to deploy, build and synchronize containers associated with virtual servers.
This aspect also involves draining the existing connections and rehydrating them along with the newer servers.
The Existing Situation
DevOps might sound like an interesting concept, but the adoption rate is still under scrutiny. To begin with, the truce between software development and information technology sounds like a misunderstood concept, to say the least. As the DevOps moniker popularizes, it becomes all the more important for industries to realize its importance.
The idea, going into the future, is to embrace the essential tools and ignore the ones which aren’t important. Tooling, which is an inseparable part of DevOps operations, is getting better. However, this is still a knowledge-specific sector and the burden isn’t going to reduce anytime soon. DevOps requires high skill sets and it is nearly impossible for professionals to bargain with the requirements.
If we are to look at the brighter, darker, and even the darkest sides of DevOps— it would be advisable to read on.
As mentioned previously, tooling has improved beyond imagination with the growth of DevOps. However, the flipside involves the investments associated with the same as continuous integration is certainly a tough nut to crack. Needless to say, DevOps requires massive skill sets and the knowledge required to be even accountable is ever growing. Therefore, it can get extremely frustrating to maintain the highest possible learning state at all times.
Lastly, we need to understand the darkest side of DevOps operations as the deployment cycle needs to be refined constantly, regardless of the time frame. Even the smallest possible changes in the existing environment should be addressed immediately.
Understanding software development cycles was way easier in the past, with deployment being a pertinent yet boring aspect of release cycles. However, the arrival of DevOps has taken every developer by surprise and the skilled ones are actually perceiving this as a wild ride— full of excitement and rewarding perks.
Then again, the skill sets need to be higher than usual and developers need to be ready for the occasional challenges on the way to glory.