In a world where the skill gap between software developers and IT engineers is increasing at an alarming rate bringing down productivity and efficiency, DevOps emerged as a saviour and bridged the gap between the two silos. This comes at a time when automation has created a fast-paced market with new deployments occurring by the second. DevOps is not a technology used to transform productivity rates, it is rather a strategy to ensure better synchronisation between the ‘Dev’elopers’ and ‘Op’erations team.
DevOps would not have taken off if the current market scenario did not depend on software development. Additionally, DevOps relies heavily on some sequential steps, which go all the way from software development to its release, which makes the need for automation in the domain a growing need. Automation in DevOps starts right from the product planning stage, where the Devs and the Ops need to work with each other to produce the output required by both: customer satisfaction.
DevOps Automation incorporates elements from an entire spectrum of automated assistance. Any application defines its viability by its run time. Auto Scaling, a method used in cloud computing, enhances the application’s run time by using only the required amount of computational resources, i.e. ‘scaling’ them up or down as required. But that is not possible if the code is not suited to its purpose. This brings in Code Quality Integration, through which the resultant is the combination of quality code with the consumer’s needs. This code produced requires a lot of management. Starting with Version Control Management wherein a ‘database’ is created to recall older versions to keep track of all modifications made to the software. A proper database is needed to incorporate new team members and keep efficiency in place. Each new version requires efficient management throughout its life cycle called Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).
The life-cycle of code begins the moment its planning starts. That is followed by its building, testing and release. The Operations team then takes over by releasing the code and continues monitoring it. In short, ALM governs the changes, modifications and development of the code produced. Now, all codes need proper infrastructure and software configuration to avoid any future issues. These are tackled by Infrastructure and Software Configuration Management respectively. Any change required in the software follows only after some amount of balance is maintained between the Devs and the Ops.
This comes under Change Management. But any change can produce defects, and these defects can hinder the working of a program. Defect Management takes over in this scenario and paves the path for the seamless working of the produced software. This seamless working can be more efficient if the application can go through its entire runtime without any external aids. This is guaranteed by Auto Deployment Management which is an important aspect as most applications run on their own without any hindrances. This deployment depends on how the application is built. A well-built application will not cause problems, will run systematically and, overall achieve the target it is supposed to. The build, too, needs to be automatic and in any case, Build Automation takes care of the same. It provides better productivity and adaptable code.
Now, even if such an ideal application is created, the big question is ‘How big is it?’ Any honest consumer would agree to the fact that a big application can be a nuisance for most as it can take a longer time to deploy than its tinier counterparts. This brings in Binary Storage Management, which as the name suggest reduces the clutter and optimises the space being consumed. If all goes well, one will move on to focus upon the time consumed to complete the application. New features and products need to be rolled out as quick as possible to reduce the competition faced by them. Here, Deployment Promotion guarantees there is a visible reduction in production time. With a successful product deployed on time, it requires continuous adjustments to better work with the scenario it is built for. These changes come under Continuous Integration which aids in keeping the code up-to-date by merging it with the previous ones stored in a central memory unit.
In the end, we come to Reporting and Log Management. All failures, production concerns, modifications, and frequency of new rollouts need thorough investigation and documentation. Reporting of such elements helps better the service of a company and maintaining a log for the same keeps a track of past events, including failures, and deciphers the next steps to be taken.
The above mentioned covers most aspects of the automation of DevOps. But how much automation is too much? That depends on what the application is built for. A well-managed company knows its automation needs and not to get too dependent on computers for basic tasks. A human touch in each area is substantial when seen from a broader perspective. After all, products are being built for humans, not for emotionless machines.