For years, ‘development teams’ and ‘operations teams’ have been separate in companies, which means that development teams would focus on building products, while operation teams would ensure that the code written by the development teams would stay running. However, this meant that it would be years before a company could push the next update on the market.
However, with DevOps, software companies are seeing a drastic shift in the way they not only develop their products but also how they test and deploy it. According to Research and Markets, DevOps is expected to reach $7.72 billion by 2021, a growth of 33% annually. Let’s get into what DevOps actually is.
What is DevOps?
The term ‘DevOps’ is increasingly becoming more common when it comes in today’s software industry and even now it is not yet fully understood or even properly defined. For many DevOps just means the combination of the Development and Operation teams, while for others it means automation in development and deployment. However, while both definitions are right, both are also equally limited.
DevOps is a set of cultural ideologies that focuses on breaking the silos that have been maintained in traditional software companies where the development and operations teams were two separate teams. It focuses on streamlining the processes between the two teams to ensure that they can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably.
DevOps brings together agile, continuous delivery, automation, and so much more to ensure that software teams are efficient, innovative and offer higher value to businesses and customers. While many companies believe that integrating DevOps might be as simple as combining the two teams and throwing automation into the mix, but unless they integrate DevOps efficiently, it simply just tends to be a huge messy salad!
These days integrating DevOps is no longer a matter of option, but rather time. Companies no longer have the option of not integrating Agile or DevOps if they want their businesses to survive. No wonder, with such a fast paced world, companies are now turning to DevOps specialists to help them integrate DevOps into their businesses as well.
There are three important pillars that you should consider while integrating DevOps for the Game Development Future:
Balance between Development and Operations – The main objective of DevOps is to combine the two teams to ensure that they are stronger together, but if you integrate both teams with predestined ideas, you are bound to hit a snag even before your business takes off. It is important to bring together the right people from the start to ensure that they understand the other team and actually work together to create a more streamlined process with a focus on the product and customers.
Tools and Automation – Since the main focus of DevOps is on efficient delivery of a quality product, you require a continuous feedback system that focuses on moving information back and forth, during which logging becomes a crucial step. There is where a number of tools and automation software can become helpful. Ensure you select the right software that makes collaboration across development, testing and deployment more efficient and also helps save a considerable amount of time.
Build Quality-driven Mindset – The main objective of DevOps is to create a synergy between faster delivery and quality product. The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) in DevOps requires fast software development, continuous testing, continuous deployment and continuous monitoring. This is where you can rule out manual testing and instead opt for test automation to weed out bugs at the development phase, instead of waiting for them to be pushed into the testing phase. In DevOps, it is important to emphasize on quality instead of simply shipping off buggy software.
DevOps Impacting Developers
While the hype around DevOps has been fairly recent, the foundation for it can be traced back to Puppet, which was introduced in 2005 – even before the term DevOps was coined. Ruby developer, Luke Kanies was tired of manually modifying Linux and configuration files by hand, wrote a Ruby script which did the hard work for him, which later evolved into Puppet. Other similar tools and software followed such as Ansible, SaltStack, Chef, etc. This grew further into communities and not long after, we had everything we needed for DevOps to take center stage.
These tools allowed developers to create their own self-contained, programmatic description of how to run an application. What would usually take days or even months could now be done automatically. Developers could now write and deploy their codes faster and this resulted in a shift in developer responsibilities. From being responsible for their own operational counterparts, developers became responsible for maintaining their own applications.
The shift from having to manually design and code every bit the software to creating a code that automates the processes for you gives developers more time to focus on actually brainstorming new features for their apps.
DevOps Impacting Operations
While DevOps saw roots with the developers, it has actually found more success among the operations. A major chuck of time before deployment was wasted post the code was already written, during the testing and deployment phase. System admins ideally have a more difficult job of having to ensure that the written codes continue working without creating problems in the system.
Before DevOps, the sysadmins and the operations team were responsible for keeping individual applications running at a large scale. They would be tasked with responsibilities such as maintaining and modifying databases and webservers, managing security, managing cache systems, setting up load balancers, etc.
With DevOps tools, sysadmins and the operations teams can now create more efficient ways of deploying, configuring and running servers using a few tools. The role of operations has now shifted from deploying and scaling individual applications to deploying and maintaining automated, on-demand application services such as a PaaS or a Linux cluster.
Growing Importance of CI and CD
Whenever you talk about DevOps, you cannot go without referring to the three cornerstones of DevOps – Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment. Let’s take a quick look at what they are.
Before the rise of DevOps, companies would offer updates yearly or even monthly, but now, they can offer updates weekly, daily or even multiple times a day. You can send minor updates to the app without annoying the users with pesky app update notifications – and this has changed the way we build and deploy software.
And this is exactly where you can find CI and CD. Continuous Integration includes combining the work of multiple developers into one repository, which allows early detection of bugs as well as makes it easier to keep track of who is working on what. Continuous Delivery reduces the friction points that are found in the deployment or release process. This includes automating the steps of build deployment so that safe code can be released at any moment. Finally, Continuous Deployment focuses on a higher degree of automation, in which a build/deployment occurs automatically whenever a major change is made to the code.
These three are bound to take a more prominent role in the future, when the sole focus of DevOps would be to streamline and make the process of development and deployment more seamless.
Future of DevOps
The introduction of DevOps revolutionized the process of software development and deployment and it is expected to continue on this trend in the future as well. Here are a few predictions to how DevOps will change things.
DevOps For Everyone – There is a huge misconception at the moment that DevOps is only reserved for the elite companies, but DevOps is actually suited for all types of software companies, both big and small. Companies will realize this soon enough and the in the future, we expect everyone to adopt DevOps into their businesses.
Popularity of microservices and containers – Microservices and containers are becoming the next best thing for DevOps, giving superior benefits for traditional PaaS (Platform as a Service) systems. More companies are expected to shift to microservices and containers for their products.
Big Data and DevOps Collaboration – Big Data is no longer far behind and together with DevOps, it is expected to take a step forward in automating the process of predictive analysis.
More Automation – DevOps and automation go hand-in-hand and the future is expected to see more automation out of the box. Tools for automation will become more common and more companies are expected to automate entire sections of their business.
Transparent Teams – DevOps allows a more collaborative approach at development and delivery and with more collaboration, we expect to see a more transparent approach at communication, with teams working together to find more efficient ways of creating software.
DevOps offers a lot of potential for the future, not just for the software community, but also across all streams of business. It won’t be long before DevOps is no longer a buzz word, because it will have become a norm for software companies around the world. A Forrester study shows, around 50% of the organizations questioned are interested in implementing and expanding their DevOps operations. What do you think? Do you agree DevOps is a game changer? Let us know in the comments section below!