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DevOps brings together two important groups: those who create software (developers) and those who keep computer systems running smoothly (operations teams). The goal of DevOps is to make these two teams work together more effectively to make and update software faster and more reliably.

The DevOps market is projected to have a CAGR of 24.7% (that's a lot of CAGR!) between 2023 and 2030. DevOps practices are already commonplace in many organizations, and adoption is constantly growing.

DevOps implementation bridges the gap between developers and end-users, expediting the development cycle and elevating the caliber of final products.

If your SaaS organization hasn’t yet embraced the DevOps culture, this guide will help you implement DevOps tools and principles successfully. Let's get legendary!

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of practices and cultural philosophies that combine software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). Its primary goal is to shorten the software development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality.

DevOps achieves this by promoting better collaboration and communication between development and operations teams and automating the process of software integration, testing, deployment, and infrastructure changes.

This approach especially benefits DevOps startups aiming to produce stable, reliable, high-quality products with enhanced speed and efficiency.

Planning a Successful DevOps Implementation

Changing your development workflows can create significant upheaval. Proper planning prevents piss poor performance ... right? In this case, it's vital to achieving a smooth transition.

Assessing Your Current Infrastructure

Before you change your existing development practices, you must understand your current procedures and infrastructure.

Author's Tip

Author's Tip

Now is a good time to start looking at your codebase critically. Do you have a lot of technical debt? Is your code well-documented? Could an outsider come in today with a clean machine and install the correct dependencies, then build your software?

 

If not, put together that documentation and consider breaking down your legacy procedures to make them more flexible, agile, and compatible with a DevOps approach.

Discover how to deliver better software and systems in rapidly scaling environments.

Discover how to deliver better software and systems in rapidly scaling environments.

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Choosing the Right Tools and Technologies

A robust toolchain is vital to DevOps implementation. What are some of the best DevOps tools and software to consider?

Tool TypeTool Options
Versioning/collaborationSource code management tools and platforms like GitHub/Gitlab, Subversion, Mercurial, etc.
Containers and container orchestrationDocker, Kubernetes, etc.
TestingKatalon, Selenium, etc
MonitoringTools for monitoring the performance of your applications and web services, ideally with logging and alerting features
Tools and Technologies

Whether you use in-house scripts or third-party tools to automate deployment depends on the platforms you're deploying to. For example, Amazon offers AWS CodePipeline for easy cloud deployment.

When choosing your tools, consider what you’re already using for software development and what your developers are already familiar with. Avoid unnecessary code-switching or developing in-house workarounds to get tools to communicate with each other if there’s already an API available.

If you’re a smaller organization, you may think building by hand or monitoring your endpoints with occasional pings will get the job done. However, this manual approach won’t scale. Start testing your automation today so that you have robust systems in place as your operations grow.

DevOps Implementation Roadmap

Introducing effective DevOps implementation into your organization can't be done overnight. Planning, training, and testing are necessary to help your team understand and apply DevOps best practices.

The following roadmap may help you introduce DevOps concepts in your workplace.

DevOps Implementation Roadmap
Planning for DevOps- Examine current development processes and measure metrics such as deployment frequency, failure rates, and recovery time.
- Inventory your current tools (e.g., Git, Jenkins, AWS services).
- Identify project parts that can be spun off from the main codebase to test DevOps workflows.
Selecting Your Toolchain- Choose the right tools and technologies for your DevOps processes.
- Consider existing tools and developer familiarity to avoid unnecessary disruptions.
- Prioritize automation and integration capabilities for scalability developers.
Training Your Team- Train development and operations staff on both the technical aspects and the philosophy of DevOps.
- Cover essential skills like managing AWS instances and Docker containers.
- Address the challenges of adapting to new rapid-delivery cycles and continuous deployment tools.
Running Pilot Projects- Start with low-risk deployments as part of your DevOps strategy.
- Use smaller projects or microservices (e.g., an API endpoint) to test tools and processes.
- Gather feedback and iterate on the process.
Full-Scale Execution- Implement the refined procedures on a wider scale once confident in the pilot results.
- Ensure continuous feedback from stakeholders and the DevOps team.
- Apply the philosophy of continuous improvement to the entire development lifecycle.
DevOps Implementation Roadmap

Overcoming Common Challenges in DevOps Adoption

Change doesn't always come easily. Consider the following when introducing your team to DevOps practices.

Managing Change and Resistance

It’s normal for developers and managers to be nervous about more frequent deployments and faster delivery.

To highlight the benefits, focus on measurable DevOps metrics and emphasize how continuous testing can reduce the impact of human errors while helping your organization achieve its common goal of producing a quality software product.

A well-implemented DevOps program can help you produce a high-quality product with a shorter time-to-market, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing your development costs.

Ensuring Consistent Quality and Performance

Shorter development times and more frequent deployments don’t have to cause more bugs. Continuous integration tools and automated testing tools allow developers to receive near real-time feedback on the quality of their code.

Builds can be deployed to testing and then rolled out to a production environment once they’re proven to be stable. Because each build is smaller and version control systems are in place, it’s easy to roll back builds when an issue is found. In addition, tracing the root causes of any bugs is a more straightforward process because fewer things change in each build.

Integrating DevOps with Existing Processes

Transitioning to DevOps should be treated like migrating to the cloud. Start by containerizing and testing your applications in a staging area before implementing infrastructure automation tools such as Ansible or Kubernetes.

Containerizing applications makes them easy to deploy, saving you precious time for testers and quality assurance. Making larger changes to your infrastructure may be risky if you have complex legacy systems.

As the success stories of companies such as Ticketmaster and Capital One show, gradually breaking off core pieces of functionality into isolated microservices makes the transition to a DevOps methodology relatively low risk.

Katie sanders, The CTO Club

Measuring the Success of Your DevOps Implementation

Once your DevOps processes are in place, you must review their performance regularly and update them in response to critical metrics.

Key Metrics and Performance Indicators

Track key metrics such as:

  • Change rates
  • Failure rates
  • Successful deployments
  • Time to recover from failures
  • Application performance

In addition, more subjective measures, such as end-user satisfaction, should be considered. If you deliver stable new releases with often-requested functionality, your users will be happier, and your DevOps strategy will achieve your operational goals.

Continuous Improvement and Feedback Loops

DevOps aims to support iteration and continuous improvement, and your DevOps implementation strategy should be based on the same idea. As you interpret data on your development lifecycle, seek feedback from key stakeholders and solicit advice from senior DevOps engineers.

Each time you identify bottlenecks or issues, alter your processes or fine-tune your automation tools to optimize your workflow.

Is Your Workflow Efficient?

DevOps is an essential part of the Agile software development methodology, enabling faster application development, reducing downtime, and helping you deliver a better product for your end users.

The toolchain is not the only thing that makes the DevOps approach work so well; it also changes how people think and collaborate. Creating a culture of continuous development, where people aren’t afraid to deploy often and risk small failures, is also crucial.

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Katie Sanders
By Katie Sanders

As a data-driven content strategist, editor, writer, and community steward, Katie helps technical leaders win at work. Her 14 years of experience in the tech space makes her well-rounded to provide technical audiences with expert insights and practical advice through Q&As, Thought Leadership, Ebooks, etc.