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DevOps & Automation: Driving The Best Of Both Worlds

30-Jul-2021

DevOps & Automation: Driving The Best Of Both Worlds

Things change with time, and so do the requirements of the mobile and web users who need software technology to keep up with their day-to-day routine. However, this change in needs from time to time has made the technology sector go through a rapid transformation. However, the situation equally called for increased pressure on the development teams to create solutions that are made to deliver maximum performance, added functionality, and offer extensive uptime or availability to the customers in the market. 

Furthermore, the current trend for software development seems to be shifting towards cloud applications making software development a much intense process that leads to ongoing services. This theory overtook the traditional concept of building software for meeting some specific requirements of the users. Thanks to the agile approach that has made it easier for developers to work on such goals and align with the ever-evolving requirements of the users. 

However, the quicker development even called for a higher number of bugs, growing competition in features, and massive scope for improvement. And therefore, the software companies found the solution to such problems by embracing Agile, Scrum, and other methodologies that can help keep up the pace. 

Now, let’s get on to the most significant components of the software development process that makes it easier for software companies to meet their agile goals.  

“Yes, it is DevOps + Automation.” 

DevOps and Automation together have made organizations to simplify their development processes, making way for cross-department collaborations and, of course, automating the most consuming manual tasks with repetition. Cutting short, DevOps and Automation together lead to efficient Software Development Life Cycles.  

DevOps Automation 

DevOps Automation is the practice that allows automating repetitive tasks without human intervention while working on various phases of the DevOps cycle like Design, Development, Deployment, Release, and Monitoring. The purpose of DevOps automation is all about reducing the manual load and improve the time to market while offering benefits on faster DevOps management like: 

  • Fewer resource requirements 

  • Reduced chances of error 

  • Added productivity 

However, achieving these results needs you to interact with the right tools and configurations that can aid the automation process for necessary tasks. 

Standardization Achieved Through Automation 

The traditional approach to software development followed monolithic SDLC, which left no scope for flexibility and responsiveness when it comes to meet changing user requirements, technological evolution, market trends, compliance, and of course, internal business objectives. 

Moreover, each of these factors had its own constraints and dependencies, and therefore to address them in a timely fashion, DevOps routed to standardizing workflows, protocols, and metrics related to the process. This allowed automation to step into the picture and help overcome duplications and risks while working on project-specific guidelines. 

Above all, using standardized practices enhances the scope for automating the DevOps strategy while offering greater accuracy and more successful developments. 

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Understanding The Difference Between Adaptability and Standardization 

The present-day development operations have a special place for standardization. However, it is vital for developers to understand that standardization should never block adaptability when it comes to implementation.  

Especially when DevOps is evolving at a constant phase, organizations involved in software testing services have to align with different workflows and strategies. However, standardizing tools without considering the adaptability factor could lead to a conflict of practices. Also, the automation in DevOps should be made to meet the governance requirements related to flexibility on new requirements and technological improvements. 

However, the gap between adaptability and standardization could be worked by working on a mechanism that defines the use of technologies to streamline the DevOps process. For instance, DevOps teams could go for defining a standardized library of tools for development, deployment, testing, and review. This would help DevOps teams to vet any new tool requirements more quickly, improving the process of automation while widening the scope for DevOps. Such an approach would eventually lead to: 

  • Zero bottlenecks 

  • No communication gaps 

  • Improved sync between development, operations, and QA teams. 

  • Facilitated agility 

The Added Benefits Of Automation in DevOps 

Though it may appear like automation in DevOps could only help you yield performance benefits, there is a lot more it can do to improve your development strategy. Some of the additional benefits that it can offer to you include: 

Consistency 

Automation in DevOps allows you to get over any kind of development errors and overcome any behavioral issues. Moreover, the automated process allows developers to be consistent in eliminating errors and configure software for stable results. 

Scalability 

Automated processes are much easier to scale and allows you to meet the added process requirements. Moreover, scaling with manual operations is usually constrained to the availability of resources or testers in the team. On the other hand, an automated environment has to scale constraints only related to software and hardware resources which could be easily worked using a cloud-based testing environment. 

Speed 

Another good reason which makes DevOps and Automation collaboration worth the effort is the delivery requirements that need speed. Automated processes allow testing teams to overcome any delays and automate the process within a standard template for speedy deliveries. 

Flexibility 

Automation in DevOps offers all the flexibility that is required to work on the scope and functionality goals related to software development. Since functionality and scope-related requirements are more about meeting the end-goals related to a product, automation comes in handy to DevOps teams when they need flexibility as automation is always a more convenient option to follow than training any team members. 

What Needs To Be Automated In DevOps? 

Most of the time, DevOps teams have queries that need to specify any particular process which must be automated. However, the answer is simple! 

Anything that can be automated should be automated considering external factors like technological feasibility and organizational needs. However, it is entirely the responsibility of DevOps teams to identify and automate the ideal processes for the automation. Some common examples include: 

  1. CI/CD requirements with code commit to building and deployments within the test environment 
  2. Infrastructure management tasks that involve setup, configuration, and maintenance of networks and servers 
  3. To handle unit tests, UI tests, smoke tests, and user interaction tests 
  4. When it is vital to get track of infrastructure availability, performance, or security. 
  5. Log management to identify issues in applications while marking any issues in the software. 

Examples of Automation in DevOps 

  • To build a Jenkins pipeline for automating the software build process. 

  • Utilize automation framework for simulating user interactions and user experience testing. 

  • To work on intrusion detection and prevention with automation through configuring services like Snort and Suricata. 

Software for DevOps Automation 

When it comes to automation, there are a large number of software and tools that could help you aid your DevOps processes. The most common of them all is CI/CD tools, while there are certain configuration management tools like Puppet and Chef that are widely used by software testing service providers to work on deployment, infrastructure management, and automation of configurations. 

Besides this, if you have some focused requirements to follow for your DevOps pipeline, you can Docker or Kubernetes to work on your containerized applications, Git and CVS for source code management. Besides, you can work on security monitoring operations using Snort while Datadog could be used to meet your log management needs. However, it is necessary to pair the right tools in parallel to lead comprehensive automation with your DevOps project.  

The Crux 

When we say automation into DevOps, it is not about cutting all the human interactions. Rather it is an approach that helps to facilitate workflow efficiency and save the effort required to work on the DevOps lifecycle. 

Therefore, it is necessary that your automation task should be targeted to improve the performance and efficiency of your development project. Else, spending your resources on some vague automation tasks could lead you to depreciation in the returns.  

All in all, automation with DevOps should be initiated to create impactful solutions that can meet the quality assurance goals and help with frequent releases without any negative impact on the developers, organization, or the end-users. 

Good luck! 

Looking for some assistance on test automation services? We can help you lead your DevOps lifecycle towards a progressive future.  

Connect with our experts at BugRaptors, today

 

author

Munish Garg

Munish Garg, is a Senior Coordinator QA Engineer & Editor associated with BugRaptors. He’s extremely passionate about his profession. His forte in testing is API testing using tools like Rest Assured, Postman etc. He’s a great team player and loves to help everyone. In addition to testing, he’s also fond of writing code which he likes to implement in his domain. He also loves to read and travel to new places.

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