With the emerging trends in technology, consumers using digital products always look for upgrades or enhancements in their already existing features. And the companies are endowed with a greater responsibility to make sure that their products are capable of accommodating various new improvements and managing the stability of the application. For example, in early 2016, Facebook converted the “Like” feature in their application to a multifunctional “React” button after an extensive community of users requested the same. While this change required intense planning and testing, the feature was rolled out to users without any application downtime.
To tackle the challenge of managing new changes, many enterprises with their signature products have migrated to DevOps culture to streamline their IT Infrastructure by introducing continuous & automated deployment without compromising the stability of the application.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a Software Engineering practice that is a combination of a specific set of tools and methods that aims at unifying Software Development and Operations to serve the customers better and keep up with the ever-changing trends in Technology. Instead of using an independent server for an application where the code integration and enhancements are done manually, DevOps enables the developers to build a microservice-based architecture that is more stable, risk-free, and scalable.
For instance, consider the Amazon website which is readily available 24×7 use. However, there will always be an application enhancement or code fix happening in the backend which the user would never notice since the site is available on-demand. To incorporate such frequent changes and improvements into an application that is being used by millions of users worldwide, developers often look for a more automated and scalable method that does not hinder the stability of the application at any given time. The DevOps method helps where the entire build and deployment process is automated.
Essential Aspects of Infrastructure Management Using DevOps
Be it a startup or an enterprise, managing the IT Infrastructure becomes tedious as the business starts to grow. DevOps introduces specific best practices into the organization to make Infrastructure Management a more straightforward task.
Best Practices of DevOps
The main advantage of using DevOps practice is that each functionality of an application is separately built as microservices which are then hosted on different instances. Having modeled for a sole purpose, these microservices interact with one other using custom-made APIs enabling the smooth functioning of the application. Using microservices, one can build a more scalable application that is available on-demand for the users and is capable of accommodating frequent changes without compromising stability.
The microservices-based architecture replaces the method of hosting a cluster of services on a separate application server which often requires more maintenance. Instead of subjecting every code change & enhancement through a specific set of procedures that usually requires application downtime, microservices allow the developers to deploy code change and improvement more frequently.
Continuous Integration & Delivery
Using DevOps practice and the associated tools, developers can automate the entire release process from code building, and testing, to code deployment. The developers can check their code changes in a central repository, and the service associated with continuous integration automatically creates a build file after each code revision before subjecting it to an optional unit test that identifies errors. The continuous delivery helps in deploying the build file automatically in the staging environment and requires manual intervention for deploying in live production. DevOps eliminates most of the manual intervention that is often required during production deployment.
A Centralised Storage
DevOps enables the usage of central storage such as Amazon S3 using which the custom build APIs can access data anytime. Using a central repository reduces the risk of data loss by retaining all the information even if the application fails. Also, the data is stored as objects which are readily available for the application interface to access. We no longer have to depend on a particular application server and make copies of the relevant data during deployment.
Monitoring & Logging
As far as an application is concerned, there is always room for improvement. Monitoring and Logging become essential aspects of DevOps using which the end-user experience can be monitored and recorded for viable improvements. Using tools such as CloudWatch provides useful insights into the performance, tracks possible bugs and errors, and determines the stability of the application as the consumer base increases.