As software development becomes more demanding and competitive, teams strive to deliver high-quality applications as quickly and efficiently as possible. DevOps automation makes this goal achievable by promoting collaboration between development and operations teams, reducing manual tasks, and streamlining processes.
In this guide, we take a closer look at what DevOps automation is. We’ll also discuss its benefits, best practices, software that can help you implement it, and more.
What is DevOps?
As the name suggests, DevOps combines the Development (Dev) and IT Operations (Ops) phases of the software development lifecycle into a single workflow. With DevOps, teams can take advantage of better collaboration, shared responsibilities, feedback loops, task and process automation, and more. To accelerate development and release high quality software faster.
What is DevOps Automation?
DevOps automation refers to the practice of automating manual, repetitive tasks and processes throughout the software development lifecycle using various methodologies and tools.
Why is automation so important for DevOps? Because it automates manual, repetitive tasks, allowing DevOps teams to focus more on creativity, strategy, and collaboration. Automation promotes continuity in the process, enabling teams to quickly identify and resolve issues, resulting in higher code quality and more reliable software releases. DevOps automation also enables continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), resulting in smoother, more frequent deployments and shorter time-to-market, giving teams an edge over their competitors.
DevOps Automation Benefits
DevOps automation provides many benefits, including:
- Advanced Collaboration: DevOps automation promotes better collaboration and communication between development and operations teams, as well as shared responsibility for the entire SDLC.
- Enhanced efficiency and productivity: By freeing team members from manual tasks, DevOps automation allows them to focus on more important aspects of their work to become more efficient and productive.
- Instant reaction: By automating testing and monitoring, teams can get quick feedback on code changes to quickly identify and fix problems.
- Fast Delivery: DevOps automation streamlines the SDLC, enabling continuous integration, delivery, and deployment. This results in faster, more frequent releases with new features and bug fixes.
- Fewer Mistakes: Manual, repetitive tasks can lead to errors. Automating such tasks reduces the risk of human error.
- Superior reliability and quality: Teams can identify and fix problems early in the development cycle by automating their test and deployment processes. This can lead to fewer bugs, higher code quality, and greater release reliability.
- good company: Infrastructure as code (IaC) and automated deployment processes promote consistency across environments.
- Enhanced Security: Teams can improve security by integrating automated security scans and compliance checks into their CI/CD pipeline that find vulnerabilities early.
- Scalability: DevOps automation makes it easy to scale infrastructure and applications without manual effort.
- low risk: Teams can often enjoy smaller releases, making each deployment less impactful and allowing for rollback if problems arise.
- Less cost: Automation can drive down operational costs, reduce downtime, improve resource utilization and help teams save money in the long run.
Combine all the above benefits and DevOps automation also provides a competitive advantage to the teams adopting it.
Automated Processes in DevOps
Many processes in DevOps can be automated to streamline the SDLC. You can automate continuous integration (code compilation, build processes, unit testing, packaging, artifact creation, etc.) and continuous delivery (deployment to staging and production environments, integration and functional testing in multiple environments, smoke testing, etc.).
You can automate infrastructure as a code (provisioning, expanding sources, network configuration, etc.), release management (version management, generating releases, etc.), monitoring and alerts (application status, reporting critical issues, etc.), etc. and compliance (vulnerability scanning, compliance controls, etc.) Other processes you can automate in DevOps include log management, database management, implementation, rollback, and more.
Best Practices for DevOps Automation
By following the below DevOps automation best practices, you can ensure that your DevOps processes run smoothly:
- start small: Instead of trying to automate everything at once, automate some of your most repetitive, error-prone tasks.
- Contribute to: You need to encourage collaboration and communication between your development and operations teams. Emphasize feedback and sharing to optimize automation processes.
- Document everything: Your guidelines, best practices and automation processes should be documented to keep all team members on the same page.
- Use a version control system: Using a version control system like Git for your code and configuration files ensures that multiple team members can collaborate on them and that any changes can be tracked and reverted.
- Think of infrastructure as code: IaC makes it easy to automate resource provisioning and configuration. Tools like Ansible and Terraform can help.
- To implement CI/CD pipelines: Build, test, and deploy code changes should be automated through continuous integration and continuous delivery.
- Collect feedback and statistics: You can discover areas for improvement by continuously collecting feedback and statistics from your automated processes.
- Apply automatic rollback: Automatic rollback mechanisms can help mitigate problems when implementation or configuration errors occur and ensure that services are restored to a stable state.
- Encourage experimentation: Some automated processes are doomed to fail. Use those failures to learn, improve, and repeat.
DevOps automation tools can eliminate manual, time-consuming tasks, foster collaboration, increase efficiency, and help development teams build high-quality software faster.
Although there are many DevOps automation tools on the market, these are some of the best to start your search.
Jenkins is an open-source automation server that is customizable and flexible through a vast plugin ecosystem and has quite a loyal following. Developer tools promote CI/CD by automating the build, test, and deployment steps in software development.
You can learn more by reading our Jenkins review.
Red Hat Ansible is a DevOps tool used to automate application deployment, configuration management, and more. It provides cross-platform support, agentless architecture and orchestration, and is highly customizable and flexible due to its open-source nature.
See our Red Hat Ansible review for more details.
GitLab CI/CD helps developers automate builds, tests, and deployments to take advantage of increased productivity, quality, and security. The easy-to-use DevOps automation tool works with all top frameworks and languages, provides top security through test reports, security and dependency scans etc., and has a code quality feature to keep code readable, concise and maintenance-free.
Read our GitLab CI/CD Tools review for more details.
Atlassian Bamboo is a CI/CD tool with release management capabilities. It provides scalability and reliability and allows developers to automate their build, test and release processes. The DevOps automation tool is easy to install and customize, supports a wide variety of platforms, programming languages and build tools, and integrates seamlessly with other Atlassian tools such as Bitbucket and Jira project management.
You can learn more by reading our Bamboo CI/CD software review.
Progress Chef is a configuration management tool with infrastructure automation features. Chef has gained a huge following among the DevOps community for its focus on infrastructure as code, and its aim to handle even the most complex tasks.
Our Chef configuration management tools review includes more details on Chef’s features and pricing.
Final Thoughts on DevOps Automation
Now that you know what DevOps automation is and its various benefits, it’s time to consider implementing it into your software development team’s routine. Follow the best practices in this guide and use some of the tools mentioned, and you should soon be enjoying the increased efficiency, productivity, and speed as well as the improved quality, reliability, and collaboration that only DevOps automation can provide.
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