DevOps as a service is an emerging philosophy in application development. DevOps as a service moves traditional collaboration of the development and operations team to the cloud, where many of the processes can be automated using stackable virtual development tools.
As many organizations adopt DevOps and migrate their apps to the cloud, their tools used to build, test, and deploy processes change towards making ‘continuous delivery’ an effective managed cloud service. We’ll take a look at what such a move would entail, and what it means for the next generation of DevOps teams.
DevOps as a Managed Cloud Service
What is DevOps in the cloud? Essentially it is the migration of your tools and processes for continuous delivery to a hosted virtual platform. The delivery pipeline becomes a seamless orchestration where developers, testers, and operations professionals collaborate as one, and as much of the deployment process as possible is automated. Here are some of the more popular commercial options for moving DevOps to the cloud on AWS and Azure.
AWS Tools and Services for DevOps
Amazon Web Services has built a powerful global network for virtually hosting some of the world’s most complex IT environments. With fiber linked data centers arranged all over the world and a payment schedule that measures exactly the services you use down to the millisecond of computing time, AWS is a fast and relatively easy way to migrate your DevOps to the cloud.
Though AWS has scores of powerful interactive features, three particular services are the core of continuous cloud delivery.
AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed service for compiling code, running quality assurance testing through automated processes, and producing deployment-ready software. CodeBuild is highly secure, as each customer receives a unique encryption key to build into every artifact produced.
CodeBuild offers automatic scaling and grows on-demand with your needs, even allowing the simultaneous deployment of two different build versions, which allows for comparison testing in the production environment.
Particularly important for many organizations is CodeBuild’s cost efficiency. It comes with no upfront costs and customers pay only for the milliseconds of compute time required to produce releases and connect seamlessly with other Amazon services to add power and flexibility on demand without spending six figures on hardware to support development.
With a slick graphical interface, you set parameters and build the model for your perfect deployment scenario and CodePipeline takes it from there. With no servers to provision and deploy, it lets you hit the ground running, bringing continuous delivery by executing automated tasks to perform the complete delivery cycle every time a change is made to the code.
Once a new build makes it through CodePipeline, CodeDeploy delivers the working package to every instance outlined in your pre-configured parameters. This makes it simple to synchronize builds and instantly patch or upgrade at once. CodeDeploy is code-agnostic and easily incorporates common legacy code. Every instance of your deployment is easily tracked in the AWS Management Console, and errors or problems can be easily rolled back through the GUI.
Combining these AWS tools with others in the AWSinventory provides all the building blocks needed to deploy a safe, scalable continuous delivery model in the cloud. Though the engineering adjustments are daunting, the long term stability and savings make it a move worth considering sooner rather than later.
Microsoft Azure Tools and Services for DevOps
Microsoft is bringing it’s a potent punch to the DevOps as a managed service space with Azure. Azure offers an impressive set of innovative and interoperable tools for DevOps.
With so many organizations having existing investment in Microsoft products and services, Azure may offer the easiest transition to hybrid or full cloud environments. Microsoft has had decades to build secure global infrastructure and currently hosts about two-thirds of the world’s Fortune 500 companies. Some of Microsoft’s essential DevOps tools include:
Azure App Service
As a trusted platform around the world with partners in every aspect of the IT industry, Microsoft’s Azure App Service provides endless combinations of options for development. Whether apps are developed in the ubiquitous Visual Studio app or the cloud’s largest offering of program languages, DevOps teams can create secure, enterprise-quality apps with this service.
Azure DevTest Labs
Azure DevTest Labs makes it easy for your DevOps team to experiment. Quickly provision and build out your Azure DevOps environment using prebuilt and customizable templates and get to work in a viable sandbox immediately. Learn the ins and outs of Azure in repeatable, disposable environments, then move your lessons to production.
For shops that want to partially migrate to cloud-based DevOps, Azure Stack is a tool for integrating Azure services with your existing datacenter. Move current segments of your production pipeline like virtual machines, Docker containers, and more from in-house to the cloud with straightforward migration paths. Azure lets you unify app development by mirroring resources locally and in the cloud, enabling easy collaboration for teams working in a hybrid cloud environment.
Microsoft provides a wide array of tools for expanding your environment’s capabilities and keeping it secure.
The continuing evolution and merger of DevOps and cloud-based architecture open a world of possibilities. Some industry experts believe that DevOps itself was built around on-premise tools and practices and that migrating to the cloud will bring the end of DevOps and mark the beginning of the ‘NoOps’ era, where developers will have all the knowledge and resources they need to provision their own environments on the fly without breaking form the task of development. In the industry, there is concern that this may be the death knell for the operations aspect of DevOps.
But regardless of the tools and methods used, development has always been driven by human thinking and needs, and developers who focus on creating and improving software will always benefit from teammates whose primary aim is keeping infrastructure operating.
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