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What is DevOps?

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Overview

DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, technical practices, and tools that fosters integration, collaboration, communication, and automation between technology operations and software development teams in order to improve the quality and speed of software and OpenText™ DevOps Cloud.

The common goal of DevOps is to remove friction, risk, and other constraints to enable faster, more successful application production rollouts, as often and as rapidly as the business requires.

Most companies that implement DevOps methods today still have a development team and an operations team in place. You can think of DevOps as the processes and individuals that build the bridges between these teams to improve the business and enhance the end-customer experience. Various tools and platforms facilitate the work of DevOps, but they do not define it.

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How did DevOps originate? The need for DevOps explained

DevOps was birthed by the practice and propagation of agile software development. Since the agile methodology speeds up the development process and throughput velocity, there was a need to alter the structure of project teams to accommodate this new reality. As agile culture took root, it became clear that having the software development and IT operations teams working separately was counterproductive and inefficient.

DevOps practices automate deployment pipelines and produces faster feedback to improve efficiency, predictability, maintainability, and security. It brings developers into the production environment, gives them deeper insights into the infrastructure and gets them more involved in application lifecycle management.


What does DevOps do?

Like all work cultures, DevOps is adopted and applied in different ways from organization to organization. Nevertheless, certain capabilities are common in nearly all DevOps implementations. What are DevOps key characteristics?

Collaboration

Instead of operations and development teams assuming a defensive or combative stance when engaging one another, they strive to collaborate. The conflicts and rivalry between these teams are one of the principal catalysts for the creation of DevOps.

Automation

DevOps is geared toward facilitating the speedy delivery of an agile development project. Therefore, it is heavily dependent on automation. That means a reliance on multiple tools that automate the application development and deployment cycle.

Continuous integration

Continuous integration is a technique for continually merging software code from all developers in a project into a shared mainline. This ensures that the copy of the project each developer is working on is nearly the same. By compelling developers to integrate their work into the mainline at least daily, DevOps culture reduces the likelihood of disruptive merger conflicts later on.

Continuous testing

Software failure is expensive. Unleashing an application release that ruins existing user experience or introduces new risks would be counterproductive. Continuous testing ensures the right balance of software quality and speedy deployment is achieved.

In DevOps, software testing isn’t something left to one person or department. Rather, it’s everyone’s responsibility. Developers engineer quality into the code and then avail test data. Quality assurance and operations teams, in turn, configure test cases and the test environment.

Since tests must be executed quickly to avoid falling behind new changes being applied in development, the test process must be automated as much as possible.

Continuous delivery

Continuous delivery means changes to application code are automatically prepared for release into the live environment. This helps with application modernization, too. All code changes are deployed into a test environment before they are eventually applied to production.

The DevOps team always has a deployment-ready release that has successfully been taken through the standardized and automated test process. Release frequency will vary depending on goals, priority, and urgency. It may be as often as multiple releases per day or as seldom as one release per month or quarter.

Continuous monitoring

Given the speed and number of releases, it’s imperative to have a solution in place that provides continuous monitoring to enable faster and better response to changing customer needs.

Continuous monitoring allows the DevOps team to track software performance and improve its stability. Problems are identified quickly, and root causes proactively investigated to prevent outages and downtime.

Monitoring starts during release development. The same monitoring tools that are applied in the live environment can be leveraged in development to pick up problems before they make their way into production.


Why DevOps?

Organizations that embrace DevOps might have all IT resources within a traditional data center, all resources in an offsite cloud, or distribute their resources in a hybrid environment.

The DevOps movement is not defined, nor led, by traditional IT software, hardware, or management vendors. In addition, there are currently no codified rules or manuals for DevOps, only generally accepted guidelines. With that said, adoption and implementation of DevOps vary greatly from one organization to the next.

The learnings of DevOps are primarily evangelized by a passionate grassroots community of IT practitioners, spread across a wide variety of IT disciplines. Most members of the DevOps community have active jobs within various organizations, and they share their learnings in numerous online and in-person forums and gatherings. Depending on the number and maturity of the practitioners in an organization, the benefits of a DevOps implementation can be significant, including:

  • Faster release of apps with automation of integrated build, test and deployment process
  • Increased developer and operational efficiency by managing your infrastructure as code
  • Improved customer experience with immediate feedback loops and continuous improvement

Scale DevOps practices across all your environments

OpenText enables you to scale DevOps practices across Hybrid IT, automating and orchestrating continuous delivery pipelines from mainframe to mobile, and providing actionable insight to securely deliver high quality software and services faster.

OpenText helps its customers scale DevOps practices across traditional and hybrid IT environments. Enterprise DevOps can deliver innovation by transforming and extending your current IT environments, with quality and security built in, every step of the way.

The OpenText approach starts with understanding where you are on your Enterprise DevOps journey. We then provide guidance on scaling your DevOps practices and help you integrate your toolchain from mainframe to mobile. We believe it’s imperative to think big and start small. Look at the system holistically, understand where the constraints are and remove them one-by-one. We are the only vendor to provide an integrated, end-to-end application lifecycle management solution that is built for any methodology, technology, and delivery model.


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