DevOps Made Easier with DevOps Tools

By Veritis / Mar 29, 2018

DevOps Tools

DevOps is one technology trend that has really changed the way IT firms operate.

DevOps model appeared as a boon to those firms facing challenges with regard to faster deployment and in-time product release. More than as a technology, DevOps brought-in a new culture in functioning by bridging gaps between development and operations teams, which are key to any IT organization.

As the firms started realizing DevOps potential, the immediate challenge they had is with the implementation. Though they have multiple strategies, there still existed gaps in a
full-fledged DevOps implementation.

And, DevOps tools appeared as a solution! However, no single tool can be a one-stop solution to a full-fledged DevOps adoption and so, there are a wide variety of DevOps tools for every specific DevOps requirement.

DevOps tools facilitate ways for effective sharing and exchange of resources, information and technical know-how of the tasks between the development, operations and security teams for an effective product output.

Here we will look into different types of DevOps tools that are playing a vital role in DevOps implementation. By functionality, DevOps tools can be basically divided into two different categories: Tools by Functionality and Tools by Requirement.

DevOps Tools by Functionality

Tools under this category can further be categorized into two: Manual and Automation.

Manual

Two key DevOps manual tool platforms that drew wide attention for their ease in facilitating DevOps implementation include Wikis and ChatOps.

Wikis: A key to any process is the management of information flow across the course of action. This factor holds utmost significance in IT processes wherein, the teams will be handling chunks of information across the process line. Here is where documenting of tasks appears as a serious challenge threatening the flow across the entire cycle around the DevOps teams. Here we see a variety of platforms based on Wiki functionality used as part of DevOps implementation:

A Snapshot of Organization Wiki Platforms

Tool Name Description
MediaWiki A free tool on which Wikipedia is built. Facilitates effective management of wide range of information types (languages, among others) with easy to insert and edit options using any database such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQLite or MySQL.
Confluence A tightly-integrated paid tool that provides effective management of tasks through a well-managed ticketing functionality. One can create, edit, assign and track tasks through this tool. This tool includes on-premise self-hosted installations along with SaaS offering.
TikiWiki A business-purpose wiki platform with forum, blog, wiki, calendar, among other features. It also has WYSIWYG (What You Say Is What You Get) editor making it easier to contribute and share information.
DokuWiki A free tool for document management, wherein, you can save your document as a file rather than in a database. DokuWiki will be in a plain text format, allowing read and create options.
PmWiki Similar to DokuWiki, but offers additional features such as increased access control and built-in mobile support with a lot of plugins to manage documentation requirements.

ChatOps: ChatOps is another type of manual tool that majorly focuses on increasing collaboration through easy communication. ChatOps involves effective chatting systems that allow easy sharing of information through instant messaging options. Here are some of the popular chat platforms that work for enhanced collaboration between the DevOps teams:

Tool Name Description
Microsoft Teams A new chat platform with smooth integration that allows all functionalities offered by typical chat applications. Managing components and creation of external or internal groups are made easier and effective with Microsoft Teams.
HipChat Available in free for a basic version and paid for further functionalities, this is a ticketing-based chat system that allows creation of groups for easier collaboration. One can create public or private rooms, exchange files and URLs, and also track tasks easily.
Slack A platform popular for facilitating team conversations while also allowing creation of private or public channels. Available in both free and paid versions.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) IRC has been prevalent in the market since before the internet adoption. It’s an open-source platform still used across many sites.

Automation

Days are gone where the manual operations were priority. Now, it’s the time for automation! To stay in line with the trend, there are also a good number of DevOps automation tools that can help you in effective software process. Here a few:

  • Puppet: This is a go-to automation tool that automates critical manual tasks while also making them easily understandable for teams beyond operations. It ensures effective team engagement by allowing collaboration between internal and external teams. Puppet makes things simpler by abstracting critical configuration details across different operating systems and technology platforms. It is available for free as an open-source version and can also be found as a paid tool.
  • Docker: Beneficial for Dev environments, Docker helps in quicker deployment. Using Docker, one can create own images or modify the existing ones as per the requirements for an effective software environment that is more consistent, quick-to-deploy and repeatable. A Docket-Puppet integration helps build robust images using more than seven million lines of Puppet code. Using this integration, it’s easy to get a Puppet or Docker environment in a minute’s time.
  • Jenkins: Automating regular tasks, Jenkins allows continuous integration and delivery for any combination of coding language and source code repositories using a pipeline system. While allowing regular process of creating scripts for individual tasks, Jenkins ensures a robust procedure of integrating entire DevOps chain of build, code, test and deployment.

DevOps Tools by Requirement

DevOps tools can be basically categorized into three types depending on specific requirements, which include: Measurement Tools and Tools for Continuous Delivery.

DevOps Tools for Measurement: By requirement, there are a number of DevOps tools that play a vital role in measuring and auditing processes, which are key to any IT organization. Here are two of the DevOps tools with proven record in successful measurement factor that usually enhances information sharing and increased transparency across firms:

Tool Name Description
Splunk This is a powerful tool that has a significant role in monitoring and explore machine-generated data. Its specialty in indexing data of any type makes it unique among other DevOps tools besides its effective information-sharing mechanism.
Graphite This tool is specialized in converting machine-generated data into graphical representations such as on-demand graphs. It renders chunks of available data into dashboards and graphs, which can further be deployed easily onto other applications or webpages.

Tools for Continuous Delivery: Continuous delivery and continuous integration are two key aspects that are driving DevOps adoption across IT firms. Let’s take a closer look at a number of DevOps tools that are playing in this specific service offering:

Tools Description
Jenkins One of the most popular DevOps tools known for supporting continuous delivery offering through DevOps. As a continuous integration server and a continuous delivery hub, Jenkins tool offers hundreds of plugins that can help in build, deploy and automate the project of any kind. As a Jenkins advancement, the new Blue Ocean sub-project came up with a better way of options to run, build and analyze project pipelines.
Git This tool enables version control of software projects and is more familiar among Linux users. It has a special advantage when it comes to sharing of master versions of application files to distributed teams. But, Git by itself doesn’t have a centralized repository.
GitHub GitHub can be called as an extended feature to Git. Addressing the centralized repository gap in Git, GitHub appears as a solution for hosting Git repositories. Easing information sharing across teams through graphical representations, GitHub bridges key gaps between the teams making information exchange easier and effective. The public and private repositories are available in paid versions.
Gerrit This is a web-based management solution for Git-run control system. Gerrit allows you manage code review and code repositories at a place. Gerrit is simply a web-based code review and repository management.
GoCD Reliable and continuous integration form DevOps unique features, which means ensuring codes in short and reliable cycles. Here is where continuous integration plays a role and GoCD has a special place for that specific operation. This continuous integration tool offers complete visibility throughout the workflow. With Go, one can easily compare builds and go beyond that with dozens of easily-deployable plugins.
Mercurial This is also similar to Git in its version-control feature.  With an instant graphing tool, Mercurial is unique because of its distributed nature. Like Git, this tool has no dependence on central repository.
Chef A configuration-management tool for efficient web-scale IT operations. It uses the concept of ‘recipes’ for configuring databases, load balancing and web servers.
Ansible Another powerful tool that offers continuous delivery feature. With effective server and configuration management, this tool eases IT automation ending repetitive tasks and enabling faster deployments. Cloud provisioning, application deployment are among other key features of Ansible.
Kubernetes This tool is a solution for age-old concerns related to server management, especially in updating and migrating servers. Kubernetes, an open-source tool, ensures mechanism to deploy, maintain and gauge containerized applications. Limiting hardware resources usage, this tool offers application predictability.

Tools That Can Fill Gaps

List is really non-exhaustive if one has to speak about the number of DevOps tools available in the market. Besides the aforementioned ones by functionality and specific requirement, there are few other DevOps tools that are key to any organization opting DevOps services.

Tool Name Description
Application Performance Management This is key to DevOps adoption that actually stand out among other DevOps tools. This tool acts a measuring point for applications and process improvement, and is key for DevOps progress. This tool speaks about DevOps progress in the end-user perspective.
Monitoring Monitoring is key to any organization as it grows. Busily engaged in automation and continuous delivery and integration, DevOps would definitely need integration of monitoring tools to assess the workflows, which could boost efficiency in deployment cycle, business process and overall software development.
End-User Experience Monitoring Tools that measure the DevOps progress in terms of end-user experience is one key requirement that DevOps practitioners would require. So, are the DevOps end-user experience monitoring tools.
Analytics Analytics is one important aspect that every organization is looking at to stay perfect. Along with continuous integration and deployment tools, DevOps would also continuous analytics tools to measure application activity in comparison with the business requirements. Continuous monitoring, tracking and analytics could be the need of the hour for a full-fledged DevOps implementation.
DevSecOps A new integration tool that addressed the security issues in DevOps

DevOps Outlook

DevOps Outlook

Following are some of the key forecasts by renowned firms and analysts for DevOps:

  • Renowned American analyst firm Forrester has called 2018 as the year of enterprise DevOps.
  • GitLabs, in its 2018 Global Developer Survey on developers ‘perception of workplace also has some predictions for DevOps, which include:
    • 2018 is going to be big for DevOps and open-source platforms
    • DevOps is among the top-three investment priorities of in 2018 for various IT management
    • Teams those have gone for DevOps adoption reported rise in productivity and increase in time they spend on new tasks with faster completion of old ones
    • 45 percent of DevOps Practitioners are demanding deployment on-demand
    • Rise in demand for open source tools

Overall, 2018 has been noted as the promising year for DevOps and its tool market with many more companies realizing DevOps potential. As the rate of deployment increases, same will result in the rise of demand for best DevOps tools.



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