Cloud DevOps: How DevOps and Cloud work together
By Sandra Felice, Community Contributor - January 30, 2023
Delivering quality software at the speed the market demands requires teams to iterate and experiment rapidly. They must deploy newer software versions frequently and should be driven by feedback and data. Majority of cloud development projects nowadays employ DevOps. The benefits of using DevOps with cloud projects include software development speed-to-delivery to meet the Business user needs faster, and lower costs for development, testing, deployment, and operations. In this article, we’ll focus on how DevOps has changed the development game as a whole and the Cloud development specifically.
What is Cloud DevOps?
DevOps can be considered as a set of practices, tools and philosophy that is used to automate and integrate the processes between Software Development and IT teams. This helps in improving the product quality and accelerate time to market. Cloud, on the other hand, allows for simultaneous development to occur enabling continuous collaboration between different teams across the globe. When DevOps and Cloud Solutions work together in an environment that is built for flexibility and agility, it can be termed as Cloud DevOps.
As per a study conducted to test the software delivery performance, over 900 IT professionals around the world were surveyed on how they achieve success while software delivery and it was observed that the companies using both DevOps and Cloud had their performance increased by 81%.
How do DevOps and Cloud work together?
Some of the ways in which DevOps and Cloud work together are:
1. Cloud is leveraged by DevOps:
Organizations utilizing DevOps manage and automate their infrastructure using Cloud Computing technologies. This enables them to follow an agile approach to different work processes. DevOps processes are said to be very agile when implemented efficiently, but they can face limitations of an on-premise environment every now and then.
For instance, if an organization needs to start building a new software project or scale up an existing production application, it can cause needless delays and complexity for DevOps teams.
In cases like this, Cloud infrastructure offers an important boost for DevOps. It minimizes the latency and enables centralized management via a unified platform for deploying, testing, integrating, and releasing applications. They also offer CI/CD tools to automate DevOps processes. This enables the DevOps teams to collaborate among each other across distributed enterprise environments along with adapting to the changing requirements.
Cloud DevOps solutions are often said to be more cost-effective than on-prem automation solutions. They facilitate governance by unifying the different environments and reducing the security burden on teams. This high level cloud-based DevOps automation helps minimize human error and streamline repeatable processes and tasks.
Must Read: Why DevOps Teams Need Cloud-Based Solutions
2. CloudSecOps (Cloud Security Operations):
SecOps or Security Operations is a collaboration between IT security and IT operations. It integrates processes, tools and technology to keep an enterprise secure along with reducing any associated risks. Cloud security operations or CloudSecOps is an evolution of SecOps that aims to identify, respond, and recover systems from attacks targeting an organization’s cloud assets.
CloudSecOps teams have several roles. Some of them are:
- Incident management: Identifies security incidents, responds to them, and coordinates the response with legal and communication teams.
- Event Prioritization: Prioritizing events based on risk score calculation for cloud systems, accounts, and devices, and identifying cloud data sensitivity.
- Threat hunting: Discovering advanced security threats with the help of tools that filter out the noise from security monitoring solutions enabling advanced investigation of data.
3. DevOps as a Service:
DevOps as a Service is a set of cloud-based tools that enables collaboration between the development and operations teams of an organization. This toolset covers all the relevant DevOps processes and provides them as a unified platform where the teams select the tools they want for each purpose.
DevOps as a Service platform enables organizations to set up continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines via the cloud to increase development velocity and provide continuous feedback to the developers. This way the team can access any relevant technology without having to find, adopt, and learn multiple tools.
What are the Cloud DevOps tools?
World’s leading cloud providers like AWS, Azure and Google provide a number of ‘DevOps as a Service’ offerings. Each of them provides an end-to-end environment for DevOps teams enabling them to eliminate the need to download, learn, and integrate multiple point solutions.
1. AWS DevOps Tools
Some of the following Cloud DevOps services are provided by AWS:
- AWS CodePipeline: This builds, tests, and deploys code every time there is a code change, based on the predefined release workflow models. This enables rapid and reliable delivery of features and updates.
- AWS CodeBuild: This compiles the source code, runs the tests, and generates ready-to-deploy software packages. It scales continuously and processes several builds concurrently enabling CI/CD in the cloud.
- AWS CodeDeploy: This automates code deployments to any instance, including on-premises servers, AWS EC2, AWS Lambda, etc. It facilitates rapid releases of new features, handles complexities associated with application updates, and can help avoid downtime during deployment.
- AWS CodeStar: This helps in quickly developing, building, and deploying applications on AWS. It’s a unified user interface which enables one to easily manage software development activities in one place.
- AWS CodeCommit: This helps to host secure and highly scalable private Git repositories and can be used to securely store anything from source code to binaries. It works seamlessly with the existing Git tools.
2. Azure DevOps Tools
Some of the following Cloud DevOps services are provided by Azure:
- Azure Pipelines: This builds and tests project codes automatically. It utilizes CI/CD while building, testing, and shipping the code to the respective environment of choice. It also supports a number of programming languages and project types.
- Azure Boards: This provides interactive and customizable tools for managing software projects. It offers a variety of capabilities including calendar views, native support for Scrum, Kanban, and Agile processes, reporting, and configurable dashboards.
- Azure Repos: This provides version control tools to help manage the project code. It offers GIT and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) to manage the different code versions.
- Azure Test Plans: This provides tools for driving quality and collaboration across the SDLC. It includes capabilities for various types of testing such as manual testing, automation testing, exploratory testing, etc, along with work items for feedback and reviews.
- Azure Artifacts: This manages the dependencies used in the source code. It can host and share packages publicly or privately with your team or the entire organization. It also supports a range of package types, such as npm, NuGet, Python, Universal Packages, and Maven.
3. Google DevOps Tools
Some of the following Cloud DevOps services are provided by Google:
- Google Cloud Build: This executes the project builds on Google Cloud Platform infrastructure. It can import source code from Google Cloud Storage, Cloud Source Repositories, or GitHub, execute builds as per the required specifications, and produce artifacts such as Docker containers or Java archives.
- Google Cloud Deploy: This automates applications’ delivery to a series of target environments in a defined promotion sequence. An updated application can be deployed by creating a release which is then managed by the delivery pipeline for the entire lifecycle of its release.
- Google Artifact Registry: This centrally manages artifacts and dependencies. It provides simple integration with existing CI/CD tools so that automated pipelines can be set up.
- Google Cloud Monitoring: This collects metrics, events, and metadata from various sources, including Google Cloud, AWS, etc. Google Cloud’s operations suite ingests this data and generates insights as charts, alerts, and dashboards.
Best Practices in Cloud DevOps
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery is a MUST: CI/CD pipeline is the heart of the DevOps philosophy where CI means building and regularly validating the project by updating code changes at regular intervals and CD means automatically deploying code in the production environment.
- Test for Performance: Taking advantage of automated performance testing will allow you to test your application’s performance at regular intervals. This will increase the chances of issues getting noticed earlier and improving the performance as well.
- Integrating Containers: Containers allow you to compartmentalize applications. This means one can work on certain areas without worrying about the impact on others. This makes the applications easy to deploy, and easy to update as well.
- Communication and Collaboration: Every team needs to be on board with the project and stay informed. Additionally, there needs to be a forum to share useful feedback.
- Continuous Monitoring and Logging: All system activities must be monitored and recorded to ensure that the events get triggered at the right time. Continuous Montoring correct anything that isn’t performing well.
- Invest in Infrastructure: Having a good infrastructure is an essential part for streamlining DevOps processes. This will save a lot of time and money in the long run.
Pro-Tip: Real device cloud like BrowserStack allows you to access 3000+ real browsers, desktop and mobile devices for a comprehensive testing experience taking real user conditions into consideration. You can integrate your Cloud DevOps tools with BrowserStack to leverage features like Parallel Testing, Comprehensive Reports and Intgration with Reporting tools such as Slack, GitHub, Trello, and Jira.
The development of enterprises in today’s era relies predominantly on bringing software into operations. This digital transformation requires enterprises to take a leap of faith towards DevOps and Cloud. While each individually offers greater effectiveness and business impact, together they are able to drive meaningful IT transformations that directly impact business goals. Therefore, Industry leaders would have to work towards reducing the technical and business obstacles for the adoption of DevOps in Cloud development and leverage it to its maximum potential.