5 DevOps Tools Every Team Must Have
Shreya Bose, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - December 1, 2020
It’s 2020. The adoption of DevOps is no longer negotiable for any organization that wants to stand a chance of success in the world of websites and apps. Without Agile and DevOps, there simply is no way for devs and testers to incorporate the speed and accuracy the modern-day digital users demand.
Success DevOps adoption requires organization-wide changes in infrastructure, methodology, and mindset. This article will focus on the infrastructure bit, listing five DevOps tools essential for development and QA teams if they are to implement a high-functioning CI/CD pipeline.
5 DevOps Tools Every Team Must Have
Code is King. When a team of devs is working on software, they need to store their codebase safely and with clear designations on who worked on which section. As a source code management tool, Git allows coders to track their progress. Each dev and QA can save different versions of their code with labels and comments to distinguish them (both to themselves and other team members). It also facilitates experimentation by letting users create code branches, which can be merged only when tested and ready for integration.
Integration with Git requires repositories to which team members can push code. Currently, GitHub and Bitbucket are two of the most commonly used repositories. Naturally, Git is a beloved preference for remote testers and open-source coders in particular.
Git offers several DevOps-aligned features:
- Offers a Distributed System that allows users to contribute code from anywhere in the world.
- Is compatible with most modern Operating Systems. Git repositories can usually access the repos of other Version Control Systems – SVN, CVK, etc.
- Supports rapid branching and merging and offers tools for executing non-linear development.
- Is lightweight, fast, and scalable.
- Completely Open-Source.
- Git’s central repository is cloned every time a user performs a Pull operation. This means the central repository is always being backed up in the user’s local repository. Even if the central server crashes, the data can be recovered from the user’s local machine. This keeps the code secure.
- Git maintains logs on all code commits by every dev in a project. Anytime a bug arises, the incorrect code can be easily tracked, and its creator identified.
BrowserStack’s GitHub integration allows testers to easily file bugs when testing web apps BrowserStack’s real device cloud. The integration automatically adds all the metadata about the platform being tested on.
Jenkins is an open-source automation tool that allows devs and testers to automate every stage of the CI/CD pipeline. Its primary attraction is a massive plugin ecosystem that offers more than 1000 plugins – allowing for integration with almost every DevOps tool in existence.
Jenkins runs out-of-the-box on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Configure the Jenkins server through a web interface, download the relevant plugins, or create custom configurations for a specific DevOps workflow.
Jenkins facilitates the rapid iteration and deployment of code.
Jenkins features that facilitate DevOps:
- Platform-agnostic, self-contained, and Java-based. Comes ready to run with packages for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
- Easy to set up and configure using the web interface. Includes error checks and built-in help.
- Offers numerous plugins, allowing integration with most DevOps tools.
- Extensible due to its plugin ecosystem. Theoretically, Jenkins has infinite possibilities for what it can do because users can add custom plugins of their creation.
- Can distribute work across multiple machines, enabling faster builds, tests, and deployment.
- Open-Source with massive community support.
Ansible facilitates configuration management, following the approach of Infrastructure As Code. It can be used to configure infrastructure and automate deployments. Ansible is best known for its ease of use, mainly because it uses the simple YAML syntax. It comprises an agentless architecture and can be run from the CLI without configuration files for basic tasks.
Ansible features that facilitate DevOps:
- Suitable for multiple operations – Configuration Management, Application Deployment, Infrastructure Provisioning, and Orchestration.
- Faster and more efficient due to its simple, more usable structure.
- Works via SSH, which eliminates the need to install and run an agent on the target system.
- Can handle complex workflows due to its provision of roles, modules, and playbooks.
- Offers solid customer support for the Enterprise version.
- Offers a large number of features in its open-source version.
- Secure and lightweight.
- Flexible in terms of environment orchestration.
Consider taking a moment to explore the differences between Jenkins VS Ansible.
Nagios Core is used for continuous monitoring of applications, system metrics, custom services, network elements, server resources etc. Essentially, it allows users to observe the infrastructure to detect and resolve issues. It also offers altering services, useful at times when critical errors occur and are fixed, It is widely used by DevOps personnel due to its structural flexibility and scalability.
Nagios lets users keep logs of events, failures, crashes and outages. It also represents relevant trends as graphs and reports, which assist with predicting possible crashes and identifying security threats.
Like Jenkins, Nagios comes with a robust plugin ecosystem, as well as a large associated community. They also provide add-ons, translation, tutorials and other relevant resources.
Nagios features that facilitate DevOps:
- Scalable, secure and easy to navigate.
- Robust, reliable database and logging system.
- User-friendly web interface.
- Sends automatic alerts in the event of a system change.
- Allows monitoring of business processes and infrastructure from a single dashboard.
- Allows creation and addition of custom plugins in most programming languages.
- Can be used to monitor network services like SMTP, HTTP, SSH, FTP, POP, etc.
- Allows users to define event handlers that run during service or host events that help with issue resolution.
- Allows users to define network host hierarchy vis parent hosts.
To release flawless software within restricted timelines, DevOps teams must invest in the Continuous Testing phase of the DevOps workflow. This phase automatically triggers a set of tests every time new code is pushed to the codebase, It ensures that code is analyzed and rendered bug-free at the earliest possible stage, thus minimizing the possibility of major errors showing up closer to or in the production stage.
Comprehensive testing that provides accurate results every time requires real browsers and devices. BrowserStack provides 2000+ real browsers and devices on a cloud Selenium grid with 99% uptime. Other DevOps-aligned features include:
- Allows QAs to instantly start testing on real devices.
- Accelerates QA efforts with parallel testing.
- Allows integrations with popular languages and frameworks via CI plugins.
- Allows testing in development environments or behind firewalls with local testing.
- Offers an extensive range of debugging tools – video recordings, automated screenshots of errors, text logs, console logs, and network logs.
- Offers uncompromising security with GDPR and SOC2 compliance, HTTPS implementation, Privacy Shield Certification, and the automatic deletion of all data after each test on any device.
This DevOps tools list comprises the essentials. Obviously, there are numerous other resources available that can be used in tandem with the aforementioned frameworks to refine the software development process. While there exist replacements for these DevOps technologies, the tools discussed in this article are the most popular in their domain. This is mainly because they provide the widest range of features and are the easiest and most efficient to use for their respective purpose.
As mentioned before, the whole point of DevOps is to create flawless software in restricted timelines. This required comprehensive software testing in real user conditions, which can only be achieved by running manual and automated tests on real browsers and devices. Emulators and simulators cannot mimic all real-world conditions (low battery, unstable networks, incoming calls) thus making them unsuitable for conclusive tests.
BrowserStack’s cloud Selenium grid includes the latest devices, browser, and OS versions. The Grid offers integrations with a multitude of popular CI/CD tools, tailoring all tests for a DevOps workflow. QAs can sign up, choose the required browser-device-OS combination, and start testing for free.