Introduction to DevOps Tools
IT industry is comprised of programmers, software developers and so on. In order to streamline the software development cycle, companies or programmers use tools which would help them in their process. DevOps is one such practice which combines the software development and IT operations. This article would cover several DevOps tools which you could use in your workspace but before that, we would provide a brief introduction to DevOps.
DevOps could be interpreted in a different meaning as it is not any workflow or framework of any kind. However, the world is overtaken by its culture. Programmers or developers break down a problem statement into different interpretations for faster execution of the work. In order to stay ahead of the competitors in the market, companies use DevOps in their operations.
A company whose success depends on its customers’ needs things to be done faster which takes time in the traditional software development life cycle. Often the code written by the developer is filled with bugs and errors because it was meant for the Development stage, not for production. Integrating DevOps automates workflow, infrastructure, and performance of the application. Automation, Measurement, Culture, and Sharing are the core values of DevOps while principles, values, practices, methods, and tools are its practice.
In these three phases, DevOps could be implemented –
- The foundation of DevOps competency is automated testing and agile method. It ensures keeping track of every code changes by writing tests which could then be evaluated by its failure or success. This phase is called automated testing.
- Continuous Integration is the second phase of DevOps implementation. The entire testing process could be automated after the code for testing is received. To implement continuous integration, Jenkins is commonly used. It works is such a way that at every iteration the number of background servers would test the code to check if the creation of any bug could be automated. A report of test failure or success would then be generated at the end.
- Continuous Delivery is the third phase of DevOps implementation. Real business value is obtained in this phase. Small chunks of code are written with bug fixes, new features, etc., that could be tested, and deployed. The tools and pipeline for Continuous Delivery vary among companies and a specific tool always backs a pipeline.
There are certain reasons why DevOps could accomplish so many things –
- The integration of project changes and the monitoring of job execution along with the identification of problems by accessing the output could be accomplished using tools like Jenkins.
- There are certain tools like SVN, Git, etc., which lets a team track and manages all the code changes.
- In automated fashion, the code could be deployed across several servers using tools like Puppet, Chef, etc.
Till now, you learned about DevOps and why it is necessary for the software development cycle. As you have seen, the functionality of several DevOps tools makes it so powerful. Below we would look into some of the popular DevOps tools which you would learn.
Different Types of DevOps Tools
Some of the popular DevOps tools are as explained below:
A reliable build tool is needed for your DevOps tool stack. Until 2009, when Gradle showed up, Ant and Maven were the pioneers of the automated build tools. The versatility of Gradle allows you to write code in any language such as Java, Python, C++, and so on. Eclipse, NetBeans, and other IDE’s also support Gradle. A Groovy-based DSL instead of XML is used by Gradle to describe the build tools. Scripts would also be written in Kotlin. The Maven’s repository format is used by Gradle which includes the familiarity with the dependency management. It has a decent compile time and incremental builds. Gradle is faster than Maven by hundred times because of cache and daemon. Shipping is faster in Gradle as well.
Git is widely used in the software industry and is a popular DevOps tool. The open-source contributors love this source code management tool. You could keep track of your work using Git and find any version necessary. The creation of branches and the merging of features are some of the other features of Git. For people to push their work, repositories need to be hosted which would allow Git’s integration with the workflow. GitHub and Bitbucket are two of the most common services right now.
For many software development teams, the go-to automation tool of DevOps is Jenkins. The different stages of the delivery pipeline could be automated by this CI/CD server. The enormous plugin eco-system of Jenkins is the reason behind its popularity. From Docker to Puppet, Jenkins could integrate with almost all the tools of DevOps. It has over a thousand plugins.
Based on your needs, the CI/CD pipeline could be set up and customized. Jenkins runs of all operating systems from Windows to Linux and thus it’s easy to get started with Jenkins. It could be installed with Docker as well. Through a web interface, the Jenkins server could be set up and configured. A first-time user could use the frequently used plugins to install it. Own custom config could be created as well. The code could be deployed quickly with Jenkins and success could be measured at each step.
Bamboo is the solution of CI/CD of Atlassian’s bearing a lot of similarity with Jenkins. The automation of the delivery pipeline could be achieved by both. Unlike Jenkins, Bamboo has a price associated with it.
Several manual functionalities in Jenkins are pre-built in Bamboo which results into lesser plugins than Jenkins but its out-of-the-box capabilities don’t need that many plugins. Integration with Bitbucket and Jira could be done seamlessly with Bamboo. A lot of configuration time could be saved with Bamboo. The user interface in Bamboo is interactive and intuitive as well. Several features like the tips of the tool, auto-completion, and so on are present in the UI.
Since its inception in 2013, the container platform which has the number one is Docker and it is still continuously improving. A highly important DevOps tool, the distributed development ability of Docker has made containerization popular in the technological world. The app’s deployment could be also be automated with Docker.
Applications are made secure and portable by isolating it into separate containers. It is an Operating system oriented. It is an alternative to VirtualBox. All dependencies could be shipped as an independent unit using Docker which takes them away from the hassle of dependency management and making it possible to run the apps on any platform. The delivery workflow could be improved if integrated with Jenkins and Bamboo servers. Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud has extended support for Docker. Docker can ease the process of cloud migration.
The containerized application’s deployment, scaling, and management could be automated by an open-source system known as Kubernetes, 2019 is the year of Kubernetes. The containerization has been taken to the next level by the Kubernetes platform. It could be easily integrated with other tools like Docker. The idea behind Kubernetes was to manage containers at scale and thus a solution was found in 2015 by two Google engineers. Containers could be grouped into logical units using Kubernetes.
Having a few containers might let you need a container orchestration platform. Reaching a certain level of complexity, however, would require scaling of the resources. Hundreds of containers could be managed by automating the process using Kubernetes. Instead of containerized apps being tied to a single machine, Kubernetes allows us to deploy it to a cluster of computers. Across the entire cluster, the scheduling of containers is automated by Kubernetes. There is one master and several worker nodes structures in Kubernetes. The pre-defined rules are implemented by the master while the worker nodes deploy the containers. In a situation of necessity, the containers are re-distributed by Kubernetes and it also notices when everything even when a worker node is down.
7. Puppet Enterprise
A configuration management platform which is also cross-platform is known as the Puppet Enterprise. As a code, the infrastructure could be managed by the Puppet tool. The software could be delivered faster and more securely as infrastructure management is automated. An open-source tool for smaller projects could also be provided to the developers by Puppet. Puppet Enterprise’s extra features could be found when dealing with a large infrastructure.
Some of the features are the report generation in real-time, the access-control which is role-based, and the management of Node. Thousands of resources and multiple teams could be managed with the Puppet Enterprise. The relationship with infrastructure is one the key process of a software development life-cycle which is automated by the Puppet Enterprise. Failures are handled smartly and the dependencies are dealt with carefully. All the dependent configurations are skipped, when a configuration fails. There are more than five thousand modules in Puppet and many popular DevOps tools could be integrated with it.
Similar to Chef and Puppet, a configuration management tool is Ansible. Deployment could be automated and the infrastructure could be configured using the Ansible tool. Its simplicity and ease of use are the main features compared to other tools. The Puppet’s infrastructure as code approach is followed by Ansible as well. The simple YAML syntax is used by Ansible. Tasks could be defined in Ansible with YAML while there is a declarative advantage in Puppet. One of the other standout features of Ansible is its Agentless architecture. For automating configuration management, a secure and lightweight solution is Ansible. There are several modules in Ansible as well which is similar to Puppet. Within a Jenkins pipeline, applications could be deployed and the environment could be provisioned using the Ansible tool.
A DevOps monitoring tool which is free and open-source is Nagios. Problems could be found and fixed with the Nagios tool as it helps to monitor the infrastructure. Records of failures, events, etc., could be tracked with the help of this tool. Nagios’s graphs and charts help to track the trends. Security threats could be detected and errors could be forecasted as a result of this. Nagios’s plugin system makes it stand out for infrastructure monitoring. There is a huge community for Nagios since its emergence in 2002. All translations, tutorials, etc., along with plugins are also free. The Nagios Core, Nagios Log Server, Nagios XI, and Nagios Fusion are monitoring solutions of Nagios which are open-source.
As Core is the command line tool, the user interface is formed by the Nagios XI. The logs data could be searched using the Nagios Log server and at the same time, multiple networks could be monitored using the Nagios Fusion. The solution to monitor infrastructure is provided by Nagios to DevOps which might take some time to gain compatibility.
Raygun is a platform which reports crash and monitors errors. The recent product of Raygun is APM. The performance issues could be diagnosed using the Raygun tool and tracked as well. The problems with the highest priority are identified and issues are created. Development and Operation are brought together by Raygun and provided the errors and performance problems causes for the whole team by linking errors back automatically to the source code.
DevOps is certainly one of the in-demand processes in the software development cycle. Any IT professional should have sufficient knowledge of DevOps in order to stay ahead in their career. All companies use DevOps in their system which makes it a necessary skill to master. The process of how things like operating systems, web services, software packages, hardware specs, etc., are defined by the Configuration management code. A DevOps team comprises of a Developer, Quality Assurance (One who would test the code based on the requirements), and Operations.
DevOps not only increases the rate of software development but also market it faster. The infrastructure could be automated easily keeping the business objective in mind. It produces efficient and quality software products. The code would have lesser bugs and less expensive to deliver. All these advantages typify the need for DevOps in the software development eco-space.
This has been a guide to What is DevOps Tools?. Here we discussed the basic concepts, important phases and various types of DevOps Tools. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –