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Achieve DevOps by Integrating Your Existing Tools through Omnibus

Today, DevOps has captured both the mindshare of IT fraternity and IT businesses. For some, this change is overwhelming, although the causation of DevOps can only be attributed to the agile movement that has revolutionized the software development industry. DevOps is the result of the confluence of IT Performance and business profitability. In case you are new to this trend in software development, we recommend you to visit our previous blog on DevOps.

Benefits of DevOps

Based on the current practices, it is difficult to ignore the tangible benefits that DevOps as a practice has to offer. Implementation of DevOps helps in significant reduction of development cost and also gives operations team the benefit of viewing real-time progress of the implementation. Other measurable benefits of DevOps include:

  • Shorter development cycle
  • Increased release velocity
  • Improved defect detection mechanism
  • Reduced deployment failures and rollbacks
  • Reduced time to recover upon failure.

Under such circumstances, as the current study suggests, approximately 66% of the IT enterprises worldwide have either adopted or are in the process of adopting DevOps.

Benefits of DevOps

Challenges of DevOps Implementation

In a study, it has been found that organizations have decided to invest 73% of their DevOps budget in tool acquisition. There are certain challenges that need to be considered before adopting DevOps.

  • Adherence to the strict guidelines

It is often a challenge to define rules during DevOps implementation. DevOps, being a philosophy or concept can vary in implementation across different organizations. Hence, for each organization, a tailor-made implementation rule is necessary. Once the rules are defined, the adherence to the process poses yet another challenge.

  • The right tool or app for DevOps

Today, everyone has a tool for a job. Many of the tools are from open sources, or cloud based offerings that users can get as trial and start using instantly. The trick for the Operations team is to support that new tool and still maintain awareness among other team members. These tools if adopted without any internal oversight can lead to operational issues down the road. Tool management is something that needs to be addressed early and in conjunction between development and operations team.

  • The monitoring mechanism

Analytics and Reports are the need of the hour. On a micro level, operations and development teams need visibility into each other’s activities. On a macro level, for the higher level management, it is important to gain insights into the overall progress and decision making.

 The Solution: Kovair Omnibus Integration Platform

Kovair Omnibus Integration Platform is a tool that successfully handles all the above challenges and paves the way for successful DevOps adoption and implementation. This is ensured by integrating the tools and thereby bridging the information gap between development and operations teams. In order to achieve this feat, Omnibus employs an ESB based integration ecosystem. Kovair adapters/connectors for the relevant Dev and Ops tools, when hooked up to the Omnibus ecosystem help in seamless data exchange across the connected tools.

Kovair Omnibus ESB ArchitectureFigure 1: A broad level view of Kovair Omnibus ESB Architecture

This integration brings about the much-needed data visibility of operations into development activity and vice versa. Kovair understands that DevOps is not all about bringing Dev and Ops together but is much more beyond that. Implementation of Continuous Integration – CI and Continuous Deployment – CD also needs to be supported for an end-to-end DevOps implementation. Kovair Omnibus with its current integration of 60+ COTS tools from various vendors and functional domains enables organizations to adapt to DevOps smoothly. Kovair also acts as a central repository to manage the cross-tool data from the development and operations tools, which in turn forms the basis of various analytics and reports. Let us take an example to see how this is achieved.

Example DevOps Scenario using Omnibus

An organization uses Remedy or ServiceNow for ITSM or Help Desk management. When any ticket or Change Requests come in they get automatically passed to Rally or VersionOne or JIRA as User Stories or Defects. Once they are allotted to any sprint, developers and testers view them from their own environments like Eclipse, TFS, HP QC, Kovair iTM. Once coding is complete and codes get checked in at SVN for Source Code management, an automatic build gets triggered using Hudson or MS Build. Upon successful completion of build, it can be automatically deployed using Kovair deployment tool and automated tests can be executed through Selenium or QTP. Test results can be captured and linked to the test cases. Defects get raised for those failed test cases if any in the Kovair defect management. When hooked to the Kovair Omnibus Platform, each of these tools’ users get a complete visibility of test records such as test cases, test steps, test runs, user stories, defects and their interrelationships from within their own tools. With Kovair’s integrated platform, organizations can achieve continuous integration and continuous deployment scenario for their teams.

DevOps scenario implementationFigure 2: DevOps scenario implementation using Kovair Omnibus Integration Platform

Advantages of Kovair Omnibus Integration Platform

  • Data visibility across tools

With the Omnibus Integration Platform, the data from the development and operations tools get synced to each other in real time. Developers can view any ticket or problem reported by the operations team from their IDE like Visual Studio or Eclipse using specific plug-ins from Kovair. The same also applies to operations team where the Change Request worked upon by the developers can be tracked from the operations tool environment itself. The latency of information passing between Dev and Ops thus gets reduced to a great extent.

  • Support for data traceability

Besides supporting the synchronization of data objects among different tools, Omnibus Integration Platform also supports the synchronization of relationships that might exist among those data objects. Once the cross-tool data are brought into Kovair’s Central Repository, cross-tool traceability can be derived, which helps users ascertain the relationships between various data objects. Kovair platform through its traceability relationship feature allows organizations to perform proactive impact analysis of any change and take an informed decision on the implementation of the change request.

  • Automated build and deployment

Some of most redundant and time-killing jobs of developers and operations team alike are the build and deployment activities. Kovair Omnibus Platform can perform these critical jobs by automatically triggering build and deployment from Kovair Application based on some defined conditions and intervals. A one-time configuration, in which the build or deployment job and the corresponding tools need to be specified, is all that it takes to set up the automated build and deployment system with Kovair.

Automated Build Using KovairFigure 3: Automated Build Using Kovair

  • Process automation

DevOps practices can vary at a granular level across organizations, and a single workflow might not accommodate all the different practices. Kovair Omniprocess Workflow Engine provides the solution for Process Automation across multiple tools in this regard. With Kovair, it is possible to define the process or workflow for the organization that spans across currently used development and operations tools. The automated workflows can be defined using the interactive and web based UI of the Kovair Platform.

  • Reports, Metrics, and KPIs

All the cross-tool data that are being worked within the DevOps process can be stored in the Kovair’s central repository. Kovair with its reporting engine can help derive various meaningful reports, metrics, and KPIs. This lends a bird’s eye view of the whole DevOps process to management. Kovair allows users to define a wide range of custom reports and metrics using the interactive UI based reporting tools.

Sample Kovair Reports and DashboardsFigure 4: Sample Kovair Reports and Dashboards.

Thus, we see that most of the benefits of DevOps can be easily achieved using a single tool like the Kovair Omnibus. Kovair offers integrations starting from the basic development tools like ane IDE to the more complex ones like various Requirements, Test, and Defect Management suites. The same is also applicable to operations since tools from CRM, ITSM or Help Desk domain can all be integrated with the Kovair Omnibus Integration Platform.

Thus, Kovair Omnibus allows organizational users across the globe to leverage their current tools’ usage for maximum benefit at a minimum cost. Implementing DevOps with Kovair Omnibus requires investment in a single tool – Kovair and a couple of one-time codeless configurations. Development and Operations teams are guaranteed to feel zero transition resistance since they don’t have to leave their known environment and the tools while adopting this new methodology.

Kovair currently has off-the-shelf integrations for 60+ tools from various domains like ALM, ITSM or Help Desk. For more information about Kovair’s integration capabilities, please visit our website www.kovair.com.

Arunava Bhattacharya is a Software Engineer at Kovair Software, specializing in corporate solutions and services. Designing configurations to satisfy customers' ALM use cases is his core competency. He also takes keen interest in technical writing and photography.