Overview and Current Practice
Over the years, organizations have succeeded in implementing agile methodologies to speed up software delivery. Agile, which started primarily in the software development organization, has gradually expanded into other areas downstream, namely IT and operations. Agile way of development has created a process for developers’ community to quickly ship a new version of their code. DevOps appears to be the next step in the process. It is the ability to help get that code to production as fast as possible. Now the question arises why do development teams need to embrace DevOps?
DevOps is all about empowering the teams to be able to do their job quickly and bring the product into market promptly. There are three critical things that every development team needs to embrace.
Continuous Automatics Build and Deployment
For an organization if the objectives are to build and deploy software applications quickly and consistently, then it needs a consistent build process and a technology platform which can perform the same over and over without fail. The platform should allow to connect and configure multiple tools for the Build and Deployment process and should work in unison to achieve the goal.
Over the years the build has been done manually by a build engineer. The process includes remotely accessing the server, pull down the latest source code, build, and deploy using xcopy. It was a manual job, but it worked. The problem arises when the build engineer is gone or forgets a manual step, and then all sorts of problems arise. Over time the complexity grows, and the build server, while stable, is loaded with numerous versions of build.
With Kovair DevOps one can create granular level tasks to automate build and deployment pipeline jobs. The Task allows to automate every manual step that was being done previously. Tasks like getting the latest files from the repository and executing standard and custom build commands to build the source and produce artifacts. With the Kovair platform this could be done on time and every time. Kovair provides ANT, Maven and MS Build plug-ins for achieving the build. Kovair also provides Plugins for GitHub and Team Foundation Server for code repository.
Considering various domains and application types, provisioning servers is a very large subject. In many organizations, particularly product oriented, they tend to deploy to the same servers all the time and probably don’t set up new servers on regular basis. Most applications never run on more than a few servers. Their apps just don’t get enough traffic. In those cases, provisioning new servers are less of an issue.
Command Line approach:
For an enterprise-level organization, it is always recommended not to involve engineers in the actual creation of the servers consistently every time. With Automation this could be done much faster at any point of time without any physical dependency of any engineer.
We understand that provisioning a VM server is not same everywhere, specially IT team uses scripts to spin up servers. Kovair DevOps provides full support for executing custom commands – Shell Commands, PowerShell Commands, SQL Commands and CMD Commands.
Another new way to solve this problem is Docker containers. Instead of provisioning lots of virtual machines, you could pack several lightweight Docker containers together.
Kovair DevOps have the plug-in for Dockers which allows Build, Push, Pull or run a Docker Image. Moreover, to provide more in-depth integration Kovair also provides an interface to run custom Docker Commands.
This approach provisions actual servers, the problem with servers is knowing the exact configuration needed. This problem varies wildly based on your application. This involves things like installing your web server, application framework, Operating System updates, Security patches, Permission and other dependencies. To solve this challenge, configuration tools like Ansible have become popular.
Kovair DevOps have the plug-in for Ansible which allows to Create and Launch Jobs from Pipeline and get live status. Moreover, if the launch fails, relaunch could be done from Kovair DevOps Pipeline.
Pipeline at the Next Level – Pipeline within a Pipeline
Automation and Collaboration across the teams are the building blocks of DevOps operation. Now, these building blocks will not suffice the need completely. One needs to take these building blocks and design a DevOps pipeline that suits one’s needs. Therefore, creating a complex pipeline or large pipeline requires triggering of the pipeline from any other pipeline. Kovair DevOps provides pipeline representing as a Plug-in and the best part of this feature is -its overall status goes back to the calling pipeline which decides the execution of further tasks
Monitoring Application Performance
Application monitoring tools are the only windows for the development team to view production environment. In most organizations, developers do not have direct access to production servers. However, it is very difficult for developers to troubleshoot problems if they can’t get access to log files and other live data. Application monitoring is a completely different paradigm than server monitoring. In today’s technology, application monitoring is a vast area that could mean a lot of different things. DevOps world has always focused on deploying applications but it has been identified that developers need visibility on data about how their apps are performing to troubleshoot problems quickly. It has now been identified as an essential component of DevOps.
With Kovair DevOps plug-in for tools like Dynatrace, it is easy to track applications, problems, close problems with complete flexibility of providing pass and fail conditions.
Typical DevOps Workflow by Kovair Pipeline
Plug-in Suit from Kovair
Following are the entire suite of Plug-ins that Kovair DevOps currently supports. The diagram below shows the Kovair road map for the DevOps Plug-ins that get added on a quarterly frequency.
Over the years, it has been observed that developers love and require tools to work with. For an engineering organization, implementing DevOps is a must and for the same, we need tools to help them build, test, deploy and monitor their applications. DevOps is all about removing barriers across the teams for accelerating the delivery. Kovair DevOps intends to solve these problems and bring a unified and automated process for delivery for better customer experience and gain organization level productivity and quality.