Are Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process?

DevOps is no longer an alien term! All of us working in IT Domain are accustomed to this now. Many organizations have started adopting this idea and are already implementing it.  After all, who doesn’t want a seamless integration, eliminate manual interventions, enforce Continuous Delivery and automate the complete lifecycle from the start till the end of the stage, which is production? With automated deliveries getting deployed on time, organizations are saving both time and money—the most critical factors required to run a successful business.

For setting up Best DevOps Practices, we need to have the following systems in place:

6 Parameters to Achieve a Successful DevOps Solution

  1. Continuous Planning
  2. Continuous Integration
  3. Continuous Testing
  4. Continuous Delivery
  5. Continuous Monitoring
  6. Continuous Feedback

Why Do We Need These 6 Parameters to Achieve Successful DevOps Solution?

Good DevOps practice requires  holistic thinking and team spirit rather than leaving an impact on your own function.  Agility helps team members in approaching the end goal in iterative and incremental manner. Collaboration between teams is the most important factor for achieving the goal. Since different tools are used by different teams in the organization, it is very important to integrate these tools without which it will not be feasible to implement a successful Solution.

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

What are the Challenges that Affect Seamless Integration in DevOps?

Let’s discuss some of the tools integration challenges here:

  1. Analyzing Textual logs for Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting critical issues are often a challenge for Developers when analyzing the textual logs.
  2. Point-to-Point Integration Approach for Multiple Tools: It is a big challenge for the developers to investigate and identify the root cause for the issues in a Point-to-point Integration scenario with large number of tools.
  3. Rising Maintenance Cost: With large number of tools involved in DevOps Scenario, it is very difficult to maintain a balance against rising maintenance cost.
  4. Lack of Traceability: Even after tools are successfully integrated with a point-to-point methodology, it becomes tedious to achieve data transparency. Lack of traceability between tools involved in a DevOps Scenario is one of the biggest challenges that does not get resolved even after integration set-up has been implemented.
  5. Loss of Data: Due to sudden unexpected failures in data synchronization there is always a possibility of data getting lost in the process.
  6. No Proper Notification to Users in Data Synchronization failures: When data synchronization failures occur, it becomes very difficult to identify the missing data when there are no automated email notifications/alerts.
  7. Delay in Deployments: When tools are not integrated in place, often there are delays in deployment that in turn delays the entire process.

So, we have identified various difficulties in the data integration process. However, for every problem there is a solution. What are the remedies available for these problems? Let’s discuss the solutions available for the above-mentioned problems.

Resolutions to Tools Integration Challenges

  • Graphical UI-Based Logging Mechanisms: If there is an intelligent user interface which allows users to troubleshoot various issues then it will help them in resolving it with lesser difficulties.
  • ESB Infrastructure: Using Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Architecture for integrating multiple tools is a better solution. The ESB Architecture helps in overcoming the difficulties of Point-to-point tools integration setup. In ESB Architecture when tools are connected to the bus through Tool APIs, it facilitates in setting up the communication channel between the integrated tools. The ESB is flexible and allows tools to be connected / disconnected based on an organization’s business scenarios. This kind of plug-and-play mechanism helps in saving the cost and identification / resolution of issues.
  • Lower Maintenance Cost: By adapting the above-mentioned mechanism, it helps in reducing the maintenance cost considerably.
  • Proper Traceability: End-to-End traceability between various tools or artifacts involved in a DevOps Solution helps to bring transparency within the system.
  • Retry on Data Failures Mechanism: The “Retry” mechanism for redoing the failed data transactions helps in maintaining the data integrity. This keeps data loss in control and ensures reliability in the system.
  • Mail Notifications on Transaction failures: The mechanism to automatically generate email notifications whenever there is an issue in data transaction helps the user to keep control of the situation. Users can initiate remedial measures immediately as soon as they get the notification.
  • Automated Deployments: Automatically deploying builds without manual intervention and thus delaying the process provides quicker deliveries of end products with minimum errors.

You are now aware of the issues in setting up a comprehensive solution and what are the possible resolutions. You must be thinking whether there is a solution which can help you in achieving the goal of setting up a Robust Working DevOps Solution? Let’s introduce you to Kovair DevOps Solution.

How Kovair Omnibus Helps to Achieve Seamless Tools Integration

With an intelligent ESB architecture, Kovair Omnibus allows you to integrate all tools in your DevOps scenario via their adapters/connectors. Kovair has over 80+ off-the-shelf third party and open source tools available for such DevOps scenarios. This can be done via a simple plug and play mechanism without affecting other tools in the scenario.

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

Moreover, in order to get your DevOps tools integrated, you need not write any piece of code but just rely on mouse-clickable UI-based configuration. If you are wondering about data loss, well with Kovair Solution, on every transaction failures users are provided with mail notifications that can be configured when you establish an integration scenario. Additionally, Kovair also enables the facility of Retry mechanism during data loss that can be either automated or done manually based on user’s requirement.

For end users as well as the developers, it becomes quite easy to do the RCA for any specific issue due to the intuitive UI that supports various detail level logging mechanism namely:

  • Detailed event log: mainly focuses on the events occurring on the source tool, the data that is being fetched from the same, as well as the attribute values.
  • Detailed action log: mainly focuses on the actions on destination tool and the detailed summary log.

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

It also possesses an attractive graphical Sync Monitor that allows users to track the event and its corresponding actions.

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

Most interestingly, Kovair Traceability reports gives users an end-to-end tree-like consolidated view showcasing the cross-tool artifacts and the relations exposed between each of them. Kovair also allows you to create your own reports and dashboards out of the accumulated cross tool data for monitoring purpose. So now, we have indicated how you do have the remedies for your integration challenges in order to set up the DevOps scenario.

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

Let us now discuss a post-production scenario for DevOps.

Use Case Scenario for DevOpsTools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

  1. An Operations member raises an Incident against an issue identified in production instance of an application in ServiceNow.
  2. The ticket gets synced to Rally and Kovair as a User story via automated tools integration through Kovair Omnibus.
  3. The Developer in Rally identifies the Ticket and provides planning estimates, updates the status to “In progress” against it that is synced to ServiceNow and Kovair.
  4. The Kovair user story is pushed as a backlog and associated to a sprint for a particular Release. Automatically, a workflow starts in Kovair application that will help to create a new task for reviewing the Sprint.
  5. Once the Sprint is reviewed and approved, the developer gets a task to perform development.
  6. Next the Developer goes to Eclipse IDE and performs code modifications.
  7. Post-code modifications, static code analysis performed using SonarQube and the relevant data will be sent to Kovair repository for reporting purpose.
  8. Post static code analysis, the code is checked into GitHub. Before checking in, the commit gets associated to the user story that will become visible in Eclipse via the Kovair Omnibus plugin for Eclipse IDE.
  9. The Github artifacts, the link between the artifacts as well as the link from User story to Commit is synced to Kovair repository for tracking purpose.
  10. On check-in of code file, the Staging pipeline configured in Jenkins consisting of jobs — Build (done via Jenkins), Deployment (done via Chef), and Automated Test (done via Selenium) will be automatically triggered via Kovair Omnibus and Kovair Workflow business policies
  11. Once done successfully, the next pipeline for Production consisting Deployment (done via Chef) and Automated Test (done via Selenium) will be automatically triggered and the jobs get executed consecutively.
  12. Finally, the Developer modifies the status of User Story to ‘Resolved’ in Rally that will be synced to corresponding Service Now Incident and Kovair User Story updating it to Resolved as well.
  13. All the artifacts, the link between the artifacts, the end-to-end traceability starting from Release to related Sprint, related Backlogs and its corresponding related commits, code files, related Jobs and the builds for each of the commit can be tracked in a single-consolidated view, various reports and metrics can be seen by the higher-level project executives from the Kovair “One Click DevOps” Solution.
  14. Here, accumulating the cross-tool data, the various reports are configured through simple mouse-clicks.

 

Tools Integration Challenges Affecting Your DevOps Process

Once, you have the integration in place, the tools used by different teams get connected thus ensuring team collaboration.  With seamless integration, lesser bugs come up on continuous testing. In addition, due to the on-time continuous delivery followed by continuous feedback, time and cost can be managed wisely. Again, with proper data visibility, tracking and reporting methodologies, it becomes easier to monitor.

Thus, finally, it paves the way to gain a successful DevOps experience. Need to achieve the same? Catch the Kovair Sales team to have a look at the live product demo at sales@kovair.com!


Abantika is a Solutions Engineer at Kovair Software. She specializes in Customer Services and Solutions Delivery. Understanding Customers' pain points, coordinating with associated key stakeholders and configuring appropriate solutions are her major responsibilities at Kovair. At leisure time you will find her busy with music and dance.

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