The software development industry has no shortage of “DevOps” tools that position themselves as the end-all solution for application lifecycle management. Everything from release management tools to automated testing software is being coined a “DevOps necessity for the forward looking enterprise.” With so many product categories competing for a slice of the pie, what constitutes a breakthrough DevOps product? This article sets out highlight pioneer products on the market, while bucketing them under the three ways of DevOps, as defined by Gene Kim in The Phoenix Project and The DevOps Handbook.
The first way is concerned with performance and flow of the entire system. It involves creating efficient value streams within the business through synergy between development and operations. The ultimate goal is to create faster delivery through automation, earlier collaboration between operations and development, and building quality in through testing and quality control measures.
First Way Pioneers:
Docker is a breakthrough container application that allows for deployment automation. It packages software with all code, tools, libraries, etc. that are needed to properly install on a server.
Chef and Puppet are configuration management tools that aid in the configuration and maintenance of enterprise servers.
Cucumber allows for custom automated tests built in a BDD style. Selenium is a record/playback tool for creating custom tests without learning a test scripting language.
The second way is the completion of the DevOps loop through feedback from operations to development. The goal is to not only create, but shorten and amplify the feedback loop so that the process is swift and seamless. The feedback loop should inevitably lead to an increase in efficiency with the first way.
Second Way Pioneers:
Clarive is an application release automation platform that provides a combination of automated modeling, workflow management, and deployment. All of this is achieved with incredible visibility that helps manage and regulate the way that deployments and releases are performed.
Jira is an issue tracker that provides bug tracking, issue tracking, and general project management.
Splunk is a searchable database of real-time big data. It was originally developed to provide executives outside of the IT department, actionable reporting.
The third way is to foster a culture of experimentation and learning within your company. This is the stage that you must push the capabilities of your system to the max through rigorous testing and experimentation. A company must foster a culture that accepts failure, as long as a lesson can be learned. As Henry Ford put it, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
Third Way Pioneers:
CollabNet DevOps Lifecycle Manager
CollabNet DLM is a product that integrates with every industry-leading tool to create a rule based execution system between applications. It facilitates the cross platform integration, while providing a unified reporting dashboard on customizable KPI’s.
Jenkins is an open-source continuous integration software that allows for trigger based automation of testing and builds.
Keep in mind that these tools, individual or combined, will not elevate your company to the status of DevOps elite. It takes a paradigm shift to properly adopt DevOps within your business operations. These tools are a means to enhancement, once you outgrow your SMB solutions. However, when considering the market and the software available within it, these tools lead the pack.