To succeed in DevOps, teams need to operate at peak performance and avoid risks. Operations teams should be able to react quickly and tackle risks with minimal impact on the product. DevOps consistency is a key component for achieving this.
Sustaining consistency requires that every team follows the same processes, procedures, tools, formatting, and so on. This helps reduce risks and operations work more efficiently. It also ensures that team members are performing consistently across the board. In this post, you'll learn how to achieve consistent DevOps through the 6 steps listed below.
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Why DevOps Matters?
Customer satisfaction is a goal as well as a key element in the ability of a DevOps team to deliver value quickly and efficiently. DevOps is aimed at helping businesses innovate and drive continuous process improvements – it's not just about filling a long series of tactical asks.
The use of DevOps helps deliver better solutions to business customers. This value could come with more frequent product updates. Generally speaking, the speed and quality of the releases are important in helping customers make their purchases.
DevOps practices will also help optimize software development delivery flow through Continuous delivery. Development teams will follow more best practices in their implementations. Team dynamics will also improve in each phase of delivery since the total delivery of a product happens in one place.
6 Steps to DevOps Consistency
To gain consistency, teams of developers, operators, quality assurance, and product management will need to prescribe a series of systems and principles. Saying you do infrastructure as code, continuous deployment, or any other DevOps practice doesn't mean a whole lot if it isn't backed up by a cohesive team with shared goals.
Below are foundational steps that you can take as a business to reduce inconsistency through manual tasks and start your DevOps adoption!
Step 1: Create a Shared Vision
Development and operations teams must agree on their core principles. Vision setting is an important first step in creating a unified culture. This also helps teams understand their role and the bigger picture. Furthermore, this vision should be clear enough for all members of the team to understand it.
Ultimately, everyone should understand what the goals of their specific activities are. To create a shared vision, have a meeting with your team and discuss your goals for the project. It's also a good idea to make a chart to visually communicate those goals. This chart can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like.
You can also make these meetings interactive so that people can type in their ideas from their areas of expertise. Some teams choose to create a more traditional project plan during this vision-setting meeting.
Step 2: Establish a Culture of Collaboration
Collaboration is the key to success in DevOps. Everyone needs to be on board with the culture of collaboration if they want to meet their goals. This means ensuring that every team member actively participates in the decision-making process. This should lead to more effective decisions and efficient operations.
When making decisions, teams should consider the opinions of others. This can prevent resentment and enable everyone to focus on the common goal. Collaboration can take many forms. It can be as simple as asking for feedback on a decision or the way the team is handling operations.
It can also be formalized into a company-wide program. Collaboration is key during observations or audits. Auditors need to understand the team's procedures and workflows. They should also understand how the team manages risks.
Step 3: Automate and Set Up Infrastructure Consistently
To achieve consistency in DevOps, teams need to automate as many common operations as possible. This reduces the need for humans to manage expectations, risks, and deadlines. It also leads to more consistent and predictable results. Automation can be a great way for teams to standardize the way they do things.
Depending on the nature of the project and the team, many operations can be automated. For example, code review, testing, build, and deployment can all be automated through to a production environment. To set up infrastructure consistently, your infrastructure needs to be consistent with the rest of your company's infrastructure.
This can be challenging, depending on your organization's mix of cloud offerings. To ensure that you're creating consistent infrastructure, use the same tools, standards, and configurations across your entire company. This lets you create consistent infrastructure across your DevOps team.
Which Processes Should I Automate in DevOps?
DevOps involves numerous processes that differ in organizations and can be implemented in different environments. In the ideal world, you can automate everything, but reality sometimes requires picking the right priority for automation.
A good place to start is by building domains around your processes. This helps define specific responsibilities and enables integration and handoffs between these different domains. Once a system has been componentized into domains, start to make adjustments to your technology stack to enable continuous integration. This is generally done by cleaning up data and setting rules around how data migrations are handled into the future.
Step 4: Establish a Common Workflow and Standardize Code Quality Tools
To achieve consistency DevOps, teams must standardize their workflows and tools. This can help teams achieve consistent results and avoid risks. It also lets members focus on tasks that are more relevant to their job.
At the core of workflow is a standard procedures. If you have a large team with many different developers all working through elaborate and complex steps to contribute code, naturally everyone is going to look for shortcuts to the processes. By looking at code delivery at scale, you can analyze the common pain points and remove unnecessary work.
To standardize tools, teams should use a common set of software. This can include code quality tools, version control software, and build and deployment tools. A core tool-set can help teams manage their common operations.
A great example of this is configuration management. If a team is utilizing open source technologies like Ansible, and a rouge agent pops in and adds SaltStack to the project, the breadth of skills needed for ongoing operations and maintenance has grown in an exponential and unchecked way.
Unify the DevOps Toolchain
Pipelines are often fragmented and lack of visibility makes delivering software more difficult. High fragmentation in the tool and team structure is no good way of monitoring and optimizing the performance of the pipeline in real time.
A unified toolchain can aide in visualizing services while deploying out to a production environment. Moreover, the pipeline itself can be analyzed from initial commit all the way through acceptance or rejection of changes by automated testing.
A unified toolchain has a ton of benefits around operating a consistent DevOps pipeline.
Step 5: Define and Enforce Process Metrics
To sustain consistency in DevOps, teams must define and enforce process metrics. This can help teams understand their progress and the impact of their operations. It also lets teams focus their efforts on their core job.
For each process metric, teams should define what it means, how they will measure it, and how they will act on the results. For example, a process metric for code quality could be the percentage of code that passes a static analysis tool. To enforce process metrics, teams must enforce policies and proper standards.
Teams must ensure that all members of the organization follow the same standards and policies. They must also enforce consequences for non-compliance. Teams must also challenge the status quo whenever necessary.
Keep Engineers Informed
In practice, most DevOps pipelines cannot easily automate the entire process. Automation for DevOps removes engineers completely. Even most automated DevOps processes require human oversight unless something goes wrong. The goal is to ensure that every team can automate whenever possible, because automation reduces human dependency by handling simple repetitive tasks.
Process metrics help keep both DevOps teams and other interested parties informed about the lifecycle of software and releases. Much like we want pipelines to be automated, we want visibility to be automated as well. This helps promote data driven decision making from the same source of truth.
Step 6: Communicate Risk Awareness
To achieve consistent DevOps, teams must communicate risk awareness. This can help teams avoid risks and impacts on their operations. It can also help teams stay on top of regulatory compliance issues. For each risk that teams encounter, they should identify the potential impacts.
Potential impacts can include significant delays, increased risks of failure, and cost overruns. To communicate risk awareness, teams must share information and discuss risks openly. They must also outline how they plan to address or mitigate risks.
Stability Is Always The Priority
In DevOps, "stability is always the priority" means that the focus should be on maintaining a stable and reliable system, rather than on constantly adding new features or making changes. This is because a stable system is essential for the smooth operation of a business and for the satisfaction of its customers.
There are several reasons why stability is so important in DevOps:
- Downtime can be costly: If a system goes down or experiences errors, it can result in lost revenue, damaged customer relationships, and other negative impacts on the business.
- Continuous delivery relies on stability: In DevOps, the goal is to deliver new features and updates to users as quickly as possible. This requires a stable system that can support the rapid integration and deployment of new code.
- Stability enables experimentation: A stable system provides a reliable foundation for experimentation and innovation. Without stability, it is difficult to accurately measure the impact of new features or changes.
Overall, prioritizing stability in DevOps helps to ensure the reliability and performance of a system, which is essential for the success of any business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about how DevOps helps promote consistency:
What is DevOps and how does it relate to consistency?
DevOps is a set of practices that aims to bring development and operations teams together to build, test, and release software more quickly and reliably. One of the key benefits of DevOps is that it helps organizations achieve consistency in their software development and deployment processes.
How does DevOps help with consistency?
There are several ways that DevOps helps with consistency:
- Automation: DevOps practices often involve the use of automation tools to handle tasks such as building, testing, and deploying code. This helps to eliminate manual errors and ensures that the same processes are followed consistently every time.
- Version control: DevOps typically involves the use of version control systems, such as Git, to manage and track changes to code. This helps to ensure that the codebase is consistent and that it is easy to roll back to previous versions if necessary.
- Continuous integration and delivery: DevOps practices often involve the use of continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, which automate the process of building, testing, and deploying code. This helps to ensure that code is tested and deployed consistently and quickly.
- Collaboration: DevOps encourages collaboration between development and operations teams, which helps to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the software development process and that everyone is working towards the same goals.
How can organizations implement DevOps to improve consistency?
Here are some steps that organizations can take to implement DevOps and improve consistency:
- Adopt automation tools: Automation tools can help organizations to streamline their software development and deployment processes, ensuring that they are followed consistently every time.
- Use version control: Implementing version control systems, such as Git, can help organizations to track and manage changes to their codebase, ensuring that it remains consistent.
- Implement continuous integration and delivery: Implementing a CI/CD pipeline can help organizations to automate the process of building, testing, and deploying code, ensuring that it is done consistently and quickly.
- Encourage collaboration: Encouraging collaboration between development and operations teams can help to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the software development process and that everyone is working towards the same goals.
- Monitor and measure: Regularly monitoring and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) can help organizations to identify any inconsistencies in their processes and take corrective action.
When teams operate out of sync, they're more likely to make mistakes. These mistakes can lead to delays in the product cycle and increased costs. To avoid this, teams must operate consistently.
Consistent operations can help avoid risks and achieve consistency. To achieve these goals, teams must operate according to standard processes. These processes should be clear, consistent, and regulated. It should also include process metrics that let teams monitor their progress and impact.