Automation for DevOps
If you’re interested in software or have been following our DevOps and SDLC series, you’ll know that automation DevOps is important in your life. Automation allows teams to develop and distribute products faster. It is one of the keys to unlocking the true power of DevOps. This does not mean that in some kind of post-apocalyptic world ruled by robots, automation tools have completely eliminated the need for humans.
Instead, automation improves the performance of developers, allowing them to spend less time on tedious, repetitive tasks and more time developing new features that your customers love. Moreover, automation actually improves the quality of software and products. So, since it is generally accepted that automating processes is one of the most important aspects of software development and IT operations, what is the role of automation in DevOps? Let’s take a look at him.
How to Automate
First, the nature of IT departments in every industry is constantly evolving, with teams managing more and more assets and projects. This requires management at a more complex level. The task of DevOps is to make these growing demands easier to manage, with the help of automation. The fewer manual tasks teams have to undertake, the more they can focus on development activities.
It is important to implement automation from the beginning of the DevOps transformation process. This allows us to reap the benefits of transformation early on, making it easier to gain company-wide acceptance. It will also make it much easier to automate other processes, with less resistance from employees, as this attitude of automation will be well established.
When you first embark on a DevOps transformation, it can be tempting to try to automate everything at once. But you shouldn’t run before you walk, especially if you work within a complex ecosystem. Trying to automate multiple processes at the same time can cause conflict and confusion between these newly automated tasks.
Instead of diving in headfirst, we recommend doing a full analysis of your existing environments so you know exactly where to start. The DevOps practice we have described is the most useful one and the awareness of your current situation will guide you forward and prevent you from drowning in current development.
It can also be tempting to start with the slowest or oldest process, but doing so can doom you to failure. Trying to automate processes in legacy environments can lead to additional problems that reduce the return on your efforts. They can also create a headache that can make you avoid fully automating. Start small and simple so you can build your confidence as a team and reap the benefits of automation in DevOps.
Automation for DevOps
Each step of the SDLC involves a large number of variables that developers need to consider. From changing customer needs and fluctuating market trends to internal business objectives and strict compliance requirements. This can cause bottlenecks in the software development process and isolate teams with inconsistent workflows.
To avoid this, teams should adopt standardized processes, workflows, technologies and protocols. Your analysis of your workflow will bring different teams together to help them decide on ways to collaborate and work more effectively with the help of automation. Therefore, standardization plays an important role in DevOps automation strategies.
Automation of the process minimizes risk by reducing human error in repetitive tasks. Automation also reduces risks by increasing visibility across the SDLC. By automating the job tracking process, teams can closely track code changes and existing issues as well as their impact on overall project goals. This traceability tightens the feedback loop between different teams and code issues can be recognized and fixed immediately.
The management of unexpected situations is also facilitated by automation. For many organizations, tracking big data such as daily logs and metrics can be challenging. This is where high-level incident reporting comes in. It allows developers to understand infrastructure performance and make accurate predictions about potential future problems.
This type of automation allows teams to prioritize incidents, identify root causes and ultimately improve the SDLC based on actionable ideas. Planning the analysis of the data provided by the infrastructure in this way is vital to improve the DevOps workflow. Replacing legacy IT strategies with automated, software-defined IT operations enables organizations to harness the power of DevOps.
Test automation is another important element within DevOps that minimizes risk while improving the overall quality of the software. Test automation increases the success rate of all implemented strategies and is also the backbone of the standardization process. In addition to improving overall quality, test automation increases the reusability and reliability of every component, saving money on maintenance and version updates.
Access to real-time, automated testing allows teams to focus on innovation, which positively impacts your entire organization. All in all, test automation helps businesses adapt quickly to a variety of situations while increasing opportunities for growth.
Automation and a culture of continuous testing pave the way for continuous integration and continuous deployment. Automated tests and processes enable teams to deliver changes to customers frequently. Because automation ensures that the right tests, code changes, data and software are delivered to the right target environments in the SDLC. Automation is crucial for continuous testing and CI/CD pipelines in DevOps environments.
Attention to Measure in Automation
Over-automatization is one of the problems that many businesses face as a result of overdoing it when implementing the agile method. Automation in DevOps is about taking manual processes and making them consistently repeatable using technology. Unfortunately, it is not a silver bullet developed to correct flaws in processes. Therefore, if you try to automate a bad process, you will only make it faster and you will be using automation in vain without solving the root problem.
Solving these problems is a different task in itself, but it also offers the best chance for a successful DevOps transformation. This way, you will be able to more accurately map your processes to the right automation tools. You may feel like a child in a toy shop when it comes to choosing a vehicle.
This is where businesses can make the mistake of focusing more on the automation tools than on the process itself. In the end, they have a lot of tools to harmonize their processes. DevOps is not about having lots of new toys, it’s about finding the best tools to automate your existing processes (and not vice versa).
For a proper DevOps transformation, it is as important to provide sufficient automation as it is to avoid unnecessary automation. Some businesses cling to the old ways and are afraid to step into automation. In this case, businesses that lack sufficient automation are unable to exploit the full potential of DevOps.
If you’re hesitant to take the plunge into automation, it’s worth thinking about why you embarked on the DevOps journey and certainly why you didn’t spend the time and money to continue using the same processes.
It is important to strike a balance between over-automatization and under-automatization. Your analysis, including an inventory of your business’s applications, data stores and existing development processes (from design to deployment) will be useful here again. At this point, you can consider your specific requirements and DevOps KPIs.
Try to implement end-to-end automation in a workflow and find the appropriate automation tools before moving on to the next process. This allows you to gradually clean up weak points in your existing processes, step by step, with minimal disruption to your process.
When we look at the role of automation in DevOps, it is clear that a transformation of this scale is important to realize its full potential. Automation allows processes to be standardized and improved, while teams can focus on development and overall business growth. As with any major business transformation, it is important to plan before you start.
Take the time to do an analysis… You will thank us later! The key word is patience. You should gradually automate processes. At its core, DevOps is about delivering high-quality software and products to customers at a higher frequency. Automation allows you to realize this goal.
At Snapbytes, we help our customers assess their current SDLC maturity, plan a DevOps roadmap and guide them through the journey. We specialize in DevOps, CI/CD, Atlassian and custom development solutions. Please contact us for information on how you can benefit from DevOps practices and principles.
To read the English-language Medium version of our article