The ultimate goal of DevOps is to streamline development. DevOps doesn’t necessarily require tools and is not defined by its tools, but for most organizations, they play an integral role in automating tasks and ensuring processes run as efficiently as possible. When used together, a combination of DevOps tools form a DevOps toolchain, which enables teams to flow smoothly through the DevOps life cycle.
While the integration of DevOps is by no means ubiquitous, we’re witnessing its growing presence in the mainstream IT world. A plethora of tools and systems has emerged to facilitate continuous build, test, release and deploy, but constructing an effective DevOps toolchain to run efficiently can be a tricky undertaking. It often requires a good deal of experimentation and continuous refinement to ensure that critical processes and hand-offs are effectively automated.
While the specific tools and systems you utilize will depend on your organization’s unique needs, it’s helpful to keep three key uses of a DevOps toolchain in mind to guide your planning and organization. Let’s take a closer look at the primary ways that an organization can benefit from a DevOps toolchain.
1. Resolve Product Defects. The first use for a DevOps toolchain is to help resolve individual product defects more efficiently. Automation enables you to generate dependable, targeted alerts to your team about major IT incidents. This can not only improve the speed with which you resolve issues, but also help to proactively sidestep potential problems from escalating and damaging your customer experience.
2. Refine Incident Management. The second way to use your toolchain is to further refine your management of major incidents and to facilitate the rapid and automatic progression from pinpointing critical events to escalating targeted communications to the right team members and following through until the issues have been resolved. It’s especially important that communications are delivered only to the appropriate team members—mass notifications, particularly to teams of hundreds or thousands of personnel, are ineffective and don’t do anything to combat alert fatigue.
3. Innovate Faster. Finally, remember that your toolchain is meant to help you innovate faster by driving continuous build, test, release and deploy. Combining monitoring, diagnostics and continuous testing can help your organization ensure rapid delivery and follow best practices for agile development. Decentralized version control, for instance, is used by 85 percent of software organizations because it can help streamline the development process tremendously.
Which tools are best for you, and which combination of tools will work best for your DevOps toolchain, is a subjective exercise. Regardless of the tools you use, though, it’s clear that there are benefits for organizations that put together an effective DevOps toolchain that can help streamline and optimize the life cycle from beginning to end.