Editors’ Note: As with all of our contributed articles, the views expressed in this article are of the author, not DevOps.com. Due to its vendor-agnostic stance, DevOps.com does not endorse any particular technology.
There was a time when the operations team and the developers regularly were at each other’s throats. The developers were never satisfied with production code updates and the server administrators chafed at developers piling up the serve requests and circumventing the processes.
However, the battle lines have been somewhat erased since the advent of DevOps. IT teams adopting DevOps can move rapidly from concept to production to enhance the business impact, quality and velocity of the application delivery. Many organizations are shifting to DevOps because of its high efficiency and the number of people taking DevOps training are also increasing due to numerous job opportunities in this field.
DevOps Technologies to Know
A number of technologies have emerged to help in the shift to DevOps, providing services ranging from the configuration management to application portability. Following is a list of seven technologies worth noting.
Splunk is used for detecting and fixing issues across the life cycle of an application in real time. It allows the developers to see data from the production environments, eliminating the need to access production machines. Splunk enables DevOps processes including continuous integration and deployment.
The Splunk platform is used for DevOps to:
- Provide end-to-end visibility across each and every component of the DevOps tool chain.
- Utilize the objective metrics to make sure the code meets the quality SLAs and is operational.
- Correlate the business metrics with changes in code to obtain new business insights.
ScriptRock Guardrail is designed to rapidly pinpoint the differences in configurations on desktops and servers, comparing the states between systems and over time. ScriptRock Guardrail shows what has changed, helping simplify diagnostics and decreasing downtime.
Developers who work with agile methodologies are accustomed to a test-first way of working with the unit tests, making sure that everything works as planned. As continuous delivery becomes more prevalent, the DevOps and Ops teams need to take a similar approach. This is where the ScriptRock GuardRail comes into its own, providing you the tools to construct and build infrastructure level unit tests and view the results visually, thus making it very easy to rapidly drill into the real problem and get your services running.
ScriptRock GuardRail focuses on addressing the key prerequisites to any DevOps, and, more precisely, initiative and automation. They are described below.
- Visibility: The GuardRail platform delivers visual configurations showing differences between like devices, configuration drift monitoring and automated visualization and scanning of network device and server configurations.
- Accountability: Users can curate and filter configurations to generate policies that can be utilized to ratify the configurations on a continuous or ad hoc basis.
- Automation: All the policies can be exported to Windows PowerShell DSC, Docker, Ansible, Puppet and Chef.
ScriptRock GuardRail works with any automation tool and can be delivered as single-tenant SaaS, multitenant SaaS or a virtual appliance on-premises.
The SaltStack Enterprise Software helps DevOps organizations by organizing the systematic motion of code into production by maintaining the complicated infrastructures refined for optimal application delivery and business service. While DevOps is not a tool, it requires a tool-centric approach to enable continuous delivery. SaltStack helps to configure as well as quickly deploy the dynamic applications and general-purpose infrastructure they run on. DevOps is gaining wide popularity around the world because of the tools like SaltStack that enhances its efficiency.
SaltStack is a cloud infrastructure tool and delivers the systems management for application configuration, cloud building, server provisioning and data automation. It is an event-driven tool and can automate the tasks within DevOps workflow and makes the operations highly approachable for the developers. SaltStack provides a common language and common way to manage the servers and thus helps to bridge the gap between Devs and Ops.
Automation is the foundation for many DevOps practices. It is the key to continuous delivery and faster deployments. Automation imposes consistency across the production, testing and development environments. It makes sure users can rapidly orchestrate the changes throughout the infrastructure: container and cloud deployments, virtual machines and bare-metal servers.
No matter where it runs, Puppet provides a standard way of operating as well as delivering a software. Users define what they want their infrastructure and apps to look like utilizing an easy-to-read common language. From there, they can enforce, test and share the changes they want to make across their data center. Reporting and visibility is available at every step of the way to help prove compliance and make decisions.
The Puppet Enterprise enables users to test changes before deploying them to production. With Puppet Enterprise, the infrastructure is defined as code, which enables users to adopt the best practices of agile development including automated deployment and testing, and deliver the software more reliably. This is because the configurations are consistently promoted, shared and tested across all environments, from Dev laptops through test to production.
Atlas was the first commercial product released by HashiCorp, provider of open-source tools that enable the efficient deployment of software-defined applications and data centers. Atlas provides visibility into the infrastructure, including virtual machines, containers and servers, in addition to service discovery and configuration management. Building on the popular open-source projects of HashiCorp such as Terraform, Consul, Serf, Packer and Vagrant, the closed-source proprietary Atlas enables DevOps across different cloud services, which include OpenStack, Azure, Google Compute Engine and AWS, and provides a dashboard for maintaining, deploying and developing applications.
Many engineers are shifting to Atlas today for their organizations’ customer engagement platforms. Atlas brings it in one place and enables the companies to handle end-to-end starting from configuration management to container deployments across various cloud environments. Every open-source tool is fine alone, but the capability to handle and orchestrate them as a whole is extremely powerful.
Chef is a cloud infrastructure and systems framework that automates the management, deploying and building of the infrastructure via repeatable, short scripts known as “recipes.” But the actual strength of Chef lies in its utilization of the pluggable configuration modules(also known as cookbooks), about 2,000 of which are available through Chef community. Facebook, the high-profile user of Chef, recently open-sourced few of its own Chef cookbooks, which include its Grocery Delivery and Taste Tester testing framework, which watches a source code repository such as Git and keeps the local Chef server in sync.
The complex tasks are automated by Chef that are otherwise resource- and time-intensive. But, more importantly, Chef allows users to focus their efforts on improving and innovating the quality of their services. It also opens the door to more efficiency and collaboration across the organization.
Through its containerization technology, Docker brings portability to the applications wherein the applications run in self-contained units that can be moved across the platforms. It consists of Docker Hub, a cloud service for workflow automation and application-sharing and Docker Engine, which is a lightweight packaging and runtime tool.
Docker has revolutionized the containerization of applications enabling DevOps to package any kind of application in a lightweight environment. The packaging is done in a way as easy as installing a mobile app. Docker is considered as the most popular DevOps tool. By using docker, the developers can containerize their apps and can run them anywhere. Built on top of Linux containers, docker is a powerful ecosystem where DevOps can use many apps (available on Docker Hub) to the maximum advantage.
About the Author / Savaram Ravindra
Ravindra was born and raised in Hyderabad, India, popularly known as the ‘City of Pearls’. He is presently working as a Content Writer at Appmajix Technologies. His previous professional experience includes Programmer Analyst at Cognizant Technology Solutions. He holds a Masters degree in Nanotechnology from VIT University. He enjoys spending time with his friends. He can be contacted at email@example.com. Connect with him also on Twitter and LinkedIn.