Infrastructure automation enables organizations to set up operating frameworks that allow smooth functionality with enhanced usage, minimal scope for error and faster deployment of code. The process of infrastructure automation eases development and operations processes by introducing good deployment practices such as computerized testing and versioning.
The need for automation was realized when the demand for deploying error-free applications at a faster rate increased. Additionally, competition from similar businesses forced organizations to look for a way to bridge the gaps between development and operations to deploy applications that would serve their business needs.
The Challenge of Implementing DevOps Practice
The following challenges present a roadblock in bringing out the best results of DevOps practices:
- The disparate work cultures of the development and operations teams.
- Non-involvement of DBAs in release cycles.
- Failure in deployment of error-free codes.
The Emergence of DevOps
The introduction of DevOps practices resolved a lot of problems in terms of increasing business operations efficiency. It created a common operating framework where disparate teams including development and operations teams can work together and deliver applications faster that will, in turn, result in effective business operations and an increase in ROI.
Adopting DevOps involves:
- DevOps experts outlining of traceable metrics for creating a roadmap by visualizing the desired outcome.
- Creating a pilot framework that will include the tools of both development and operations teams further integrating these existing tools with the DevOps experts’ robust ecosystem,
- Analyzing, designing, constructing, automating and implementing the network based on the metrics and resources collated.
The DevOps infrastructure automation process uses several tools that define and drive the success of the implementation process. Here is a short overview of some of the more well-known and widely used tools.
- Jenkins – A Java-based continuous integration (CI) tool contributes to the faster delivery of applications. Jenkins must be aligned with a version control system such as GitHub or SVN. Whenever the code repository receives a new code, a Jenkins server builds and tests the new code and informs the team about results and any changes. Over time, Jenkins has moved from being just a CI tool to being used as an orchestration tool that builds pipelines for application provisioning and deployment.
- Chef – A ruby-based configuration management tool, Chef includes cookbooks that code infrastructure in domain service language (DSL) in combination with a little bit of programming. Chef creates virtual machines and customizes them in accordance with the rules listed in the cookbooks. An agent residing on all the servers that need configuration extracts the cookbooks from the chef master and runs them on the server to get the desired results.
- Puppet – Also, a ruby-based configuration management tool, Puppet was developed with system administrators in mind. A configuration code is written using Puppet DSLs and is wrapped in modules. Puppet performs a similar function to Chef but, unlike Puppet, Chef is a developer-focused tool. It runs a puppet agent on all servers that require configuration and extracts the compiled module from the puppet server and installs required software packages as prescribed by the module.
- Ansible – An agentless configuration management and orchestration tool, Ansible can be used for cloud computing. Ansible has configuration modules called “Playbooks,” which are written in YAML format and are easy to compose in comparison with other configuration management tools.
- Docker – Docker, a process-level virtualization tool, creates isolated environments for applications known as containers. These containers can be transferred to any other system without making any application changes. Docker has evolved as the next step in virtualization. It is beginning to become a favorite of many DevOps practitioners and leading cloud experts.
The Future of DevOps Infrastructure Automation
A lot of organizations are beginning to benefit from the implementation of DevOps infrastructure automation. And with the pace at which the demand for DevOps services is increasing, infrastructure automation has a long way to go.
As per statistics, by bringing DevOps practices into the picture, organizations can benefit by deploying code up to 30X more frequently and reduce the deployment failure to less than 50 percent.