What You Should Know about DevOps as a Service
By: Jeff French
| January 10, 2023
Development operations, commonly referred to as DevOps, is the combination of several vital IT services. It involves code development, deployment, and maintenance, along with application maintenance and management. All this to say, it’s what keeps the trains running on time when it comes to your software and processing systems.
Key to that process are the DevOps teams and DevOps tools that sustain DevOps operations as a whole. As more teams commit to a remote model of working, so too have development teams changed how they work for companies. Now DevOps engineers are being utilized as a service instead of being hired as full-time IT employees for businesses.
What does this mean for your business? It means you have access to the latest software and technological innovations through a DevOps team that acts as a service for your business. Now your tools and processes can be hosted on a virtual platform, allowing for continuous delivery and less time to market for your products and services.
We’ll be taking a look at the best way to integrate DevOps into your existing business model, the benefits that will have for your company, and the best way to find a DevOps service provider that works for you.
DevOps is centered around two core tenets: automation and collaboration of processes. Those two tenets are responsible for a wide range of responsibilities under devops services. Each DevOps engineer is responsible for understanding the code, deploying it, and then monitoring its impact on the overall health of the infrastructure.
DevOps is then responsible for collaborating with developers to optimize the code and mitigate any negative impact the code may have had. That’s where automation comes in — once the code is perfected, automation is key to reducing the time and errors between steps.
Crucial to these steps is the deployment of the code. Since the process is never completely automated, it is prone to error. Therefore, the development process involves the operations team dealing with continuous deployment on top of managing deployment cycles between errors. Errors such as dependency, timeout errors, authorization errors are all common between deployments and require constant maintenance to lessen the impact of them and remove them completely with patches.
Enter the DevOps as a service model. Instead of you as a business owner having your own pipeline of development, you have a team of DevOps professionals available to you as a service, instead of as staff or an IT department.
As these processes become more advanced at a faster rate, it becomes more difficult for businesses to keep up with the technological processes and innovation needed to maintain a competitive advantage. Having a DevOps provider is pivotal to surviving and succeeding with tools and a delivery model that is constantly changing.
DevOps As A Service
Since the fallibility of codes and processes largely comes down to error in production or deployment, there is a shift within DevOps to move traditional collaboration from development and operations teams to a cloud environment.
Cloud solutions have provided several advanced capabilities to increase DevOps productivity. Many processes that are consistently failing and having to be recycled through development cycles can be automated. Using virtual development tools, these processes can be deployed, tested, fixed, and reintegrated with much less disruption than they would in an actual server environment.
This cloud infrastructure lends the processing power of the virtual environment in the cloud to the DevOps process. This allows for continuous deployment through automation with less bug fixes along the way. By using cloud strategies through the DevOps as a service model, a production environment can be virtually the same as a development environment.
This is a feat that is nigh impossible in anything but a virtual environment. The development environment is the sandbox developers play in to develop and configure their code without affecting the systems users and customers operate in.
Whereas the production environment is the real deal and doesn’t operate by the rules of the development environment. This is where inefficiencies and failures present themselves. By synchronizing these environments, cloud-based DevOps operations can reduce the number of incidents that cause downtime, system errors, and inoperable processes and optimize cloud costs.
Kubernetes and DevOps Go Hand-in-Hand
The most important part of DevOps solutions is that they synchronize two teams that have long been kept siloed. Development and operations have operating principles that can be contradictory when done separately.
Development writes code and implements it, coming up with creative solutions for complex problems and they have to do it constantly to keep up with business. Conversely, operations’ entire goal is to see that code put out safely, without disruption, and in a controlled manner. It’s not until these two systems work in unison that your systems can operate seamlessly. Quality control, speed, and innovation all can happen at once with a DevOps methodology in place.
DevOps brings these two teams together, uniting their workflow and developing a shared infrastructure. Through this, a series of pipelines are created that make development and operations tasks dependent on each other to increase both quality and speed.
A crucial part of these systems and pipelines are the tools that manage them. However, when a new tool is put to use, it can break the existing system. That’s where configuration management comes in, allowing DevOps teams to bundle pipeline parts in virtual containers to be managed with a platform like Kubernetes.
Kubernetes is a container management platform, used by devops teams to implement and change code. It hosts virtual containers that hold all the code and its dependencies needed to run an application. Through this approach, infrastructure is more adaptable and scalable because it can be changed and managed with low effort and minimal disruption through automation.
An important part of any DevOps implementation is successful integration of configuration management tools like Kubernetes. The process can be disruptive and complex if not done with an experienced partner, so consider Moonswitch for your managed Kubernetes needs.
Benefits of DevOps as a ServiceCost reduction, shorter development cycles, faster time to market, these are all benefits for your business when you use DevOps as a service. Let’s dig a little deeper into how DevOps provides each one.
When you reduce downtime, you’re cutting out lost opportunity costs from consumers as well as increasing their satisfaction. DevOps, with its reliance on automation, also reduces the need for large departments and still gets processes and code up and running in a timely manner. The DevOps as a service model reduces your up-front costs by eliminating the need for expensive upgrades, equipment, and experts.
With automation for testing and implementation, your budget can be more focused on high-value tasks. Auto-scaling and load balancing solutions are examples of DevOps as a service model with cloud services. Both features help manage resources for high and low traffic so you’re not wasting resources during either extreme.
Shorter Development Cycles
Your development cycle is most likely causing the most inefficiency in your operations. From product development to production to deployment, your development cycles are rife with errors and inconsistencies that are not identified until it’s a pain to fix.
With DevOps, assessment and analysis happen concurrently with deployment so that code deployments can happen more frequently with less disruption. These short development cycles are key to maintaining your competitive edge as customers are given faster updates with new features from new releases that can happen constantly.
Maintain Uptime to Reduce Downtime
DevOps is all about maintenance and proactivity. With a quicker reaction time from monitoring processes in place, downtime is reduced. Downtime is a contributing factor when it comes to customer churn and dissatisfaction. As such, your company should prioritize the reduction of downtime with a DevOps approach.
By managing build releases, deployments, and updates, a DevOps service can monitor the impact of new deployments on your existing infrastructure constantly, instead of doing inefficient check-ins only when something is obviously broken. Deployment management allows for increased uptime to guarantee production system uptime, considering downtime is no longer acceptable to consumers. Even if it’s just for a small quarterly or annual window, disruption on even the smallest level can cause you to lose valuable business.
Faster Time to Market
Automation and collaboration allows DevOps to implement a faster process of development, testing, integration and deployment seemingly without disruption. A DevOps cycle and the proper functionality of it ensures a faster time to market than any other approach.
DevOps prioritizes a continuous methodology, ensuring that DevOps processes deliver continuous monitoring, testing, and reinforcing that increases efficiency to expedite the time to market.
Challenges Presented with DevOps as a Service
With every new integration, even a helpful one like DevOps, comes pitfalls and obstacles. Why is a successful DevOps as a service model so hard, expensive, and difficult to maintain? Let’s take a look at some common struggles business can experience.
Your development and operations systems have long been kept separate. As such, they’re used to doing things a certain way. Even if that system has its inefficiencies, they’ve been trained to operate a certain way and completely shifting that has its own disruptions.
A successful DevOps as a service model helps to integrate these two teams, facilitating their shared dependencies and ensuring they work together towards the same goals. Without that, though, a DevOps approach may cause more headache than it’s worth.
Though the goal is to save you time, DevOps can be time-consuming to implement up front. It does not happen overnight and takes both time and effort to be done successfully. Doing so takes patience and a detailed plan involving the testing of changes before they’re sprung on your production environment.
No Consistent Standardization
There’s no one good way to implement DevOps. As such, there’s no guidebook or training manual for what your team needs to do to take it on. A lack of out-of-the-box DevOps capabilities could have your business struggling to integrate and adapt DevOps processes and toolsets to find what’s right for you. This trial and error can be expensive and take time you may not have.
Not a Perfect Fit
DevOps as a service may not be the right fit for your business or where it is right now. Weighing the pros and cons is an important part of achieving your business objectives, though, so be sure you make the decision that’s right for your company by consulting with a Moonswitch professional to see how much the benefits can help.
Make the Switch
If you’ve noticed disruptions, downtime, and dissatisfaction from customers, chances are DevOps could provide valuable services to boost the operational power of your company.
The speed at which technological innovation, change, and updates are happening is difficult even for the most advanced company. You don’t have the time, energy, or resources to allocate to the constant monitoring and development that takes place with even the simplest web-based processes.
With competition as cutthroat as it is today, you can’t afford to be buggy, slow, or caught in unnecessary downtime. To avoid those costly missteps, make the change to DevOps as a service and be sure to work with providers that have the characteristics of reliable DevOps companies.
When it comes to cost reduction, speedier development cycles, and a time to market that can’t be beat, DevOps is a logical next move for your company. Reach out to Moonswitch today to ease the transition and start utilizing the power of DevOps as a service.