IT Infrastructure Management using DevOps

With the emerging trends in technology, consumers using digital products always look for some upgrades or enhancements in their already existing features. And the companies are endowed with a greater responsibility to make sure that their products are capable of accommodating various new improvements as well as managing the stability of the application. For example, in early 2016, Facebook converted the “Like” feature in their application to a multifunctional “React” button after an extensive community of users requesting for the same. While this change required intense planning and testing, the feature was rolled out to its users without any application downtime.

To tackle the challenge of managing new changes, many enterprises with their signature products have migrated to DevOps culture to streamline their IT Infrastructure by introducing continuous & automated deployment without compromising the stability of the application.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a Software Engineering practice which is a combination of a specific set of tools and methods that aims in unifying Software Development and Operations to serve the customers better and keep up with the ever-changing trends in Technology. Instead of using an independent server for an application where the code integration and enhancements are done manually, DevOps enables the developers to build a microservice based architecture which is more stable, risk-free and scalable.

For instance, the Amazon website is readily available 24×7 for its customers to use. However, there will always be an application enhancement or code fix happening in the backend which the user would never notice since the site would be available on-demand. To incorporate such frequent changes and improvements into an application that is being used by millions of users worldwide, the developers often look for a more automated and scalable method which does not hinder with the stability of the application at any given time. DevOps method helps in such a scenario where the entire build and deployment process is automated.

Essential Aspects of Infrastructure Management using DevOps

Be it a startup or an enterprise, managing the IT Infrastructure becomes tedious as the business starts to grow. DevOps induces specific best practices into the organization by which the Infrastructure Management becomes a more straightforward task.

Following are the best practices of DevOps:-

Microservices based Architecture:

The main advantage of using DevOps practice is that each functionality of an application is separately built as microservices which are then hosted on different instances. Having modeled for a sole purpose, these microservices interacts with one other using custom-made APIs enabling in smooth functioning of the application. Using microservices, one can build a more scalable application which is available on-demand for the users and is capable of accommodating frequent changes without compromising the stability.

The microservices-based architecture replaces the method of hosting a cluster of services on a separate application server which would often require more maintenance. Instead of subjecting every code changes & enhancements through a specific set of procedures which usually requires an application downtime, microservices allows the developers to deploy code changes and improvements more frequently.

Continuous Integration & Delivery:

Using DevOps practice and the associated tools, developers can automate the entire release process starting from code building, testing, to code deployment. The developers can check-in their code changes into a central repository, and the service associated with continues integration automatically creates a build file after each code revision before subjecting it to an optional unit test which identifies errors. The continuous delivery helps in deploying the build file automatically in the staging environment and requires a manual intervention for deploying in live production. DevOps eliminates most of the manual intervention that is often required during production deployment.

A Centralised Storage:

DevOps enables the usage of central storage such as Amazon S3 using which the custom build APIs can access the data anytime. Using a central repository reduces the risk of data loss by retaining all the information even if the application fails. Also, the data is stored as objects which are readily available for the application interface to access. We no longer have to depend on a particular application server and make copies of the relevant data during deployment.

Monitoring & Logging:

As far as an application is concerned, there is always room for improvement and enhancements. Monitoring and Logging becomes an essential aspect of DevOps using which the end user experience can be monitored and recorded for viable improvements. Using tools such as CloudWatch provides useful insights on the performance, tracks possible bugs and errors and determine the stability of the application as the consumer base increases.

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