... since the endless list of DevOps tools that you're being challenged to choose from is simply... overwhelming and (even) discouraging.
So, you need to get efficiently “choosy” when putting together your own DevOps “toolkit”, right? To invest time in getting a grip of using precisely those DevOps technologies that are most in-demand in the web development industry right now.
Speaking of which, here's a curated list of DevOps automation tools that I've put together for you using 2 criteria of selection:
- best DevOps tools worth learning, which will be in high demand in 2018
- DevOps technologies which are easiest to learn (for if they require too much of your time, as a developer, they can no longer be regarded as productivity and efficiency “boosters”, right?)
And so, without further ado, let's delve right into it, shall we?
But First: What Is DevOps?
"DevOps is the offspring of Agile software development.” — Dennis Ehle
Or, if you prefer a formula type of “definition”:
Development + Operations = DevOps
The DevOps approach comes down to one single principle: “Automate everything!”
It's a series of good practices geared at:
- encouraging frequent software releases so that early (and constant) feedback can be provided
- streamlining collaboration among development, QA and operations teams
- continuous integration and continuous deployment
- automating all operational processes: planning & analysis, design & implementation, build & release, integration & testing
An automation server like Jenkins can't miss from your DevOps toolset!
Take it as a “Swiss-knife” type of tool for DevOps which will enable you to easily:
- monitor execution of repeated actions carried out during your web projects
- safely build, deploy and automate your web project
- use it as both a continuous integration server (CI) and as the technology powering your continuous delivery (CD) infrastructure
- assimilate all required changes within your project
- gain quick access to the output so that you can quickly identify any emerging issues to be addressed in a timely manner
Jenkins Features That You'll Love:
- you get to leverage its easy-to-use system for setting up a continuous integration and continuous delivery framework
- it ships with a Java-based program built to run on a plethora of operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X and other Unix-like ones)
- you get to configure it, quick and easy, via a web UI
- you get to distribute your work across an entire “infrastructure” of devices
- it's an extensible automation server: it comes “jam-packed” with hundreds of plugins that you get to use for customizing the platform to your needs
Imagine a world where your entire infrastructure of machines and different kind of software used is... right at your fingertip: available anytime, accessible anywhere.
This is the digital world of the future turned into present that this DevOps technology builds.
Puppet practically delivers you a server orchestration so that you always have an accurate overview of your entire architecture of
- their configurations in the data center
Puppet Features That You'll Love:
- it conducts metadata-fueled “investigations” and filtering
- it's perfectly equipped both for performing real-time discovery throughout your infrastructure and for leveraging a rich data source such as PuppetDB
3. Splunk, One of the Widely Deployed DevOps Tools in 2017
Take it as your tool for turning machine data (meaning user behaviour analytics) into... gold!
… into actionable and easily accessible insights. This is what Splunk does: it delivers operational intelligence.
Splunk Features That You'll Love:
- it “empowers” you and your team with real-time analytics solutions
- it delivers actionable insights based on the event and user behaviour-based data that it collects, analyzes and monitors
- it identifies patterns, points out issues to be addressed and highlights areas of impact that you should be focusing your efforts on
This is would make a perfectly suitable (and hopefully suggestive enough, too) one-word definition for Docker, the fourth platform on my DevOps tools list.
And what it does exactly, how it helps you to drastically shorten your future apps' development and testing cycles, is enabling you to use the certified containers that it ships with for building your app.
Take Docker containers as nothing more “sophisticated” than some self-contained units that you can rapidly spin up across platforms.
By leveraging this containerization technology you get:
- to quickly put together your app's components
- to manage its containers as single groups
- … and even to bundle them up in clusters, thus saving your app's resources
To enhance collaborative work by isolating each one of your app's dependencies and by making them more accessible and, therefore, more secure, too.
Docker Features That You'll Love:
- it's an infrastructure-agnostic platform; it integrates perfectly with any environment
- being a containerization technology translated into high portability: you get to easily move your apps around platforms
- packaging and isolating app dependencies in containers make them more accessible and more portable during the development, testing and deployment cycles
- … which implicitly streamlines DevOps engineers' work and enhances their collaboration
Another technology, a cloud infrastructure framework this time, that easily stands out in any DevOps tools comparison that you might run.
What Chef does precisely for easing your life as a developer? For helping organizations automate their infrastructures' development, deployment and management?
It turns entire infrastructures into code, making it easy to adapt them to enterprises' ever-growing business needs. As simple as that!
And here's the entire Chef mechanism behind this automation process turned into 3 key steps:
- the Chef Server stores an organization's repositories of information regarding the “desired” state of their infrastructure, as well as information regarding each “node” from the network
- this way, it streamlines managing entire “ecosystems” of on-premises and on-cloud environments at an enterprise level via repeatable scrips (known as “recipes”)
- … while accelerating the process of organizations adopting the cloud
And the true power of Chef lays in its heavy load of pluggable configuration modules (nearly 2000!) available (since it's an open source DevOps technology) via the Chef community.
Chef Features That You'll Love:
- as already mentioned, Chef accelerates enterprise cloud adoption
- it's built to “orchestrate” multiple cloud environments
- it's equipped to manage data center environments
6. Visual Studio IDE
A DevOps tool built to meet all your feature needs as a developer:
- it streamlines collaboration
- it shortens the entire software development lifecycle
- it empowers you to write your programs
- it speeds up your software product's release cycle
- it streamlines debugging and testing
In short: Visual Studio IDE is a full-featured integrated development environment (created by Microsoft) empowering you to develop software (apps and services) for Android, iOS, the cloud and the web.
Visual Studio Features That You'll Love:
- it accelerates development and deployment of both SQL server and Azure SQL databases
- the software that you get to build by leveraging its plethora of features and capabilities range from games and apps for Windows devices to modern, extensible web apps, to native and hybrid apps and even apps easily scaling to Azure
- it ships with a vital functionality geared at refactoring, detecting and addressing code issues
- it's built to easily zoom into details: check-ins, call structure, related functions
7. GIT, One of the Most Popular Open Source DevOps Tools
Yes, yes, I know what you must be thinking right now: “GIT!!! Seriously? What developer isn't already more than familiar with GIT?”
An even stronger reason for me to add it to my list of DevOps tools that stand all the chances to be in high demand in 2018! You may not need to actually “learn” it if it's been in your toolset for a long time already, but you definitely need to... keep it at hand!
It goes without saying that GIT, a version control system (VCS), thanks to its great feature set and its full range of functionalities, injects high efficiency (and implicitly top speed, too) into your web projects.
And where do you add that it's open source!
GIT Features That You're Already Loving:
- it offers you a branching model, thus enabling you to have multiple (independent) local branches for the same commit: multi-branch development
- … this way, you get to merge, create and even remove these branches as their infrastructures grow
The END! These are the 7 DevOps tools which, in my opinion (and judging by the web development industry's overall trajectory anticipated for 2018) shouldn't miss from any developer's toolbox.
What (other) automation tools would you add/remove?