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DevOps for the Cloud: Key Findings and Introduction to Automation Tools – Part 1

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DevOps and Cloud have had a symbiotic relationship. These two go hand in hand to provide businesses and organizations to achieve their transformation goals. In this article, we are introducing DevOps tools, key findings, and practices that were implemented with cloud platforms.

Just a quick reminder that there are various expert online courses around DevOps on Cloud like this one which evaluates and recognize you as a Certified DevOps Engineer. This particular course will help you learn the fundamentals of DevOps workflow and explain the tools needed to release your software applications faster and more reliably.

In this two-part article, we will introduce you to the key findings related to DevOps in 2020 and go deeper into one of the proven DevOps Methodology from Alibaba Cloud with tools & solutions to support and enable organizations, that have realized the urgency to develop new and unified development and delivery models.

This Methodology has given way to:

  1. Better collaboration between workforce
  2. Cut down on expenses and waste processes
  3. Shorter release cycles
  4. Continuous delivery of application

Key Findings | The 2020 Challenge

The year 2020 has been filled with challenges and in difficult times technology has played its part to maintain a certain sense of stability for businesses. DevOps has been the prime mover for crucial models of development and delivery within the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) pipeline.

Observations –                                          

  1. The industry has continued to improve, with the largest and biggest organizations performing well.
  2. Cloud has been the deliverer of continuous high performance and proves to be a factor for successful business models.
  3. Focus on structural solutions to build a community around DevOps is proving to be the best strategy for scaling DevOps.
  4. The core of Digital Transformation and business performance sides with the ability to deliver software quickly, safely, and reliably.
  5. DevOps, Agile, and ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) are being challenged by SRE (Site Reliability Engineering).
  6. DevOps Implementation enables better security.
  7. Security Integration is rather difficult in later stages of evolution but provides better outcomes if integrated throughout the software development lifecycle.

Moving away from the year 2020, a better understanding of tools and services is certainly something that we need to focus on. Now, let’s talk about a few common DevOps tools.

DevOps Tools

Infrastructure as Code (IAC): Terraform

Terraform is an open-source DevOps automation tool used for manipulating infrastructure in terms of building, versioning, and changing. It is used to organize APIS into configuration files that can be shared with team members responsible for the coding, reviewing, modifying, and versioning.

What is it used for?

Terraform can efficiently codify an entire data center. It can form execution scenarios and determine any changes in the desired state. It also provides an ability to obtain the desired state. Terraform uses its language i.e. HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL), using this language it can manage components like compute instancesstorage, and networking.

Why is it preferred?

Infrastructure as Code is the foundation for any operation to cut down the total time spent on it. By using Terraform, the developer can easily provision all the needed resources without having to go through the tedious process of provisioning everything manually. With that Terraform also enables the developer to kill any resources that are not needed and an ability to share and reuse such resources. This enables the versioning of a data center.

So, to sum it up, Terraform IAC provides us with the functionality to:

  1. Automatically provision resources using Infrastructure as Code (IAC)
  2. Create a new environment automatically
  3. Integration with multiple cloud providers

Resource planning using execution plans and resource graphs


Jenkins is an open-source automation tool that is used for deploying, testing, delivering, and building applications/code. Alibaba Cloud Container Service incorporates the extensible features of Jenkins for Continuous Delivery (CI) operations.

How does it work?

Continuous integration (CI) tools come into force when developers around the globe work with an application code at the same time. When they make changes to different parts of an application code, Jenkins comes into play and works to solve any problem that might arise due to fragmented workflow procedures.

Jenkins in this case helps the dev teams to overcome issues associated with build failures due to multiple changes to the application code.

What is it used to offer?

Cloud-based elastic products integrate well with each other and offer DevOps based environment, best suited for development and operations. However, Jenkins is a CI server, serving as a Continuous Delivery (CD) source. It supports several plugins and has set a standard for CI/CD operations. Jenkins supports automatic testing operations and enables quick identification of bugs. All this saves time and expense with an efficient team system.


DevOps tools utilized for CI/CD operations or as Infrastructure as Code offers benefits such as cost-saving and reliable development process. You can also incorporate almost any open-source DevOps plugins by simply installing them from the repository.

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