DevOps automation is the addition of technology to processes that improve feedback loops between operations and development teams so that repetitive updates can be sent to production systems faster.
Manually performing DevOps procedures such as Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and log analytics are theoretically possible. However, doing so would necessitate a massive team, a significant amount of time, and a degree of communication and coordination among team members that are not feasible in most instances.
These processes can be automated with the use of software tools and preset parameters.
Few examples of DevOps Automation are…
- Infrastructure-as-Code tools can configure software environments automatically using configuration files written in advance.
- New versions of an application can be built, tested, and deployed using release automation suites.
- Automated testing frameworks can check if a new version of an application meets predefined quality levels by evaluating how it acts.
It’s important to acknowledge that DevOps automation doesn’t entirely exclude humans from the equation. When things go wrong, or something has to be modified, even the most automated DevOps process needs human intervention.
Nonetheless, automation reduces a DevOps practice’s reliance on humans for simple, repetitive tasks.
Observability, dependability, and remediation have become increasingly automated since the term DevOps was established in 2009. Many new technologies are now being built to automate these tasks.
Automation support DevOps
Human interactions are not the only thing that can be replaced with automation. The DevOps lifecycle benefits from automation, not the reverse. Efficiencies and performance must be improved by automating specific jobs or procedures. This will result in a lower return in comparison to the number of resources used to automate the operation. In contrast, automation mixed with a robust DevOps workflow will lead to higher quality software with frequent releases without negatively impacting the business or end-users experiences
Why should DevOps work be Automated?
DevOps tools empower development teams and increase their effectiveness from an engineer’s point of view. Developers can enhance the frequency of releases and obtain faster feedback by reducing cross-team dependencies and avoiding manual processes for infrastructure provisioning and configuration.
DevOps automation decreases the time it takes to deploy features from a business standpoint. Automation also improves platform reliability and availability by decreasing incidents caused by human error or irregularities in the environment, or by auto-healing (identifying and repairing issues automatically). It also minimizes the need for huge teams, decreasing cross-team friction and minimizing duplication and repetitive work from multiple development teams.
Because DevOps approaches smoothly integrate with the Agile Methodology, they can and should be used to attain those goals.
What processes should be Automated?
Start with your biggest bottlenecks if you’re trying to figure out where to focus your automation efforts.
The goal of DevOps automation, according to Puppet, is to move towards a self-service model in which
- Incident responses are automated.
- On-demand resources are provided to developers.
- Business needs are taken into account when re-architecting applications.
- The design and development process includes security teams.
To get there, companies go through a succession of automation stages, overcoming issues like delayed service provisioning (either because it’s too complicated or because it requires too much effort and cross-team collaboration) and trouble setting up test and deployment pipelines.
Organizations begin looking into what they can automate in the operational stage, when software is in production and providing business value, after they have automated the constraints that engineers encounter when releasing and deploying new code to production, dramatically increasing engineering velocity in the process.
Analyze recent incident data, particularly recurrent problems, for operational bottlenecks. Identify issues that lead to long-term or recurrent events. Improvements should boost the platform’s reliability and availability, either by preventing or reducing the effect of certain types of accidents.
After you’ve decided which challenges automation can help you with, define success and create a business case.
How should DevOps processes be Automated?
With your automation challenge in hand, try to figure out what technologies are available to help you address it.
Using freely accessible tools and standards rather than creating and maintaining your own is, on average, more effective.
Consider the following before adding a new tool to your technological stack:
- Costs incurred directly (licensing and hosting)
- Efforts to launch (initial investment)
- Efforts to maintain (ongoing investment)
- The system has become more complex as a result of the addition of complexity.
- ReIs there anything else a tool can help you with? requirements for dependability and support.
In an ideal world, you’d like a tool that’s not only adaptable enough to tackle your current problem but also handy for tackling future ones. There should be tools that can be reused in other layers, without putting a lot of strain on the team to maintain or use them. In the future, you should have the option of choosing between hosting your tools or using SaaS-based solutions.
Continuous integration allows well-established tools for automated testing and deployment, substantially lowering the time (and toil) required to ship code. We see this in observability, incident management, and automated remediation solutions, where we see a lot of innovation in the tools we use to operate our software in production.