Cloud Management with ‘x’Ops – Part 2

By March 18, 2021 Powerlearnings

Compiled by Kiran Kumar, Business analyst at Powerup Cloud Technologies

Contributor Agnel Bankien, Head – Marketing at Powerup Cloud Technologies

Summary:

After comprehending the term xOps in our preceding blog, let us move on to carry out an exhaustive synopsis of DevOps and CloudOps in this 2nd in the series blog. DevOps is a framework that contributes to the modernization of cloud business operations. Its objective is to unite IT development and operations to strengthen communications and build effective automation techniques via continuous agile methods in order to scale up businesses. CloudOps is an extension of DevOps and IT that looks to enhance business processes and systematize best practices for cloud operations. This blog covers the what, who and how of cloud management practices.

Index

1. Introduction

2. What is DevOps?

3. Stakeholders & DevOps Team

4. DevOps architecture – How it works?

4.1 Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD)

4.2 Continuous Development 

4.3 Continuous Testing 

4.4 Continuous Feedback

4.5 Continuous Monitoring

4.6 Continuous Deployment

4.7 Continuous Operations

5. Benefits of DevOps

6. What is CloudOps?

7. Building a CloudOps team

8. How CloudOps fits into DevOps?

9. Benefits of CloudOps 

10. Conclusion

Synergizing DevOps and CloudOps practices

1. Introduction

With the rapid emergence of cloud collaborated infrastructure and tools and a significant hike in the technology spend, the global cloud computing market is expected to grow exponentially at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5% by 2025. A surge in the registration and usage of cloud users has led to an upward and emerging cloud trend in the IT sector. 

Organizations that upscale their capabilities and look at continual modernization of software delivery are better equipped to release new features at high-speed, gain more flexibility and agility, comply with regulations and accelerate time to market. 

In the first part of the ‘x’Ops series, we saw how business operations and customer experiences can be enhanced by collaborating the teams to strengthen communications while inducing automation techniques to build an effective IT Ops. 

The development, security, network and cloud teams need to work jointly with IT operations to ensure reliability, security, and increased productivity giving rise to the term xOps. 

The xOps umbrella consists of four major ops functions broadly categorized under cloud management and cloud governance that help run efficient cloud operations. 

In this blog, the 2nd in the series, we will have a detailed look at the cloud management section that comprises of DevOps and CloudOps practices.

2. What is DevOps?

DevOps is a model that enables IT development and operations to work concurrently across the complete software development life cycle (SDLC). Prior to DevOps, discrete teams worked on requirements gathering, coding, network, database, testing and deployment of the software. Each team worked independently, unaware of the inefficiency and roadblocks that occurred due to the silos approach.

DevOps is combining development and operations to soothe the application development process on cloud while ensuring scalability, continuous and high-quality software delivery. It aims to build an agile environment of communication, collaboration, and trust among and between IT teams and application owners bringing in a significant cultural shift to the traditional IT methods.

3. Stakeholders & DevOps Team 

Christophe Capel, Principal Product Manager at Jira Service Management states, “DevOps isn’t any single person’s job. It’s everyone’s job”.

DevOps team comprises of all resources representing the development and operations team. People directly involved in the development of software products and services such as architects, product owners, project managers, quality analysts, testing team and customers form a part of the development team whereas operations team include people who deliver and manage these products and services. For example; system engineers, system administrators, IT operations, database administrators, network engineers, support team and third party vendors.

Some of the new roles emerging for DevOps are:

  • DevOps Engineer
  • DevOps Architect
  • DevOps Developer
  • DevOps Consultant
  • DevOps Test Analyst
  • DevOps Manager

4. DevOps architecture – How it works?

DevOps helps modernize existing cloud practices by implementing specific tools throughout the application lifecycle to accelerate, automate and enhance seamless processes that in turn improve productivity.

DevOps architecture enables collaborative cross-functional teams to be structured and tightly integrated to design, integrate, test, deploy, deliver and maintain continuous software services using agile methodologies to cater to large distributed applications on cloud. 

The DevOps components comprise of –

4.1 Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD)

The most crucial DevOps practice is to conduct small yet frequent release updates. With continuous integration, the developers are able to merge frequent code changes into the main code while continuous delivery enables automated deployment of new application versions into production. CI/CD facilitates full automation of the software lifecycle that involves building code, testing and faster deployment to production with least or no human errors allowing teams to become more agile and productive.

4.2. Continuous Development 

The process of maintaining the code is called Source Code Management (SCM), where distributed version control tools are preferred and used to manage different code versions. Tools like Git establish reliable communication among teams, enable writing as well as tracking changes in the code, provides notifications about changes, helps revert back to the original code if necessary and stores codes in files and folders for reuse making the entire process more flexible and foolproof. 

4.3. Continuous Testing 

A test environment is simulated with the use of Docker containers and automation test scripts are run on a continuous basis throughout the DevOps lifecycle. Reports generated improve the test evaluation process, helps analyze defects, saves testing time and effort and enables the resultant test-suite and UAT process to be accurate and user-friendly. TestNG, Selenium and JUnit are some of the DevOps tools used for automated testing. 

4.4. Continuous Feedback

Continuous tests and integration ensure consistent improvements in the application code and continuous feedback helps analyze these improvements. Feedbacks act as a steeping stone to make changes in the application development process leading to newer and improved versions of the software applications. 

4.5. Continuous Monitoring

Monitoring the performance of an application and its functionalities is the key to resolve and eliminate common system errors. Continuous monitoring helps in sustaining the availability of services in the application, detects threats, determines root cause of recurring errors and enables auto-resolution of security issues.

Sensu, ELK Stack, NewRelic, Splunk and Nagios are the key DevOps tools used to increase application reliability and productivity.

4.6. Continuous Deployment

Most systems support automated and consistent deployment of code releases, scheduled updates and configuration management on all servers. A cloud management platform enables users to capture accurate insights and view the optimization scenario, analytics on trends by the deployment of dashboards.

Ansible, Puppet and Chef are some of the effective DevOps tools used for configuration management.

4.7. Continuous Operations

DevOps allows teams to collaborate and automate the application release operations and its subsequent updates on a continuous basis. Development cycles in continuous operations get shorter, enable better monitoring and accelerate the time-to-market.  

5. Benefits of DevOps

  • Speed: The DevOps model enables developers and operations to easily adapt to changes, have faster releases, be more innovative and efficient at driving results.
  • Enhanced Delivery: The quicker the new releases and fixes the faster is the delivery response time. CI/CD practices help automate and enhance the software release processes effectively.
  • Reliability & Security: All application changes and infrastructure updates are tested to ensure they are functional, faster and reliable. DevOps grants monitoring and logging checks of real-time application performances as well as conducts automated security validations to maintain control, adhere to configuration and compliance policies and boost user experience.
  • Scalability: Infrastructure as a code helps manage complex and changing systems in a repeatable, automotive, low-risk and efficient manner enabling scalability of infrastructure and development processes. 
  • Collaboration: DevOps culture promotes values, responsibility and accountability among teams, making them more efficient, collaborative and productive. 
LTI Canvas devOps Self-service DevSecOps platform for automated enablement and persona-based governance. It is a comprehensive suite of accelerators that empowers continuous assessment, lean CI/CD automation, and value stream management provide bird’s eye view into the entire DevSecOps lifecycle

6. What is CloudOps?

Cloud operations, popularly known as CloudOps is the rationalization of best practices and processes that allow IT operations and services housed on cloud, to function and optimize efficiently in the long run. 

According to a survey conducted by Sirius Decisions, 78% of organizations have already adopted agile methods for product development. However, for organizations to accelerate agility and attain cloud smart status it is crucial for DevOps and traditional IT operations to string together the processes and people maintaining the services.

Maintaining on-premise data centers, monitoring network and server performances and running uninterrupted operations were always a challenge in the traditional IT set-up. DevOps, through its containers, microservices and serverless functions, helps create agile processes for quicker delivery of reliable services, provides efficient orchestration and deployment of infrastructure and applications from any location, automates operations and allows scalability of resources whenever required without compromising on stability and security. 

That is where CloudOps comes into the picture and has the capability to offer speed, security and operational efficiency to the DevOps team making the system predictive as well as proactive while enhancing visibility and governance.

7. Building a CloudOps team

The first step is to determine whether an organization needs a cloud operations team. Identify and align all the roles and responsibilities spread across organization’s cross-functional teams who are already involved in strategizing cloud operations. 

Cloud adoption and cloud governance teams or individuals will support the cloud strategy team. Further, to address critical areas of security, cost, performance, deployment, adoption and governance, the cloud operations team need to align with other teams within the organization. This would require the cloud operations team to collaborate with the cloud strategy, cloud adoption, cloud governance and the cloud center of excellence teams to execute, implement and manage cloud operations functions. 

8. How CloudOps fits into DevOps?

Since cloudOps is an extension of DevOps and IT, it aims at building a cloud operations management suite to direct applications and data on cloud post-migrationAccording to the Right Scale State of the Cloud Report, 94% of enterprises are using some type of cloud service and the global cloud computing market is expected to grow to $832.1 billion by 2025.

CloudOps comprises governance tools that optimize costs; enhance security and capacity planning. It also promotes continuous monitoring and managing of applications running on cloud with minimal resources. 

Cloud platforms offer DevOps the flexibility, scalability, recovery and the ability to dissociate from the existing infrastructure.

Built-in automated cloudOps techniques provision for agility, speed, and performance-related metrics. It additionally facilitates smooth handling of service incidents to fix cloud infrastructure and application-related issues.

Combining DevOps initiates a faster CI/CD pipeline guaranteeing continuous improvement, greater ROI with minimum risk, and consistent delivery of customer needs.

Once organizations implement cloudOps strategies into DevOps, the following best practices can be observed on cloud:

  • Plan and develop a cloud migration strategy keeping risks, costs and security in mind.
  • Understand current network infrastructure to map out an adaptive cloud-based technological process.
  • Bring in a cultural shift by changing the mindset and training the resources to help understand CloudOps aligned DevOps strategies.
  • Dispense self-provisioning tools that allow end-users to initiate applications and services without IT support.
  • Implement automated processes to test security configurations and establish compliance policies to ensure uniformity and stability across dynamic multi-cloud services and teams.
  • Automation organizes development workflows and agile change management systems facilitate seamless functioning of teams. To continuously improve and evaluate processes, increase accessibility and optimize productivity, streamlining the change management process is elementary.

9. Benefits of CloudOps

  1. Cost-effective: Utilizing cloud service platforms minimize the hardware and infrastructure costs while also saving on resources, utilities and data center maintenance costs.
  2. Scalability & accessibility: Organizations can build up their cloud capacity as per their need. This allows teams to become more productive and shift focus on innovative cloud techniques. Also, teams can access and manage cloud operations from any location using any devices regardless of platform.
  3. Automation: Technology intelligence tools on cloud automate infrastructure provisioning, building codes, running quality assurance tests and generating reports that lead to faster time-to-market.
  4.  Enhances security: Since cloud ensures effective security monitoring and checks on cloud data and services, a survey by RapidScale depicted that 94% of businesses saw improvement in security after moving to the cloud.
  5. Simplifies backup and disaster recovery: Cloud makes storage of data in multiple locations possible and offers several cloud-based managed services that are fault-tolerant and have failover alternatives to protect the data on cloud.
  6. Seamless integration: Applications sharing common services can co-exist in cloud without being interconnected. 
  7. Continuous operations: Cloud operations are made available 24/7 where software can be rapidly updated and deployed without disrupting any services.

10. Conclusion

Thus, cloudOps offer tremendous value to businesses while devOps ensure continuous operations, directing organizations to optimize and enhance their way of building and deploying applications on cloud. CloudOps is most advantageous to enterprises from the technical point of view and associates with devOps to upgrade their products and services. We will emphasize more on cloud governance practices that include finOps and secOps in our succeeding blog of the xOps series.

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