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What Is DevOps Lifecycle, And How To Manage It?

The demand for software products and services has grown exponentially over the last few decades. In order to keep up with this growing demand, software developers have been coming up with more and more ways to speed up the development process without compromising on quality. DevOps is a great example of how modern software development is maximizing efficiency. In this article, we’re going to talk about the DevOps lifecycle in detail, including what it is, what it does for software development, and how organizations can manage it.

Simply put, the DevOps lifecycle is a mixture of varying software development phases. These phases include:

  • Software Development

  • Testing

  • Integration

  • Deployment

  • Monitoring

In the DevOps lifecycle, all of these phases are continuous. This means that software developers continue to revisit these phases as they build, maintain, and improve software products and services. Before we get into an in-depth discussion on the DevOps lifecycle and its phases, let’s talk a bit about DevOps itself. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it!

What is DevOps?

DevOps (Development Operations) isn’t a specific language or technology used in software development. Instead, it is a software development lifecycle (SDLC) ideology. It’s a mix of tools, development practices, and philosophies. All of these things come together to enable organizations to develop and deliver software services and products quickly.

DevOps SDLC has become essential for modern-day software development companies. This is due to the fact that software requirements have become highly dynamic. In order to keep up with these requirements, companies need development protocols that are fluid and flexible. DevOps add this flexibility into the software development mix.

Due to its results, DevOps has become one of the most popular SDLC in the world. DevOps has a number of different stages (broken down into different parts of its lifecycle). All of these stages revolve around outputting software quickly without compromising on quality.

Origin of DevOps Lifecycle

The term “DevOps” first started being used back in 2007. It’s hard to say exactly who “created” DevOps since it’s a combination of development practices that have been (and still are) evolving. DevOps came to be due to a growing need for managing development operations. Software developers and project managers have always had to deal with chaos when it comes to developing software products and maintaining them. The DevOps ideology provided project managers and software developers with a solution to manage this chaos and produce excellent results. Over the years, developers from across the globe have been embracing DevOps and participating in improving this development approach.

The DevOps Lifecycle

DevOps is all about producing results in lesser time by embracing agility, constant innovation, and development processes that encourage software scalability. In order to properly apply DevOps, it’s important for everyone involved in the process to develop an understanding of the DevOps lifecycle and all of its phases.

There are a total of 7 phases in the DevOps lifecycle:

  1. Development

  2. Integration

  3. Testing

  4. Monitoring

  5. Feedback

  6. Deployment

  7. Operation

A diagram of the DevOps cycle makes it easier to understand how these stages are related.

1- Continuous Development

This stage of the DevOps lifecycle involves planning out a software product or service and writing its code. This is arguably the most crucial phase of the entire lifecycle since the entire development operation is planned out here. After this step, everything is segmented into smaller parts.

When done properly, this stage of the lifecycle provides all stakeholders with a clear roadmap and end goal. A clear end goal and well-defined roadmap help streamline the overall project and maximize the chances of producing results that are relevant to the project. Another important aspect of this phase is code maintenance. Companies use a number of different tools to maintain their source code throughout the duration of the project.

2- Continuous Integration

This is the most happening phase of the DevOps lifecycle. During the integration phase, developers are constantly making new changes to the project’s source code. These changes take place due to client requirements, feedback from testing, and problem resolution. The DevOps approach makes ongoing integrations easier since development is taking place on a continuous basis. As the source code is changed, the changes can be implemented on an immediate basis.

During the integration phase, companies make use of different tools to easily integrate new code into the existing system. One of the most popular tools for adding new code is Jenkins. This tool is used to produce executable builds that are then used for testing.

3- Continuous Testing

As software is being developed and changes are being made to its source code, constant testing is quite important. This part of the DevOps lifecycle runs software through testing for pinpointing errors, bugs, and opportunities for general improvement. During the testing phase, quality analysis (QA) is carried out to make sure that the software being developed meets the requirements and expectations of the end-user.

To speed up the testing process, companies make use of testing automation tools. These tools conduct various tests and then produce reports for analysis. All of this information is then sent back to the development team.

4- Continuous Deployment

In order to make the DevOps approach possible, it's important to ensure that a software's code gets deployed on all servers in a precise and consistent manner. Continuous deployment makes the concept of scheduled releases obsolete and allows faster feedback. The development team can resolve issues at a faster pace, improving the overall quality of the end product.

The biggest challenge of applying continuous deployment is to create a reliable testing environment. Once that’s done, companies can deploy updated builds as needed. In order to make the most out of this phase of the DevOps lifecycle, companies have to rely on a variety of automation tools.

5- Continuous Monitoring

DevOps develops and improves software on an ongoing basis. This creates the need for constant monitoring of a software's performance, usability, and a variety of other metrics. The 5th step of the DevOps lifecycle focuses on constantly monitoring the software as it is being developed and deployed.

The primary objective of this phase is to maximize operational efficiency and software performance. This phase of the lifecycle is crucial since this is where problems and opportunities for improvement are highlighted.

To carry out reliable and continuous monitoring, companies utilize various tools that keep an eye on the health of the software. These tools enable proactive checking, which in turn improves productivity and the overall reliability of the monitoring phase.

6- Continuous Feedback

It goes without saying that feedback is really important for the DevOps approach. Feedback is all about collecting information from various stakeholders and analyzing it to find things that need fixing. With a proper feedback system in place, companies can identify issues with their product and resolve them more effectively. This helps improve the overall quality of their software.

7- Continuous Operations

The last phase of the DevOps lifecycle is pretty self-explanatory. The DevOps process is a process flow in which every stage is reliant on the other. In order to maximize overall performance, each stage in the lifecycle needs to be optimized. Continuous operations help create a software product that is fast, reliable, and dynamic. All of this increases the overall value of the software itself.

Why Do You Need DevOps?

DevOps enables companies to produce dynamic software solutions that can meet the needs of customers in a better way. Software produced through the DevOps approach not only has a longer lifespan but also attracts more customers. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of adopting the DevOps lifecycle.

  • Shorter Development Cycles: The development process can be a nightmare since so many variables constantly rely on one another. DevOps helps streamline the development process by allowing multiple teams to work together on an ongoing basis.

  • Better Release Velocity: Shorter development cycles result in usable code being made available faster. The continuous and close-knit approach of DevOps helps reduce development time by 200X. This results in much better release velocity.

  • Improved Defect Detection: The DevOps lifecycle demands constant collaboration between OP, QA, and Dev resources. When all of these resources are on the same page, they can detect, discuss, and resolve issues at a much faster pace. This results in faster defect resolution and better software quality.

  • Reduced Deployment Failures and Rollbacks: Code deployment in DevOps takes place more frequently in the form of small chunks. This results in the chances of code failure being reduced. And should code failure occur, it can be resolved quickly thanks to shorter development cycles.

  • Reduced Time to Recover upon Failure: Shorter development cycles, faster code deployment, and real-time QA mean failure is easier to resolve. Any problems faced during development can be recovered at a much faster pace.

Here’s a more in-depth discussion on the Benefits of DevOps software development.

Final Thoughts

The DevOps SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) makes developing and maintaining software easier and faster. Each of the DevOps lifecycle phases focuses on reducing development time, increasing efficiency, and maximizing opportunities for innovation. When applied correctly, DevOps can produce high-quality software in a short amount of time and with a low overall cost. Whether you're running a small or large organization, the DevOps approach can definitely be of use to you.

By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of what is the DevOps lifecycles and what goes on in each of its phases. If you’re still not sure about how to adopt the DevOps approach, feel free to reach out to us. Here at IIInigence, we stand proud as the best software development company in the USA, having expertise in all the latest development approaches, including DevOps, DevSecOps, Agile, etc. We are especially experienced in deploying and managing DevOps-centric projects. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with one of our experts to see how we can help you cut costs and improve product quality.